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Award-winning photographer, author and educator Michael Corsentino gives us his tips for getting the most out of the Photo Plus Expo. Follow these simple recommendations and you’re sure to have a productive show!

When it comes to the end of October most people are thinking about their latest Halloween costumes and stocking up on candy for the parade of ghouls and goblins about to descend on their doorsteps. For those of us in the photo industry the end of October is also the time of year when 22,000 photographers and enthusiasts from every corner of the country converge on the Jacob Javitz Center in Midtown Manhattan for the annual PhotoPlus Expo in New York City! With tens of thousands of square feet, 220 exhibitors, 80 conference seminars, myriad special events, and a ton of parties, attendees have a lot of ground to cover in just 4 short days. As a longtime denizen of PhotoPlus, here are my top 10 recommendations for getting the most out of this great expo:

1. Pace yourself
As mentioned above and below you’ve got a lot of ground to cover during PhotoPlus, there’s a ton to take in. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, take it slow and resist the urge to try and accomplish everything the first day. Slow and steady wins the race here.

2. Bring snacks
Full conference and expo days easily top 10 hours, definitely qualifying them as endurance events. You’ll need energy and hydration to keep up, brave the crowds, stay on your feet, and explore the miles of exhibitors without falling over. Cover your bases and bring snacks like protein bars, apples, nuts, and bottled water to provide the fuel you’ll need.

3. Staying on track
An iPhone is my go-to tool for staying organized and on point during the show. At a glance I can view the expo schedule, keep track of planned meetings, locate exhibitors, take notes and photograph cool new gear to reference later.

4. Layer
In late October early November the weather in New York starts getting chilly and windy so come prepared. During the expo you’ll be dealing with two temperature zones, one outside the show where it’s potentially cold and windy and another inside the expo where it’s not! In this situation a backpack to stuff an overcoat or a few extra pieces of clothing into is your best friend. This way you can layer up and down as needed. A backpack is also indispensable for holding show collateral and snacks.

5. Go for comfort
This isn’t the time to break in that new pair of killer shoes you’ve been dying to show off. Comfortable shoes rule the day during PhotoPlus! That doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish if that’s your thing, just be sure and choose shoes that are well broken in. Consider using a padded insole for extra comfort and pack a few bandaids just in case things get dicey with your dogs.

6. Make a plan
With so many classes and exhibitors all in one place knowing where to start can be overwhelming. It’s easy to miss the important and get diverted by the trivial. Make it a point to have a plan and prioritize. Let the exhibitors list be your guide. Map out the manufacturers who’ve got that must have gear you’ve been considering. This is your chance to see it all up close and personal, get your questions answered, and take advantage of show discount specials!

7. Take at least one class
PhotoPlus isn’t just the place to ogle the newest lust worthy gear, it’s also your opportunity to meet and learn from your photography heroes. Consider arriving prior to the trade show to take advantage of one or more of the many great classes being conducted. Be sure and reserve ahead of time, seating is limited.

8. Network, network, network
PhotoPlus is your chance for some rare face time with everyone from photography executives, marketers, manufacturers and other photographers, famous and not so famous. If you’ve been dying to get on someones’s radar this is your opportunity. Bring your A game, an iPad portfolio and plenty of business cards!

9. Affordable lodging
Accommodations in NYC typically run the gamut from expensive to very expensive. However there are deals to be had if you know where to look. Many people prefer the Pod for reasonably priced digs, but if you’re a good camper like I am and don’t mind a shared bathroom arrangement, you’ll love Larchmont Hotel in the West Village. At about $100 a night it’s hard to beat. Airbnb is also a great option and the one I opted to use myself this year. For $70 a night I was able to book a room in a clean, modern, well reviewed apartment with a full kitchen located in midtown, a stones throw from the Expo.

10. Enjoy NYC
Fall is one of the best times of the year to visit New York. Set aside some time to enjoy the city and all it has to offer. Explore the beauty of Central Park, check out a museum, take in a show, hang in the village, dine in Tribeca, take a ride on the Staten Island ferry – there’s no shortage of options in the city that never sleeps.

