A Success Series for Modern-Day Photographers
In last week’s edition, we talked about “Knockin’ on Doors” and tapping into the vast market of images for corporate or small business websites – everything from product images to headshots or company headquarters photography. We learned that sometimes just talking to business owners and offering a low introductory per image rate could land you thousands of dollars in business. Looking for some extra income? This is a great way to start.
This week we’re talking about another form of in-person marketing, maybe the KING of in-person marketing – photography trade shows. Trade shows give you the opportunity to be involved with other industry professionals, seek out new technology solutions, and try out new photography equipment, network, and get motivated!
All trade shows are a little different, and valuable in their own way. The trick is figuring out how many you can fit into your budget, and which show(s) are most important to you from a business perspective. In regard to national trade shows, there are a few that stand out in the crowd.
Imaging USA – put on by P.P.A. (Professional Photographers of America): This trade show moves around to a different city each year. In 2012 they will be in New Orleans, LA, January 15th-17th at the Earnest N. Morial Convention Center. If you’re not yet a member of P.P.A., you can join as a new Professional Active member ($323), and you’ll get one full registration to Imaging USA in New Orleans absolutely free! If you’re only able to make it to one trade show in a year then this in my opinion, is the one to attend. The focus at this show is more business minded than many of the others. It’s perfect if for you if you’re interested in getting business ideas from successful entrepreneurs and tips on how to run a successful company. I’m a business junky so Imaging USA is my pick!
WPPI - (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) – This is the rock-star of trade shows, great for the beginner photographer, and the pro’s that want to learn to shoot better images. They bring in world renowned lighting and posing experts to teach you new tricks and improve your skill-set. This show is in Las Vegas every year which makes it particularly interesting (and fun). In 2012 WPPI is from February 20-22.
PSPA and SPAA – February 18-19, 2012. Brought to you by www.pmai.org, Professional School Photographers Association of America, and the Sports Photographers Association of America. This is a very niche focused show. If you’re a player in the school or sports photography game, put this show on your list. You’ll learn about new ways to save tons of time like using Quixi or the latest sales techniques to increase the bottom line.
Focus on Imaging – www.focus-on-imaging.co.uk in Birmingham England, March 4-7, 2012. This is the big show in the UK, and a great all around show for all kinds of photographers.
PPA in your State – check into your state chapters for monthly meetings and trade shows. All states have local PPA chapter with big states like Florida having as many as nine separate PPA chapters in-state. All state PPA’s have their own trade shows, seminars, workshops and conventions which offer the best of the best nationally (and internationally) ranked photographers who share their knowledge at these events. MorePhotos has learning centers and booths at many of these PPA events.
Photography School Events – You might just run into one of our representatives, Harry Markel , at one of these educational events. If you’re interested in some intense learning and photography education, then check out the options below.
M.A.R.S. - Not the planet but a top U.S. photo school – the Mid Atlantic Regional School of Photography held each year the first week of May in historic Cape May, NJ. Six to nine photography instructors teach everything from Photoshop to wedding and portrait photography. It also includes courses in Lightroom, Nature, Painter, and other fields of photo study. Classes are kept small to allow a great educational balance. The beauty of Cape May is used as a backdrop for many outdoor photography demos.
East Coast School of Photography – This one week photography school is conducted the first week of August each year and is hosted by the Professional Photographers of North Carolina. Held in Raleigh, NC, this school has been ranked as one of the nation’s best photography schools. You get to choose your instructor from a pool and then spend a week of intense learning in areas that you need help mastering.
Triangle School of Photography – Located in Pittsburgh, PA, this school has been providing low cost education to professional photographers for over 50 years and remains a great way to learn from many of the top talents in the photography industry today. Held in March of each year, Triangle School is a bang for your buck!
SYNC – Senior Youth National Conference is all about the high school senior photography market and is a weeklong school held in St. Petersburg Florida in late January. The school offers cutting edge education designed to maximize the profits and increasing efficiencies in school photography. Classes are limited in size and taught by America’s leading school photographers.
Don’t stop there! There are dozens of other photography groups in your state, the U.S. and the world, just start poking around. These groups and shows are great opportunities to learn, share, network and bounce ideas off of other photographers and industry professionals. I would highly recommend getting involved with at least one group. You’re not going to change your entire work flow or find instant success from one show, but in an industry that is constantly changing at the speed of light, it’s important to see what is working for others. It’s worth the time and the effort.
Mike Connors | MorePhotos CEO
Zack Wessels | Sales & Marketing Associate
Harry Markel | Sales & Marketing Associate
Drew Warner | Sales & Marketing Associate