Besides the wonderful training and seminars at Photoshop World, the exhibitor booths are my favorite things to visit. They have all the newest gadgets you simply must have to make your photography better. ;-) (Yes, that is a joke.) The vendors run product-specific training for more in-depth coverage on that new widget or software you've been wanting to try. Their "booth flies" are running around scanning your conference badge, so you won't run out of spam for your email inbox. There are giant display images, metal and canvas images, and thousands of books to overwhelm you. This year, my favorite booth was sponsored by Westcott. The folks at Westcott sell great lighting products and accessories for photographers who want to have more control over the light that illuminates their subjects, in or out of a studio. Their representatives were very good salespeople, answering questions and providing demonstrations every day. They were swamped because they set up four small sets and provided models. Each day, the models' themes changed, with new wardrobe and makeup, so you had a reason to stop by again and again.
Since I love doing people shots, and models are rarely free, Westcott reeled me in every day. The sets were surrounded with photographers, two and three deep, shoulder to shoulder, jostling for position. It was challenging because, when you set up lighting for a particular shot, you want to control how the light falls on the subject. Your setup can be critical; minor movements by the model can change the look. The poor models were completely surrounded and didn't know which way to look or to which photographer to direct their attention. They looked like they were surrounded by Paparazzi.
Why would anyone jump into this mess? Did I mention there were free models, and we were using great Westcott light products? Really, there isn't a good reason to do this, other than to have a good time doing something you enjoy. The models did their best to accommodate as many photographers as possible and had a super attitude towards the chaos in front of them. I enjoyed being able to move from set to set. I even managed to get a couple of nice shots.
One day, they had some storybook characters, so I had to shoot Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel for the granddaughters.
This model went through a long make-up session for his war-painted look. He was a big hit with the lady photographers; they had him going through lots of poses. I tried to catch him in a more dignified pose than most of them requested.
I was in the right position to direct this model when she came out, so I didn't have to jostle around to get the eyes looking right into the lens.
There were several other models, but you get the picture. The sets and make up were opportunities for a little diversion in between the seminars. Westcott sold many of their fine products. Start saving your pennies now and join us next year for the fun of Photoshop World.