Bonus tip!! Don’t forget your Badge
I hate wearing a badge almost as much as I hate forgetting my badge back at my hotel! There are a lot of things you can do without during PhotoPlus, your badge isn’t one of them. Save yourself the headache and double check to make sure you have your badge with you before leaving for the expo.

If you have other suggestions please leave them in the comments below. And don’t forget to visit the liveBooks team at Photo Plus in booth 566!

liveBooks has a long history of commitment to photojournalism, philanthropy and social change. Our CEO Andy Patrick took over the International Fund for Documentary Photography (IFDP) from Mother Jones Magazine in 2001. The IFDP was a grant program started by photographers Ken Light, Michelle Vignes, Marc Riboud, Sebastiao Salgado and journalist Kerry Tremain. In 2001, Andy integrated the IFDP into FiftyCrows, a non-profit he founded to support documentary and photojournalistic photographers that were documenting social issues around the world.

Jack Piccone photography website

Andy and his wife contributed over a million dollars to assure that these important photographic essays made their way into the world and that great storytellers had an opportunity to continue their important work. FiftyCrows and the IFDP has supported many great photographers including Ed KashiJack PiconeMarcela TaboadaAndre Cypriano, Stephanie Sinclair, as well as in the early years amazing photographers such as Joseph Rodriguez, Donna Decesare, Nan Goldin, and Shahidul Alam.

Chobi Mela International Photography FestivalThe grants have been used for many things including financing the continuation of a story that otherwise would not have likely seen funding from traditional means, to starting organizations such as what Shahidul Alam did in the early 1990’s in Bangladesh. From this was born The Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography and the DRIK Picture Agency.

 

In 2004 Shahidul AlamChris RainierWade Davis, Andy and others formed the National Geographic All Roads Photography Awards. All Roads has supported countless indigenous photographers in their efforts to document their own cultures.

Shahidul Alam photography website

So today, it is with great anticipation and excitement that we share with you one of our favorite events, the Chobi Mela International Festival of Photograpy. If you get a chance – GO! The festival takes place in Dhaka, Bangladesh and opens on January 25th. What sets Chobi Mela apart from other other photo festivals is that it is not only truly international, but is also perhaps the world’s most demographically inclusive festival.

In keeping with ethos of DRIK, Chobi Mela has always symbolized a struggle against hegemony and oppression. The theme for Chobi Mela VII is Fragility. It will feature photographers from 23 countries and every continent except Antarctica. Exhibitors include well known photojournalists and new ones alike.

Mr. Alam said he created the Chobi Mela festival primarily so Bangladeshi photographers could be more widely exposed globally, extending to international audiences. “I wanted to create a bridge,” he said. “But it also gives us a chance to take stock of this remarkable transformation that is taking place within photography in Bangladesh.”

Congratulations to Shahidul and his amazing team… our hearts our with you!

Why do we often assume that art is not functional?  On the other hand, why do we rarely view the purely functional as a work of art?  Bayview artist Ian McDonald delves directly into the world of form and function in his bright and austere studio.  With ceramics as a current focus, McDonald also works with wood, textiles and various other materials that allow for direct manipulation.  When asked about his source of inspiration, McDonald revealed that it is the begun process of work itself that serves as his guide on where to go next.

Read an interesting interview and see more images of his beautiful artwork here.

Ron Haviv is an award-winning photojournalist that has produced images of conflict and humanitarian crises that have made headlines from around the world since the end of the Cold War. Haviv is also the co-founder of the photo agency VII which is dedicated to documenting conflict, both violent and non-violent, to produce an unflinching record of the injustices created and experienced by people caught up in the events they describe.

Ron is teaching a workshop about what it takes to work as a photojournalist. It will take place from June 17-23 at the Maine Media Workshops. You can register here.

Ron_Haviv_liveBooks_photography_website3

Photo courtesy of Ron Haviv

Melissa Dubasik: Would you tell us about your upcoming workshop?

Ron Haviv: The workshop is an intense 5 day course designed to help develop a personal style of photography. By combining a shooting assignment, class edits and one on one time, the photographer’s vision will rise to the next level. In addition we will discuss the business of photography – how to get to places and how to get your work published and seen among many other things.

MD: Why and/or how you have come to focus on documentary work?

