Some of the attendees at Inspire London March 2010 – Photo © 2010 Chris Davis www.specularworld.com

On a recent trip to New York, my friend and fellow photographer Lara Jade and I were chatting over coffee and decided to do something about the sometimes exclusive nature of the UK photo industry. Getting established in the industry can be an uphill struggle, made worse by the sometimes terse reaction from other photographers when it comes to learning from those who have made it. Lara has a great thing going in fashion and I’ve built up a decent client base and am travelling all over the world doing what I love. We both get a fair amount of email asking for advice and aren’t always able to answer due to time constraints. It is often much simpler to talk in person and get to know people. Besides, we know so many young creatives that are superbly talented and will surely be the future of the industry.

In other words, we convinced each other that we have achieved something and felt that there was time to give something back. The result was Inspire. The idea is in it’s infancy, an informal concept of getting people together, creating a community and engaging people who share common creative interests to chat to one another. We added something a little more concrete by asking attendees to bring along their portfolios.

Lara was fantastic and took care of all the scheduling and also came up with the name, perfect for what we were trying to achieve.

We had our first event on the 26th of March – the results were nothing short of fantastic.

The turnout was great, the mood was good, the talent on show was outstanding and the weather held out too. We even had an agency come in with a lot of interest show in the photographers that were there.

Some of the feedback:

- Thanks so much for organising friday’s meetup, it hit me how incredibly lucky we are to be part of such an amazing community.

- You hit the nail on the head when you were thinking of a name for the meet.. The one word I would use to describe it is inspiring!

- Inspire meetup yesterday was the best, thank you Felix Kunze and Lara Jade for organizing it! I met so many amazing people.

- Inspire meet up in London was fantastic! Well done to @felixkunze & @LaraJade_ for organising a great day!

We sent out a press release to the UK photo press should get published to publicize this and future events.

What started as 1 day of fun has now turned into a side-project of ours. We will be announcing dates for a New York meetup soon and will be doing meetups in Birmingham and London as soon as schedules allow.

Having seen so many creatives get inspired, get advice and seeing a community build makes the effort we put in totally worth it. We hope to see you at a future event.

For news and updates, be sure to follow @inspiremeetups as well as @felixkunze and @larajade_ on twitter.

Reviewing Portfolios – Photo @ 2010 Sam Butler

Reviewing Portfolios – Photo @ 2010 Sam Butler

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