I spent the last few days at the PDN PhotoPlus Conference at the Javits Convention Center. The field of photography is constantly changing and reinventing itself, so it’s important to keep up with professional development throughout the year. It’s also nice to surround myself with fellow photographers, as many of us work from home and spend much time editing photos and talking to clients, but little time interacting with other artists. I attended lectures with children’s portrait favorite Tamara Lackey, and wedding photographers Denis Reggie, Bambi Cantrell, Melanie Nashan (who I also saw speak in Montana in 2005), and Liz Banfield.
The venue? Terrible (literally not an outlet in the place to charge a phone-and currently in the flood zone for Hurricane Sandy.) The content? Awesome. Fellow photographers in my lectures had traveled from the Philippines, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Argentina to name a few, so I’m pretty lucky that this annual conference is located just 50 blocks south of my apartment. The conference also includes an overwhelming trade show floor with EVERYTHING you could ever imagine for gear, albums, lenses, software, data storage, and live demonstrations…I had to keep my wallet in check.
Some interesting takeaways from the week:
-I studied the history of photography in grad school, but learned much more about the history of wedding photography. It has drastically evolved in the last 100 years. Example: in 1930-60, wedding parties usually went to the portrait studio to have their photos taken, while the current emphasis is on a “fashion portrait” style, which means the main focus is on environmental portraiture of the couple (think of them standing in a wheat field with sun flare behind them) and their wedding details.
-Of the 2 million weddings each year in the U.S., 1.3 million are photographed professionally by America’s crop of 160,000 professional photographers.
-the field used to be 90% men, but now 86% of new entrants into the field are women. Interesting!
-80% of women have read a wedding blog before they were even engaged, and 50% had read a wedding magazine. I like ladies who plan ahead!
All in all, a great few days. Now I’m hunkered down editing some portrait shoots and plotting a way to use all the perishables in my fridge before Sandy hits!! Have a great weekend!