The annual SWPP Convention  took place at The Hilton Metropole over the last few days with a number of masterclasses and talks taking place. Being very short of time this year I visited the free trade show only on Saturday for a couple of hours so this is a very short review.

I've been going to this event since it started (was the first one in Coventry?) and it's rapidly grown to be a must visit event for wedding and portrait photographers. The attendance seemed a little less than last year but visitors have a few days to attend so it may have been quiet when I was there which was no bad thing. The Photography Show  on the other hand which takes place in March at the NEC really needs a 'Trade Only' day as that can get ridiculously busy.

Over the three floors there were around 80 exhibitors some of which included;



I missed out a lot of the stands as generally year on year it's pretty much the same and when you have several Photovision Roadshows throughout the year it's looking at the same products. The trade show has generally grown to become a 'wedding album' manufacturers show, there are so many companies and not just from the UK providing a bewildering choice of products. For newcomers it must be confusing but choice is good. 

I use three main product suppliers; Loxley, GF Smith and Sim and skipped most of the others as I have such a good relationship with these guys and I'm a loyal person. They've always looked after me, their reps visit the office, prices and discounts are good and the product quality is top class, so there's no reason for me to change. My team are also used to these companies album design software and by working with a new supplier it would mean having to invest in more sample products whereas GFS, Loxley and Sim provide me with all the samples I need.

The other main companies I wanted to visit were Canon for their video cameras, Hasselblad and Nikon but I didn't come across a Nikon stand, it may have been there but I was short of time and will be visiting The Photography Show in March so will catch up with their range then. I didn't see any monitor manufacturers such as Eizo as I'm interested in buying a third PC for the office phasing the Mac out of our editing workflow.

I only made one purchase and that was a new Monopod and head which set me back just under £500.00, yes for a monopod! I needed something to take the weight of a Canon C100 and purchased this from I'll review this product when I receive it in a couple of weeks as it's not a standard stock item.

I thought the retro photo boots looked pretty cool from

With the number of different locations I shoot in I've been thinking about changing my Bowens and Elinchrom flash units to battery power models so was interested in how well these work and in particular the consistency of the flash output as the battery power gets less,  seemed to offer a good range including the worlds smallest studio flash but I may wait and see if Bowens or Elinchrom release their own models. 

It was a shame I didn't have more time to look at the award winning images, some of which are truly stunning, there really are some very talented photographers out there. As I said I didn't enrol on any masterclasses (on that note I do always find the 'schedule at a glance' on pages 8-9 in the show guide confusing!) if I'd had time I would have gone for; 

The reason why I would have attended: I'd just love to know what we do!
David Hakamaki: 20 Things Businesses Do That PI$$ People Off

The reason I would have attended: We all get it!
StevenNeeson: Overcoming Creative Block Under Pressure At Weddings

The reason I should have attended: Social Media Experts all have a different viewpoint about how we should utilise Facebook, Instagram etc; the one they do agree on though is that it's an essential part of business
Jenny Johnston: Do you want to understand how Facebook and Instagram can be used to drive your business?

The reason I should have attended  Websites and Google keeps on changing, our websites need to be uptodate
Melissa Love: 10 Things everyphotogrpaher needs to do to their website in 2018


Here's a few phone pix;