Photographers and creatives from around the country met in Hyde Park, London on Friday 26th March to share prints and portfolios and network with others in the business.
The result of a social networking phenomenon, "Inspire" was the work of photographers Lara Jade (fashion photographer extraordinaire www.larajade.co.uk
) and Felix Kunze (UK Photographer recently returned from Haiti www.felixkunze.com
Picking up on the event through updates on Facebook and Twitter, by email and word-of-mouth, the interest generated in this event exceeded all expectations for the conceptʼs debut. Lara and Felix set no agenda for the event except encouraging that portfolios in printed or electronic form were brought along to show and discuss.
"We feel strongly that there is room for open interaction among established and budding photographers," said Felix. "We can only grow the industry by encouraging creativity; if we can create a situation in which people can openly ask questions and learn from others, we can achieve that growth."
Photographers and photography students as well as make-up artists, models and other creatives flocked to Hyde Park from as far away as Manchester and Newcastle, as well as some from Switzerland, Portugal and Malaysia; some came with prints, others presented professional portfolios, while a few preferred to observe and take in inspiration from others.
Following the vein of the social networking that made the event possible in the first place, attendees were apprised of location updates through Twitter, so even latecomers could find the crowd of snappers as they took refuge from the everchanging British weather! In the course of the 6-hour event, scores of connections were made, including a couple of photographers who were approached by an agency during the event itself.
As Lara put it:
"I wasn't expecting such a great response - we had immediate responses via twitter and in person from photographers and creatives alike who said they'd had such a great time and what a great idea it was! We also got asked when we were going to be doing another meet up, so thatʼs in the planning! We wanted to INSPIRE others through the meet up and I feel we achieved this."
"There's not enough going on in the form of creative networking in the UK, and it's the most important thing to do in this industry. An artist cannot pursue a career without contacts."