Photography festivals are an excellent opportunity to learn new skills, connect with fellow photographers and just have a great time. If you are looking to attend a photography festival this year, then consider one of these 7 events, each with their own take on bringing people together through photography.
Paris, France – May 18-20, 2018
What better place for a street photography festival than the birthplace of street photography itself? This May, 80 photographers from 5 continents will showcase their best contemporary street and documentary photography. In addition, The Street Collective will lead a special workshop specifically conceived for street shooters in Paris.
Why “Sans Frontiers”? Here’s what the event organizers have to say about it:
“Sans frontières is the French equivalent for ‘without borders’. New borders are increasingly being constructed in the world, be they physical or social, or simply ones in our heads. Better than any other art form or language, photography can document the world around us, crossing the borders and seeking the beauty overlooked by other people.
The concept of “no borders” also relates to technical aspects of photography. Street photographers are not limited to using film or digital, shooting in black and white or color, utilizing a real camera or a modern smartphone.””
San Francisco, California, USA – June 4-10, 2018
Let’s just start by saying that we’re talking about a full week of photowalks, lectures, slideshows and gallery openings that are all completely FREE. Worth a plane ticket to California? We think so. This festival is all about international street photography. A big part of the festival is the International Street Photography Awards, which is open now for entries. Contestants do have to pay an entry fee, but those funds ensure the rest of the festival is free of charge to visitors and participants. There are tons of events going on in conjunction with the festival, but for now we’ll just mention a few of the planned workshops:
- Jeff Mermelstein, 5-day street photography workshop
- Full Frontal Flash Collective, 3-day flash street photography workshop
- Andy Kochanowski and TC Lin, 3-day Burn My Eye street photography workshop
- Ibarionex Perello, 2-day street photography workshop
Talk about getting instruction from a seasoned mentor. These workshops do come at a cost, but honestly the prices are very reasonable, considering who you’ll be learning from. Check out the festival website for more information.
Palm Springs, California, USA – May 6-8, 2018
This photo festival isn’t strictly about street photography, but it is a great place to spend a few days doing some intensive learning. This is what festival organizers have to say about the impact of the event:
“The Palm Springs Photo Festival Connect 2018 offers the opportunity for professional, emerging professional & serious advanced amateur photographers to study with legendary photographers, show portfolios in our celebrated portfolio review program, check out the latest gear, attend cutting-edge seminars, symposiums, networking events and enjoy evening presentations by world famous image-makers. The inevitable relationships that are made or renewed at PSPF can oftentimes be transformative. This is your community!”
A few of the planned workshops that might be of interest to street photographers are as follows:
- Debbie Fleming Caffery – The Long-term Project
- Deanne Fitzmaurice – Documentary Storytelling
- Tim Griffith – Architecture: Building Relationships
- Todd Hiddo – Nocturnal Narratives: The Night Urban & Desert Landscape
There are a ton of other events going on at this festival, but one event you will definitely want to take advantage of if you attend is the workshop’s portfolio review sessions. Getting your work reviewed by talented photographers can help you take your images to the next level. Visit the festival website for a full line-up of events.
Kassel, Germany – May 31-June 3, 2018
This festival is ideal for anyone interesting in publishing their work as a photobook. Part of the festival is a competition for the best unpublished photobook mock-up, in which participants are invited to present their work in book form to be judged by an international jury together with the Verlag Kettler publishing house. The winner will have their work published by said publishing house. Here’s a little more on the festival from its organizers:
“The 10th anniversary FOTOBOOKFESTIVAL will be a long weekend full of artist lectures, talks, exhibitions, book reviews, special events and an international book market. The KASSEL PHOTOBOOK AWARD 2018 will show the best photobooks from the previous year selected by international experts, all shortlisted books of the KASSEL DUMMY AWARD 2018 will be on display. Every night, the festival’s evening venue DOCK4 will host special events and the 10th anniversary party on Saturday 2 June.”
New York, USA – September 13-23, 2018
Now in its 7th year, Photoville is once again bringing photography to the center stage in Brooklyn, NYC. This year, over 75 shipping containers will contain photographic exhibits along with outdoor exhibitions all dedicated to photographic storytelling. Free talks and workshops will be available for photographers of all ages and skill levels. There will also be an Education Day, which will serve NYC middle and high school students, giving them an opportunity to learn about visual storytelling. Oh and did we mention there is a beer garden?
New York, USA – October 25-27, 2018
This expo is dedicated to all things photography in general. While its focus is not specifically street photography, it is an excellent opportunity to learn about general photography techniques and gear. Here’s what the organizers have to say about it:
“PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo was founded in 1983, and is the largest photography and imaging show in North America. Nearly 20,000 professional photographers, photography enthusiasts, videographers, students and educators from around the world attend the conference and expo. PhotoPlus features over 100 educational seminars, Photo Walks and Master Classes, and over 200 exhibitors and brands displaying thousands of the latest products and services for you to touch, try and compare.”
#7 Photo London
London, UK – May 17-20, 2018
“Photo London was created to give London an international photography event befitting the city’s status as a global cultural capital. Now in its fourth edition, Photo London has established itself as a world-class photography fair and as a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community. From the capital’s major museums, to its auction houses, galleries large and small, right into the burgeoning creative communities in the East End and South London, Photo London harnesses the city’s outstanding creative talent and brings together the world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors, dealers and the public to celebrate photography, the medium of our time.”
The medium of our time – I love that expression. And this is for sure an amazing event to attend if you are in (or can make it to) the London area. Galleries, exhibitions, lectures, and an awards ceremony all form part of this festival. One of our favorite additions in the 2018 line up? The Pavillion Commision: Daido Moriyama.
This is by no means a complete list of photography festivals going on in 2018. If I didn’t include one of your favorite photography festivals in this list, (especially smaller, local events that don’t get much coverage) feel free to shoot me an email (email@example.com) and we’ll do our best to spread the word with our readers in a future post!