Why we should have swapped places last weekend.

I had to wrench myself out of the comforts of a post-school holidays work and home environment to head up to the AIPP Hair of the Dog (HOTD) conference in Brisbane. I got there, was not thrilled with our stand location (between two competitors!) and a bit tired from the panic of putting a stand together in a few days (another story). Within a few hours I had realized how worthwhile the trip was.

The Qld HOTD team had put together a world class line up, but it was the format that was fantastic. Small enough to socially interact with every speaker, and big enough to be able to afford them. And as we all know more is to be gained between the sessions than at them. I hope SA can wrangle something like this one day.

Here are 10 things I picked up at this hairy dog, there are sooo many more, I will slip them to you over time:

1. SEO - on your website put a contact form on each page so readers can ask questions and subscribe everywhere - Matt Adams 2. Website structure - build your website with Wordpress and use Artisteer to create your own custom design. - Matt Adams 3. Use Google easy search to find the keywords that people use to find your type of business and make sure you include them in as many pages and posts as you can. This will boost your ranking. - Matt Adams 4. When photographing babies, Kristen Cook uses music and sounds to keep a constant level so when the camera fires, the baby is not startled. 5. Great photographers know what will happen next because they have experience. It takes time to learn your craft. Luck is where preparedness meets opportunity. - Greg Gibson, former Whitehouse photographer, now top wedding photographer. 6. Facebook marketing is really effective because your targets have opted into a walled garden, and tend to trust the environment more than the open Internet. Point in case, the Qld president Jan Ramsay generated 108 leads from a campaign, and has translated that to 12 solid bookings and 15 maybes for a relatively small expenditure of about $500. 7. Jonas Peterson told how his life and his personality informs his work and not a desire to "be like" any other photographer. You can only be yourself, you can only see from your perspective, so embrace that. 8. Christine Pobke spoke of the importance of personal projects to inspire you and promote your name. She told how a chance loan of a sofa to sleep on and the inevitable early wake up from the children of the house, and a close camera, led to her successful sleepover sessions that she has become known for. 9. Yervant demonstrated Snapflow software to remove frames from digital video stream. He is already running a Canon 5d during shoots, sometimes unattended, to capture video, from which he lifts stills for the album! And Canon will be releasing a 4k camera soon that each frame will be 5d resolution!! 10. Don't ever close your mind off to information because of the source. There is gold in the strangest places. - I have to remind myself this occasionally.