Another one of my favorite events, and one I look forward to attending every year: The Vancouver Camera Show and Swap Meet was held this past weekend at the Cameron Recreation Centre in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
This long-running show, put on by the Western Canada Photographic Historic Association, and organized by Siggi and Brigitte Rohde, has now reached it’s 37th year and makes the claim of being the largest (and maybe the best) in Canada with well over 1,000 people walking through the doors.
Speaking of walking through the door, participants that did walk into the large photographic-equipment-packed hall joined an amazing diversity of other photographers all looking for deals and eager to exchange information and ideas. In my opinion, there isn’t better way of spending a spring day than being surrounded by a vast array of cameras and photography equipment, all the while getting a chance to talk with other photographers.
My wife and I always make the three-hour drive from Kamloops the day before and lodge overnight so I am fresh for the early 7:30AM setup. I enjoy the early morning scene and have come to expect an exciting buzz from other vendors who are busy setting up, talking, and buying as one sees lots of early deals before the show even begins. I walked to my table greeting people I have known for years, and organize my table quickly so I’d be ready for the swap meet’s early bird shoppers who pay a premium to shop exclusively starting at 9am. This year there was a long line of early birds waiting at the door. That line extended all the way down the hall and stretched all the way out into the parking lot.
By the 10am regular admission I was almost out of breath from non-stop showing, demonstrating, explaining, and, of course, bargaining with photographers who were checking out what I had on my table.
Every year I go wondering what the latest trends are, or what is popular with photographers I will meet there. Last year I noted that I saw a change in the attendees in that long time sellers and attendees were absent and replaced by a much younger crowd. I could still repeat some of that this year, but my observation about the younger crowd was far from the truth this year. I’ll use the word “diversity” to describe the mixed bag of photographer types at this year’s Camera Show and Swap Meet. They were of every age, from folks using walkers for assistance, to young people accompanied by their patient parents. That included all kinds of lifestyles and interests, and specialties in photography, film, digital, past and present technology. They all were excited, searching for some sweet deals that I am certain they got.
In my opinion, other than actually pointing a camera at some inspiring subject to make a picture, an occasion like the Vancouver Swap is the quintessential place of happiness to meet and exchange information with other photographers, and of course look at and check out the many kinds of photographic equipment that would not be so easily available anywhere else. An interesting example would be my old friend, Hai from Calgary, who said he has become interested in taking 3D photographs and I viewed some of his 3D photos taken in the Vancouver area since he arrived. I knew of the 3D technology, however, I had not had the opportunity to check out any of the new cameras, until his.
Overall, I had a great time talking with other photographers; the conversations were many and constantly changed depending on who joined me at my table. My day of selling was a success, as it was for most of the dealers I talked to at the end of the day. And I even had some time to purchase a few things for myself, which is always nice.
As always, I appreciate any comments.
My website is at www.enmanscamera.com
I have never been to one these events, I”m not even sure they have them here. I know they have things like swap meets, and from I can gather here, they aren’t really worth going to. Sounds like you get a lot out of them.
I agree, there are some that aren’t worth going to. However, the large ones will have an amazing selection of old and almost new photography stuff. And for those, like me, that enjoy bargaining….Ahh…so much fun and lots better than unknown sellers on-line.
One day you’ll find a good Sawp Meet – have a good time – get some great deals – and write about it. I am waiting…….