Choosing the suddenly snow sprinkled outdoors, I headed down to the Societies trade show at the Hilton London Metropole this weekend. For those who don’t know, it’s one of those events where lots of companies try to sell to lots of photographers. While lots of photographers ogle new equipment, software, and so on. Ok, actually there’s a lot more to it than that, such as seminars, the awards dinner, and more. But I was going to the bit that the general public go to. If indeed photographers count as members of the general public, and not some strange alien race as some suspect. 😉
Especially of interest to me were photo albums and related ideas. Funnily enough, I’ve not have a great deal of interest in the camera equipment for a while, with a few exceptions. Perhaps it’s because cameras and lenses aren’t what I consider an impulse buy. Ditto software, though there are some moments where you can’t help but get interested. Or just fall victim to that inadvertent eye contact moment. Ok, show me what you’ve got to offer… Ooh nice… But no I want to look into it… Seriously, though, it’s usually when I’m already interested in something that it has relevance for me. Which is normally when I identify a need for it, not just because I see it at a show.
Rather, it tends to be specific things that I’m interested in. So here are a few of my favourites from the Societies Trade Show 2015 at the Hilton London Metropole.
Loxley Colour have some cool products this year. Prints on wood… I like. That’s something you don’t get everywhere. Yum. There are 2 finishes – one where the wood texture shows and one where it doesn’t. The textured look does not work well with wedding shots, as it interferes with wedding dress textures. But it can be very effective with baby photos, and other portraits. And then there are the 2 sided desktop blocks. Prints on both sides, yes. So you can alternate between which photo you have on view. The more creative will come up with interesting uses, I’m sure. And there were also the Edge Prints. A bit like smoothed off wooden blocks (though not as deep as the desktop blocks) with prints… Seriously arty.
Photovalue 3XM Solution – some cool usb stick products. And I’d arranged for a free sample. Impressive. Very impressive.
Got to say, looking at the photo albums on offer, only a few suppliers really leapt out. Other than them they were all pretty much the same. Good quality, but nothing that says “wow”. So who were the stars?
There are some interesting offers from Soodstudio (reminds me of a Phil Collins song), with different shapes (triangular albums, heart shaped albums – cute). The Italia Libro collection. Still trying to work out if it’s innovative or tacky, or just awkward. Great for coffee tables, not so great for shelves perhaps. Hmmm.
AsukaBook have got some cool products too. The main thing of interest is their choice of alternative for acrylic. It’s some form of natural lacquer that doesn’t scratch. Now that’s something that I’ve got to wonder why it doesn’t catch on. Maybe you can only get it from Japan. I don’t know. But they’ve got some good products on offer.
For those who want luxury (like me!) it’s the offerings by Sal Cincotta’s stand that catch the eye. The company Signature Collection Albums by Salvatore Cincotta lives up to its name. The Signature collection features beautiful velvet lined albums with quality two toned leathers (not saying the others aren’t but I just love the textures). They’re just gorgeous. Also featured were his renowned EvolveEdits company – very high quality post production for photographers – some of the best I’ve seen and used. And they only work for photographers – sorry, scrapbookers.
Album Epoca had some album designs that looked a bit like something aimed at the bling-lover. Not my tastes, but I’m sure they’d suit someone. What did catch my eye was a rusty looking L-shaped desktop photo stand. It’s not really rusty though. I love the grungy look, and there are certain photos it would really go well with.
I did get interested in some print design software from Dgflick. It’s based around printing albums, cards, event photos and more, using software that also incorporates features you’d typically find in Photoshop. We’re talking features like curves, levels, that sort of thing. A bit more advanced than your typical album design freebie. Sadly, it doesn’t offer UK printing company support yet, but if they can forge the necessary alliances, hopefully it’s on the cards.
On the more mundane but necessary front, TWD Accountants were offering a great deal to everyone who went to the Societies Trade Show at the Hilton London Metropole – only £15 per month for sole traders to have their accounts done, including access to their bookkeeping system. They’ve been working with the photography industry for years. It’s always easier when you’re paying a fixed amount over a period of time – it makes it easier to keep track of things.
I know that alot of people head down for the free and paid for seminars. I’ve got to confess it’s something I’d like to do, and when I get some more spare time in my diary, and haven’t already put my training budget into shock, I will.
Leaving the show, as entering it, I can’t help be impressed by the many photos that adorn the Hilton London Metropole for the Societies trade show. They are all from the 20×16 show competition, and a true inspiration.
And that seems an ideal point at which to leave you, until next time.
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