2010 was a very good year for the photography industry. While there were challenges, most of the big conventions survived. We didn’t lose too many manufacturers, and spending on photography grew nationwide at about 13%.
More than these stats, there were several people who made a big impact on my life and on the industry in 2010 that I’d like to take a moment to recognize. In no particular order:
1. Scott Kelby
Scott Kelby continues to amaze. He’s one of the most prolific authors and teachers in the photography industry. He also has become one of the best photographers I know. What’s truly amazing about Scott is that he is a humble, friendly, outgoing and generous guy who doesn’t have to be. He’s genuinely excited about photography and sharing it. Via his blog (scottkelby.com) and his Kelby Media Group, products like NAPP and Kelby Training continue to make it easier for photographers everywhere to improve their craft.
2. Skip Cohen
Yes he’s my friend and business partner on several projects. You could say that makes me biased. Or you could be less cynical and say that it gives me insight into him that many of you don’t have.
has been a fixture in this industry for four decades. He’s NOT a photographer, but he’s worked around photography his whole life with a long stint at Polaroid, then as president of Hassleblad USA, then as the head honcho at WPPI and Rangefinder as well as a host of other projects. His Skip’s Summer School set the standard for boutique photo conferences and his continued contributions to photography via our project GoingPro2010.com, as well as his decision to launch PWSPI makes him an easy pick for this list.
3. Zack Arias
Zack Arias is a tornado. He’s taken the industry by storm. His humble, open, honest self-critiques have made him a hero to many struggling emerging photographers. He relates better than most to today’s photographer and has worked hard to create valuable education for photographers interested in using strobes as well as those who just want help penetrating the business. He’s a kind man who genuinely cares about the photo community and when those of us with gray hair pass on, I am confident he’ll be one of those who picks up the baton and keeps running with it. The industry is in good hands.
4. Trey Ratcliff
Trey is a force of nature who has single-handedly set the bar (very high) for education, enlightenment and art in the HDR photo space. His book A World in HDR is the Bible for serious HDR devotees. But beyond the obvious stuff related to his HDR workshops, books and speaking engagements, Trey happens to also be a gifted artist. His art helped propel HDR into the forefront of the industry this year and he deserves all the applause in the world for jumping into a controversial space in a positive and helpful way.
5. Vince Laforet
Vince Laforet is a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist who has made a huge impact this year in the fusion space. His work with hybrid DSLR cameras that shoot video redefined an industry and set in motion a change that has now permeated our culture. Television shows and movies are now shot on simple hybrid DSLRs thanks in part to Vince showing us all what was possible. His vision as a storyteller, his work as a Canon Explorer of Light, his contributions to various workshops and conferences have all served the industry very well.
These five individuals deserve recognition and thanks for their work. There are others who have contributed this year in a powerful way – but the list has to end somewhere so I’ll cut it off here. These five have my ultimate thanks and respect. Hopefully you agree. I am sure that all five would appreciate your thanks as well.