The ISPWP is proud to be a sponsor of The NineDots Gathering. With many of the organizers, presenters, and attendees being ISPWP members it was a no-brainer to be a part of this conference. We had a few questions for Rahul Khona, one of the organizers to tell us a bit more...
Let's start with the basics. Tell us about the conference, where, when, how to register, etc.
The NineDots Gathering is *the* UK event for wedding photographers! Held in London on 16th and 17th November, with some optional workshops from our presenters on the 15th. We’ve got some of the world’s best photographers and educators coming to London to teach a variety of topics in a variety of formats. People like Davina plus Daniel, Jeff Newsom, Candice Cusic, Ed Peers, Mauricio Arias (Chrisman Studios) and many more. There are Main Stage presentations, mini masterclasses, 1-2-1 sessions, business experts and a whole host of awesome learning platforms so that everyone can leave refreshed, inspired and full of new ideas for their photography and businesses. The last thing we wanted to do with the event was to make ‘another conference’ - so we deliberately chose our awesome venue (Bounce in Holborn) to make the event as fun and sociable as possible. There are the last few tickets still available, along with more info on our website: nine-dots.co
Give us some of the backgrounds of the organizers, and how they all came together to put on this conference.
The four of us in NineDots (Andy Gaines, Adam Johnson, Mick Shah and Rahul Khona) are all full-time UK wedding photographers - we started NineDots initially to offer workshops - after the success of those - we started talking about putting on a larger event for the UK - to create not only a great event for people to learn at and share ideas - but also to grow and foster an awesome, supportive community of photographers. Community over competition is one of our core values… ironic as this is for a wedding photography competition website - but you get the idea! :-)
How is this conference different from other conferences?
The NineDots Gathering is the anti-conference conference! When we were deciding how we wanted the event to be, the last thing we wanted was to make ‘another conference’ - we chose an amazing venue - and the schedule of the Gathering means that alongside our amazing speakers presentations and masterclasses there is lots of social time to mingle, play ping-pong, chat, drink, network and share ideas. NineDots is totally inclusive and there is no separation between speakers and attendees. This means you’ll be learning from MainStage presentations, picking up practical ideas from our mini-masterclasses in the 2nd room, and also chatting one on one with the speakers and beating them at ping pong or having a beer with them during the breaks. Plus the programme is designed that you can attend every event if you want to - there is no overlap or having to choose who you’d rather hear speak - you get it all!
Who is your target audience? Are you targeting new photographers or experienced?
Most of our attendees are established wedding photographers - but the Gathering is really perfect for anyone at any stage in the journey. Last year we had some of the world's best photographers as attendees and people who had only shot a couple of weddings - the community aspect of NineDots means that everyone is made to feel welcome and there is value for everyone! Plus - who doesn’t like a good game of ping-pong!?
Why do you think it is important for photographers to go to conferences and workshops?
This industry moves fast - and constantly challenging yourself, pushing your own photography and business is so important - Not just artistically, but also from a business point of view also. It’s essential to stay passionate about what you do - and for us, that is the key to a happy life and a long, successful career. Plus, being a wedding photography can be a lonely job - so having a community of photographers to learn from, share ideas, and support each other is so important - and that's what we want to do with NineDots.
Who should NOT go to your conference?
Anyone who hates having fun, thinks they know everything there is to know and can be taught nothing, and people who hate meeting like-minded people and learning from the world’s best. Other than that - anyone that doesn’t like to party - as they probably wouldn’t approve of the behaviour at the now legendary NineDots Gathering after party :-)
What are your plans for future conferences?
The 2017 NineDots Gathering is already booked in and we’ve got some more amazing presenters locked down. All will be revealed soon! We are also putting the finishing touches to some more of our smaller NineDots Workshops - 2017 is looking exciting!
For more information and to register, go to nine-dots.co.