This weekend (Feb 5-7) we spoke at the AIPP Hair of the Dog photography conference. As well as hosting two hands-on workshops to teach how we use video in our business, we were also asked to deliver a keynote talk to all the attendees.

For us, it was our first time speaking in front of a large group of photographers. The idea of standing up in front of 250+ of our colleagues and peers was seriously daunting. But, it was the responsibility of delivering the final keynote of the 3 day conference, after a stellar line-up of speakers, that sent our freak-out-o-meter to an all time record high!

What? Us? Isn’t that kind of like putting U2 (the other speakers) on before the local band that practices in the garage (us) across the road from your house?

When you believe in someone, you help bring out the best in them. To the organisers and attendees of HOTD, we have to say thank you for the belief and trust you placed in us. By doing so, you’ve revealed something of ourselves to us that we didn’t know was there.

We started our keynote by showing examples of how we use video in our business. Mid-way through, something unexpected happened. Katie threw out the script and spoke from the heart. The message was raw and honest.

Too many photographers are sacrificing what matters most in their lives at the alter of their photography business. They are sacrificing their health and well-being. And they are ignoring the people who should be #1 in their lives (husband/wife/kids/friends/family).

Being a photographer really is one of the best jobs in the world. Photography may be what we do but it is not who we are. It should never take the place of the people we love.

By telling our story, we hope that we have in some small way helped others to see what is most important in life. It’s a story that is of course not unique to photographers and it’s one that we hope to have the opportunity to share with many more people.

To be totally honest, the outpouring of emotions during and after our talk is still something we are trying to come to terms with. It has hit us both pretty hard. It will take a while to get our heads around the response we have received and the stories we have heard from those who were touched by our story.

That our talk had the impact that it did, is only because of the foundation that was laid during the days before our talk. That is … the team of volunteers behind the scenes who ensured everything ran so smoothly. And the other speakers who shared their stories and knowledge so passionately.

Thanks also to our couples … past, present and future. Because of your belief and trust in us, we get to live an amazing life.

This year is off to a cracking start. And with 25 weddings booked already for 2011 for wonderful couples in Brisbane, Byron Bay, Mission Beach, Inverell, Tamworth, Hervey Bay, Mt Alford and Maleny, plus Florida (USA) and three weddings in the UK … it’s about to get even better!

At the moment, we’re taking a few days off at the Gold Coast to recuperate. It’s been a huge few weeks for us and we feel it’s important to take a few days to count our blessings and to practice what we preach by spending time with each other as husband and wife … and not as photographers.

Now, before you start thinking that we’re at risk of taking ourselves too seriously … enjoy this spoof video that we played at the start of our keynote talk. It pokes fun at some of the wedding photography cliches and the sometimes silly things that wedding photographers do.


~Matt and Katie.

p.s. This is not our new promo video 🙂

Behind the scenes at the hands-on workshops

Day 1 models, the gorgeous Hayley and Roger

Day 2 models, the super-cute Breony and Ryan

Q1 building – the view from our room

The ferris wheel we can see from our room!

