Earlier this month I was able to attend the New England Camera Clubs Council annual conference, in Amherst, MA. I’d heard good things about it for years, and was pleased to find it lived up to its reputation. If you have a chance, you should really try to attend.
I got a call last winter to ask if I’d be interested in giving a presentation at the conference. I’m happy to do these whenever possible, as it gives me an opportunity to hear (and learn from) other speakers too. Plus, I’d had an idea for a while now of a talk I’d like to give. In the last ten years I’ve led over thirty photo trips to locations both inside and outside of the U.S., and each time, I end up writing a note to the participants on how to best prepare. So I thought that a good, different kind of photo talk might be, “How to plan and prepare
for a successful photo trip.” I pitched that to them, they agreed, and so I gave that talk three times over the course of the weekend. It was well received, but the best part of being out there was being able to take part in the other parts of the conference. You see, it’s really, really big.
“How big,” you ask? Over 1000 attendees. Dozens of speakers, workshops, model and animal shoots and other activities (balloon launch, anyone?). About 80 camera clubs from the northeast make up the council, and the conference is open to anyone. They’ve had some practice doing this, as it was their 66th year. As good as many of the talks were that I attended, the best part was just being surrounded by people who love photography. I’ve always said that I think photography is a great social activity, and for that weekend, you couldn’t swing a camera without hitting another photographer. Everywhere you went people were shooting and smiling and laughing, having a good time. The campus was a great location for it, the weather was awesome – it was a blast.
So if you want to geek out in a photo kind of way, spend an
entire weekend with like-minded people, and have a chance to listen to photographers from around the country share their skills and knowledge, put the NECCC conference down on your “to-do” list. I doubt you’ll regret it.
(The 2012 NECCC conference is scheduled for July 13-15, 2012, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus: http://www.neccc.org/)