RH: To be able to tell stories with images whether it’s in your own back yard or across the ocean is an amazing way to spend your life. Understanding the work that photographers do can have an affect on the world is something that keeps one motivated to working every day.

MD: Is this workshop geared more towards being creative or improving one’s technical skills? Or both?

RH: The workshop emphasizes the visual voice above all else but having the technical skills is something that everyone needs.

MD: What differentiates this workshop from others?

RH: This workshop is designed to get the photographer to the next level by learning from my experiences in the field.

Ron_Haviv_liveBooks_photography_website2

Photo courtesy of Ron Haviv

MD: I’d love to get a little background on why you host workshops and what you hope others will get out of them?

RH: I’ve always seen the world of photojournalists as always being concerned with the next generation. You see it in the field all the time with the more experienced people helping the newer ones. This workshop is in the same spirit but benefits from being together in an intense environment where we are all focused on becoming better.

MD: What are some of the unexpected benefits one might get from attending this workshop?

RH: Many people thinking about being or starting out as a photojournalist feel it’s an impossible task. We will demystify the world and show a path that will allow you to make photography a part of your life.

MD: What are the most important things for the attendees to realize when they participate in a workshop, to help them get the most out of the experience?

RH: To come open and ready to learn. All else will follow.

MD: Was attending workshops instrumental to help you become the photographer that you are now? If so, how did they do that?

RH: I never took a workshop and had I taken one like this a lot of wasted time and mistakes that I’ve made would have been avoided.

Ron_Haviv_liveBooks_photography_website

Photo courtesy of Ron Haviv

Photographer and writer Jay Goodrich’s work focuses on architecture, nature and adventure. In addition to writing and creating imagery he leads workshops and photo tours. Those who attend the workshop come away with a better understanding of photography and mastery of images, and they have a greater appreciation for the locations and peoples they have visited. His upcoming workshop takes place in Hilo, Hawaii November 5-12. Jay tells us about his workshops and his experience teaching them as well as attending them.

waterfall_jay_goodrich

Melissa Dubasik: I’d love to get a little background on why you host workshops and what you hope others will get out of them?

Jay Goodrich: Teaching workshops just grew out of my love for photography. I wanted to share my experiences, my passion for this creative medium with others. In addition to that I think what is most important about my workshops is the communal experience. Everyone who is there is completely into photography and learning about photography, so it becomes not only a learning experience for the participants, but for myself as well.

I truly hope that all the people who attend walk away with a better knowledge about how to create a stronger image. I am somewhat of a gear head, but I really want people to understand that you only need your iPhone to be a creative photographer. Idea, concept, and composition first, how you record it to show the rest of the world is secondary. I do teach a lot of equipment and software based techniques as well because the era of the digital capture has opened up the boundaries…actually removed them completely.

MD: Is this workshop geared more towards being creative or improving one’s technical skills? Or both?

JG: I would say more emphasis on creating, but there is a lot of technology that gets talked about. I even teach software specific workshops on programs like Lightroom.

MD: What are some of the unexpected benefits one might get from attending one of your workshops?

JG: Traveling to amazing destinations and at times getting access to special places and locations. In our up-coming Hawaii trip, I have a friend who owns property there and he suggested that we stop by to photograph the stars over the lake of lava in his back yard one evening. I also try to focus on including luxury accommodations when possible. One of our previous trips to the Altiplano of Chile had us staying at an all inclusive five star spa. I try to give my clients a little something extra whenever I can. Even if it’s just a ride to the airport or a private critique of what they created after the workshop. I want to build relationships with my clients and I get really excited to watch them progress as photographers during the course of a workshop.

lava_jay_goodrich

MD: What are the most important things for the attendees to realize when they participate in a workshop, to help them get the most of of the experience?

JG: I think they really need to understand, that it isn’t amazing everyday. There are days when sunrises don’t materialize. Weather changes. Miscommunications happen. Cars break down. People have gear troubles. We do our best to help everyone and fix all of the issues, but sometimes, it will just rain for a week straight. We will make the best out of it though. This leads to: they should also come with an open mind. Be open to a new experience and new people because everyone has a different perspective to offer.

