PDN PhotoPlus Expo: A Preview

The PDN PhotoPlus Expo is New York’s big annual photography event, and it’s coming to the Javits Convention Center this week, Thursday through Saturday, October 23-25. The show is really two shows in one: an enormous trade show with literally hundreds of exhibitors showing off the latest cameras and accessories, and an educational conference featuring more than 100 seminars.

A Marathon on Carpeted Concrete

I’m a trade show lover and so the expo part of the show really calls to me. I’m as much of a sucker as the next photographer when it comes to collecting camera brochures and fee inkjet paper samples. But if you’re heading there, wear your comfy walking shows; the expo is (to say the least) a busy and tiring event. Last year, there were 27,000 visitors during the three-day show.

I suggest studying the site carefully and mapping out a plan (especially if you have particular things you want to see on the trade show floor). I covered the PhotoPlus show for years when I was the technical editor of Photo District News, and I used to come off the trade show floor each day feeling like I’d run a marathon on carpeted concrete.

If you’ve never been to the show, though, you should absolutely go. You’ll have a blast and you’ll bring home far too many camera brochures and pieces of demo software. If you happen to be traveling, you can ship stuff home from the Javits lobby and while that’s expensive, wow, it’s such a relief!

Meeting Photography Heroes

The seminars at PhotoPlus are always top shelf–you simply won’t find better seminars anywhere. There are 11 different seminar tracks covering business, digital tools, photo markets, promotion, and technology that are being taught by some of the biggest names in the business, including: Stephen Johnson, Joe McNally, sports shooting legend Walter Ioos, Seth Resnik, printing master John Paul Caponigro, and one of my personal color-photography heroes, Jay Maisel.

Speaking of heroes (and heroines), Katrin Eismann, the woman I consider the best Photoshop teacher on earth, will be giving a seminar called “Skin, Skin, Skin.” To spend a few hours with Katrin is inspiring and mind-expanding; it’s a life-changing experience for me each time I take one of her seminars.

In general, the seminars are very reasonably priced and an excellent way to see the work of some great photographers (and to meet them) and to learn a lot of inside tips quickly. Typically the seminars last an hour to three hours, and they make a nice break from pounding the trade show floor. And even if you don’t want to attend a formal seminar, there are a lot of interesting (and free) mini-seminars on the show floor. Some (especially the Photoshop demos at Adobe) are extremely popular, so grab a seat early or you’ll be standing and looking over people’s shoulders.

It’s getting easier to get a cab coming out of the Javits Center these days, but there are also free buses back to most major hotels. Years ago you could wait until the cows came home to even see a cab there and trust me, if I had seen a cow, I would have given it $10 for a ride back to Grand Central.

And speaking of learning, there are many new tutorials on my site, so take a minute to visit.

[tags]photography business [/tags]

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