How to Overcome Intimidation and Learn from the Experts – Adorama Inspire Conference

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Disclaimer: Adorama is a paid partner of dPS.

As a photographer have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome?

Do you look at your social media feed and scroll through fabulous snaps that make your heart sink? Instead of being inspired by ethereal lighting and fantastic depth of emotion, do you find yourself intimidated and second-guessing your work?

We have all been there.

The Adorama INSPIRE Conference seeks to challenge that response. The event (more details below) places emphasis on collaboration and creativity that will allow you to learn from respected experts without feeling intimidated. Instead, you will feel invigorated. Which is why I wanted to share some of my own tips for getting the most out of attending events like Adorama INSPIRE.

Art of Visuals - Adorama Inspire Event

Image courtesy of Art of Visuals.

Get rid of the pedestal

So how can you learn if you find looking at other photographers’ great images intimidating? If the instructors at workshops or conferences are top experts, how can you relate to them and get over your own fears?

Speaking from my own experience, the best thing I can recommend is to try and think of the teachers and instructors as equals and take them off the pedestals on which you’ve placed them. Consider the fact that once upon a time they were sitting exactly where you are now, with the same insecurities and fears. They are only human too, and the only difference is they have more experience than you do.

Ask questions and don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Don’t be afraid of asking questions. I tell my students all the time that the only stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask because then you’ll never learn. So ask away.

Gavin Hoey Portrait Kit

Image by Gavin Hoey

Try things and make mistakes as you learn – that too is normal. Take the newfound knowledge you get from any photography educator, whether it be live in-person or an online class, and apply it. Don’t expect it to all work out perfectly the first time. You need to do things a few times to “get” it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, be patient with yourself.

There are many ways to learn photography nowadays.

Read: Should you Study Photography at College or are There Better Options Now?

Image by Jose “@tutes” TUTIVEN – Storm King Art Center

Get inspired and learn

That’s why if you only attend one photography conference and festival this year, you should make it Adorama INSPIRE. Adorama INSPIRE combines guidance from top photographers and influencers from around the world with hands-on learning in a supportive community so you are able to expand and enhance your skills in a no-pressure, friendly space that is accessible to all.

NOTE: There are many workshops which are free to attend, you just have to register

Tracie Maglosky Maternity Photography

Image by Tracie Maglosky – Maternity Photography

Adorama INSPIRE runs from June 25th to July 1st, 2018 in New York City where you can attend the in-person workshops and classes, many of which are free or really low cost. Either way, you will benefit tremendously from the advice of some of the photography world’s most esteemed professionals in an environment that allows your own skills to blossom.

What you get

Inspire Met preview - Adorama Inspire Event

Image by Fahad Jafarullah

Use Adorama INSPIRE as a springboard for your next creative breakthrough and soak in inspiration from cinematography, music, social influence and photography in all its many shapes and forms. Fine-tune your technical skills and enjoy fresh inspiration and motivation to create your next masterwork.

Digital photographers who live in or can travel to New York City will benefit from Adorama INSPIRE’s free events, including visits to local art galleries and photo walks.

Statue of Liberty - Adorama Inspire Event

Image by Paul Mango

Since Adorama INSPIRE is unique in the photography conference sphere, it is well worth making a special trip to attend their conference and festival. Consider it an investment in your future career, and a way to get your creative juices newly flowing. Additionally, you will be able to check out New York City, which is vibrant and inspirational all on its own!

Tamara Lackey Children s Portraits

Image by Tamara Lackey – Children’s Portraits

You can register for any number of workshops, hands-on experimental events, and panel discussions at Adorama INSPIRE. Please note that this event is expected to be very popular, so advanced registration is strongly suggested, even for workshops or discussions that are free. We do not want you to miss out! For a full calendar of events click here.

Highlights not to miss

SLR Lounge Wedding Photog Workshop - Adorama Inspire Event

Image by Vanessa Joy – Wedding Workshop

Highlights that you absolutely do not want to miss include a State of the Industry panel moderated by Barry Litwin, CEO of Adorama, and the Adorama INSPIRE Expo. The Expo is particularly intriguing because you will get a glimpse into what is fresh and on the horizon in the photography community. With technology evolving at light-speed it’s important to keep apprised of all the new tools you have at your fingertips.

Adorama is a trusted source for new and exciting products. Since its inception it has evolved from a New York City camera store to one of the biggest authorities in the photography world, exploring new techniques, technologies and expanding its bandwidth to include popular YouTube channels and tutorials. As such, Adorama is in a unique position to have their finger firmly on the pulse of what is next for the industry, so their expo is well worth checking out.

Learn from industry leaders and instructors

Stan Honda Night Shooting - Adorama Inspire Event

Image by Stan Honda – Night Shooting.

Attendees will get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to join Lumix Global Ambassador Kevin Gilbert on a nighttime shoot of the epic New York City skyline. Participants will learn from the best while honing their skills in real-time and creating some memorable images.

Or join fashion photography icon Emily Soto live or through video-stream as she walks you through tips and tricks of creating the most fabulous fashion editorial; from conceptual design to how to polish your final images. Soto has been featured in several high-end magazines and is considered an unparalleled authority on the subject.

Eric Pare Light Painting - Adorama Inspire Event

Image by Eric Pare – Light Painting

Participants can also learn how to find their unique voices as street photographers with guidance from Street Dreams Magazine’s key photographers. They will explain how they found their creative groove and mentor you on how to discover your unique perspective and visual story.

Learn from other attendees

Something else to keep in mind is the opportunity to interact and learn from other conference attendees. Even during online classes, there is often a chance to communicate with others, share images, and get feedback on your photos.

At most workshops, there are many people of various skill levels. So help those with less experience than yourself, and ask advice of those with more.

Read more tips on attending a conference here: 5 Tips to Getting the Most out of a Photography Conference

Dave Black Belmont

Image by Dave Black – Belmont

Sign up now

Adorama INSPIRE strives to accomplish a mission that has yet to be realized by any other photography conference or festival; intertwining valuable technical workshops, artistic inspiration and a supportive community of photographers and mentors. This week-long event will jumpstart your motivation and give you fresh tools to take your photographs to the next level.

Click here to register now.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Darlene Hildebrandt is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through articles on her site Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Morocco and India. To help you at whatever level you're at she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!

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