Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Return to Las Vegas -WPPI a lot of change but still the same.

There was a time when I use to  attend events like PhotoPlus in New York and WPPI here in Las Vegas on a regular basis.  However being an active father in my boy's lives means I have had to make sacrifices for them, especially as they get older and have more events to attend. Concerts and lessons have had a way of coinciding with these photo shows. This year things can together as this week was free and open and this allowed me to make the decision to attend.

When you haven't attended a show like WPPI it is easy to see that there are many changes and this holds true as the world of the photographer as the challenges continue to grow. With photography becoming more accessible it is even more important to stay on top of trends and innovations in the industry.  What I have enjoyed the most so far in this area is seeing how companies are trying to help by giving us more options to our clients that would not be available to the general public.

GraphiStudio, whom I use for my albums, introduced a greater variety of product this week. They also have some wonderful innovations in how to show your work and design albums with your clients input.  This type of thinking helps one look even more professional and on the cutting edge . This works with both Bridal and family portraits. There are other album and photo labs at the show as well and they all have new ideas to help the photographer. It is at a show like this where you truly get the information and ideas on how it works.

The other area of change is in technology. Of course the camera manufacturers are here as well and they have the latest products in there lines on display.  I try to stay as up to date as I can so I can help students with their cameras when they encounter problems.  Yet I am not a salesman so I don't hang around the camera stores keeping up with all the brands. This is why a trade show like this is so effective as I can take some time and see what the companies are doing.  One of them is Sony and though I have been aware of the quality of their cameras, I have always had a problem with them and the design of the hot shoe on the cameras. This dates back to the days of Minolta whom Sony purchased to enter the still photography market. The hot shoe was proprietery and thus you could not fit radio triggers on them.  So needless to say I was happy to see this has changed and they have returned to a standard hot shoe on the current generation of cameras.

For all the change though some things stay the same.  For me it was encounter old friends whom I have not seen for the last few years.  Social media has made it possible to stay in touch, but it is always nicer to sit and have a nice conversation face to face. I was fortunate to bump in to a number of them on the tradeshow floor yesterday.

It is also great to hear many speakers talking about what they are doing and sharing how to grow ones business.  For me it is somewhat refreshing to see that the challenges here are the same as they were 20 years ago when I started. Digital really hasn't effected the industry as much as people think as the problems remain relatively the same.  The only difference is that the public has a different understanding of photography and thus some of the expectations have changed. However the business and marketing is still the same and one has to be good at this if one is to be successful.

Finally it was also nice to hear that everything I teach to my students is still relevant and has not changed. When I hear speakers explain their way of lighting, posing, use of equipment and business practices and I can nod my head in the knowledge that I have been saying the same for years just makes me feel relevant.  This is why I came and I am looking forward to Day 2 today.

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