If you are off to The Photography Show this coming weekend you are in for a treat.
The show has now been going for five years and I have been to all bar the first one.
Having got my full kit now I tend to go for the talks, I have part exchanged kit before but don’t go expecting any freebies… You even have to pay for the backdated editions of magazines.
However, I thoroughly enjoy my days here and learn a lot. I’m really looking forward to this year’s Photography Show, especially as I now know what to expect and can go with this in mind. So, I thought it might be nice to share my experience with you, so if you decide to go to The Photography Show on a budget, you have some insight into planning your day and maybe saving yourselves a few pounds.
Ticket Discount Codes
The price of a ticket on the door is a reasonable £18, but if you book online beforehand you can get them for £13.95. Better still, if you Google The Photography Show Discount Vouchers you can get an extra 20% off and pay only £11.16. For what you get on the day this is an absolute bargain! If you are a pro don’t forget to apply for your free 4-day pass. This normally gets you a free cupa in the pro lounge too 😊
Free Mini Guides
If like me you are an avid reader of most photography magazines, keep an eye out for a free mini guide inside. It gives you a list of all the companies that will be there and a list of all the talks and workshops and where you can find them. There is a map in the center which also shows all the stands, so you can plan what is most important to you before you get there. A guide on the day will cost you £5.
I must add that the downside to the free mini-guide was that the map only stated the stand number and when you are there it is very hard to judge where you are. I’m also pretty sure some of the stands had changed. Most stands are not numbered and only have the company name when you get there, so I had to keep asking for the numbers to try to get my bearings.)
The NEC have their own car parks that go on for miles. Having been to the Clothes Show and having had to have walked 20 minutes to get to the car with heavy bags, (and a cost of £10) I was determined to find another option. Thankfully, a friend suggested parking at the Birmingham International train station, as the station is actually attached to the NEC building. This took only 5 minutes to walk to from the car, it is inside all the way and it was half the price of the NEC car parks, at a very reasonable £5 for the day.
Compare Prices and Trade In’s
One of the things I like to do while there is to trade in my old lenses for better portraiture lenses. Starting off in garden and wildlife photography, what I needed back then to what I need now is totally different. Make sure to shop around. At the first stand Calumet, they said they wouldn’t touch a basic lens. Then, Camera World offered me a measly £30. The London Camera Exchange gave me £50.
Don’t Be Afraid to Barter
It is always worth asking a stand if they are willing to give you a discount for a bulk buy. Especially, (for example) if you are wanting to buy a few filters instead of just one. However, I managed to get an extra £50 off my Nikon lens by asking if they did extra discount for trade-ins. With £50 for the old lens and £50 trade-in discount, I managed to get what I wanted for an amazing £400 instead of £500.
Decide Beforehand What Is Most Important To You
Prioritise your niche market, so if like me you are interested in portraiture and weddings make sure you know where the album stands are. I always take my mini guide in my bag and have already highlighted the talks I don’t want to miss. So I have a time plan for the day.
If post editing is your thing there is an Adobe Theatre with talks on all aspects of editing. There is so much going on make sure you are where you want to be, instead of walking around for hours aimlessly just catching snippets of different things that don’t really appeal to you.
You can pay an extra £10 per talk on the Super Stage, but unless you are really keen on the photographer talking, you can save yourself the money by watching all the other fantastic talks on the smaller stages.
There are a lot of opportunities to photograph different set ups around the hall, in fact they actively encourage you to take your camera and lens with you. Just don’t forget you will be walking around all day with your kit on your shoulder. PLUS, there will be the added weight of any extras you buy while you’re there. My advice is to take only what you need to and wear comfortable flat shoes. I never take my camera and just used my phone to get a few basic shots of the day.