Get involved

Audience participation may send a shiver down the spines of a lot of people, but as a festival organiser I knew that there would be many who would relish the opportunity to join the BPF line up.

The concept of anyone being able to get involved and share their journey, experiences or thoughts on the topic of photography is something that myself, Beth and Fraser feel strongly about. We feel that learning from and being inspired by each other is just as important as learning from those that are considered at a more traditionally established place on their photography journey. Also, I think it will be quite a lot of fun for both the participants and the audience!


This isn’t about being a certain skill level, a professional or being an artist or anything like that. It’s about have an interesting, inspiring or entertaining story or point of view. Participants will have five minutes and up to three slides. A normal Pecha Kucha has strict rules about the number of slides and transition which we felt were quite daunting so as organisers we’ve set the parameters as 5 minutes / 3 slides to keep each person’s talk simple and focussed on what the person has to say. Plus it’s far too easy to fall in to the “death by powerpoint” trap!

The aim for the Pecha Kucha style session is to have a line up that is as diverse as possible, and so we are completely open to any topic. Your talk can be personal or general. There are topics like your personal photography journey, why you take photos, how you do something (find locations, create a certain style of photography), who your inspiration is, what’s in your kit bag, a certain person who’s work you’d like to share, and so much more. Some other things that we think could interest the audience:

  • Does photography have an impact on your health / mental health?
  • What impact does social media have on your photography?
  • Why do you take photos?
  • Who has inspired you?
  • Do you have a particular bit of knowledge about photography that’s not just to do taking photographs – something related to eye health? The legalities of streetphotography or drones? Top tips when building a website? Top tips for getting your work noticed on social media? Top tips for doing well in competitions?

To take part you’ll need to send us your pitch asap. Your submitted pitch should be as detailed as possible – after all, it will be all the organisers have to go on when deciding on what will feature in the final line up. Pique our interest and get us excited! If you want to ask any questions to start the ball rolling, then we’re more than happy to chat either by DM, email or in person.

So what are you waiting for? Send us that message now!

By Martin O’Callaghan, Birmingham Photography Festival Organiser

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