How PartnerCon09 Changed My Life

frenchqtrAll I can say is “wow!” This has been one of the most rewarding, enlightening, and invigorating weeks of my career, and I owe it to Pictage and PartnerCon 2009. Yes, they are clients of mine, so I offer that as somewhat a disclaimer. But, I assure you that this post comes with all sincerity of heart. This has been a amazing week. I won’t go into details of all that happened. There will be a video to come later that will do that better than I could. But I wanted to share some highlights for me that I hope will inspire those of you reading this.

The PartnerCon 09 Keynote Films

It really all started over a week ago as we got deep into production on the short film series Pictage CEO Jim Collins commissioned us to create for his opening keynote. We met with him a few months ago at Skip Cohen’s Summer School and he gave us one simple task: “People must come out of my keynote in awe. It’s going to set the tone for the whole conference. That’s all.” No pressure! My thanks to Jim for challenging us to raise our game and to take our work to new levels. Even though we’ve done work for Pictage for years, there was something different. We wanted not only to do good by our client, we wanted to do good by Jim, the person. And, as many who’ve met him can attest, he’s that kind of leader. Someone who inspires you to go above and beyond, not just for yourself, but for him.

I alluded to some of the challenges last week, and I’ll share more in a future blog post, but everything from production to premiere made the creation of these films an incredible experience for me. So much so that I had a self-revelation that producing these kind of inspirational films is what I’m most passionate about. And it will most likely be the new direction I take my company, Dare Dreamer Media.

And the response was more than an artist could hope for. Thanks to all of you who had such wonderful comments about the films and their effect on you. Many of you have asked when the films will go online. We’ll be working with Pictage to present them online in a very special way. Stay tuned.

Additional Highlights

There were a few other highlights from the conference worth mentioning:

  • Learning from Justin and Mary Marantz to be UN-ordinary in the service I offer my clients.
  • Being reminded by Jasen Aten to track everything in my business (yes, even I slack at this sometimes).
  • Inspired by Grant Oakes to WOW your clients every time. (He hand-delivers his albums to his clients in a custom carved wooden box with a bottle of wine, and gives his wedding clients an album the night of their wedding to take on their honeymoon).
  • Inspired by Joe Bussink to continue to do work beyond just that which pays the bills. Always be shooting and doing what I love.
  • Reminded by Dane Sanders that there are four key roles in my business: Visionary, Strategist, Manager, and Frontliner. And in quintessential Dane Sanders, about a third of the people in his seminar came out crying. (What is it about that man! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Hanging out with and being encouraged and inspired by Scott Bourne. Thank you Scott.
  • Amazing food and music from the people of New Orleans.
  • Documenting photographers providing family portraits to Katrina family survivors.

But, I must say, the piece de resistance, was seeing my daughter sing her song “Airport” to a room full of adults (500+/-) and get a standing ovation. The tears were streaming and the heart beaming. Talk about proud poppa.

My Prediction

I’m sure there will be dozens of blog posts from photogs this week about the experience they had at PartnerCon 09 in New Orleans. One common comment I heard was the effect the inspiring leadership from Jim Collins and Simon Anderson (their Chief Marketing Officer) is having on the company. Pictage has had it’s problems in the past. We all know that. But something is changing. You could feel it in the air. I will be so bold as to make this prediction. Two years from now, Pictage will become what Kevin Roberts call a lovemark. That you’ll see a loyalty and dedication from Pictage clients on par with what you see from Apple users about their iPhones and MacBook Pros. “Mark” my words.

13 thoughts on “How PartnerCon09 Changed My Life

  1. Ron, you and your family had a HUGE impact on my PartnerCon experience! The films were amazing and so inspiring and I enjoyed meeting your lovely wife and attending her For Women Only session. But it was your daughter that finally made me reflect on something within and when she sang at the closing session I just cried. In fact I grabbed some napkins off the bar before she sang the first note in anticipation of crying! I was once that little girl with big dreams of pursuing a career in music (first major was vocal performance) but unlike her I let the doubts and fears keep me from believing in myself. At some point I stopped being a dreamer and began doing what I thought I should do – what made sense. I hope she never stops dreaming and realizes that her amazing gift touches the lives of others and inspires them to be dreamers, too!

  2. Ron, Kind words my friend are so much more meaningful when they come from someone I respect as much as I've come to respect you and Tasra. The work you did was incredible. I'll admit that the challenge I placed in front of you was a little unfair. I wanted work that would help me rock the artistic world of our Partnercon attendees a little. Work that would help them tap into and address some of their fears and hidden insecurities. I knew I couldn't do that by myself. Please extend my sincere thanks to all who participated in the making of these pieces. Their sincerity and vulnerability along with your respect and deft handling of the subject matter made each of these pieces fly.I am awed by creativity.Onward!JCPS – (We need to top these for next year so better start thinking about that now ๐Ÿ˜‰ …

  3. Wow Gwen. What a powerful testament. Thanks so much. I let Imahni read itand she was so moved and felt very special. In fact, all the people who cameup to her made her feel special this week. You all don't know how much yourwords of encouragement have had an impact on her. Thank you!

  4. Thanks again Jim. My brain is already working. ๐Ÿ™‚ But, I think you all willhave a harder time topping PartnerCon this year than we'll have topping thevideos. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great show.

  5. I'm in tears here Ron. I've always admired you and your work, but I must say, my admiration and appreciation went to a whole nother level this week.The opening video you created was brilliant, and truly did set the tone for Partnercon 2009. It was so unexpected both in its form, content, execution, and message; and that really became the theme for the whole conference.Just has Pictage has solidified their position as a lovemark for me, so did you solidify in my mind that your path of inspiration will touch, move, and inspire many. I'm so proud of you Ron. And your daughter, all I can say is wow. You must be so proud. But I'm not surprised; with you and Tasra as her role modes, I'm sure she'll live out and achieve every dream she has for herself, and inspire millions along the way.Thanks for all you do Ron for the community, and I joyfully look forward to many more years of being inspired by you and your work, and your family.Thank you.

  6. Ron – I wanted to thank you so much for letting me use your wonderful video for my fundraiser last week. Your inspiration, creativity, and dreams showed throughout the entire piece – you could tell your heart and soul was put into it from beginning to end. It was most gracious of you to allow me to show it.I enjoyed meeting you and Tasra at Partnercon. But most of all… I enjoyed watching your daughter sing. What a beauty she is.

  7. wow Ron. I wish I could have been there this year. I was already sad I missed PartnerCon, but reading your post, made me even more sad. I would LOVE to see the opening video if it's available anywhere. Wish I could have met your familiy this year!

  8. Hi Debi, I'm so glad the video worked for your fundraiser. I hope you raiseone meeelyon dollars. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was such a pleasure meeting you and Amanada.Thanks so much for your kind words and support.

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