What you need to know for Inspire Guide for 2016!


You guys!  Inspire 2016 is only NINE DAYS AWAY!!!  Are you excited, or what?!  With only a few days left to prepare yourself for the awesomeness, we came up with our list of things you need to know to be prepared for Inspire... check it out!

Pre- Inspire: We have sent a lot of correspondence out for Inspire 2016! Here are all of the links and to-dos in one place.

  1. Supper Clubs - learn more about our plans for dinner on Tuesday of Inspire, sign up to make a group dinner reservation
  2. Hotel -  reserve your room - please note, $99 nightly rate is guaranteed for reservations made before 2/3/16
  3. Monday Intensive Workshops - choose your workshop here - you must be registered to attend Inspire 2016
  4. Inspire Schedule - plan your retreat schedule - note, you must add a Monday workshop first (above)
  5. Monday Welcome Dinner - Meal Choice RSVP - we will choose chicken for anyone who doesn't respond
  6. Facebook Group - Join the private group for anyone attending Inspire - includes alumni & sponsors
  7. Camera Cleaning & Calibration Special - learn more and reserve a time-slot with Perfect Image here.
  8. Choose Your Mentor - Mentor signup may be viewed here, and these selections will open at exactly 8 pm Thursday January 28 EST.

Packing List For Inspire:

  1. This is New England in dead of winter, and it's also a hotel. Bring a range of clothing layers - you may be warm in some rooms and chilly in other places.
  2. Footie pajamas... obviously
  3. Business cards
  4. My personal packing list includes coffee and an electric water kettle because I'm a coffee snob
  5. A notebook & pens - bring an extra pen so you can lend to the person next to you
  6. An iPad or laptop and chargers
  7. Power cords/phone charger (labeled)
  8. Swimsuit - for the pool (open until 11 each night)
  9. Image portfolio - on laptop, iPad, or in print.  Any conversation can turn into a portfolio review, if you want, so be ready!
  10. Advil/ibuprofen/other painkiller of choice - late nights, being indoors for 3 days, and lots of brain cell function can make for some killer headaches
  11. Slippers or flip flops (for run to the ice machine , pool, etc.)
  12. A unique drinking glass, bring your Inspire water bottles! ( lets face it solos will run out and out the bottle is not pretty )
  13. A thermos to bring said snobby coffee to classes
  14. Contact supplies and back up eye glasses (one pair and no glasses can ruin a trip)
  15. Your own stash of booze (although there is a great package store in town, and the bar is open until the wee hours)
  16. A corkscrew or bottle opener for said booze
  17. Any prescription meds you need
  18. Ear plugs and your own pillow if you have a hard time sleeping in a hotel
  19. I'm a firm believer in the emergency contact card / health alert card , inside your wallet /purse/gear so if the wonderfulness of the INSPIRE experience should leave you breathless, literally, we know who to call or what might be wrong .
  20. Breathe mints, it seems silly but with all the coffee drinking and close talking, let's not forget mints/gum/mouthwash, whatever you prefer
  21. Some snacks - maybe even a couple healthy choices like carrots, granola bars, etc.
  22. I brought a small cooler and stopped off at my favorite deli to stock it with prosciutto, salami, mozzarella, olives and bread. I'd fill it with fresh ice from the machine each morning and night. It worked great for a snacks.
  23. A list of any connections you hope to make/products you want to check out - it's easy to get caught up and forget stuff you wanted to achieve
  24. Any client materials/price lists in case of impromptu mentoring sessions/discussions/great to get feedback
  25. Your own pillowcase, I am allergic to a lot of laundry detergents, the first year I ended up with a red rash on the side of my face that I usually sleep on. Brought my own pillow case the second year and no problem
  26. A big water container for your room.
  27. A decent hairdryer if you have long hair, the ones in the room are OK but they're those wall-attached not super powerful ones
  28. A sharpie. Anytime anyone gave me a business card I'd scribble a few notes on the back - where me met/what we talked about/where they're located etc - saved me from having a random collection of cards from people I couldn't remember
  29. A small selection of camera gear - especially if you've signed up for one of the shooting classes on Wednesday!  Be sure to label any gear you bring... you won't be the only one walking around with a D4s or a MarkIII!
Inspire 2015 Kate McElwee 056.jpg

At Inspire:

Come in with some sense of what you and your business need to learn, or some specific goals you'd like to accomplish  - and pursue that through your class selections, mentoring, and networking.

- Try attending some sessions that might be outside your comfort zone - learn something NEW!

- Come prepared to meet new people and put yourself out there. We're all at Inspire to learn, connect and grow, so it's a very open, welcoming community. Don't be afraid to talk to people, ask questions, and make some new friends!  And keep in mind that you might have an experience or idea or a bit of encouragement waiting inside of you to give to someone else!  Don't assume that you have nothing to give if you're not a speaker or a mentor - you DO!  We all learn from each other.

- Connect with speakers and attendees in advance and throughout the retreat by connecting online

- Use #inspirephotoretreats on  Twitter  and Instagram

- Don't forget to hand out business cards so the connections can keep going when you leave the retreat

- Be sure to drink lots of water!  With all the talking and dry air, (and maybe a lot of alcoholic beverages), you're bound to get a little dehydrated ;)

- Be prepared...check out this packing list from some of our alumni (below). No need to be distracted because you forgot something at home!


Other common questions people ask us about preparing for Inspire:

Camera Gear - Gear is not required. We recommend one camera body + one lens, so that you can document your experience, and participate in impromptu headshots or photo shoots. If you have gear that you have questions about or wish to experiment with, bring that gear as well, chances are great that someone will be able to help you troubleshoot it. Some prefer to leave the camera at home and just bring comfy slippers and a notebook and that is perfectly okay!

Portfolio Reviews - There are many opportunities for portfolio reviews at Inspire. This could happen during your mentoring session, during one of our Image Critique classes, or spontaneously. To be ready for a portfolio review, and get the most out of it, here's what we recommend: 20-50 images that are a cohesive group of images. By 'cohesive' we mean that they should be images from one assignment, a group of like assignments, one portfolio (such as a website gallery for self-promotion), or a personal project. If you have them on a laptop or ipad this is the easiest way to share them. 

Meals - Lunches on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Dinner on Monday are included. We will also provide coffee and tea all three days. For breakfast we recommend the hotel restaurant. For dinner on Tuesday, we hope that you will join one of our supper clubs (signup will take place at Inspire registration on 2/8/16).

Looking for something else? Feel free to post questions on the Alumni group on Facebook, or else contact us if you have any questions - MarkEnna, and Eric

What else do YOU think new Inspirees should know before they come?!  Anything to add to the Packing List?!  Leave us a comment and let us know!