You may have noticed our obsession with Nordica Photography. From featuring their work regularly on the blog to having the distinct honor of working with them to judge our most recent Best of the Best contest, we adore their work, style, and approach. That’s why we are so excited to share their upcoming wedding photography summit, Way Up North, with you all! To help you better understand the benefits of attending a summit like Way Up North, we interviewed Cole and Jakob of Nordica Photography, and we think you’re going to feel obligated to attend once you read their answers!
What inspired you to create Way Up North?
We saw an opportunity to create Europe’s only English-only conference for wedding photographers, and seeing as Sweden is where we live, it was a natural place to do it. Having sold over 200 seats for the conference in 72 hours, clearly the demand was there.
We have spoken at many conferences in Europe and North America, and got a feel for what we liked and disliked, so we gathered those experiences and applied it to #WayUpNorth2015. When we say “Europe’s only” conference, we realize that other events in English have happened, but those are one-offs and come and go. Way Up North will be an annual event, and we have more plans to add to this gathering in coming years.
While attendees are going to be the biggest benefactors of the event, we want to challenge the speakers as well which is why we set the criteria for the presentations as we did. The environment might be somewhat intimidating – the theatre holds 550 people, yet feels very intimate – so our goal is for speakers to leave feeling proud they spoke at a Way Up North event. We want the event to be sort of like a presenter’s “badge of honour.” We are going to be very particular with who gets to speak and if the presenters are selected, we want them to feel like they accomplished something great and never forget they spoke at Way Up North.
Also, we are looking at the bigger picture with Way Up North. We are still working on the details, but we have something quite ambitious to announce at the event in October, and if everything goes as planned, wedding photographers around the world are going to love it.
How did you pick your speaker line-up?
We made a list of people who had excellent artistic and business reputations, first and foremost. Once we had that list, we wanted gender balance in the line-up. Many conferences are very male-dominated, which makes no sense to us, so we wanted to present equality. That wasn’t too hard, since there are so many talented artists representing both genders. Finally, we approached photographers who excited us. We put our “Selfish Hats” on and created a line-up of presenters who we would want to see present, and we removed boundaries entirely to consider anyone in the world. In the end, the line-up consisted of people from all corners of the earth, so the diversity in the line-up is exciting.
What are you hoping artists will take away from Way Up North?
The event is intended to be practical in nature. The theme for Way Up North is “Inspired. Committed. Now What?,” and we look at the “Now What?” as the practical content the presenters will share. We are not looking to be a “rah rah rah” event that focuses solely on inspiration and motivating commitment – those are secondary benefits – but instead we want the 10 presentations to leave the attendees ready to take action with their business the next day. The topics for the presentations is “Add substance to your style”, and we know the diversity of the presenters will do exactly that for the attendees.
What social gatherings are planned for Way Up North? What are the benefits of attending these gatherings?
Well, there’s probably no need to sugarcoat it: People want to party. Or “network”. Or whatever we’re going to call it. During the days the networking will still happen at the venue between presentations and whatnot, but we want people to enjoy a beverage at the end of the days and let loose.
Presenters will all be at these gatherings as well, so there is the chance to hang out with them too. Sponsorship will be limited at the gatherings, so attendees will not be pounded with marketing and can just relax. The gatherings are going to be fun, but loose, so people can partake as little or as much as they want.
Is this the first conference you have hosted?
We’re not event planners, so this is our first crack at something on this scale. But of course hosting workshops and experiencing other conferences has helped. We also have other people on board helping us with various things, to make sure Way Up North will be a world-class event in every way.
Your website says you already have Way Up North 2016 confirmed; can you give us any teasers for what you have planned so far?
We’re going to make the announcement live at the 2015 event. But for now, we will say we want Way Up North to become a global brand in wedding photography content, so plans for growth are already underway.
You just celebrated Nordica Photography’s 5th anniversary (congrats, again!). Can you explain how Nordica Photography came to be, and what’s next for your studio?
Thanks! The Nordica brand is of course our “baby,” and our passion. We love what we do and feel very fortunate to work with couples on their wedding day. Right now, we are truly growing into a studio and have been bringing in new team members. It’s tricky to find people who are the perfect fit, but we have photographers who we believe will do a great job representing Nordica’s brand. We’re holding off on saying too much about our plans with this, but will say Nordica is growing and we want to truly grow into a full-fledged studio that isn’t only “Jakob and Cole.”
Ticket Update: There are only a few seats left, so if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, book your seat today!
We would also like to make everyone aware of an awesome giveaway going on right now. Album Parrot is giving away two tickets to Way Up North through a pretty inspiring giveaway. The winner of the #spreadingkarma giveaway will also win 1 free year subscription to Album Parrot, an album proofing tool built by a wedding photographer for wedding photographers. Learn more about the #spreadingkarma giveaway here!