All 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.
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! 🙂
- 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.
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.