PHOTO LA Approaches! January 18-21, 2007

PHOTO LA is less than a month away, admittedly my favorite of all the photography gallery expos. If you feel that your work is ready to take to market, there is no better way to gain awareness on the marketplace than to attend Photo LA. This annual fair held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium affords you the opportunity to learn which artists are represented in many of the best photography galleries (as well as view recent titles by the most important publishers of photography titles) (click here to view Exhibitors), what their pricing structure is, how their work is presented, and how their dealers speak about the work. It is a terrific window on the market TODAY. This is NOT, however, a chance for you to show your work to the dealers (the worst “first impression” you can make!). These dealers have not invested mightily in participating at Photo LA with a goal of “scouting” for new talent. To the contrary, Photo LA allows you the chance to narrow your sights to the list of those galleries and publishers most likely to respond to your work. I find it incredibly insightful to look and LISTEN to the dialogue between dealers and prospective buyers. Being present is an investment in building your career by compiling a short list of dealers that you wish to add to your mailing list, hear them lecture about photography, enter competitions that they are jurying, and invest in portfolio review events where they will be participating.

Beyond walking for floors and being inpired by great photography and great books, don’t miss the programming offered at the fair, from the morning collecting seminars (which allow access to the show floor before the public is allowed to enter), the lectures by artists on Friday and Saturday (among them Mona Kuhn, Alec Soth and Todd Hido). Additionally, the annual seminar offered by Center (formerly known as the Santa Fe Center for Photography) is titled “Center Thyself,” on building strong professional relationships in our industry. Speakers include Tim Wride of the No Strings Foundation, Michael Dawson, Director, Michael Dawson Gallery and Mark Pinsukanjana, Publisher, MB Editions/Modernbook Gallery.

Photo LA is also one of the most affordable of the art fairs, as airfares to LAX are always competitive (with JetBlue and Southwest flying servicing LAX), the airport is a short shuttle bus ride to Santa Monica, and there is a wide range of motel/hotel options within walking distance of the Civic Auditorim and the Doubletree Suites across the street (where the lectures by artists and CENTER’s seminar are held) as well as the beach – all on foot, easily. You can’t attend a more interesting expo with such travel/hotel ease!

NOTE: Student rate is $45. For others, the price for this seminar goes up from $85.00 to $115.00 on JANUARY 4 – register soon!

I’m leading one of the morning collecting seminars (Sunday, January 21) so perhaps I’ll see you there!

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