Hey Team 319!
Tony here, and I have got some incredibly exciting news to tell you all about! I think the word 'giddy' sums my feelings on this matter nicely...
Ok, I couldn't resist the overly excited Will Smith gif, you'll have to forgive me. But if I had a gif of me doing that, I would have used it!
So, why the excitement? Eeek... let's see how long I can drag out the suspense...
And that's long enough.
The Big News...
I am proud to announce that I will be speaker during the 2021 PhotoCon Photography convention in Oklahoma City! This is huge and I am very much so looking forward to this event!
For those of you who don't know what PhotoCon is or may know about it but haven't attended before, let me fill you in. PhotoCon is a huge, top-notch event that is hosted every year in Oklahoma City. Since its inception it has grown to become the largest convention in the State of Oklahoma and one of the top photography conventions in the United States!
From PhotoCon themselves, they describe the event as:
THREE DAYS, ONE HUGE INTERACTIVE TRADESHOW!
Save the date for PhotoCon 2021, the largest conference of its kind in state history! PhotoCon is a three-day complete immersion into all things photography. Photographers, Models, Food Trucks, Manufacture Reps, Interactive Tradeshow, Hands-On Workshops, Formal Classes, Photobooths, Door Prizes, Photo Critiques, Contests, and so much more!
Doesn't all of that sound amazing?! Fantastic speakers, all the big name companies with new tech and gadgets, contests, DOOR PRIZES! With out a doubt, this is going to be really cool. If you see me lingering too much at the Sony area, someone stop and check on me. Make sure I'm not late for my presentation or at least that I've eaten.
On top of all the photography goodness that is associated with PhotoCon, the event is also benevolent in the events beneficiaries are The Curbside Chronicle, a newspaper that employs men and women transitioning out of homelessness, and ONE, an organization working to empower Oklahoma City communities through meeting the spiritual, physical, academic, and emotional needs of citizens.
Guys, it's going to be amazing! I am truly honored to be a part of this event, let alone a presenting speaker! Before I tell you about what I am presenting, I have to tell you a bit more about PhotoCon and the people behind it.
A Little History
PhotoCon is hosted and ran by Bedford Camera and Video - if you have never heard of Bedford Camera and Video, you are missing out. While there are only six Bedford locations, they are a major retailer for the major photography brands out there. Their service is absolutely fantastic and they cater to photographers of all skill levels, from beginner to absolute pro. Their locations include two in Oklahoma, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and four in Arkansas.
Of course the Bedford locations sell cameras, lenses, lighting, and all manner of photography related accessories, but their offerings do not just stop there. All Bedford's location offer on-site professional printing on various different mediums as well as camera and lens rental services. Bedford's pièce de résistance is their continuing desire to provide photography education and support. They achieve this through courses, both in-store and online, and events such as Photo Walks taught by professional instructors and, of course, PhotoCon.
Bedford's prices on photography equipment are very competitive and what you would expect from a company that values their customers and strive to provide quality products at reasonable prices. Worry not, you do not have to live in Oklahoma or Arkansas to enjoy the Bedford's experience. Their website and full online store has a host of information for photographers and a huge inventory to select from. Check out their site by clicking HERE!
Now, I am not writing this glowing review of Bedford Camera and Video simply because I am a speaker at an event hosted and created by Bedford's. I wouldn't do that. I reside in the State of Oklahoma and began my professional photography career producing images for Oklahoma's Tourism & Recreation department some twelve years ago and was an amateur photographer for eight years prior to that. For the past 20 years, I have been in and around the photography industry which means I patronize camera stores, both in-person and online.
For years, the biggest game in town was Epperson Photo. Epperson's owner and namesake sold his business to Bedford Camera and Video and retired in 2012. This marked the expansion of Bedford Camera and Video into Oklahoma. Bedford's remained in the same location, but immediately made updates and operational improvements. I won't drone on about Epperson's, but what I will tell you is that Bedford's philosophy and practices are far superior to the old Epperson's. When I would venture into the store when it was Epperson's I never had a good experience. Granted, my skill and ability levels as a photographer have increased dramatically since the days of visiting Eppersons, but in my early days it seemed as though you already had to be a pro if you were to be taken seriously at Epperson's.
All of that has changed. When I am in the store now, I see photographers of all skill levels and all genres being taken care of with professionalism and genuine enthusiasm. It's a good feeling.
I say all of that to say that I am an ardent supporter of Bedford Camera and Video because of my personal experiences with them as a professional photographer.