MD: What differentiates this workshop from others?

JG: With this Hawaii workshop we are taking a little bit of a different approach. We are showing participants how we look for everything and anything while traveling. How our eyes are focused on multiple disciplines, multiple subjects, and ever changing light. This allows us to create a large portfolio of images, which in turn gives us a stronger market base, better coverage for a location, and makes us better photographers overall. If I just focused on photographing birds, I think I would have given up on photography a long time ago. It is the experience of what resides around the bend that keeps me going day in and day out. Focus on a great composition and it doesn’t matter what your subject is, you will walk away with a great image.

hilo_jay_goodrich

MD: Was attending workshops instrumental to help you become the photographer that you are now? If so, how did they do that?

JG: I have only attended two workshops in my life. One was taught by John Shaw about selling your work and the other was taught by my really close friend Art Wolfe. One sent me off in the professional direction and the other sent me off in the creative direction. Although, as I have grown my business over the years, I have been lucky to work with some of the top level pros in the industry and this has helped me realize what works and what doesn’t along the lines of instructing. I also have a wife who is a teacher, so she beats the knowledge of two masters degrees in education into me on a regular basis.

This has made me focus on smaller group sizes and on more client one-on-one time in the field. Typically, I never teach more than six individuals by myself and never more than ten when there are two of us. I also want to spend less time lecturing to participants and more time in the field showing them what works and what doesn’t work.

Hundreds of up-and-coming wedding photographers have already tweeted this statement to the world on emerge Photo Contest’s Twitter page in hopes of becoming one of 15 winners in the emerge Photo Contest.

Emerge is designed to give new wedding photographers a way to showcase their work, and for this reason, it is operated differently than most photo competitions. Emerge gives each entrant their very own website to feature an entire wedding photo story by submitting up to five photos in each of the categories: wedding preparation, details, venue, the kiss and favorite wedding. You’re submitting multiple images – not just one!

So why should you enter? We thought you’d ask so here are four reasons why you should break away from the crowd and emerge:

1) Exposure – The top five winners receive a coveted listing on The Knot, the web’s leading wedding planning site, one write-up in RANGEFINDER magazine as an Editor’s Choice, a profile on RESOLVE, plenty of Twitter and Facebook buzz and more.

2) Cool prizes – A Sony camera and lens worth nearly $3000, shootQ, Pictage and liveBooks accounts for one year, Think Tank gear, Induro Tripod Kit and plenty of others.  Visit the emerge website for the complete listing.

3) Low entry fee – You’re entering to win thousands of dollars in prizes and some fantastic exposure for a low entry fee of $29.  Go to www.emergephotocontest.com to get started now.

4) Exposure – did we mention that already?  The value of ‘exposure’ to the modern photographer… priceless

The last day to enter is May 31st, and that is less than two weeks away.  Are you ready to emerge?  If so, check the official rules to register – and away you go.  And for all of you experienced photographers, what are your words of advice for these emerging wedding photographers?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

As sponsors of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop for the third year, liveBooks recently got an update about the lineup of instructors for this year’s workshop happening from June 20-26 in Istanbul, Turkey.

We have to admit, it’s an impressive list: Maggie Steber, Ron Haviv, Andrea Bruce, Stephanie Sinclair, Ami Vitale, Guy Calaf, Kate Brooks, Tyler Hicks, Kael Alford, Adriana Zehbruaskas, Jared Moossy, David Guttendfelder, Rena Effendi, Anastasia Taylor-Lind, Jon Vidar, David Bathgate, Tewfic el Sawy, Henrik Kastenskov/Bombay Flying Club.

You can read all about the Foundry Workshop in our interview with founder Eric Beecroft from last year’s edition in India (year one was in Mexico). The workshop began in 2008 as a more affordable workshop option that international and emerging photographers could afford.

With such a prestigious list of instructors this year, we thought it would be good to hear from a few of them about the Foundry experience and their advice for workshops in general.

Miki Johnson: What is your favorite thing about being involved in the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop? Do you have a favorite moment from past years?

Ron Haviv: Watching the growth of the students in such a short period of time. The realization from many that this is a great way to spend your life. Seeing that moment on students’ faces is inspirational to me.