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Add Your Comment
  1. dave and kerry said:
    OMG...... how funny u both have an absolute wicked sense of humour, i couldnt stop laughing, nice one guys that video was awesome......
  2. Anja said:
    that video is awesome. thinking about getting this action you created. maybe I'll be more of a rockstar photog then... :-)
  3. That's awesome, love the video, you guys have to be the most fun wedding photographers!
  4. Um that SHOULD be your promo video! That is freakin hysterical. Seriously guys!?! When you're over in the States we MUST work together. Does your Florida couple already have a videographer??
  5. LOVE the video. thats freakin awesome . you guys RULE
  6. That video is pure genius. I literally LOL'd. Great work guys.
  7. Victoria said:
    Wow so great to see that again and I can even see myself in one of your black and white workshop pics there. Little me with the monopod. Your workshop and keynote speech really made Hair of the Dog. So inspiring. Thankyou both for sharing from the heart.
  8. That is hilarious! Thank you!
  9. That video is freakin brilliant. I love the part about how you "specialize" in everything. That's always one of my pet peeves about new photographers. You guys rock! Larry
  10. theresa said:
    I just watched your promo video you guys are very funny. Who knew Matt would look so good as a bride. Congrats on HOTD very happy for you two. You will have to tell us all about it at the next photographers get together can't wait for the nexr one.
  11. Ben said:
    You guys made my day at HOTD... hope your having a j* style 'awesome' time away!
  12. Stew said:
    Hi guys, thanks for your honest and uncensored thoughts and feelings. This honesty really touched everyone's hearts on Monday and makes you realise how common it is for all us to lose sight of what's important. I had the same realisation last year and it was beautiful to see so many others come out of the woodwork to share that, you're (I'm) not the only one! Look forward to catching up with you two soon. Thanks!
  13. Nichole said:
    Oh my word! Your vimeo was AWESOME! Tears running down my face funny! Love it:)
  14. [...] kicker on the last day was the final session by Matt and Katie. Sharing their own personal story, warts and all, tears were flowing on and off the stage. A [...]
  15. Sam said:
    Loved your talk at Hair of the Dog - it was really inspirational and very moving.You gave us all a lot to think about. Thank you for sharing (your videos are hilarious BTW).
  16. LMAO! Love you in a wedding dress Matt ;)
  17. Amy said:
    LOVE your promo - so funny. I stumbled across your blog after checking out who was speaking at HOTD and I'm so glad I did. I love your sense of humour - and your photography. Thanks for the laugh.
  18. Hilarious, esp about you calling the groom by the wrong name. I speak from experience, being on the other side of the lens and being called "robin" the entire day by my wedding photographer. Ah the memories. LOL
  19. dalia said:
    that was just awesome!!
  20. Gemma said:
    ok, you guys win - most awesome-est promo wedding photog video EVER!
  21. James Day said:
    Screw you guys! You stole my photoshop action! I came up with that first!
  22. Guys, you are both legendary! That vid is just as funny the 2nd time around. So stoked to hear your talk on Monday, it was perfect!
  23. You both... STOP IT!!! I am in stitches, just LOVED your vid. Rock on peeps rock ON! Ps... Lovin the action, totally on my wish list
  24. OMG after reading this I so wish I had gone, what you say about your family and loved ones is so true, thanks for reminding me, ps loved the video!! XX
  25. You two are AMAZING and deserve every last good thing in this world! Thank you so much for your gorgeous talk!
  26. I so wish I could have made it to HOTD. Maybe next year... p.s. That vid is hilarious!!
  27. I loved loved loved the video! Seriously - where can I get Ripped Steel???
  28. Micaela said:
    What a crack up! Love the video!
  29. Kristen said:
    Loved that video and your talk, very heartfelt.
  30. To be there to witness the raw emotion as you guys spoke was amazing. I took so much away. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Oh and thank you for the killer laughs too - freakin hilarious. xxx
  31. charlie said:
    :( :( very very sad That i couldn't make HOTD this year....looks like I missed out on a couple of awesome days! PMSL at the video...hehehe
  32. Ken & Cherrill, said:
    Now everyone knows why we are glad we never had a second daughter & stopped with our third son. lol. Veeeeeery funny.
  33. Hehehe the video is excellent! Definitely showed me why I've picked you for my wedding next year :D Wish I could've been at HOTD! Enjoy your little getaway :)
  34. I can't stop laughing at your video! So hilarious. I really think you could make some money off of Ripped Steel ; ) You guys rock!
  35. Bec said:
    Dammit, I wish I could have come to HOTD to finally meet you guys :( And the video.. I love it. You are awesome.
  36. Leanne said:
    Oh I have tears running down my face, that was hilarious!! Thanks for giving me such a great laugh this morning :D
  37. Annie said:
    Matt in a dress!? What else did I miss out on!? :) Haha! Sounds like you guys did an amazing job! x
  38. Laughing out loud at your video! Very very funny! Love your work guys! Amy x
  39. That was the best! Especially the bit where Matt put's on the wedding dress! "Uhh bitch!" LOL
    • Daneka -
      HAHAHA! The video worked out so much better/funnier then what i imagined! You guys are crack ups! P.s Matt- you look stunning on camera! :P