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ImagingUSA in Phoenix, AZ

Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 |

ImagingUSA in Phoenix, AZ

I get a little crabby when I talk about ImagingUSA, and this year’s gigantic spectacle ensured no exception. My gripe is that the event is largely geared to amateur or brand new photographers who are seeing many of the tips and techniques and speakers for the first time. And all, and I mean all the album and lab vendors look exactly the same to me.

I’m still mourning the loss of Art Leather, which recently had morphed into Professional Albums. I loved their genuine leather, self-mount leather albums. While Finao tries to be like they were, it’s just not the same. Boo hoo, Art Leather. What a shocking loss you have been to my heart and soul.

In my twelfth year as a professional photographer (pretty much all of which, with the exception of the three months I’ve lived in Minneapolis, I spent in Midtown Manhattan), it’s rare that I see anything for the first time. And so it went with ImagingUSA 2014.

There were two stand-outs for me this year that took the edge off my crabbiness. First, I got to see and hear about the work of Kwaku Alston.

He’s a humble, extremely hard-working, self-made man who at a respectably young age got himself hired by Kathy Ryan at the New York Times. Since that big-time early acknowledgment of promise, he has shot to the top of the pile of reliably clever celebrity photographers. He’s black and a lot of the celebrities he showed us were black (the Obamas, Queen Latifah, Oprah, Aretha). I wonder if that means when I climb to that rung if I’ll get assigned celebrities of indeterminate color – kinda like me. A little Western European, a little Asian, a little mystery. Ya know, just sayin’. They could be Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Julianne Moore.

Yeah, right. I wish. No, seriously. I wish.

Favorite ImagingUSA 2014 speakers

I also really enjoyed listening to and seeing the family photography of Rachel Williams of Photographic Designs. Her posing skills are superb. I thought she ran an extremely tight ship. I was impressed – and I am extremely hard to impress. She’s also the kind of chica that I would love to be friends with one day.

Here are some Instagram photos I took from the surrounding area.
abstract of Historic First Presbyterian Church in downtown Phoenix, AZ

Downtown Phoenix, AZ light rail station modern design

ImagingUSA in downtown Phoenix, AZ my favorite sewer subject to photograph