Ami Vitale: The collaboration and working with fine photographers and fun people. It’s always a great experience and I’m always inspired by my students and colleagues. Last time I left feeling  full of inspiration and ideas. Watching students grow in the short span of the workshop is incredible.

Tewic el Sawy: My favorite take-home sentiment from participating in the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop is the mutual camaraderie and unfettered sharing of knowledge, information, and support between instructors and students/attendees. As for my favorite moment: during the final screening of the students work at the Manali workshop, learning that Dhiraj Singh (one of my class attendees) had deservedly won the top photography spot/prize of the workshop.

MJ: What is the most important things for students to realize when they participate in a workshop, to help them get the most out of the experience?

Ron: To open their minds to the knowledge that all the photographers, both students and teachers alike, are sharing with them.

Ami: To have fun and not to be too hard on themselves. I think some people come into this and put so much pressure on themselves to succeed.  This should be an environment of exploration and learning — and making mistakes is part of the learning process.

Tewic: The most important lessons that students will learn is to leave their ego at home, to help each other, to collaborate, and to be optimistic. Speaking for my class, they will realize that the more they know of multimedia, the more they’ll progress in their careers.

MJ: Was there a class or instructor that helped you become the photographer that you are now? How did they do that?

Ami: Rich Beckman. I’m back in grad school with him again! He’s always been ahead of the curve when it comes to finding new paths for storytelling. I’m studying Multimedia and Film with him now.

Tewic: I took a class in Havana with Magnum photographer Costa Manos and he told me that my photographs were “too simple.” He was right, and I’ve been trying to complicate them ever since.

In 2005 David Bathgate, a teacher, writer, and visual storyteller, started an online program to teach visual storytelling in a way that worked for people with busy schedules in any part of the world. Keep an eye out for more informative posts from The Compelling Image‘s topnotch instructors coming up.

©David Bathgate

Miki Johnson: Tell me a little about what you learned when you were teaching, photographing, and writing all at once. It seems that your work at TCI brings all those skills together.

David Bathgate: The short answer to this is that it’s improved my own communication skills with a camera and in words. Mentoring students draws on skills I’ve acquired and brings things I’ve learned through experience to a more conscious level. From here, I can better analyze what I see in student images at TCI and thus be more constructive in the critiques and advice I give.

MJ: What was your initial goal for starting TCI and where do you see it going?

DB: My initial and continuing aim is to offer an alternative to increasingly more expensive “on-location” photo and video workshops. One of things that will be changing soon, however, is the temporal format for courses. Instead of continuing with our original and current four- and six-week offerings with a set start and end date, students will be able to enroll and begin their course immediately — whenever they want.

©David Bathgate

Our new “subscription” system will provide students with two, four, or six months (Mentor Program) to complete each course’s six assignments and upload them to the TCI website for instructor comments and critiques. Additionally, students will have course-related access to their instructor throughout their subscription period and be able (for an additional fee) to obtain a full portfolio review of their work and arrange an hour-long Skype appointment to discuss their course progress in full.

TCI’s new approach is designed to take optimum advantage of the internet’s on-demand convenience and real-time capability. We are confident the change will add great functionality and robustness to our already proven “virtual classroom” experience.

A strong social networking component is also in the works. With this, both those establishing a free on-site account with us, as well as currently enrolled and past students, will be able to upload photos and/or video to a personal gallery and communicate with a group of like-minded people.

What the future holds for the TCI depends to large degree on the evolution of the internet itself. Our goal here is to make our classrooms as real as possible and to have our courses deliver not just a valuable educational experience, but and enjoyable one, too.

Still another avenue we are pursuing is that of accreditation. To this end, we’ve already opened discussions with several universities in the U.S. and Europe and hope to add “college credit available” to our brand soon.

©David Bathgate

MJ: Were there other online classes when TCI was launched? What are the advantages to the students and instructors of online classes?

DB: We actually began with a “beta” version of TCI in mid-2005. At that time there were a couple of online schools offering photography courses of the “basic” kind or not involving instructor interaction at all. The TCI groundstone was laid to offer instruction not only to newcomers, but also to serious amateurs and aspiring professionals. These are our roots and from this we continue to grow, as technology and the internet offer ever more fertile ground for our evolution.

