Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Although the start of the trip was a bit rough ( read post below to learn several quick valuable life lessons). The rest of my stay went great! The first night, I decided to head out and shoot some photos. It was my first time ever walking around the city, so I ended up pulling out my camera a total of 2 times and becoming completely lost. Where I come from, its very easy to tell which direction you are facing. In NYC however, there are huge buildings everywhere, and no mountains as a reference point. Luckily, two random girls on a street corner were able to point me in the right direction, and get me home(thank you whoever you are). Turns out I had been walking farther away from the hotel, and was over 15 blocks in the wrong direction. I did see a lot of cool sights, and managed to get home before midnight!
PhotoPlus Expo. I've never been to any photo shows before, and was overwhelmed the first time I walked through. It was one of those "grass is always greener on the other side" moments, and every booth I almost stopped at, I would see one near that I wanted to check out even more. After managing to tour the whole Javit's center without stopping at a single booth, I met up with Heidi and Quest at the LumiQuest booth where I would be working for the next two days. Heidi and Quest were a lot of fun, and very entertaining to work with. Since they sell such a great product, I felt as if the product practically sold itself to every photographer who stopped to look. Turns out this is there 21st year at the trade show (If I remember correctly...). I met a lot of key industry figures and was able to do some self-promotion work. This show was HUGE for me!
After the show, I decided to walk over to the Empire State Building. I had dinner plans with Heidi and Quest at 6:30, and assumed that 1.5 hours was enough time to ride an elevator and check out the views. However, like everything on a vacation, the tour was expensive, and there were lines everywhere. Just so you know, the empire state building is actually a giant tourist trap where innocent tourists could easily go missing for days, and come out with no money to their names. That might be taking it a bit far, but I feel as if a good half of the building is made up of lines. Contrary to what one might think, there is no cell service (at least for Sprint Users) on the top of the Empire State Building, or inside. Even with all of my complaints, the view from the top is unbelievable, it's high enough that my ear's actually popped on the elevator! There's a few pictures posted above. I was not allowed to take the tripod up so I had to stabilize against the wire protection wall on the deck.
I finally escaped the tourist trap at about 8 PM, and caught a cab back to my room. I had not drank any water since 1 PM, and was pretty badly de-hydrated. The cab driver was making me sick, so I opened the window for some fresh air. I must have forgotten I was in THE BIG APPLE because the air that came in only served me more sickness. Although I had missed out on dinner with Quest and Heidi, I walked over to a pizza restaurant that they recommended, and had one of the greatest pizzas of my life. It had to have been a 14 inch pizza, and I downed the whole thing in about 5 minutes flat. 10 minutes later and 5 pounds heavier, I stopped at a desert restaurant on the way home and ate most of a huge slice of crumb cake, and one of the biggest cookies I've ever seen. What a night!
The final day arrived and as usual started out at the diner near our hotel. After 4 huge slices of french toast, we headed off to the trade show. I met Scott Kelby for the first time at the show, and told him that I took the photo that was on the cover of Photoshop User magazine this month. Scott is the president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals which puts out the magazine. He told me that he likes my work, which was great to hear from one of the most influential people in the industry! I also met many other key industry figures and passed out a lot of cards. The key here, is to not be nervous when approaching anyone. You must have confidence and remember that your work is great, and that if it wasn't, you would not even be trying to meet with these people. I tested out the new Nikon D3s, which was absolutely amazing. I plan on purchasing one soon so that I can start doing some video tutorials on this blog, and take photos in extremely low light with almost no noise!
After the show, I headed back with Quest and Heidi, and ate the best Thai food I'd ever had. NY is known for their food, and I can verify that every restaurant I ate at was delicious! The only place that was not good, was when I decided to eat a pizza at the trade show. Note to self: don't eat trade show pizza, it's never good, not even in NY!!
The trip was a great experience and a huge help for my career. I would recommend that anyone getting into marketing their work as a professional should do something like this to make a name for themselves in the industry. I will definitely be going back next year, and who knows what point I will be at in my career. Maybe I will be giving speeches in front of an audience that already knows who I am?!
I would like to thank Heidi and Quest for flying me to NY, and keeping me entertained through the whole trip! You've really helped me boost my career and bring my work up to the next level. I really can't thank you both enough for opening all of these doors for me and believing in my work. I can't wait for the next trade show, and to do more work with LumiQuest.