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August 10, 2021

10 Reasons to Attend Imaging USA

Since 1880, Imaging USA has been the premier national convention and expo organized by professional photographers for professional photographers. It is an incredible time to connect with other like-minded professionals, find inspiration from leading photography educators, and celebrate our peers.

Imaging USA will take place in National Harbor, Maryland, January 16-18, 2022. This three-day photography event provides an unparalleled level of learning and networking opportunities that can't be found anywhere else!

1. Acclaimed Keynote Speakers

Start and end your experience with a jolt of inspiration! Mike Michalowicz will deliver his opening keynote "Get Different" to kick off Imaging USA 2022. In this session, you'll learn to use behavioral strategies to build rapport with potential customers, draw them in, and gently push them to do business with you. By leveraging established behavioral marketing techniques, you will discover shockingly simple ways to stand out from your competition by attracting new customers. The result? You'll immediately become your industry's authority. 

Then, Kaplan Mobray will deliver an interactive and engaging closing keynote that celebrates the power of change and flexibility. Participants will learn how to transform your brand and your business through positive disruption, change relevance, proactive innovation, and living with empathy. "The New Normal" will help you embrace change, resilience, and uncertainty as a new way to grow personally and professionally.

2. 80+ Classes Led by Industry Experts 

Find insight into the topics you need to elevate your business and craft. With topics ranging from technical skills to business strategies, there's something for every photographer, no matter the stage of your career or your specialty. Just like in previous years, you'll be able to ask questions and interact with speakers following their presentations. That means you can be sure you're getting the knowledge you need to put your best foot forward in the coming year.

3. Bridging the Gap Sessions

Learn to make business moves with confidence in the one-of-a-kind Bridging the Gap classes. These sessions focus on understanding client expectations, attracting the right customer, and taking control of the sales process, all with the end goal of empowering you as a small business owner. There's no better way to develop your mindset as an entrepreneur and feel empowered to take control of your business. 

4. Pre-Conference Classes

If you're looking for even more photography education opportunities, Imaging USA has you covered with pre-convention classes! Pre-cons take place (virtually) on the days leading up to Imaging USA, from January 13-15.

Pre-con sessions range from half- and full-day classes on topics like lighting, business, Photoshop techniques, and more, including hands-on demonstrations. There's even a 3-day CPP Prep class to help you ace your exam if you're preparing to become a Certified Professional Photographer. The CPP Prep Class is an in-depth study of the technical side of photography. It covers a college semester's worth of information, including:

  • Lenses and Filters
  • Color Theory and H&D Curves
  • Lighting Ratios, Corrective Lighting, Posing, Depth of Field, and Angle of View
  • Difference between a Bit, a Byte, and Bit Depth

While these programs do require an additional fee to attend, many photographers find the ability to dive deeper into subjects is well worth the small add-on cost.

5. Imaging USA Expo

Explore the photography industry's best gear and services at a trade show, unlike anything you've ever seen! Our exhibitors' booths provide an inside look at our industry's hottest trends and newest equipment, including product demos and the chance to interact with exhibitors in real-time. Did we mention the exclusive deals? The trade show will be open 24/7 during the 3 days of Imaging USA, and attendees will have the option to view exhibitor booths through January 31, 2021.

6. Networking Opportunities Galore

Imaging USA is the place to make connections that will change your life and business. On average, Imaging attracts over 10,000 photographers and industry professionals every year. This is your chance to grow your professional network and chat 1-on-1 with fellow photographers and build profitable relationships with vendors.

To facilitate even more conversations, you can attend Sunday night’s Networking Avenue event, just before the welcome party. The Networking Avenue allows you to gather with other attendees, talk about photography, learn from one another, and even shoot a few cool photos!

In the Stadium Club and Coach’s Corner, school, sports, and events photographers will have the chance to network, connect with vendors, and receive mentoring in a space dedicated to high-volume specialties. Simply put, Imaging USA is a photographer's best networking opportunity!

8. International Photographic Competition Exhibit

Be inspired by these jaw-dropping works of art! View over 1,000 award-winning images from the 2021 International Photographic Competition. Then, learn how to get involved in photographic competitions by attending one of the bite-sized seminars held in the Merit Café. And you can even get an idea of what judging is like by scheduling a mentor session with a competition juror.

9. Awards Ceremonies

Celebrating our members and their achievements is one of the best parts of Imaging USA. After all, it's you who make our industry so exciting and unique! Join us in honoring PPA's degree recipients and award winners, including the PPA's Lifetime Achievement Award, on January 17 at 5 pm. Later in the night, you can catch the Grand Imaging Award, which celebrates the best images from the International Photographic Competition.

10. Opening and Closing Parties  

Imaging USA 2022 kicks off with a Welcome Party at the Gaylord National Harbor. Start your year in style as you dance the night away and re-connect with your friends while making new ones! Then, stick around and finish strong with the Closing Night Party on the conference's final day! Food and drinks will be provided at both events. Admission to the Opening and Closing parties is included in the All-Access Pass.       

Hotel and Travel Information   

Staying at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is the easiest option for Imaging USA attendees. PPA will even take $40 per night (up to four nights) off the price of your room when you book through the Imaging USA website. Rooms are limited, so be sure to book early! In addition, attendees can also receive a discounted parking rate of $15 per day for self-parking with in-and-out privileges.

With Imaging USA 2022 shaping up to be the best show yet, there's never been a better time to experience all the magic of this incredible conference and expo. Get your All-Access Pass today for only $59, and join us January 16 – 18, 2022, in National Harbor, MD! Register here.  

Image ©D’Ann Boal. She'll be teaching: Under Promise, Over Deliver: 6-Figure Business Strategies for a Remarkable Client Experience.