For TCI students this means guaranteed educational value, as well as an enjoyable experience void of the cost, scheduling, and time-consuming hassle of making one’s way to a distant photography or videography course or workshop.

For TCI instructors, the venue and its rich functionality means being able to teach a course successfully and interactively from just about anywhere on the planet. Instructors can access their courses while on assignment or from the comfort of their very own studio. No need to allocate large blocks of time for teaching.

For example, I can critique student assignments and answer questions from a wifi hotspot in Dubai’s International Airport while in transit. Then when I arrive at my assignment destination in Kabul, Afghanistan, I can connect my laptop to a guesthouse ethernet cable and continue the process of running a “classroom” in an effective and efficient manner. For everyone — students and instructors — online, interactive teaching as TCI does it is a great alternative for anyone seeking quality, professionally-led photography or video production learning experience.

©David Bathgate

MJ: What are a few of the most important things for visual storytellers to understand about the market right now and in the near future?

DB: The most important thing as I see it, is to begin thinking beyond the traditional outlets for visual storytelling like magazines and newspapers. It’s becoming nearly cliche, but it’s true. Costs of production and evaporating advertising revenues are driving these long-established venues to extinction. By consensus, the internet is the “new frontier” for publishing — and rightfully so. Its speed, its expansiveness, and its accessibility yields far more room for all sorts of publication and exposure potential. This is where I want to take The Compelling Image into the future.

While iStockphoto is launching its 10th birthday bash, this New York Times story outlining the hard road ahead for photographers stirred up debate in the photo world (there’s even a follow-up article with reader and blog responses). Adding insult to injury, word also surfaced of a new business model for product photography called Via U!, where buyers can composite an image and purchase all rights for a flat $250 fee. A Photo Editor has details.

The New York Photo Festival (NYPH) announced its curators and exhibition dates for this year. The third annual NYPH ’10, which runs from May 12 – 15, 2010, is getting bigger and better, with later and extended exhibition hours, reduced fare and open attendance hours for the public. It has also teamed up with the Slideluck Potshow to take photography outdoors.

Blurb’s Photography Book Now competition has also launched its third year. In addition to $25,000, the grand prize winner will also be given the opportunity to show their work at ICP, the Annenberg Space for Photography, and the George Eastman House. The competition is a reminder of the potential of self-publishing, something we discussed extensively in our Future of Photobooks series.

Center, formerly known as the Santa Fe Center of Photography, has announced the winners of the 2010 Center’s Choice Awards. Aaron Huey, Stephen Beckley, and Jamey Stillings are the winners of the Curator’s Choice Award, the Director’s Choice Award, and the Editor’s Choice Award, respectively. See the full list of winners here.

There are few areas of photography that are as crowded right now as the world of weddings. The portrait and wedding photography market has grown exponentially in recent years, and with more shooters shifting in from other shrinking markets, that trend is likely to continue.

For those emerging photographers who are passionate about wedding photography but don’t know how to distinguish themselves from the growing crowd, we’re happy to announce emerge, a new contest for emerging wedding photographers — and not just because it’s the brainchild of liveBooks ;)

The emerge Photo Competition is special because it gives photographers the opportunity to tell an entire picture story through multiple images, uploaded into website portfolios in five categories: wedding preparation, details, venue, the kiss, and favorite wedding. Winners will also receive a full suite of tools to help them get their business off the ground and take it straight to the stratosphere.

A panel of wedding industry leaders and magazine photo editors will crown 15 winners total, three in each category, who will receive a prize package worth $1,400, including:

a one-year subscription to a liveBooks predesigned website,
a one-year subscription to a Pictage account,
a one-year subscription to a ShootQ account,
a 2011 WPPI VIP pass,
a Think Tank Photo Belt,
and a $100 Asuka Book gift card.

The top photographer in each category will also receive an advertising package from TheKnot.com valued at $1,200 and a professional photography kit from Sony valued at $2,000.

Check out more details here. Deadline for entries is May 31, 2010 and we’re looking forward to announcing the winners soon after.  Good luck!

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