The Mystic Seminars run from January 6-9 and yes, that's in Mystic, Connecticut. Not terribly far from the famed aquarium, so you could really hit two birds with one stone, if fish is your thing. I assure you, that both will be fascinating, but the former will actually inspire your photography and may just make you more money in 2011.
So, my question to you is a simple one: are you attending the annual Mystic Seminars?
Here is the complete lineup of speakers:
Yervant, Jennifer Hudson, Jesh De Rox, Cliff Mautner, David Beckstead, Justine Ungaro, Michael Greenberg, Joseph Victor Stefanchik (JVS), Todd Laffler, Davina + Daniel, Chuck Arlund, Matt Mendelsohn, Sergio, Sean & Melanie McClellan, Angela Carson, John Edgar, Doug Gordon, Andrew “Fundy” Funderburg, Richard Esposito and of course Mystic Seminars' founder, Walter Van Dusen.
It's going to be quite a show. Some are well known names in the business. All of them have been around the block and know what's what in the industry. A few photographers on that list offer workshops and I have attended them (yes, on my own dime). Some, I can even claim to call my friends. But it isn't some freakish form of nepotism that makes me ask the question again: are you attending the annual Mystic Seminars?
If you have the usual gremlins asking, no, doubting your intentions for going to the Mystic Seminars this year, here are 5 reasons why you should attend this annual event:
1) You'll be inspired by what other photographers are doing – craft, vision and business.
2) If you consider yourself even a wee-bit shy, the seminar is a great place to break the ice and connect with other photographers. Think networking for referrals or 2nd shooter opportunities.
3) It will put the “social” back in social media. Do you follow some of the speakers I mentioned above on Twitter or Facebook? Well, there is no better opportunity than the seminars to step up and introduce yourself.
“Social media shouldn't replace being social in person. It should enhance it. Nothing beats face to face.” – Scott Stratten
4) Giving yourself the time to get out of the home-studio/cubicle for a few days to recharge your batteries is the sanest thing you will do for yourself and ultimately your business
5) It's at the very beginning of the year. What you are doing now and in the early part of the year for your business can make or break it.
If you are a wedding photographer or a portrait photographer, it just makes sense to register for this event. This year, the presentations will run over four days at the Mystic Marriott. Each of the photographers mentioned brings a completely different aesthetic to their approach. The diversity is intentional and I applaud Walter for bringing us a very well organized event year after year.
The cost for early-birds like me was $400. If you want to go now, it will be $600 and I say it's still worth it. If you can't make all 4 days, don't fret. Walter is offering day passes at a very reasonable $200, until TODAY or whenever they get sold out.
Yes, the event is in January. Brrr! Right? Well, thankfully the presentations are all going to be indoors. And I really have no excuse to miss it since this takes place right in my back yard (well, close to it).
So, who will I see at this year's Mystic Seminars? Sound off below. If I hear from a bunch of you, perhaps we can plan on doing dinner together? Let me know. I know it will be fun to connect with you all. Let's take this opportunity in early January to reinvigorate ourselves for what will be an incredible 2011 wedding and portrait season.