Sarah Creal Photography Logo, Virginia Based Photographer

Imaging USA

January 23: 0242

So, I am a night owl. I haven’t blogged in like five years, but now that I’m out of the Army and really going for the photography thing, here we go. I’ll have to work backwards a bit, but I don’t have too much to blog because I’m only going back a few months to my first workshop in September.


Copyright Alex the Photo Guy

I invest in photography just like I invested in occupational therapy. My passion has been renewed over the last year, and now I raring to make this thing a real go. Dangit if workshops and learning aren’t expensive, though!!

Imaging USA is a photography conference through PPA, Professional Photographers of America. This was my first membership year in PPA, so I got my conference for free, but I had to fly to Atlanta on the 6th of January through the 13th. I had SO forgotten what Atlanta traffic was like, and it about killed me each time I drove from my friends’ house in Kennesaw to downtown Atlanta during the rush THREE hours on I-75.

The first two days were spent at a business workshop, and I learned quite a bit about branding, marketing, and the financial side of things. (I totally fell asleep during a couple of those lectures, though; that’s what staying up until 0100 girl talking with your dear friend will get you! It was worth it. She’s a doll, and I love her like a sister).

Copyright Alex the Photo Guy

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Then on Saturday, I fell in love with Alli Peck of Glow Portraits. I went to her Maternity Posing class. She’s such a spunky little thing and ignited my desire to photograph ALL the pregnant mamas in the world!!! We had a gorgeous model who is the most beautiful pregnant lady I’ve ever seen in real life.


Copyright Alex the Photo Guy



Then I went to a lifestyle class by Amber Holritz entitled “Real Life is Beautiful.” Mercy, if she doesn’t live 20 minutes away from my parents in Tennessee!! She’s a super cool chick, and I hope we get to hang soon. Her session reminded me that I need to just break out m
y big camera and take some pictures of our regular da
ys right now. Of breakfast with my three year-old’s “pancake on a stick,” and my eight year-old’s love of Disney teen shows. And stories with milk in sippy cups, and tickle sessions, and bubble baths and messy playrooms.



SundIMG_2452ay brought my first Imaging expo experience. WHOA!!! I worked with Kerri Seibert and her husband Brad for the Custom Photo Props booth and had a blast helping and meeting other photographers and selling faux furs and baby wraps. It was so much fun! I also met Ana Brandt from TAoPAN and bought some maternity clothing including this GORGEOUS black dress. Who wants to come shoot in it?!!!!

Dinner on Sunday evening was probably the second highlight of the trip. I mean, when does one get to rub elbows with a bunch of very well-known and followed photographers? Kansas Pitts, Bianca Hubble, Amy McDanel, Alli Peck, Melissa Wells, Shannon Leigh…and several other amazing chicks with whom I had the pleasure of meeting and having dinner!! I even purchased some GORGEOUS baby outfits from DaddyMack Designs and held a sweet five month-old baby. Evening made. 🙂


Monday I went to some lighting sessions and traveled all around the expo checking out new products and bought a Spider holster so I can easily carry my camera when I’m shooting, and it will help out my neck and back. Met up with some old buddies in Marietta and hit the Tempur-Pedic sack.

Tuesday was the last full day of conference and man did I learn some wonderful storytelling tips with families from Storey Wilkins and her hilarious partner Doug. One of the things that really stood out was Smarties. Smarties!! Now I totally have to use those with my little kids for shoots! Why didn’t I think of them before?!

Had dinner with an old, dear friend and spent the whole night talking and laughing at IHOP. I’m SO glad I made this trip to ATL. It’s in my blood. These people are my homeboys. The photogs, the friends, the tour of Southern fast food that included Zaxby’s, Krystal, and Hardee’s, and all the memories that flooded back from my time in Atlanta, both good and bad. It was a really good time.

Well…except for that dadgum I-75 accordion traffic. I don’t miss that. NOT ONE BIT.

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