Here is my full round up for Sexhibition 2016 and some of the random preparation that I did before hand. I think its good to document just how much went into it planning for it especially when I come round to do it again at some point.
Prep started about a year before, just after the first Sexhibition. I wanted to do something the year after but not as a press photographer. For the plans in my head to work I needed an area that could showcase some the work I do as well as have an elegant set to offer some shoots in. Conversations were had with the people close to me and the consensus was ‘What the hell are you waiting for? Do it!’.
After confirming with the organisers at Sexhibition that I could have a space, sending of deposits then fun part of planning, sketching could take place. Off to my favourite image collecting place in the world – Pinterest. I spent a good couple weeks refining my mood boards into something that was matching the idea in my head. Lots of searching with Opulence , Bedroom, Black, Gold as keywords and then bringing images together. Then it was onto sketching those ideas so I could get help in sourcing the pieces I needed. Here is a little insight to how I refine my own ideas
From left to right – Main Idea, Backup Idea, Change due to area change and then the final set at Sexhibition. Most of the furniture was exceptionally cheap (the chaise being an eBay bargain at £35). Most of the cost for the weekend was printing, travel and the hotel.
The weekend itself
Beth and I headed off around 8 am from my home in Nottingham and we got to the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester around 10:15. The staff on the front desk were awesome and got us sorted and pointed to our stand really quickly. It took around an hour to get all the gear into the venue (with some help from the construction guys). 2 hours later the set was complete and I didn’t get as flustered as I thought. Yeah, stuff went wrong….. ‘Oh there is 11 meters of paper on that roll.. Oh crap, there isn’t.’ We worked though all the issues though, finding interesting workarounds and the set and stand looked amazing.
Friday night seemed like it was mainly people in various industries walking around so the networking was amazing. A theme that persisted through the weekend. I was happy to meet like minded creatives and start planning some seriously fantastic things. The shoots coming up with Professor Scribblicious and Bea Noir are going to be a challenge but amazing!
More networking on Saturday and my focus shifted. It should have been in that mindset from the beginning, however, learning in the spur of the moment is good fun too. From that point a lot of weight shifted and things became more natural for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem in talking with anyone, but self promotion is still something I am working on. There is always room to grow and I felt like I did throughout the weekend.
In between all that I did get to shoot with amazing people, some of whom are friends and some of the guests at Sexhibition. The quick mini shoot with Wyte Phantom & Ava Castle was a lot of fun too. Sunday was much of the same throughout the day with more networking, having a quick look at a catwalk show and seeing one of the performances. It wasn’t quite as busy upstairs where we were which afforded the luxury of being able to escape once or twice.
Packing up at the end of the day was interesting and tough. Lots of heavy lifting when you are tired is even more tiring and then getting mentally prepared for the drive back. It was all done safely & quickly and we were back in Nottingham in record time.
In my mind the whole weekend was a complete and utter success. Did I sell as much as I wanted to? Nope, but I got more from it than I expected so that is even better.