When I made the announcement about my new NAPP Evangelist position, I promised you “9 Days of NAPP” including giveaways (see bottom of post). Let’s begin with my NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) story.

When I bought my Nikon D80–my first DSLR–I was filled with the adrenaline rush and quest for knowledge that accompany such things. I casually mentioned an article I’d read at Digital Photography School about shooting your best friend’s wedding to my sister, who then replied, “Oh, I’ve been meaning to ask you. . .” You can imagine the rest. She asked me photograph her wedding, held a mere two months after purchasing the camera.

The more I researched wedding photography, the more nervous and frightened I became. Phrases like “a photographer’s most difficult job” and “there are no second chances” were everywhere. Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Books, Volumes 1 and 2 were my constant companions, a crash course on using my camera; thankfully they include wedding chapters.

I have a small web design business, so at this point most of my experience in Photoshop involved graphics or working with stock photography, requiring minimal image adjustments. I drove four hours and attended Ben Willmore’s Photoshop CS3 for Photographer’s one-day seminar tour (my first NAPP event) in Nashville the week before the wedding.

I walked into that conference room assuming I was the dregs of the Photoshop pool of talent there, expecting a crowd of uber-cool twenty-something professionals that hopefully wouldn’t notice the forty-something self-taught mother-of-eight sitting in their midst. Inadequate doesn’t begin to describe my feelings.

What I found were real people. Nice people. People who “ooohed” and “aaahed” (because Ben inspires that kind of reaction) right along with me. In the lunch line I talked with a couple of older professional photographers who were just nice, ordinary folks who didn’t look down their noses at me.

The afternoon session started with an explanation about NAPP and its membership benefits. By the end of the day I was hooked and joined for two years with an educational discount as a homeschooler.

If you’re a blogger, you understand how wonderful it feels spending time with other bloggers, people who share your interests and passions, ones that aren’t necessarily common to your friends and family. That’s how NAPP makes me feel. As I told my husband, “I’ve found my people!”

NAPP educates me. It encourages me. It’s members are my friends, people like A.J. Woods and Firgs, whose keyboards I’m not worthy to clean.

In the other “9 Days of NAPP” I’ll introduce you to some of the people, sites, and perks that make NAPP what it is, an organization that truly embodies the slogan “Where Everyone Learns Photoshop.”

Related posts:
9 Days of NAPP Day 2: NAPP on Twitter
9 Days of NAPP Day 3: Matt Kloskowski and the Lightroom Killer Tips Blog
9 Days of NAPP Day 4: KelbyTraining LIVE
9 Days of NAPP Day 5: NAPP Members’ Website
9 Days of NAPP Day 6: Corey Barker and Planet Photoshop
9 Days of NAPP Day 7: Scott Kelby
9 Days of NAPP Day 8: Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk
9 Days of NAPP Day 9: LIVE from Photoshop World!
I’m a NAPP Evangelist!

Share your NAPP story for a chance to win the giveaways!

Are you a new NAPP member? Old member? Thinking of joining? Never heard of it until now? Leave it in comments!

Tweet something like Join @DawnMHSH for “9 Days of NAPP” at http://twurl.nl/4edvud for a second chance and leave a separate comment, letting me know.

Facebook it for another entry (leave a comment).

Subscribe to my feed for a fourth chance (leave a comment).

Blog it (and I will be ever-so-grateful!) for another chance.

There will be three giveaways at the conclusion of the “9 Days of NAPP” post series, with winners selected from the comments on all nine posts. Thanks for joining me, and good luck!

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