The Photography Show

Apr 1, 2019

A few weeks back I headed to Birmingham for my first ever experience of The Photography Show. I had heard photographer friends talk about how much they loved the 4 day event over the years, but never had the chance to get there myself. On Monday 18th March, I was finally able to go and check it out for myself.

Before heading to the show, I took a look at their website to look for any speakers that I wanted to see. For me this trip wasn’t about shopping, looking at the latest kit or drooling over one of the new mirror-less cameras, it was more about getting to the talks and soaking up as much knowledge as possible from the esteemed speakers. Saying that, I did pick up a nifty camera bag from K&F Concept… available for just £40 at the show – I couldn’t walk past without getting their travel backpack.

So let’s break down the talks I attended…

M is for Marketing – Most photographers think learning to shoot in M mode is the key to being a professional – but in this day and age, M stands for Marketing. Learn how Luke used marketing to build his profile – he’ll show you how you can too. By Luke Curtis.

I’ve followed Luke’s work on Facebook for a while now and as a music photographer myself, it was great to see his talk with some friends I’ve met through photographing live music. This talk gave me a completely new insight into not just photographing music but also photographing in the corporate world and how photographers can best market themselves.

Much of Luke’s talk focused on how it wasn’t necessarily the photography that got him to where he is today but rather how he has networked and marketed himself over the years. He talks about the idea of being an expert not a photographer. An expert will educate clients, share best practice, strives for knowledge in the field and constantly develops, whereas a photographer focuses on taking great pictures. If photographers stopped focusing on competing with others, they can generate a support network, more opportunities and referrals. Take a look at Luke’s work here.

From the Pit to the Pole – Nikon Ambassador Conor McDonnel talks about his journey from the photo pit to Antarctica and everything in between.

Again, I’ve been following Conor’s work online for quite some time now. He is known for being the photographer for Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Niall Horan, Calvin Harris and most famously shooting Kim and Kanye’s wedding. As an ambassador for WWF, Conor also spoke about his time shooting out in Antarctica.

Whilst this talk wasn’t anything to do with the technical aspects of photography, it was interesting to hear about his career and get inspired listening to one of the photographers I look up to.

Creative character portraits – Top portrait pro Hannah Couzens will show you how to use light, colour and expression to communicate your subject’s character and get the right message across. A truly blinding demo.

Corporate headshots and character portraits are often a challenge for both photographers and the people being photographed. Hannah Couzens extremely lively workshop was a great insight into ways of making your clients feel more relaxed on a shoot whilst also quickly achieving great results. Keeping it chatty and giving your subject guidance in how to pose makes them feel much more at ease.

Using a simple set up of a backdrop and profoto lights, Hannah’s demonstration was certainly a crowd-pleaser and one I took a lot from. After the event, I was having a good look through Hannah’s website when I discovered her courses and BTS videos. If you’re looking to develop in this field of photography, I’d suggested heading over and watching her ‘Behind The Scenes’ videos here.

Corporate video shoot: a how to guide – If you’re doing corporate video work you’ll want a tried-and-tested set-up that works fuss. Rick Bronks will share his guide to audio set-up that is almost fool proof – Rick Bronks

Finally I headed to a Corporate video shoot talk with Rick Bronks. Rick took us through a quick guide in setting up to record an interview. His talk focused on the mischief and mayhem that Bronks also highlights in his book. I think the biggest advice I personally took away from this was that set up is key to a shoot and similar to Hannah’s talk, it’s all about making the person in front of the camera feel as comfortable as possible. As The Video Show is a new part of the show, the stage was somewhat tucked away and hidden from the rest of the action but as a videographer, I hope to see this aspect of the show grow even bigger in the future. It would be great to see some of the influencers and creatives from the YouTube platform give talks at this.

Overall, the Photography Show was a great experience and I will definitely be going back in the future. Going for just one day was probably a little rushed and I would have liked to have seen many more talks which I will certainly be doing next year. See you in 2020!

Written by Georgia Flynn, hi-impact media