An annual event catering to photography enthusiasts & professionals; the Photoplus Expo at the Jacob K. Javits exhibition center is a free (for the most part), must-do affair, with something to appeal to, or please every kind of shutterbug – from beginner to pro.
There are many seminars, talks, demonstrations, photowalks to participate in.
New cameras, lenses, lights, and many accessories are on display, and available to get a feel for, if you’re in the market for something new.
My own personal favorite thing about Photoplus is that the major companies – Nikon, Canon, Best Buy, B&H, and others – often have models either posing for pictures or assisting with the demonstration of equipment. I like to practice taking portraits with these models, as this is one area of photography that I’m fairly weak in.
Also, there are the occasional freebies and giveaways from some of the companies – memory cards, thumb-drives, t-shirts, products, etc.
The Javits Center is a perfect venue for this event – although, Madison Square Garden would probably work just as well. The problem with the Javits is its location all the way over by the West Side Highway which is a bit of a hike over from most transit stations/routes that service midtown Manhattan.
Despite this one shortcoming, Photoplus is very well-attended every year that I’ve gone to it.
The first thing that hits you is the noise and the mad crush of people. I always try to get there early in the day to avoid the crowds that form from noon onwards.
There are numerous stalls, stands, tables, demo areas, and lecture areas to explore. I like to see the new cameras and equipment, even though I know that I won’t be able to afford most of it!
Many of the vendors/company representatives do giveaways and raffles, so there is a faint possibility that you could win a new piece of equipment ( I never have☹️ ).
There are photowalks you can partake in and the sponsors of said walks will sometimes even lend you their latest camera to try out during the walk.
Best Buy had an interesting stage setup, where they had models wearing some very exotic makeup. They were giving out memory cards occasionally that you could use to take pictures of the various models and then upload to social media for a chance to win one of several very nice new cameras ( I didn’t win one, though☹️ )
Where I DID feel like a winner was when I was checking the pictures I was getting of the various models spread throughout the expo. You won’t learn how to set the lighting, because that is already in place. But you do learn what settings & lenses work best on your camera, and you learn how to interact with the models to get that perfect angle, look, or pose.
So that is what I do almost every October – go and practice taking pictures of models (for free!) at Photoplus Expo…
Over the years, I’ve come away with quite a few nice shots which has encouraged me to get more into portrait photography in 2020.
I’ll keep you posted as to how that is (or isn’t…) working out, as I go along.
Oops – almost forgot! The tickets for the Photoplus Expo are available online. Actually, you register online and then get your entry pass when you arrive at the Javits Center with a photo ID. You can also sign up and purchase spots for many interesting seminars, talks, and/or photowalks online, also. I advise you do this as early as possible, since the spaces go fast.
Many of the walks, seminars, and demos are led by leading photographers or brand representatives, so you get the most knowledgeable people in the photography world sharing their knowledge with you.
I greatly enjoy the Photoplus Expo and anybody who has mere curiosity or a burning passion for things photographic probably will as well – so, maybe I’ll see you there next year ?!!