This last week I had the awesome opportunity to attend August Exposure 2011 on the Gold Coast. What did I expect to gain from this event? Mmm, to be honest I wasn’t exactly sure. Whilst I knew I would be there with some 80 other photographers from all over Australia to listen to key speakers (Photographers mainly), the exact agenda and plan for the week wasn’t received until registration on Monday morning. Seeing as I was an AE “virgin” I was learning how things worked as I went.
So my journey started last Saturday with a 7.30am flight out of Perth and I had upgraded myself using Frequent Flyer points to the pointy bit of the aircraft. Was it worth it? Hell yes! The difference in attentiveness was amazing…..being addressed as Mrs Manning every time I was offered the morning newspaper; glass of juice, blanket and pillow was really a nice touch. The extra room for my size 16 behind was also welcomed and I could bend down to get something out of my handbag with being face planted with the seat in front. The other bonus was having your luggage come off the carousel first….that was pretty exciting….never happened to me before….I know small things but pretty special small things don’t you think?
On arrival I had booked the Airtrain (really just the regular train that every Tom, Dick and Harry uses to commute between Brisbane and the Gold Coast). Luckily the service starts at the domestic airport as in my wisdom (stupidness really) I decided at the last minute to take our largest suitcase we had just so I had some extra room and my clothes didn’t get so crushed. Are you painting a picture? A suitcase the size of Mt Everest, laptop bag and large handbag so as to carry my Canon 5D Mark II camera with me at all times! I parked my oversized luggage at my side, taking up a whole seat, but what else could I do; there were no designated luggage racks. Thank goodness it was Saturday and not peak hour, so the train was really only half full of Ekka Show visitors complete with showbags and furry hats and high on sugar….fun!
The train prior to filling up with people!
The view from my hotel room through a dirty window.
August Exposure commenced for me on Sunday afternoon when I was very excited to listen to Lawrence Chan – Tofurious speak about Social Media and marketing specialised for Photographers. Excellent presentation which really set the mind working. Little did I know that I wouldn’t be able to quieten my mind by the end of the week.
One unfortunate thing to happen on the Monday was I felt a sore throat and familiar “face ache” coming on and all of a sudden my taste buds were missing in action. So the next few days were like trying to concentrate while swimming through a germ infested swamp. Not nice and each afternoon I was heading up to my room to pass out in bed instead of joining in on the social evening activities that were planned. Oh well, I guess it had been my turn to get sick as I had come down off a pretty busy and stressful couple of weeks prior to my departure.
Room service dessert....sssshhh don't tell my personal trainer.
Those of you that know me know that I don’t rave on about myself (I can hear my husband’s laugh from here….and see the roll of his eyes) and probably consider myself to be a little shy until you get to know me and once you are a friend then and only then will I open up. During the last session presented by the ever moving Mercury Megaloudis, who by the way confesses to having ADHD, but gosh my eyes got tired of following him around the room for almost 4 hours, I was approached to share something I had learned during the week with everyone. As I had mentioned there were over 80 delegates in the room and I had to get up and speak in front of all of them. I hesitated at first, but you know what? I thought to myself about how the week had affected me and what I had learned about myself and knew that if I didn’t stand and speak then nothing was going to change. I stood, I spoke with a blocked nose and husky voice and shared what I had learned and when I sat down I realised a shift had taken place. I can and will do this! I love what I do too much not to make a go of it.
I don’t mean to come across all evangelistic like, but it was a personal experience of listening to other photographer’s stories and there were lots of laughs and even a few tears along the way. So I’m inspired to make some changes for the better and set some achievable goals and see where I end up. No promises other than to myself. They are in writing now so they are law.
I met some wonderfully talented fellow photogs this week too and made some friendships that I'm hoping will continue to evolve. Thanks to a couple of them who continuously checked on me too.
Flying home was a little painful and I nearly murdered the lady behind me who innocently bumped my seat every time her newly acquainted male friend made her laugh….trying to impress her with his sickening charm. Oh did I mention I flew home in economy? :-) Damn airline didn’t have any upgradable seats available on the way home, just when I really needed that extra TLC too. “Mrs Manning would you like a tissue? The whole box perhaps?” echoed all the way home.
Glad to be home with my family, nothing worse than being sick whilst you are away from home.
P.S. If you have read this to then end - thank you! xxx
NOTE: All images taken with my iPhone as I was too darn lazy to get out my DSLR.
I hope to take the next few days to recover properly and be back on deck towards the end of the week.