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Sky_07
10-08-2012, 09:23 PM
I'm planning to go to Imaging USA for the first time but come from a very remote area. I will have to come by myself as I don't have any buddies who are photographers. Will I be dreadfully out of place? I really want to come, but the thought of traveling to what I consider to be an ENORMOUS city, with a totally unfamiliar airport, all ALONE, is a bit daunting. :o Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

Cheri_MacCallum
10-08-2012, 10:57 PM
The Atl airport is a big airport, but easy to navigate if you just read the signs. Where are you coming from? You definitely won't be out of place at IUSA, you will be surrounded by thousands of photographers from all over the world.

Angela_Lawson
10-09-2012, 01:08 PM
And many of us are traveling alone. Many of us on the forum try to make a point to get together as a group once or twice to kind of get to know each other in person at Imaging. So keep coming back to the forum, and definitely take the opportunity to travel, even if it's by yourself. My husband had always traveled with me up until a couple of years ago, when I ended up in Tampa by myself. And last year I flew from Michigan to New Orleans alone but was able to hook up with some friends at Imaging that I had met the previous year, and now we keep in touch thruout the year. It's well worth the experience! Hope we see you there!

Sky_07
10-09-2012, 11:11 PM
I suppose it can't be any worse than the airports at Chicago or Dallas, right? And I've managed to navigate both of them by myself. I guess I'm just psyching myself out a little bit. I'm sure I will have fun when I get there. Do you ladies go to the pre-convention as well, or just the actual convention? I can't decide. Will I be overwhelmed trying to do it all the first year? Should I just try to do the convention, and then maybe try to do more the next year? Or would it be better to come to the pre-convention and get to know a few people before it gets too busy?
Thank you both so much for your supportive comments. Normally, I don't get freaked out about stuff like this--have no idea what's making me so nervous this time! I guess in the past, I had always been to the airports with someone else the first time around, so I felt more confident when I had to navigate them on my own. How silly is that? It's not like I'm incapable of reading a sign or asking someone for directions! LOL
Anyway, your advice or helpful tips are very much appreciated! Hope to meet you both there!! :)

Rick_Massarini
10-10-2012, 12:20 AM
If you want to meet some of the people from this forum, we usually have an informal get-together usually on Saturday evening after we get the print and digital exhibits set up (we have several PPA forum members who are going to be helping to set up the exhibit). Stay tuned for a thread where we will decide exactly when and where we will be meeting.

Sky_07
10-10-2012, 01:46 AM
If you could use some more (inexperienced) help setting up, I would be happy to help. I need to get tickets and reservations but that surely won't be an issue this far out?

Michael_Gard
10-17-2012, 12:58 AM
I, too, have been wondering about volunteering opportunities. I'm also a new member planning to attend this January. Which volunteering opportunities at Imaging USA can earn a service merit? I'd also like to meet other members and volunteering seems like the perfect opportunity to do so.

Rick_Massarini
10-17-2012, 05:51 AM
There are two ways to earn service merits at the national convention (Imaging USA).

The first is to become a convention volunteer - those are the people who wear the bright orange shirts and help the speakers, help with directing people, act as hotel hosts and hostesses, act as door monitors at the programs checking ID badges and handing out and picking up program evaluation forms, etc... and doing whatever else is needed to make the convention run. I think these people may get a free admission to the convention, their names listed in the Professional Photographer magazine, and service merits (not sure how many they give for this). They are busy working with the speakers for a lot of the convention. It is a great way to get to know a speaker and can be a valuable networking tool since most of the speaker wranglers end up becoming friends with the speakers and everyone knows that you learn more from your friends one-on-one than you can learn at any seminar. Debbie Scott is the volunteer coordinator this year. Debbie is a dedicated PPA member and the 106th recipient of the PPA Directors Award. If you are interested in this volunteer group, you can contact Debbie by sending her an email to dscottphotoart@gmail.com

The second way to earn service merits at Imaging is by becoming a member of the PEC crew that will be responsible for setting up and taking down the prints and digital equipment for the photographic exhibit. This crew comes in on the Saturday before the convention starts on Sunday and spends most of the day (from around 12 Noon to around 6PM) setting up the exhibit. Our crew meets back again on Tuesday afternoon to take down and pack up the exhibit. For your time and effort, you receive a service merit (or two - not totally sure about the second merit since some things have changed this year) but you do not get any kind of discount or free convention registration. If you are interested in being a part of this group, you can let me know and I will forward your name to our new PEC Administrator to add to her list. This group is smaller than the convention volunteers and will be kept smaller than in previous years. Just be sure that you are DEFINATELY going to be there if you volunteer for this group. Once we reach the number of volunteers we need this year, the group will be closed. Since the group is going to be kept small, if you don't show up and leave us short handed with no opportunity to enlist additional help - you will be remembered. This is also a good networking opportunity since we have several forum members who will be working there along with several of our PPA-PEC jurors and sometimes a few PPA Past Presidents - so it's an excellent educational opportunity hanging prints all day with a bunch of the judges - it turns into a mini seminar and gives you the opportunity to make freinds and pick their brains. If you are seriously interested in this group and will definitely be there, send me a PM with your email address, your cell phone number (in case we need to contact the crew in case of a change) and your PPA number so we can be sure you will get credit for merit pueposes, and I will get you on the list.

