I only recently got into the going to tradeshows / photo conventions. In 2014 I was invited by FotoFlits to do a demo on stage at Professional Imagine in Nijkerk. And this was the first time ive been to one of these “conventions”. ( wich is wierd because by this time i was a fulltime photographer for 4 years and had neverr gone too one. Because I never really knew what to do at a convention) Now i could continue to talk about and review the new Canon 7d mkSomething or the Nikon DSomthing or some fancy other new product… But there are other websites for that. What i want to share with you guys is the reason i go and you should too! That reason? Photographers Soul Food.
What i want to mention is why i go to these conventions. As a pro photographer you’re usually running around all day. Jumping from marketing, sales, support to actually shooting, planning shoots, project management etc etc. All though very fun to do, this takes up pretty much all of the time a human has in a day. You socialize with people that are close but mainly your on working terms with everyone. And when it comes to other pro’s its usually quick emails and skypes because you dont want to waste their time. Besides most of these awesome humans usually dont live close by!
Big conventions like Photokina- Cologne, WPPI- Las Vegas, PI – Netherlands, London Trade Show etc usually have a couple of speakers and people representing the companies from all over the world. Its one of those few times all the photographers and friends ive made all over the globe, fly out to one place, to either work or help out. During shows/demos/seminars we can help each other out or just be that face in the crowd too look at when in panic. After the show you get some personal time that isnt going through a wire or satellite. This too me is what conventions are all about. I got to see so many friends again, that have been traveling the world and creating awesome, and have made so many new more. Some have even started making products that are freaking cool and fun as well. It was nice to catch up and laugh face to face.
Funny side note: 2 years prior to my first Photokina, i was sitting at home with another photographer friend dreaming about how cool it would be if someday all our friends in the industry from around the world would be in one place because of our “photography work”. And we would all have a drink at night and laugh how taking pictures got us there.When I heard about Photokina. I couldn’t wait. I emailed my friends to see who was going and turned out everyone was!!!.
“Something about throwing stupid dreams in the universe and making it happen.”
The first time i heard this i was like: im more of the working type then the party type. Dunno how this is going to be. But i stand corrected. The after parties is where it happens! And i wouldnt call it a party. Its more after the trade show everyone needs a bite to eat. So you figure out where everyone is going and join them. Then call everyone you know at the convention to join in. And you have “the party” im talking about. A mix of awesome creative people together having dinner and a laugh. These thing would go on till the depths of night and sometimes on group would call another group and we merge into a supercell of fun and crazy.
After reading this dont start thinking conventions are the mecca for all photographers and go in with a shitty attitude when it doesnt deliver as promised. I’ve seen people go to conventions with bad attitudes thinking/saying “this has to be the thing that will change their life or career and come home empty handed.” If you go in with that mentality youll be disappointed. The reason you go is too hang out with friends, meet new people, see a lot of creatives in one place, mayybe get a little inspired and maybe have some diner later. So please go with an open mind, open hearth and just try to enjoy yourself.
Next up: Professional Imaging 2015