This is a bit long winded, so bear with me.
Every year I strive to attend some kind of educational event to keep my self relevant and current with the trends, as well as obviously learn new skills. This year I have been able to attend 2 educational events! At the end of April/beginning of May I went to Wausau, WI for an educational event called After Dark (1274).
After Dark used to be a yearly event, but hasn’t taken place since 2014. They brought it back this year due to the demand of its followers, and as a fundraiser for a local fallen officer/charity organization.
After Dark is an open forum to talk and network with other photographers, learn new skills, let creativity run wild, and so many other things. Not only are there mentors available to learn from, but the mentors are there to learn as well, and do not consider themselves “better” than any other person there. Everyone is there to learn and to grow, and it is such a different environment, that unless you have experienced it, it is hard to describe. There are hands on shooting bays and classes, learning pods, and then AFTER DARK is when all the magic happens. After the scheduled events for the day, you are free to grab a model and get creative, grab a mentor or fellow photog and sit down to pick their brain, or just simply chill and mingle with other creative artists for the night. I don’t think there was any night I was in bed before 2 am!!!!
After Dark 1274 was created this year to raise money for a local fallen officer to the Wausau area (his badge # was 1274), and a local charity that assists the families of fallen officers. Our registration money went to the charity as a donation. There was also one afternoon where we photographed many of the local service organizations, so that they could use our images and create a calendar to then sell to the community to raise more money. They brought in the bomb squad, fire department, police officers, swat team, K9 units, EMTs, and a few others! It was a fun afternoon and was col to be a part of such a great community event!
One of the best parts of this trip was getting to see my best friend from California, Jeneanne. We have not physically seen each other in 4 years (but talk on a very regular basis). I convinced her to come to AD with me so we could learn together – she is a great photog in the Santa Rosa area 🙂 We roomed together and got to make up for some lost time. Its like it hadn’t been 4 years at all!
I could rattle on and say so much more about this experience, but I am sure I have bored you enough. So, here are a few images I took from the event, both with my “big” camera, and my phone. Lots of laughs, great food, new friendships, workouts, and memories made! Until next time AD crew!