The Recap – The Photo Cookout 2019 in NOLA

Soooooo I just literally walked through my door (that’s a lie because I was too tired to publish this on Wednesday) and am tired as hell. BUT I am going to write this blog post real quick before I try to take a nap and/or figure out what to cook for dinner.  The Photo Cookout may not have been the best 4 days of my life, because let’s be real that would just be disrespectful to my family LOL, but it was easily some of the best as a professional photographer.  And I didn’t even take many pictures.  I took pictures of OTHER photographers dropping tidbits of knowledge trying to get ME more money in my business.


I came to the cookout to meet Lynsey Weatherspoon – Atlanta Commercial and Editorial Photographer.  I heard her speak on The Photographer’s Revolution podcast and was inspired to finally step up my game in the genre of commercial photography.  Until this point, all my commercial inquiries have been from people who saw my documentary family photography and wanted that authenticity in their marketing images. But in 2020 I am determined to seek out more opportunities.  When I saw she was speaking at The Cookout I knew I had to go.  I had to beg James, since I would have been gone for two weeks prior, but he being very supportive said “it sounds like you need to be in the room”.  I quickly booked a ticket for he could change his mind LOL.

This quickly brought me to Tomayia Colvin Education, the face behind the cookout.  Instead of a table for us to sit at our fearless leader built a whole damn house.  I am just one of many, so grateful she took this on. I had no idea who the majority of the speakers were before signing up for The Cookout, just being honest.  But the talent, the talent from this group is bar none. And while I didn’t get to meet everyone, by far I met and friended more people than I ever have at any previous conferences COMBINED. I really hope they liked me because I am never missing a Cookout again and some of these people are now just stuck with me.  In 2020, I am making a loop around the U.S. to visit several, starting with Jermaine Horton in March.


Toni Black – Dallas Intimate Lifestyle Photographer

Chinelle Rojas – Tampa Birth Photographer

My only complaint is that everything was too short. I could have soaked up all the video knowledge from Smitha + Natasha + Ben for days.  Everyone should have a chat with Pru so you are running your business profitably, and Ade made me inspired to just go out and shoot everything.

Photos by Pru

Ade Oshodi

Yamean Studios

Smitha Lee Photography


While I didn’t have a camera with me to snap pictures, I took pages of notes during the branding presentation by Oda Creative.  Branding is power.  Chip Dizard was giving all his knowledge on running effective Facebook Ads. In 2020 I foresee putting all the information presented by them into practice.


Finally. I want to drop a shoutout to ALL the vendors for The Cookout.  It takes a tremendous about of time, energy, and money to put on a conference and without the sponsors, it just wouldn’t be possible.  Nathan of Photographer’s Edit sponsored a Second Line Parade to Bourbon Street, New Orleans will just never be the same.  I didn’t have a camera, so you will have to pop over to The Cookout’s Instagram to check that out.  I did my part to support these sponsors. Most of whom, admittedly I was already a customer of, but still, no one better tell James what I bought.  Okay?

*All the images in this blog post were edited with Kodak Everyday by Mastin Labs.  My editing style isn’t some big secret, it’s Mastin 😉


One of the things I am passionate about is outsourcing.  While we wear many hats as entrepreneurs doing everything comes at a high price.  Every photographer could benefit from outsourcing the things that don’t bring them joy. For me, outsourcing my image editing is crucial to my business as I have a limited number of hours on the computer each day.  I need that time for communicating with clients (potential and current) as well as making the films I love.  I am thankful to The Image Salon for sponsoring my new speaker talk on this subject.


Want to learn more from me?

See you in 2020 at The Cookout.  Click below to buy your ticket.