Well that's Focus on Imaging over for another year. It was a strange event this year with both Nikon and Canon putting on a good show along with Sony and a few others. It felt like the bulk of the show was about social photography - I lost count of how many photo book stands there were offering very high quality and impressive one-off books aimed largely at the wedding market. I'd love to say that the highlight was the seminar that Dillon Bryden and I gave in the Canon seminar pod called "Skateboarding ducks and other tall tales from Fleet Street" but I think that would be a slight exaggeration. The talk went down well and everyone who attended got a copy of the new BPPA UNSEEN book as probably the finest give away of the whole show.


© Dillon Bryden 2009

The whole thrust of the talk was about collaboration. I remember paraphrasing Tony Blair by saying collaboration, collaboration, collaboration whenever I could (textbooks on public speaking say that a the word alliteration gets the point home and lodges it in the memory well.) The BPPA has completed a number of projects since we "put the band back together" in 2003. Our stated aim is to promote who we are and what we do in a way that no individual photographer could really hope to do or sustain. Our books and gallery shows have been supported by Canon UK and a few others whilst our web based projects have been done by us at minimal cost.

I can tell you that, as a working editorial and news photographer, it doesn't come naturally to me to promote the work of my colleagues. I can also tell you that the whole collaborative approach pays dividends for everyone - including me.

© Dillon Bryden 2009

Photographers with a passion for making images are single-minded and driven individuals. They can also be like kids when they see a picture and really have to take it. Dillon and I had our Canon compacts with us. My G9 and his G10 came out when we had five minutes ahead of our final seminar and we took a few pictures for this blog.

Nobody becomes a news photographer for the money. Those who survive in the business do so because they have a desire to tell stories through their images. Getting those images in front of the world isn't easy. Newspapers and magazines are busy cutting costs and using fewer images. Publishing books is expensive and rarely profitable whilst gallery space is hard to find and harder to finance. Web publishing is one answer, but there are so many lone voices out there that it it is getting harder and harder to be heard.

I'd like to say thank you to Canon for supporting UNSEEN. It's a great book and it will be on sale through Amazon soon. When photographers get together, there seems to be very little we can't do.

©Neil Turner February 2009


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