I’ve had quite the run of speaking in Seattle this fall, and things are still happening. Since I love talking about my passions, I’m having a great time!
Back in September, I gave my shortest, and perhaps scariest, talk, at Ignite Seattle at the huge King Cat Theater. The scoop there is all the talks are exactly 5 minutes, with 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds. I’ve given talks from 20min to 2 week-long workshops, so filling time isn’t a problem, but distilling the world of plastic cameras down to 5 min for a geeky audience was something different, and speaking to 700 people my largest crowd to date. In the end, it was lots of fun and the whole night of watching the other talks fun and educational. My talk should be available online soon.
Michelle Bates speaking at Ignite Seattle, Sep 2010 - iPhone snap by Noah Iliinsky
In November, I had the great pleasure of doing a talk about my book at the venerable Elliott Bay Book Co, in its beautiful new home on Capitol Hill. For a month around the talk, I made a window display of the book, a variety of cameras and some of my photos. On November 13th, I filled up the speakers room with friends and fans of low-tech cameras and gave them a beginner’s tour of the world of plastic cameras. Dan McComb filmed it and an edited version will be available shortly for a taste of what my events are like (preview 8 min version here if you’re curious) .
Michelle setting up the window display at Elliott Bay
Window Display at Elliott Bay Book Co in Seattle for Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity
After the talk and book signing, we moved over to Photographic Center Northwest for a celebration. This event coincided with the PCNW Faculty Exhibition – Picture Us. I had 8 photos from my trip to Thailand and Nepal up for that show, which was a nice opportunity for people to see the work printed and framed.
Faculty Exhibition opening at Photo Center NW - Michelle Bates photos
Faculty Exhibition at Photo Center NW - Michelle Bates photos
The following Friday PCNW hosted an evening of talks by faculty members, so I put together a totally different presentation showing the history of my fine-art and other photography, much of which is not done with Holgas. I showed work from other series (all up on my website portfolio section) – and some of my performance photography, which I think relates to the rest in my “quirky sensibility” – so called by a photo editor years ago. I also enjoyed seeing imagery and hearing about their work by Beb C. Reynol, John Blalock, Keeara Rhodes, and Erin Shafkind.
In January I’ll be Author of the Month at Ada’s Technical Books on the north end of Capitoll Hill (across from the Harvard Exit), picking a selection of books to be featured, and giving yet another talk on Sunday, January 23rd at 4:00pm. This one will be geared a bit more to the geeks, but is a great opportunity to enjoy the images even if you don’t like techy-talk. It’s a great new bookstore too – worth stopping in!
It’s been a busy couple of months with book events, trade shows, conferences, workshops and more, and I’m not finished yet!
In October, I had another great photo visit to NY, this time full of events for the newly released second edition of “Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity.” Actually, I started out in Philadelphia, teaching a workshop at Project Basho, and enjoying the Phili Slideluck Potshow, which included images by Plastic Cameras contributor Nancy Siesel. Basho is a great photo center, as is Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, right around the corner.
Heading to NY, I attended the Lucie Awards. I really enjoy this event, and not just because I get to dress up fancy at Lincoln Center! It’s a great mix of photography lovers, so I love talking with people before and after. But the awards themselves are hugely educational for me. Most of the awards are given for lifetime achievement, so the photographers being honored have long histories of artistic creativity and career success. I feel like it’s rare today to acknowledge the long view of what people have accomplished, and seeing the selection of images is an inspiration to me.
PhotoPlus Expo was the centerpiece of the week. I’ve been attending this trade show since 1991, and it’s like home to me (odd thing to say about a trade show at a massive convention center, I realize…). I scheduled my book release party during it, and did a book signing at Freestyle’s booth, as well as presenting a seminar as part of the show.
Book signing at PhotoPlus Expo - Freestyle Photographic's booth
Michelle Bates Seminar at PhotoPlus Expo
The book party was fantastic – I had an eclectic mix of people from different parts of my life – even from different parts of the country! Book contributors Sylvia Plachy, Nancy Siesel, Mary Ann Lynch, Anne Arden McDonald, Gyorgy Beck, Brigitte Grignet, Erin Antognoli, and Susan Bowen were there, as were my whole team from Focal Press and Freestyle, family friends from New York and Seattle, and a whole bunch of people I didn’t know! The party was graciously hosted by Soho Photo Gallery (many thanks to Sandi Daniel, Jeff Smith and Sandy Carrion), where I’ll be having a solo exhibition in March.
"Plastic Cameras" book party at Soho Photo Gallery, Oct 27th, 2010
Book contributors Nancy Siesel, Mary Ann Lynch, Michelle Bates, Sylvia Plachy, Erin Antognoli, Gyorgy Beck & Brigitte Grignet
Book party for "Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity"
See more photos of all these events