“Street photographers use their keen sense of observation to capture compelling candid moments in the everyday life of strangers, whether it be a gesture, facial expression, action or scene. Their method is often likened to a mirror held up to society…it reflects reality.
“The MSPF is an international photography festival, in partnership with HistoryMiami Museum, showcasing the best of contemporary Street Photography. This Festival is a collaborative effort to advance the work of photographers who pay attention to everyday life in order to capture the world around us. MSPF offers the best street photography workshops and the largest exhibitions in the world.” – About MSPF
For seven years now, the Miami Street Photography Festival has done an amazing job of living up to its goal of showcasing the best of contemporary street photography around. We’ve always admired founder and executive director, Juan Jose Reyes and his right hand woman and managing director, Veronica Valle for all the hard work they put in to making the festival a success year after year.
As the festival grew and progressed each year, we said to ourselves, “We have to go to this festival.” But life and more specifically travels always seemed to get in the way, which is why the 2018 MSPF was extra special for us. For the first time ever, Bob was finally able to attend the festival, in person. (I was enjoying a three month stay in Vietnam, so I had to live vicariously through him, but perhaps next year I’ll get to be there live and in person.) Bob described his first-hand impression of the event like this,
“MSPF was my first experience attending a major festival. It was fun, exciting, overwhelming and sometimes a little intimidating. It gave me an opportunity to meet many photographers in person who I admire and have formed relationships online. The best way to get to know someone is by by breaking bread with them.
It was a gas to meet so many amazingly talented photographers in such a short period of time.”
More than that, on Friday, December 7th, he even spoke at the festival. His topic? “Leave Your Photographic Legacy in a Digital World.” Three main takeaways were:
- Own your portfolio website and your domain name. Bottom line: don’t rely on free services and be sure to purchase your domain name directly so that you are free to point it to another hosting service if necessary.
- Keep your site simple. Follow a simple blueprint to makes pages about you, your services(if necessary), contact information and of course, your photography. Create a handful of galleries that cover broad genres of photography and specific projects. The limit the number of photos (maximum 10 – 20) in each gallery.
- Show only your best work. Resist the temptation to show hundreds of photos. Use social media for that. Think of your website as and invitation to show your work in a prestigious gallery and choose your work accordingly.
Bob elaborated on each of these points and offered up plenty of practical advice. There were tons of other amazing speakers and some truly standout featured speakers who included Peter van Agtmael, Stella Johnson, Nick Turpin, Meryl Meisler, and Constantine Manos.
Needless to say we are looking forward immensely to next year’s festival. And we haven’t even mentioned the images. MSPF finalists and winners contributed some breathtaking images this year (as they always do) and we are so happy to be able to share their work with you in this special issue. We should mention that for the purposes of creating aesthetics and flow for the magazine, we have divided the finalist images into our own themed galleries. These galleries weren’t determined by the MSPF nor the artists. And with that disclaimer out of the way, we encourage you to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of all the labor by festival directors and photographers from around the world to make the MSPF 2018 a tremendous success.