By Shannon McMillan
Beginning in February 2013 I attended the Texas Photo Roundup, LA Fotoworks and the Palm Springs Photo Festival. It’s been two weeks since I returned from my last photo review/photo festival so, it is time to compile all that I have experienced and cherished. Photography is my passion, and every time I’m able to focus on the medium I get motivated and inspired all over again. Participation is also motivation because I’ve seen the most amazing work, met the most amazing individuals and reunited with colleagues (now friends) from past events. Plus, it’s a great way to finally put a face to a name, and means networking with other agencies (JWT, Carmichael Lynch), art producers (Kaia Hemming, Sandy Boss Febbo, Bonnie Butler Brown), photo editors (Leslie Baldwin, Texas Monthly) and photo reps (Norman Maslov, Marianne Campbell, Mollie Jannasch), and find those “emerging” photographers (see list below). Most importantly, I’ve found it to be my opportunity to help educate and guide younger photographers who are diving into a very competitive industry.
The reviews are very much like what I pictured speed dating would be like; 1-on-1 every 20 minutes, and to be frank: you may or may not like what you see or who you meet. The photographers pick their reviewers; however, participants like myself have no idea who we’ll be speed dating with. What’s great is that the photographers have a chance to meet with a handful of influential photo professionals in a short period of time without the hassle of running around town or city to city. It also gives the reviewers a chance to meet with photographers beyond their website and phone calls. I personally like meeting photographers in person because it gives me a sense of personality, who we as an agency could potentially be collaborating with, and if they’re a good fit for possibly a long relationship.
Between the three reviews, I found a growing trend of photographers doing stills and video, and as an agency we are doing more and more integrated shoots– and so are producers. If you’re on the fence about attending, the benefits are seeing a small glimpse of emerging photographers, provides exposure for GSD&M, and keeps us up-to-date on current trends in the industry.
Below are a few of the photographers I found captivating. Not all were commercial photographers. Some had a story to tell that I felt was worth passing on. If you want my complete list, please feel free to send me an email.
(Winner of the 2013 PSPF Portfolio Review)
Melissa is a young photographer out of Atlanta in which she shoots most of her sets in her unfinished basement. She has funded and produced (including casting and set design) all the work seen on her site.
(Winner of the 2013 PSPF Slide Show)
I liked David’s demeanor. He was relaxed, resourceful, works with a small crew and shoots video.
Photo Journalist Ashley Gilbertson
“Bedrooms of the Fallen”
Jess & Cass
Jo Ann Santangelo
James Whitlow Delano