Show and tell

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Featuring one-to-one portfolios reviews with some of London’s leading photography professionals, alongside talks, presentations and panel discussions, the inaugural Offspring Photo Meet goes live in east London on the weekend of 21-22 March, aiming to establish a creative hothouse designed to nurture new talent.

Providing emerging and early-career photographers with an opportunity to learn from and network with their peers in an informal workshop environment, Offspring brings together some of the capital’s top professionals with new talent eager to pitch their work, get expert feedback and learn more about the dynamics of the contemporary photography market. Limited to 50 places per day, and priced from £175 to £250, the Photo Meet will provide constructive advice alongside real-world stories from image-makers, picture editors and gallerists who have something to say, and have found new ways to tell it.


“The Photo Meet is designed to help bridge the gap between emerging photographers and the industry they aspire to,” says Offspring founder Mimi Mollica, who took his inspiration from festivals abroad, where photographers and professionals can meet together at the same level in a fun, social environment. “We want to build a platform to connect London and the international photography scene through which we can experiment and discover.”

Staged at Maker Wharf, east London’s trendy new canalside venue and workspace devoted to new tech and cultural enterprises, Offspring’s organisers  say they will “encourage a work-hard, play-hard spirit in which to meet, discover and connect with other photographers and professionals, just like the international photo festivals that inspired it”. Mollica adds: “Now we’re bringing it back home, staging the first of its kind Photo Meet in the heart of the creative capital, home to the highest population of artists in Europe.”

Attendees can expect to gain an honest assessment of their work from expert professionals, including the photo editors of FT Weekend Magazine, The Observer New Review and Guardian Weekend, and learn how to get their work in front of key decision makers, and find out what impresses them. Expert reviewers include award-winning photographers such as Helene Binet, Laura Pannack, Mimi Mollica, Lydia Goldblatt, Giacomo Brunelli, Pal Hansen, Muir Vidler and Polly Braden, picture editors Emma Bowkett, Kate Edwards, Tony Bell, Monica Allende and Lou Siroy, and other professionals including Thames & Hudson’s design director, Johanna Neurath, Frede Spencer, director of TwentyTwenty agency, BJP editor Simon Bainbridge and communications consultant (and play-doh artist), Eleanor Macnair.

In addition to many informal networking opportunities to mingle with VIPs from the London photo scene, participants can choose up to four formal portfolio reviews per day, and get access to a programme of talks that includes speakers such as Brandei Estes, deputy director at Sotheby’s, Helen Trompeteler, associate curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, Ken Flaherty, founder of Doomed Gallery and Matt Martin, founder of Photocopy Club. The evening programme features Britain’s leading photography author and academic David Campany in discussion with Allende and Neurath, plus George Georgiou, who will be speaking about his latest book project, Last Stop, for which Offspring will provide the official launch.

Golden, Silver and Bronze awards will be given to the photographers whose portfolios most impress the expert reviewers, courtesy of FilmPlus, Loft Studios, Metro Print and Thames & Hudson.

Offspring Photo Meet takes place at Maker Wharf on the weekend of 21-22 March. British Journal of Photography is the official media sponsor, and will be showcasing this year’s ‘Ones to Watch’ on the Sunday evening. Tickets to attend are priced £250 for two days fully inclusive of four portfolio reviews per day, all talks and events and Saturday evening drinks. A one-day ticket is priced £175. Evening places for Saturday’s panel discussion with David Campany and party are £10.