This is always my favourite way to spend January. I love this show! Based at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in central London, the SWPP have just the right balance between teaching and socialising. I met up with several mates like Kelvin Murray who is currently exhibiting at the National Portrait gallery as part of the Taylor Wessing photo prize. Seems that he is working on his library work at this year and we spoke a lot about how you build a good relationship with your editor to get a steady stream of fees coming in whilst creating an exciting portfolio. Its always nice to meet up with Saraya Cortaville. One of London’s top portrait photographers, she is off to Tanzania for three months to work on a charity project so good luck to her. She and I are going to be working together later in the year on my Children Of London project (www.ChildrenOfLondon.co.uk).
I am looking for some new location lights so talked with Chris Whittle of The Flash Centre who tells me that there are new developments coming this year for the Elinchrom Ranger RX location packs. These have always been a favourite of mine so I am very keen to see what happens there as it could define my baggage allowance for the coming year. The other option for me is the Profoto B1. These now come with a fast flash option that works just like your speed-lites with a pulse effect..very cool!
New to the show was a US retouching operation called Evolve Premier. Based in Chicago they offer colour correction and clean ups to clients around the world (www.evolveedits.com/premier). They were set up by Salvatore Cincotta an ex Microsoft sales exec who decided just 8 years ago to drop everything and become a photographer. He now runs one of the most successful wedding businesses in the US and has branched out into retouching and has his own range of wedding albums. Salvatore gave an amazingly inspirational seminar about how to start and maintain a high street portrait business. These Americans can really talk…I love em!
Waving the flag for team GB was Adam Duckworth. Brilliant talk on working in the editorial market. No one is better qualified than Adam as he’s spent most of his career on the other side of the desk as editor of various Motorbike magazines. I shot various ad campaigns for him years ago when he was with Motorcycle News and he’s now become one of the top action photo guys around and works world-wide. I love it when people are not precious about their knowledge but believe, as I do, that we should be talking to each other to share our experiences.
Well done to the SWPP for setting the standard for 2015! Looking forward to an exciting and prosperous year (even if I have just received my tax bill…uuuurgh!)