Sky_07
10-20-2012, 04:30 AM
I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of the PEC crew! Doin' the happy dance!! :)

Rick_Massarini
10-20-2012, 08:01 AM
I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of the PEC crew! Doin' the happy dance!! :)

Welcome to the crew. I look forward to working with you. There are a bunch of PPA forum members on the crew so it'll give you a great opportunity to put faces to some of of the names you've corresponded with here on the forum.

Sky_07
10-20-2012, 06:00 PM
Thanks Rick, I look forward to working with you and the others as well. It will be nice to meet everyone!

Ed_Sharp
10-21-2012, 06:02 PM
Joining the the print set up crew is a great way to start off IUSA, you get to see all the prints before the general public and by the time you are done working you will have made a bunch of new friends. :)

Sky_07
10-22-2012, 05:57 AM
Are you on the crew as well? This is my first year so EVERYTHING is going to be a new experience, but I'm really excited about all of it!

Ed_Sharp
10-22-2012, 12:13 PM
Yes, I am on the print crew again this year and look forward to working with my fellow Print crew engineers or PCEs. :p
My current profile photo was taken while on print crew duty.

Sky_07
10-22-2012, 04:10 PM
I thought it must be--it's too bad there isn't some way to view the profile pics closer, but it looks like you're having a blast!:D

Rick_Massarini
10-22-2012, 08:20 PM
Ed moved too fast - we were gonna shrink wrap him to the Walker Rod crates, but he moved too fast... maybe next time...

Ed_Sharp
10-22-2012, 09:20 PM
Yeah, that was a close one.:D

Rick_Massarini
10-23-2012, 02:45 AM
I thought it must be--it's too bad there isn't some way to view the profile pics closer, but it looks like you're having a blast!:D

OK - here's a closer look - I captured this image with my little Kodak PlaySport100 Point-and-Hope, so it's not all that great... Ed was on top of the crates of Walker Rods. He was holding the 6 crates together so we could wrap them up on the pallet for shipment back to PPA HQ. and yes, he WAS wearing a Kodachrome T-shirt. Either Dwight was too slow or Ed was just too fast - anyway... we'll try again this year !!!
This is how we get the same volunteers for following years - we shrink wrap them to the equipment crates !

The ninja on the right so adroitly wielding that roll of shrink wrap like a katana is Dwight Okumoto from Hawaii. Dwight is the Chairman of the Board of the Professional Photographers of Hawaii, he's a CPP, an API (Approved Photographic Instructor) a PPA International Juror, and has EVERY Degree that PPA offers - Master of Photography, Master Artist, Master of Electronic Imaging, Photographic Craftsman - plus the PPA Imaging Excellence Award and the Imaging Excellence Bar Award - the Imaging Excellence Award is given for 13 Loan Collection Images after the Masters Degree has been earned - the Imaging Excellence Bar is given for 25 Loan Images AFTER the 13 for the imaging Excellence Award - that's a total of 28 Loan Collection Prints, folks !!! Plus, he's just a really cool guy !!! He's probably lost count of how many of his images were "just a merit". This is just an example of the kind of EXTREME talent you get to hang out with when you're a PEC volunteer working the Print Crew at Imaging. Just imagine what you could learn by picking Dwight's brain for 6 hours while hanging the prints and "talking shop". So working at the convention for the PEC hanging the print exhibit becomes an incredible learning opportunity !!!

And Ed - we WILL get you this year - beware of the "shrink wrap ninja", grasshopper !!!

... and yes, for those who are wondering about the ninja remarks, I was heavily into martial arts for about 20+ years - until my knees finally gave out - MA competition is in the past - now it's just for "fun" - like when somebody foolishly tries to rob me - ya ha - fun time !!!

Sky_07
10-23-2012, 06:03 PM
Wow! I'm impressed! And more excited than ever!! This is going to be an incredible experience!! But, I'm definitely thinking sensible shoes are the order for the day! LOL