November 2010 Archives
November 26, 2010
48 international photography experts and 163 photographers from 32 countries came together in Paris for more than 1,680 one-to-one meetings over three days.
The value of the connections, advice, friendships and business deals made is incalculable, but without doubt, the first annual Lens Culture FotoFest Paris 2010 was a resounding success.
The meetings were short, intense, honest, and very constructive. The photographers, who were all considered “mid-career” (meaning that their photographs had been exhibited or published within the previous three years), were able to present their work directly to some of the most influential people in the world of photography today. Many of those personal connections are now starting to lead to gallery or museum shows, book publishing deals, editorial assignments, and introductions to collectors and other professionals who can help to advance the careers of the photographers.
It was the first large-scale international portfolio review in Paris. The meetings were timed to take place during the 3 days just prior to Paris Photo, (the world’s largest and most influential photography art fair and marketplace) — and to coincide with the city-wide Month of Photography (with more than 150 exhibitions and a giant book fair dedicated to photography). So, for the photographers and experts who came to participate, Paris was awash in art, inspiration and opportunity.
All genres of photography were represented in the mix. There was conceptual art, book-length projects, hard-hitting reportage and documentary, poetic and whimsical photography, fine art, visual sociology, multimedia, cutting edge technological work and photos made using archaic chemical processes.
Pulling this kind of large-scale conference together for the first time felt like a huge organizational feat. Our small, dedicated team at Lens Culture in Paris teamed up with FotoFest International, the pioneering Houston-based non-proft arts organization that invented this professional “speed dating” type of event more than 20 years ago. Our collaboration was generously supported by Paris Photo, who recognized the need and demand for such an event – especially during this time each year when Paris attracts some of the most prominent movers and shakers in the world of contemporary photography. Spéos Paris Photographic Institute, the international photography school which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, provided the setting for the meetings. Blurb, the web-based publishing on demand photobook service, provided financial support as well as a stunningly beautiful catalog of all participating photographers. California-based designer Lesley Gasparetti designed the book and the branding for the event. So, it really was an international cultural event from start to finish.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the overwhelming success. Check back soon for more news and highlights.
For those of you who participated, maybe you will see yourself in this slideshow from the event.