I recently got an email invitation to attend a webinar in person at 500px, which is on Duncan Street, Toronto. The title of the event was â€ťLife After Likes: Falling Back in Love with Photographyâ€ť and addressed social media concerns for photographers. These things usually have about 10 old guys and girls in the audience, so I figured Iâ€™d fit right in. I got my ticket and checked into the event.
There were 2 beautiful young women at the door of 500px, who scanned my QR code and said, â€śWell hello Len… welcome to the show.â€ť I was feeling pretty good then and even better when I encountered the free beverage setup by Collective Arts Brewery, a Hamilton brewing company. Collective Arts isnâ€™t my favourite brew… a little too hoppy for my taste, but free beer…? Also, their cans are beautiful. And there was a popcorn machine and free timbits.
When I heard the big bass hip-hop beat, I felt like I was back in East Berlin, and I started wondering if I was at the right place? Then I entered a room with at least 50 hipster millennial types. Shit, even my kids might feel old here. Should I leave right now?
But no, I stayed, even though I was the oldest person in the room. And I actually met someone I knew… Graeme Roy, whoâ€™s the director of News Photography for the Canadian Press. His son was one of the 5 panelists. Weâ€™ve been on a few photo walks together and chatted a little and I thought that now he made me feel safer! So much so that I chatted with a few of the other attendees.
Many photographers, especially professionals, get hung up with getting â€ślikesâ€ť on social media. Many pros seem to lose their love for the art because theyâ€™re so busy chasing the buck. All thatâ€™s ok for awhile, but sooner or later, creatives have to get back to the art if they want to survive.
I stayed for the entire show, picked up my SWAG and left, then spent a couple of hours walking around that part of the city to try to capture some of the nightmood.
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