2018 Festival

The 2018 event took place at the Birmingham & Midland Institute (9 Margaret Street, Birmingham, B3 3BS) in Birmingham city centre. You can read a full round up here.

The day was chaired by Fraser McGee and included lectures from four top UK photographers, a panel discussion with four well known Birmingham-based photographers, a Pecha Kucha style session where members of the Birmingham photography community, a session with one of the founders of the original Birmingham Photography Festival in the 1990s, a pin up session and a competition.

For the pin up session everyone was welcome to bring one piece of their own work to display at the festival. The prints were displayed along with the person’s name for everyone to see during the break sessions. It was completely up to the individual as to whether or not they took part. It was a great way to share work with other BPF attendees and sparked many conversations.

As well as a print for the pin up session, attendees were invited to bring their camera to the festival for the competition. The exact nature of the competition and prize was kept under wraps until the day. Results can be found here.

Attendee feedback

Attendees were asked for their favourite thing from the day:

  • “I could count all of it as a ‘best thing’. But what stood out to me was that the festival created an environment where everyone was equal. It didn’t matter what your skill level was, you could still get something out of every talk, and there was the overall atmosphere of encouragement for everyone to just go out and capture stories.”
  • “The best thing about the festival was the variety of speakers. The variety in expertise catered to the multitude of styles in the room and has provided an insight for people who may have never thought about trying a new aspect of photography.”
  • “The variety of speakers: normally we only see the work of these talented photographers, but hearing them talk about their work was reassuring in its resonance to our own photography journeys in addition to learning to see common grounds in different perspectives and styles.”
  • “The calibre of the speakers, who provided great a technical insight, and the variety of local photographers, offering the audience a comprehensive scope of knowledge and opinion.”
  • “I really enjoyed the whole day, it gave me inspiration to get my work out to different audiences and gain new contacts for my photography to move my photography to the next level. I also felt that the networking at the end of the day was really important to ask the speakers questions I had.”
  • “It wasn’t about tech. It was about our personal journeys in an art form. It was beautifully refreshing, relatable and the speakers – amazing. I cannot commend you guys enough.”
  • “I took something away from every speaker. However the Q&A Panel session was my fav as I learnt so much from this (I’m a beginner). They kept their answers simple & straight forward & basically from the heart. But more importantly for me, it was fun listening to them, very comical and that’s what kept me engaged, could easily have listened longer. The photo competition, I could have fainted ! But then thought d’you what? This is a hobby, it’s fun and I’ve come to learn from the best today. So I got out there and had a go. Thank you for this , what a great idea. Keep that element of surprise up.”
  • “It was great to be in a room full of people who love photography as much as I do. It was also good to see and hear from a diverse range of photographers and learn about their passions and methods. Whilst I found some of the talkers more relevant and inspiring to me, there was still plenty of interesting content. It was a good central location for the event as well.”
  • “I enjoyed the Pecha Kucha style discussion.”
  • “Diversity of speakers/specialisms.”
  • “The speakers were amazing, each different yet inspiring. Two of them even left me feeling emotional, their presentations were so powerful.”
  • “Hearing the motivations and philosophy of the speakers was truly inspiring.”
  • “Excellent value for a full day of wonderful talks from wonderful photographers.”
  • “The inspirational speakers and all the people so passionate about photography.”
  • “Listening to photographers talk passionately about their work.”
  • “Speakers – all were worth listening to”
  • “Appropriately enough, the different angles covered in relation to the joy of taking photographs.”
  • “I loved Emma’s talk the most because of how much passion and love for what she does, came through.”
  • “Hearing the stories from all the speakers.”
  • “The enthusiasm of everyone to attend the festival.”
  • “The variety of speakers and their different takes on photography.”
  • “If I had to choose one reason above all others to explain why I enjoyed myself it would be for all the love shown for Birmingham.”
  • “Just awesome day of inspiring content with amazing talent, crossing all borders of photographic genres, Just wow!”
  • “Great choice of speakers, inspiring and thought provoking.”
  • “That all the speakers were so open and vulnerable and showed the emotional labour behind their work.”
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