Imaging USA Nashville Impressions

January 27, 2010

Photo Gear

A few weekends ago I drove down to Nashville to take in Imaging USA, the PPA’s (Professional Photographers of America) annual photo expo.  I was fortunate to have the show so close to home.  Unlike the CES and PMA shows which cater to photo dealers, this show is for consumers, namely professional photographers.

I went to the show as a dealer looking for new products to carry (found some good stuff–you will see it in the store soon) and to meet with suppliers, but I also went as a consumer as all the big boys were there–Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji and such.  As a Canon shooter, I was in consumer mode as I got to try out the new 1D Mark IV.  Yes, it’s that good.

I found it interesting that some of the big camera manufacturers like Canon will not be at the dealer-oriented PMA, but still had a big presence at the consumer-oriented Imaging USA.

Once I got my consumer cravings fulfilled, I turned my attention to my dealer objectives.  I headed away from the huge, shiny booths of the big players to the smaller booths of the sellers of unique accessories and hard to find items that make OPG a great place to shop.  Accessories, software, cases, monopods and such.  That’s what I was after.

You know what?  Those booths were just as crowded as the big booths.

That’s what I took from this show.  In an era of economic uncertainty, this photo show thrived.  I heard that somewhere between 10.000 and 15,000 photographers registered for this show.  From the looks of the show floor, I believe it.  Our vendors in the smaller booths all told me that they were having a bang-up show.

It seemed like the crowd had a fresh, optimistic attitude.  Photographers were bright-eyed and had an open wallet.  Several of our vendors sold all the stuff they brought and more.

Will this optimism continue through the year?  I sure hope so.  I’ll bet you do too!

Oh yeah–I can’t let this blog post go without my favorite shot of the show–taken with my iPhone:

Now that’s guerrilla marketing for you!


This post was written by:

- who has written 5 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Chris is the owner of Outdoor Photo Gear, an online photo retailer specializing in photo gear for the active outdoor photographer. He is also our Gear Guru here at DPE.
Chris is also an avid nature photographer, concentrating on avian images. His images have been published nationally. You can visit Outdoor Photo Gear at

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