The most exciting thing to for me to see at ImagingUSA was the "Photo Labs". I spent a great deal of time talking to a recent RITgraduate about her job at ProDPI. Almost every job that goes through their company is customized and different from the last. The amount of work involved in color managing the different substrates and processes used to develop the specific job requests was never-ending. This lab did everything from retouching artwork and photographs to bookbinding the photo books. On top of that, they even took care of packaging, mailing, and fulfillment. I typically though of printing companies to be either packaging, fine arts, or commercial. I never realized the market for photo labs. This was my most memorable moment from ImagingUSA.
The most memorable thing for me at ImagingUSA was walking across the show floor and seeing a familiar logo. The logo was for Litho-Krome ProColor (a Hallmark Company) and the reason it looked so familiar was, we had watched a video on the plant in one of our graphics classes. I sat and talked to the salesmen for a few minutes and ended up meeting a GC graduate, Donnell Williams, who plans on attending Intern Employer Day in just a few weeks. Occurrences like this happen often within the printing industry and are always an encouraging reminder of the vast opportunities that await me upon graduation.
Volunteering at Imaging USA 2012 was an overall outstanding experience. Between attending classes and walking the expo floor, I definitely became more knowledgeable of the professional imaging industry. While we were there, we were able to take advantage of a portfolio review in which we met with professional photographers and they critiqued our work. Also, it was great being able to direct every
conversation at the conference towards printing. By doing this,I was able to find the printers there and have valuable conversations. Another memorable experience took place in the Art District of New Orleans. After randomly stumbling across a glass-blowing/print making shop, we had the opportunity to watch a Vandercook letterpress in action, printing business cards.
From January 14–18th, 2012, I attended the Imaging USA expo and convention in New Orleans working as an intern with the Student Photographic Society. The entire event was a great learning experience both from a viewpoint being behind-the-scenes and as a regular attendee. Working, attending classes, and touring the city gave me a fantastic experience in New Orleans.
My first day as an intern, I worked the registration desk. Here, I helped attendees login to the Imaging USA registration website and access their badges. Once they clicked print, I would retrieve the badge, fold it, place it in a holder, and return it to the attendee. I would then direct them towards a specific class about which they requested, or to the trade show. Often times, individuals would come back to the desk to get a new badge printed if they had lost it. This took a different approach since the regular access website wouldn’t allow a duplicate print. In this event, I directed attendees towards the overseeing Imaging USA representative and they would have to print out a new badge for them. Because I was the first “orange shirt”, or volunteer the attendees would see, I was also asked many random questions like pricing for the show (if individuals wandered in wondering what was happening), where classes were, which vendors were attending the trade show, etc. I enjoyed this shift because I was kept busy interacting with the attendees. I also enjoyed helping direct people with a smiling face.
My second day as an intern, I was scheduled to work a slower area and simply directed individuals towards classrooms. I did not enjoy this shift as much because most of the job, I was simply standing in one area until someone came up to me to ask a question or ask for directions. This was not as challenging and consequently, I quickly became bored. This shift was more of a challenge for me than the busier shift was.
|I knew that I was still helping individuals find their classrooms, though, so I still felt I was helping in the show and that I was needed.
In between my shifts, I attended several of the training classes. While I do not want to go specifically into photography after graduation, I do enjoy learning as much about it as I can because I have used it in both of my internships. I expect that it will be a prevalent subject in my career as well. I was specifically interested in learning more software applications rather than the “inspiring” classes, which motivated the attendees to be creative. Because I had attended Imaging USA last year in San Antonio, I was familiar with the tracks and schedules. I attended several classes, which discussed different techniques in Photoshop. I have always felt that Photoshop was my weakest Adobe application, so I am always looking for ways to improve my knowledge in the software.
When I was not assisting with the show or attending the training classes, I would walk around the city with the other Clemson students that went to Imaging USA. I had never been to New Orleans and for being there for five days, I saw a lot of the city. Travel is always a learning experience for me because I like being immersed in different cultures. I have always thought that I was a little sheltered and I like being able to branch out and see and learn in new environments. We toured the French quarter, the French market, the shopping district, and our hotel was in the warehouse district. In this way, we were able to see almost the whole city in a five-day span. The culture and the experience is very different from any other city I had seen. I prefer living in the suburbs or in the country where I can enjoy nature and a quiet but busy life, but New Orleans is one that I could really see myself enjoying.
I think that Imaging USA is an event that was definitely worthwhile and the experiences I obtained during my trip were very valuable to me. It was fun, and instructive to work the convention, attending the training and classes, and see a new city