Jackson, MI—The Big Photo Show, held May 17–18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, presented an array of exhibits from top manufacturers, dealers, service providers and other imaging businesses; more than 60 education sessions at beginner/intermediate and specialized/advanced levels; live model shooting arenas; and a learning center. Attendance at the event, which brought in photo enthusiasts, advanced amateurs and pro photographers was more than 12,000.
PMDA also was on hand with the Portraits of Love program. As they did last year at PMA’s inaugural The Big Photo Show, Portraits of Love—a project developed by the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) and cosponsored by the USO—had volunteer professional photographers at the event to take free portraits of the families and loved ones of U.S. military members. Through a partnership with Shutterfly, the portraits will be printed and delivered to members of the U.S. military worldwide, at no cost. Dozens of families participated in portrait sessions throughout the two-day event.
In addition, Dave Dimont of Samy’s Camera, which exhibited at The Big Photo Show, said Samy’s had a great response from attendees. “The customers are coming in, taking classes, seeing what they want to buy—and then turning around and coming to our booth and buying. This year versus last year, we’re finding a much higher quality level of photo enthusiasts: people who have made an investment in the category of photography, who want to learn more about their equipment, how to use it and what the new accessories and products are. We’re seeing people who have never been into our store before.”
At Tamron’s booth, attendees constantly packed the area throughout the show. Tamron’s Jeff Allen said, “We are thrilled to be here. The attendance has been fantastic. We’re seeing new customers as well as customers who have been familiar with us—and that’s the great thing about The Big Photo Show. We get to speak to a lot of people who maybe don’t know our brand and don’t realize what Tamron brings to the table in terms of value in our products, and a variety of things for a variety of photographers.”
The Sony booth was also bustling throughout the show. “The show is going really well for us this year,” said Sony’s John Bruehl. “What we’re seeing, which is really important for us, is individuals coming in who know what they want—and they are looking at premium products, which really is what Sony is focused on.”
Mark Comon of Paul’s Photo and Creative Photo Academy said his booth “has been cram-packed, jam-packed all day long. Cameras, lenses and accessories have been going really well. There are new customers coming in. Los Angeles is a big market, and our store is down in a tiny little corner of LA, so we get to reach all these new people here. The Big Photo Show rocks!”
The attendees of The Big Photo Show were as delighted with the event as the exhibitors. Bill Eklund, PMA president, said, “I am thrilled with the response of the exhibitors and the attendees of The Big Photo Show. The goal of the show is to increase the excitement and passion for photography among consumers, to in turn promote growth across the entire imaging industry, especially for the businesses exhibiting here. We are certainly accomplishing that. It’s exhilarating to see the attendees improving their skills, buying new equipment and becoming more dedicated to photography—and to witness our exhibitors increasing their sales now, and in the future, with all the new customers they are creating at The Big Photo Show.” pmai.org