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PFRE Conference Update

Published: 17/07/2019

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It's been a while since my last conference update and there has been a lot going on behind the scenes, so I thought now would be a good time to let everyone know where things are at. We officially launched the conference on June 13th, 2020, and all of the early-bird seats sold out in three days! I expected people to be excited for this event but I never dreamed we would see this much engagement, right out of the gate, so for that, I say THANK YOU!

Since the initial launch, general admission registrations have been rolling in and, as of today we're approximately 25% sold out. We launched the conference with the following core group of speakers: Mike Kelley, Scott Hargis, Tony Roslund, Barry Mackenzie and Tony Colangelo. Since then, Barry has unfortunately had to withdraw from the event. He will be missed, as he is an incredible talent, the life of the party and an all-around great guy. Perhaps, we'll get him back for next year's conference. As of today, we have attendees coming from 33 different states, across the US, as well as four other different countries, including: Canada, Australia, Germany and France. So, this is truly going to be an international event and a great opportunity to meet like-minded professionals from around the world.

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Over the past few weeks, we have been hard at work trying to confirm more speakers and make sure we cover as many relevant topics for the PFRE community as we can. With that said, I'm beyond excited to announce 4 more additions to the PFRE Conference speakers roster (in no particular order).

Rachel Brenke (AKA-TheLawTog)

Rachel Brenke is the head attorney and photographer behind TheLawTog; the legal resource for photographers.

With her background as a business consultant and multi-state licensed attorney, she knows the ins-and-outs of what goes into running a photography business and how to legally protect yourself. Not only does Rachel have real world photography entrepreneurship experience but she combines this with her expertise in intellectual property law, along with her business acumen, to provide a one-stop resource to help protect your photography business.

Her legal resource company is currently helping creative industry professionals all over the world, initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans, through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.

With hundreds of thousands of visitors per year, has become the go-to legal resource in the industry. Rachel's experience and teachings have been featured on CreativeLIVE, WPPI, Professional Photographers of America, Business Insider, TedX, International Business Times, and more.

As a mother of five, Army Veteran spouse, and Team USA Athlete--she understands that life is busy and we don’t have time to mess around.

Wayne Capili: Interface Visual

Wayne Capili is the principle photographer for Interface Visual; a digital content creation and portrait studio located in central California. The studio's proximity to Silicon Valley has allowed Wayne to work with several high tech companies in providing digital assets for their projects. Some of these projects demand unique and innovative lighting solutions where out of the box thinking is vital. Wayne's work with these companies has allowed him to remain current on new imaging technologies by being a part of the creation process, often by beta-testing new software and hardware.

As a portrait photographer, Wayne has been charged with doing the portraits for several board members of Fortune 500 companies. Taking hours to set up lighting for what could be a 5 minute shoot, is both demanding and exciting. Even when all things are set, small changes have to be made on the fly while keeping your panic under control.

"Architecture is my favorite because it forces me to focus on what's important in the image. It also requires me to extend my imagination to get an image that I intend to deliver. I need to understand lighting while at the same time know when to try something different; whether it be using a different lighting instrument, a different lens, or a different camera altogether, and all within the ever-changing light. Pretty exciting stuff for something that doesn't move.

Wayne will be covering the topic of Light Farming at the PFRE Conference.

Nancy Smith: Social Citizens

Nancy Smith is a marketer and passionate advocate of social media. Nancy has over 10-years experience using social media marketing and is an instructor at  the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University and the Canadian Marketing Association. Nancy has worked with brands including Travel Alberta, the City of Calgary and North Strategic, leading their social media teams. She has worked on accounts including Samsung, Sport Chek and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Nancy will be covering the topic of Social Media Success in 2020. The digital and social media landscape is changing in an overwhelming way making it challenging to adapt and keep up. In this presentation, Nancy will share important trends and updates in the social media world and will provide you with actionable tips that you can apply immediately and in 2020.

Key Takeaways:
1. Apply the latest digital trends affecting social media marketing.
2. Learn where your audience spends their time on social media, so you can find them and connect.

Nancy is also the author of the book, Social Citizens: A Positive Approach to Social Media & Parenting in a Digital World.

Garey Gomez: Garey Gomez Photography

Garey Gomez is a photographer based in Atlanta, GA, specializing in architecture and interiors. Garey got his start as a real estate photographer and became one of Atlanta's most sought after photographers for high-end real estate listings. After a few years of focusing on real estate, Garey turned his attention to architecture and developed his portfolio and technique to appeal to that market. Today, Garey shoots for a loyal client base of architects and interior designers in the Atlanta market.

Garey is the creator of "Mastering Real Estate Photography", an online tutorial series, which illustrates Garey’s unique approach to lighting and composition and demonstrates an efficient workflow for real estate photography. Garey has helped hundreds of photographers improve the quality of their work and their efficiency and profitability in their photography businesses. Garey will be covering the topic of Balancing Quality and Speed While Shooting for the Job You Want.

*Important notice regarding the negotiated hotel room rate*

We currently have a PFRE preferred room rate negotiated with the South Point Resort and Casino of $55/night ($76 including with all fees and taxes). This room rate is only available until 30 days prior to the conference, so I would urge anyone who is interested in taking advantage of these savings to book your room sooner than later.

Register for the Conference here.

Book your room here.

To Vendors: We are close to finalizing our vendor packages and sponsorship opportunities, so I would encourage any interested vendors to reach out to me, via the green "Ask a Question" button on the PFRE homepage. Thanks.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone for making this dream a reality. I will have another update on the PFRE Conference in the near future, so please stay tuned!

Brandon Cooper

7 comments on “PFRE Conference Update”

  1. Exciting news. Bummer about Barry - but exciting additions to the lineup. Being this is still hopefully a small-ish conference - I'm hoping to hear from each of our speakers.... do you think we're going to have to pick and choose our speaker itinerary or will it be all on one stage where we will get to hear from everyone? Also - what is our capacity? Thanks for putting this together. I've attended other photography conferences with hopes of spinning newborn/wedding/portrait photography into our industry. It's super exciting that this will be actually about what we DO. 🙂

  2. @Dana

    Great question. For this year we are only having one room, one stage, so everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to see every speaker. All vendors will be in the same room as well.

  3. @Scott Hargis With simultaneous translation into 5 languages?

    More seriously, a panel session with everyone on the stage simultaneously would be nice.

  4. @David

    We will be having a panel on the afternoon of day two which will include all the speakers who want to participate. It should make for a very interesting session.

  5. Trying to coordinate flights and was wondering if an agenda with times for the 2 days has been developed.


  6. @Mark

    The agenda hasn’t been finalized yet but you can plan on 9-5:30ish both days with a party happening on the 20th from approximately 7:30 to midnight.

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