We're coming to that time of the year again for yet another huge photography event. PHOTOPLUS in New York City is one of the largest photography events in the world, and each year, it seems to get bigger and better.
A Brilliant Place To Network
One of the best places to network with fellow creatives and brands is at photography events such as PHOTOPLUS. These types of events generally attract a large number of creatives from pretty much all backgrounds. In my experience, I've found these types of events to be extremely useful for developing new and existing relationships. Unfortunately, it can difficult to meet companies and other creatives during the year due to hectic schedules and geography, but when you have all of them under one roof, it makes things super easy, barely an inconvenience. What I've personally found is that everyone tends to really accessible. Sending an email to a company is one thing, but meeting them in person is an entirely different thing. For example, let's say you're trying to develop a YouTube channel and would like company X to work with you on a review. Nothing has been more helpful for me than simply meeting someone in their marketing department in person and saying hello. During these types of events, companies and people want to meet and discuss opportunities. The opportunities are very real, and I can definitively say that from experience. Even if you just want to meet your favorite photographer or retoucher, PPE is an excellent place to make this happen. You may have heard the saying that it's not what you know, but who you know, and honestly, who you know can make a huge difference to your career. Knowing influential people within your industry can be extremely valuable, and PPE is the perfect place to build lasting relationships.
I highly recommend that you plan and prepare before you attend PPE. Figure out who you want to meet and why you want to speak with them. If you're attending on multiple days, then plan your days accordingly and have set days for each purpose. This way, you can maximize the impact of your visit and can leave the event with some meaningful results.
In a recent video by Fstoppers, architectural photographer Mike Kelley provided detailed and in-depth feedback for a large number of images. Looking at the comments, it's easy to see just how useful something like this is. Receiving detailed and proper feedback from industry professionals is so valuable. We've all probably at some point in our careers hit some form of a rut or a bit of a brick wall with our work and creativity. Getting feedback on our work can be a breath of fresh air and help inspire us too. Personally, I find that having someone review my work is extremely useful, because other photographers and professionals tend to pick up things that I may have completely missed. For almost any kind of photography, the little details can make or break the image. A fresh set of eyes can help you pick up on those issues.
In many cases, trying to get portfolio and image reviews from leading professionals can be quite costly. I know because I've paid for this service on several occasions. Fortunately, at PPE, you can receive a free one-to-one session with a notable photographer and have your images reviewed. One of the best ways to properly improve your photography is to receive feedback from other highly experienced photographers. Honestly, I think this individually makes for an extremely compelling reason to attend PPE.
Try Out All the Gear
Let's be honest, almost all of us love looking at new camera gear or are at least interested in cameras. PPE is the perfect place to try out all the latest cameras and lenses you want to. If there's a particular camera or lens you have in mind and would like to try, more than likely, it will be available at PPE. For myself, I'm interested in possibly purchasing a number of lenses for the Fujifilm X-T3. Of course, before I buy those lenses, I want to try a few things, and one of the things I really want to test out is the autofocus features. Video features were the main reason as to why I purchased the X-T3, and most of what I shoot uses autofocus. Lenses like the XF 16mm f/1.4 look really good; however, I want to make sure this lens can perform the way I need it to for video. For this reason, being able to have some proper hands-on experience for free at these types of events is really useful. Also, just being able to speak to manufacturers about their equipment can be extremely useful. I find that companies like Zeiss tend to have really knowledgeable staff members at their stands who are always happy to answer questions. The other reason why PPE is a great place to try out gear is that most stands tend to have specific areas where you can actually test out equipment properly. Camera manufacturers generally hire models and have sets built for you to shoot and test cameras and lenses. It's all well and good having a camera in your hands, but if you don't have a proper place to test and try it out, then it can be a little pointless. Fujifilm, for example, have had brilliant stands over the last few years. Their new medium format camera, the GFX 100, is definitely one that many people (including myself) want to test and shoot with. All in all, if you're someone who loves cameras and new gear, then PPE is definitely the place to go.
The Creator's Lounge
I'm sure we all know how important education is to progressing one's career and improving your skills. Without investing an appropriate amount of time in learning new skills or better ways of doing things, you could quite easily be left behind. The great thing about PPE is that it gives you lots of opportunities to learn from people who have found success. The creator's lounge this year aims to have a number of many photographers and creatives that can provide a great deal of insight into how they managed to find success. I actively seek out advice from people I'm inspired by, and I think it's extremely important that we all do something similar. Make sure to check out the creator's lounge at PPE, because I'm pretty sure you'll walk away with something extremely useful.
If you've never been on a photo walk, I highly recommend you do at PPE. I personally love going on photo walks, because I find them very enjoyable for a number of reasons. Although there is a social and networking aspect to it, the main reason is being able to appreciate individual scenes from many different perspectives. I find it incredible how a talented photographer can produce a beautiful image from what I would consider a boring location. It's these kinds of things that inspire me and have helped me improve as a photographer. Composition is probably the one thing I struggle with the most, and I assume I probably always will. Seeing the "right" composition within a scene isn't a skill that is easily taught or learned; however, when you're able to shoot a given scene with a number of other photographers, seeing their perspectives goes a heck of a long way. I highly recommend you take some time to go on one of the photo walks at PPE.
Ultimately, PPE is one of the biggest and best photography events in the world, and there's a reason why so many photographers and creatives attend.
Register now for free using the code PFSTOP; make sure you don't miss out.