Every October since 1983, SPAS faculty, staff, and students trek to the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan to attend the Photo Plus Expo organized by Photo District News. It has been very interesting to watch the show change during this three decade run. In the 80s, the show was dominated by Kodak, Ilford, Polaroid, Agfa, Nikon, Canon, Sinar and many others. So much has changed as digital technology marches forward. No one could have ever predicted smart phones would take the majority of the world’s pictures and Facebook would display the world’s largest image collection. One thing that has not changed is SPAS’ objective for attending.
Going to Expo allows us to meet with our corporate partners, our alumni, and to see the industry up close in arguably one of the world’s epicenters of photography. The three day event was very, very busy with meetings; we hosted an alumni reception, and had countless conversations. Numerous students also made the pilgrimage to NYC to interact with the industry they are eager to enter. Many have interned in prior summers for organizations such as FLUG or as assistants in the greater New York metropolitan area.
It was very interesting to meet with companies such as Canon, Nikon, Google, Olympus, ProFoto, Hasselblad, MacGroup and others during the whirlwind visit to learn more about the future as they see it. The alumni party was a huge success and attended by more the 175 including Alumna Katie Thompson (Ad Photo ’13) who was named as winner of Resource Magazine’s first annual EDU photo contest. Katie’s extraordinary imagery won her over $24,000 in prizes, as well as recognition in one of the industry’s leading magazines. Look for her in the Fall/Winter 2013 issue. Additionally Chelsie Craig (Ad Photo ’14) was named as a runner up in the Resource EDU contest. Chelsie is currently a student as well as photographer for RIT SportsZone. Her unique brand of imagery has received recognition previously from the American Advertising Federation Addy’s and the Adobe Design Achievement Awards.
It is particularly rewarding to walk the show floor and talk to many alumni who are now working in the imaging industry for companies. Several are shared below. It was an exhausting and exciting three days but most rewarding was to repeatedly hear why SPAS students are sought out as new employees because of their knowledge, work ethic, and problem solving skills. I could not be more proud to be associated with this great Institution.
– Professor Michael Peres