October 25-28, 2017
Photo Plus Expo 2017 - New York City
I just got in from my annual trip to Photo Plus Expo in New York City. This is my third year, although I skipped 2016. Every year that I attend gets unexpectedly better than the previous. I think one of my favorite things about going to PPE is the nostalgia it brings from when I was just getting started in my photography career––the evaluation of all of my progress in addition to the added excitement of actually having familiar faces greeting me.
It really is an incredible experience: photographers from all around the world getting together to learn more about their craft, learn about each other, learn about the industry as a whole, indulge in New York City’s amazing experiences, seek the nearest rooftop, let the City empower us! From the quiet early morning coffee in seminars, to exploring the expo show floor, seeing friends you haven’t seen in awhile, meeting tons of new people, back to the seminars, don’t forget the keynote!, back to the show floor, can’t make it all the way around because there’s just too many conversations to be had and also the talks on the show floor, don’t forget to get your free sensor cleanings at NPS, oh and linger in the portfolio review area, definitely make your way onto the tech floor downstairs, hit one of your best friends up for some of the shittiest lunch ever on the lower floor of Javits, only so you can feel even better about the amazing Korean you will have at Barn Joo in Korea Town later that night. Was that a run-on sentence? Yeah, that’s pretty much how it feels. It’s go-go-go, and I can’t wait to go again!
Recommendations for Photo Plus Expo:
* Always bring water and snacks––it’s easy to get sick of the food at Javits
* Catch the train over a bus, it’s quicker
* Choose yellow cabs over Uber / Lyft (Calling and Uber/Lyft can take a LOT longer than expected, and I had several of them cancel on me)
* Use Yelp to find the top restaurants / bars wherever you go. Some of my favorites this trip were: Barn Joo (THE BEST KOREAN), Biergarten (fun beer garden with awesome heated outdoor space + ping pong), Lantern’s Keep (amazing cocktails), Udon West (super good Udon for a great price, also the warm Saki worked wonders for my sore throat), the Ginger Man (lots of great beers on draft, top notch compared to other NYC beer options) *
Choose Airbnb over a hotel for a homier experience
* Make loose plans––you never know who you will meet or what event you may get invited to. Save room for the new, even though we all like catching up with old pals.
* Don’t be afraid to do Halloween! Usually Halloween falls close to PPE = people dress up! If you are there on Halloween, you must go experience / photograph the parade!
* Don’t sleep! Or sleep minimally. I’m telling you, it will fly by. Make the best of every seminar, portfolio review, coffee breaks, show floor time, dinner and drinks, evening PPE parties, etc.
* Bring business cards! More importantly, get business cards from others and actually follow up! I would wait a few days to follow up, since everyone is kind of tired upon return.
* Always have some recent work on hand for when someone asks to see what you do (caution, don’t just throw your work in their face unless the ask, or if you have a strong feeling they would be interested in something you created)
* Take advantage of show specials (consider equipment you may want to buy in advance and plan to get a bargain!)
* Try to have a daily spending budget in mind (it’s super easy to spend in the City!)
* If you have time, walk! The City is beautiful and I recommend experiencing it while you are there. And since a lot of the time you may be inside Javits...
* Ask a Javits employee where the Jacob Javits statue is and the story behind him
* Get Nikon Professional Services to clean your sensor for free while there (if you’re a member)
* Never assume anyone isn’t worth your time. I swear, giving everyone you encounter the time of day is definitely something you should do. Value comes in all shapes and sizes and labels or lack thereof. Talk to everyone!