I was asked why I don’t go to too many photography conventions anymore. What was funny is that it was asked by someone who says they read my blog, I swear I’ve mentioned this before but here goes.
Conventions (in my opinion) are there for the industry to suck new photographers dry of all of their money. They get presenters who often don’t make their living off of actually being a photographer. There is a well-known photography duo back east who actually gets photographers to pay them to help them shoot weddings! How genius/insane is that? Pay me money and I will let you shoot a wedding with me to learn how amazing I am!!!! Oh, but you don’t get to use the images.
The industry is full of opportunists who just want to make money off of their peers. The worst ones are the uber religious photographers who get other religious photographers to pay them money to teach them how to shoot with a 50mm 1.2 lens “wide open” which is complete bullshit in my mind. You know, they make aperture 1.2 for a reason and 22 for a reason. “Oh but professionals only shoot at 1.2” …… no, they don’t.
These are just some of the reasons I don’t go to conventions. People like to act like they are “Rock stars” when they are really just mediocre photographers in leather. One guy claims to be “fashion” when his work is cheesy mid-west glam at best. But he calls himself fashion so that is what they say he is.
If you want to learn how to be a photographer, don’t go to a workshop, don’t go to a convention. Find someone who has work you love and contact them directly and ask what they would charge to mentor you. Or just buy a book and try to figure it out on your own. You will save a ton of money and probably learn a lot more! Also, only take business advice, or workshops for that matter, from photographers who are actually working as photographers! Just because they teach at conventions does not mean they know how to run a business! And if they make more of their living off of workshops than they do from shooting, pass on it!
Just my thoughts on this, and I’m sure in a month or two someone will ask me again why I do not go to conventions. 😉
Here is one from a fun shoot I had with Monique from last year.