by Damian McGillicuddy Published 02/02/2015
Hot on the heels of The Societies' Convention, Damian reflects on a number of 'firsts' for the show. From free keynote speeches to throwing paint at models to photographing babies live on stage, it's never a dull moment with the Big Dog on the bill...
We're barely a month in and already 2015 has been a groundbreaking year! I've accomplished a lot of things that I'm truly proud ofin my almost 30-year career behind the camera, but I'm happy to say that there's still plenty left to tick off on my 'photographic bucket list'. This year I'm going into overdrive on some exciting projects in my role as Principal Photographer and Educator for Olympus, namely the monthly Big Shoot Experiences that see us inviting the public on commercial-scale shoots (including one I'm genuinely excited about at the private estate where Robin Hood died and is buried!) as well as the Olympus Training Academies, where we're sharing knowledge and fun in equal measure at camera-agnostic learning centres up and down the country.
I don't want to go into a sales pitch on those, as you can check out my website (www.damianmcgillicuddy.com) for all the relevant information. What I do want, however, is to share with you a number of firsts that we managed to achieve at The Societies' Convention in London last month. I'm happy to say that the show was fantastic - that's a given, and Team McGillicuddy made the most of it by springing a few surprises on this year's visitors!
First of all, I implemented my own 'anti-austerity measures' by hosting two keynote seminars absolutely free to the public. While I believe that photography is the best hobby in the world, the current economy makes it difficult for us to get the most out of it. I truly believe that, as a Grand Master (bar), I have the responsibility of giving back to the industry that has given so much to me. And in presenting the free seminars, plus being involved in things like the Training Academies and Big Shoot Experience that are heavily subsidised by Olympus, I'm thrilled to be able to share 'the skills that pay the bills' with photographers, regardless of how much is in their pockets.
Another of the 'firsts' I was privileged to bring to this year's show was photographing babies live on stage - which some people were far from convinced would be a good idea! But I'm happy to say that my colleagues at The Baby Whisperer Academy, Karen Wiltshire and Jocelyn Conway (both Photographers of the Year, with Jos having picked up her title this year - that's 14 Photographers of the Year in just six years I'm proud to say I've mentored), made the presentations a smash success. In fact, so popular were the demonstrations that we managed to fill up the entire second floor and stairwell with spectators, and blocked off the lifts as well!
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 251 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 15th March 2023