Putting On A Show, Talks and Friends.....

I am just back from this years Photography Show (TPS) at the NEC and slipping back into my ‘normal’ routine.

TPS is the biggest we have in the UK and it is a great place to mingle with like minded people, hear inspirational TOG’s in full flow on the stages, as well as potentially relieving your wallet of hard earned cash!

Whatever your reason for going, as soon as you walk through the ‘portals’ that are set in the entrance, you become immersed into this great world of photography.

And you are in…

And you are in…

Where ever you wander among the rows and rows of ‘goodies,’ a cacophony of sound engulfs you, accompanied by lights that hit you at every twist and turn.

It is a sensory experience.

Set in one of the largest halls at the venue, the organisation is excellent and whilst I am aware they had a postal glitch on the first day regarding tickets, I didn’t hear any complaints throughout my time there. Doesn’t mean there weren’t any of course.

If I had to comment on anything that I saw, it would be that some of the stands had top photographers talking on them and as you would expect attracted large gatherings, so the aisles did become clogged. Whilst most of us can slip through, it must have been difficult for those who were in wheelchairs.

Organising an event like that is a huge undertaking and I know ‘we’ as speakers had to be tied down to the dates and times over six months in advance.

TPS in full flow….

TPS in full flow….

As we amble around, it is like being a kid in a candy store. If you can’t get what you want at TPS you wont get it anywhere. Fortunately, there is never any pressure from the vendors for you to ‘touch and try’ and for me that is a plus.

You can talk and examine kit at your own pace and I like that. Most visitors will go with a fixed objective in mind and it is good to compare.

Whilst I make the pilgrimage most years, it is usually to meet old friends and make the occasional appearance on a sponsors stand. I feel very privileged when asked to appear and as you are generally approached by the public, it is humbling when they come up and thank you for showing them what can be done.

I never ever forget how lucky I am to be in this position.

This years show has been the busiest for me.

I spent most of the Monday walking around my assistant Vicki Procter taking in the atmosphere. As you move around I am always amazed at how many people it attracts on what what could be considered the ‘lighter days.’ I don’t think that they are much different from the weekends anymore.

The LEE show team for TPS

The LEE show team for TPS

So Vicki and I made our way around and having been lucky enough to have received the new LEE100 holder some weeks back, I was keen to thank the staff for their support. They are a great bunch to work with and Vicki and I will be taking some promo snaps in Snowdonia very soon for their website and social media.

Tis a beauty!

Tis a beauty!

After a quick sarnie and brew, I couldn’t believe how much time had elapsed and my first talk was rapidly approaching.

It was scheduled with FUJIFILM at 15.50.

FUJIFILM stand from behind the scenes and the view that the staff have. Photo by Richard Wan

FUJIFILM stand from behind the scenes and the view that the staff have. Photo by Richard Wan

Their stand was spectacular with the ‘bridge’ in front, allowing the public to try out different cameras and lenses under expert guidance. The models on set did their bit. This years theme was ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ It looked great and provided great opportunities to test out the kit.

The irrepressible Richard Wan from FUJIFILM joins the ‘models’ on set. Photo by kind permission of Nathan Wake.

The irrepressible Richard Wan from FUJIFILM joins the ‘models’ on set. Photo by kind permission of Nathan Wake.

As I arrived at their ‘on site dedicated theatre’ I was pleased to see it was already a full house.

I like to engage with the audience and my show specific chat, ‘KEEP IT SIMPLE’ was very well received. I throuoghly enjoy giving talks and I think ‘we’ as photographers have a duty to not only inform, hopefully give tips and educate but also entertain and it was nice to hear the audience laugh (groan occasionally ha ha) and be very complimentary at its conclusion.

Me waffling on to a very attentive and appreciative audience. Photo by Vicki off her phone.

Me waffling on to a very attentive and appreciative audience. Photo by Vicki off her phone.

The 45 minutes flew by and I then spent another 15 minutes chatting with people afterwards. Whilst that talk took three quarters of an hour to deliver, it was created and honed over several weeks.

‘We’ as pros dont always get time out to simply take photographs. It comes with the territory and talks have to be constantly reviewed and updated.

The end of a good day and as Vicki had to return to Cumbria I made sure that I was all set for day two.

My first appearance of the day was with LEE and at precisely 11am their large screen TV flickered into life and my ugly mug appeared on it with a number of images they had requested from me.

Meeting lovely people on the LEE stand

Meeting lovely people on the LEE stand

You never know just who will come up and start talking with you and I was delighted when approached by a number of people who showed great enthusiasm for landscape photography and the LEE brand.

For me it is the best and I am honoured that they support me..

As soon as the clock struck 12 noon, I had to dash over to the GREAT OUTDOORS stage and even 20 minutes before the talk began their were few seats left. It ended up with people standing along the sides and back.

The Great Outdoors stage

The Great Outdoors stage

‘IN HIS ELEMENT,’ is the shorter version of my forthcoming two hour talk and is simply about that. Me being out and about in all weathers and not being seduced by the couch! It demonstrates just how dramatic images can be obtained on days when quite frankly you wouldn’t ever want to venture out.

The response was fantastic and whilst only 30 minutes in duration I then spent a further 15 minutes in situ as people came up and spoke with me.

It really makes it all worthwhile.

A quick lunch and then I was back on the FUJIFILM stand for another delivery of ‘KEEP IT SIMPLE.’

The final talk. Yes I did wear the same  BERGHAUS  fleece and clothes two days running!! Photo by Vicki off her phone.

The final talk. Yes I did wear the same BERGHAUS fleece and clothes two days running!! Photo by Vicki off her phone.

Before I knew it, I was done and felt drained.

The staff of FUJIFILM thanked me and I was delighted to hear they were told that the talks I gave were the best they had heard on landscapes throughout the show and it made my day.

And that was that……back to the ‘normality’ of my my ‘job.’

Now, I am sat here writing up my time at TPS as well as updating my website with new images from SNOWDONIA and my SQUARE format photographs.

I have many talks to deliver around the UK in the next ten weeks and am looking forward to a shoot in Snowdonia next week.

A couple of days before TPS, I had a nice trip over to LeedsPhotographic Society and was given a rapturous reception for my talk, ‘A BIT OF A JOURNEY.’ The testimonial from them can be read here.

I look forward to delivering the workshops several of their members have now booked with me and am delighted to have been asked back already.

Thank you folks. Much appreciated!

As we move into the ‘warmer’ weather, my wintery workshops slide away and the volume increases as people combine a workshop with a few days away in the Lakes or Snowdonia.

I look forward to meeting new friends and delivering workshops for those who are returning again.

As always thank you for your support.

I hope you enjoy your photography and that the ‘special’ image you seek is just a click away!