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Connect 2012: Palm Springs Photo Festival

By Shannon McMillan

When asked to review portfolios at the Festival in 2010, it seemed like a fun adventure and it ended
up to be an experience that surrounded me with people with the same mission: to educate, to inspire and to be inspired. When asked to participate again this year, I had to jump at the opportunity.

The festival is for emerging professional and advanced amateur photographers. Each of whom wants
to attend seminars at the Hyatt Regency, workshops and symposiums held by legendary and emerging photographers at the Korakia Pensione and/or participate in the nation’s largest portfolio review program for commercial and fine art photographers. Legendary photographers included, but were not limited to – Nigel Parry, Andrew Macpherson, Gerd Ludwig, Ron Haviv, David Muench, Nels Israelson and Shelby Lee Adams.

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This year I was also asked to teach a class, THE BUSINESS OF PHOTOGRAPHY, to about 20
commercial photographers. The class entailed a quick and basic breakdown of what to do and not to
do with your website, how to establish a marketing plan, what it’s like to have a producer, the process of a photo shoot production, integrated production, usage and reproduction rights, and legal issues. Finding the new and up-and-coming photographers is part of my job as an Art Producer. Where are the best new artists hiding? My colleagues and I need to get out into the community when we have time and immerse ourselves into the possibilities. We strive do so because – A) we love photography, B) we want to find someone who we’ve never worked with or are dying to work with and C) we take pride in finding the best photographer for the next big campaign.

Most people don’t realize that Art Producers study photography all day and have a library of
photographers on hand at all times – whether in our database, our memories or on our shelves. All
genres are represented at our fingertips — lifestyle, portraits, location, automotive, still life, etc. We are also the ones who search, recommend, search some more, recommend, estimate, negotiate, hire, etc. for any given project. I honestly feel that without our in-depth knowledge of the talent available, most of the available work would never get noticed.

Finally, this brings me to my favorite photographers at the 2012 festival. This year was probably the
best review and the most memorable for me thus far. I not only got to see great work, but I also made some new friends that I hope to see again next year. Palm Springs Photo Festival has become quite the photography lover’s retreat.

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Check out the list of photographers below:
http://www.tonigreaves.com (Portfolio review winner)
http://thisispablo.com (One of the student photographer winners)
http://maxinehelfman.com (Dallas photographer/Former stylist for Neiman Marcus)
http://www.richfrishman.com
http://www.kevinarnoldphoto.com
http://www.victoriawill.com
http://philippstriebe.com
http://athenaphotography.com
http://www.cuttingphoto.com
http://gallagherphoto.com
http://michaelspenglerphotography.com

Photogrpahers from PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch:
http://www.meikophoto.com
http://jucophoto.com
http://kylealexander.com

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