It’s been a VERY long time since I attended or spoke at a photography conference. The last big one for me was Photo Plus Expo, followed by an appearance teaching at the smaller Festival of the Cranes – both in late 2019.
More than 18 months later, I will be at Click Con in Chicago and I’m so excited I could spit!
Click Con (https://clickcon.us) is an amazing show. It’s not like the big, giant, 25,000 person shows in New York, and coming back from Covid lockdown, that seems like a very good thing. It’s a small show where most of the conference is spent doing photography instead of just talking about photography.
I am going to be hanging out with my friends, Larry Tiefenbrunn, Gilmar Smith and Skip Cohen (Platypod booth – come by if you want to go hands on with the brilliantly designed Platyball) and I also plan to just sit in on some classes. All sorts of classes will be held but the primary focus is people. I plan to attend some of those classes and see how the younger generation approaches portraiture. I am certain I will learn something.
I got paid to make portraits for more than 10 years, but that was more than 25 years ago. I learned from the greats of that time. But there’s a new way of doing things and I want to learn more about it. If you’re smart, you never stop learning.
The conference is set out in the beautiful, and very historic Palmer House hotel. There are probably more great locations for a photo session in and around that place than there are anywhere else in the USA! There are also photo walks scheduled to all sorts of cool places such as Buckingham Fountain, the Wrigley Building, Grant Skate Park, North Beach, Alder Planetarium the famous Chicago Graffiti Wall and more!
There will be models available (No extra charge!) and equipment loaners. And most importantly there will be some great networking possibilities with other photographers.
What about Covid?
Well, in June, I spent 10 days in Alaska, hanging out with my workshop students, staying in hotels, flying on big and small airplanes, eating in restaurants, riding on boats and busses and because I am double vaccinated, I have no fear. It’s been more than 14 days since I returned from that workshop and I still test negative. If I was gonna get it, I think that would have been the time. The Palmer House is operated by Hilton and they have done a great job with Covid cleaning protocols and this conference affords plenty of opportunity to get outdoors. I expect no issues. The vaccines work. Get yours if you haven’t already!
Chicago is (in my opinion) the friendliest big city in America. And some of the WORLD’S best places to get a meal are there. (Including some of my favorite Greek places this side of the Atlantic!)
The conference is August 10-13, 2021.
You can get registration info here: https://clickcon.us/clickcon-tickets/
I have decided not to go to WPPI which is a week later because I think a smaller show, in a place where vaccination rates are high, (compared to Vegas) is both safer, and more likely to result in meaningful and quality time with other photographers.
If you’ve been craving that as much as I have and can get to Chicago, come say hello.