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BLINK Conference 2016: Don’t waste your money!!

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BLINK Conference 2016-Review


Wow, I can’t believe that the BLINK conference is over! I waited almost a year to have a seat at the table to break bread with other blinkies and I must say, I was extremely disappointed! Disappointed in the fact that this was only my first year attending, that I was unaware of this conference before 2015, that I felt I had missed valuable information in the years prior that could have helped me transform my business a lot sooner!!!  

BLINK was much more than another photography conference with new tech items, middle aged white women and men lecturing us about the history of art, pre-formed groups of “established” versus “newbie” photographers, high end versus low end, etc. No, BLINK was much more than that! It was a welcoming family of talented creatives from all walks of life, all ages, all ethnicities, and all genres of photography. For the first time at a photography conference, I didn’t feel like the outcast, the odd ball, the undeserving photographer who doesn’t belong. I felt like I had a voice, a quality vision, a talent worthy of being seen. I was ME!

I was sitting in my room, currently at the Saguaro (like seriously, I’m still at the hotel as I’m writing this, lol) thinking about the past few days. As I sat on the couch, I reached into my bag to grab my “Encouragement wall” packet, I’ll explain later, and touched a plastic bag instead. The plastic bag cutely wrapped with a plastic tie, included business cards from every single attendee. I opened the bag and began to look through the cards, recognizing so many of the creatives I had just recently spent the past 4 days with as family, not competition! I was about 20 cards in when the light bulb went off in my head! I had to write about this, I had to share this experience, I had to showcase what this conference was really about! So I grabbed my camera and created the image below to show what I was feeling.

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This image is the best representation of what BLINK is about! This is my interpretation of a family tree, business card style! As I was looking through the cards, I was reliving stories from the artist, remembering the connection I made with the artist, and seeing their personality in their branding. This made me realize even more that BLINK is all about community, support, and values, just like a family! Where else can you go, as a creative, where you can walk away with 100 business cards from like minded people and have a genuine memory beyond an introduction with almost all of them!? Where? Does this even exist? Yes!!! At BLINK! Yes, we learned business practices, technology, and the meaning of art, but the overall consensus is COMMUNITY! One of the founders, Latasha Haynes created a campaign called “Her Success is Not My Failure”. This campaign embodies the spirit of the BLINK conference because we live in a world where others success can sometimes make us question our own. In a world where competition is placed on high pedestals, Tasha’s movement is to bring unity among creatives to support each other along their respective paths. Success is not defined by one method, it’s different for everyone and should be celebrated as such!

Every now and then creatives can get worn out, drained, stuck in a creative rut, and in a place where they question their own artistry. This is usually a time when we need encouragement or a pat on the back to give us the courage to keep going. I was extremely taken back by the fact that BLINK had something called an “Encouragement Wall”, a place where you could give personal messages of encouragement to your peers. This is so important because in a world where negativity is an eye blink away, words of affirmation are sooooo needed! You never know what the next person is going through and how you may have touched them, so the wall was a great way to secretly share the love…

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Oh and by the way, I won my very first print competition!!! The best thing about this competition was that the voting was done by my peers, not a 70 year old photography professor! I will do a special post about this win because it’s that important to me, but I just wanted you all to know that BLINK is much more than a photography conference, it’s seriously a special place for those who are looking to continue the path set for them by living completely in their purpose!

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I plan on doing a series of post about the BLINK conference, digging a little more into each day to give more insight for those who may be interested.We covered a lot of information during our stay in Palm Springs, but I promise every second was worth it! In closing, I just want to say, DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY on any other conference if you are a photographer looking to live in your purpose. BLINK is where you need to be!!!

You can find more information about the BLINK conference by clicking the link below! Looking forward to seeing you there!!!

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  1. Feuza

    November 14th, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    Girl so proud of you and yay for blogging. Thank you for sharing your sweet heart and spirit with us. Loved spending time with you.

  2. Stacy Jacob

    November 14th, 2016 at 3:47 PM

    What a great post Cierra! It was great meeting you and congratulations on your winning image. You got my vote! What a beautiful moment and photograph. See you next year my fellow Blinkie!!

  3. Renoda Campbell

    November 14th, 2016 at 9:10 PM

    Well said and so true! I loved your blog and I hope you will allow me to share this to others to get them to attend for 2017! Again, thank you for your honesty and love for our craft. I look forward to seeing you in Seattle next year! <3