Bill Skinner

In the months before Brianna Lamberson began studying photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, she heard a rumor that there were bootleg copies of Photoshop floating around campus. Four years later, though, the 22-year-old aspiring photo pro was still looking for that fabled free software. “When I got here, I realized that it was all a legend. The school really put a lockdown on that stuff,” said Lamberson, who’s spent her college career growing increasingly tired of borrowing the cameras, lighting equipment, computers and software programs she needs to turn out her work. Lamberson, now shooting weddings in addition to her

Incredible as it seems to those of us required to work trade show floors for business, some real people actually pay to stroll through carpeted convention halls...for fun. Case in point: Photoplus Expo (PPE), an annual conference for photographers of all levels, held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. About 27,000 photo pros and enthusiasts flooded PPE, crowding the Apple, Sony, Canon, Epson, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax booths, browsing 300 others, taking careful notes at tech-tip seminars and, of course, shooting everything that glistened. Though the attendees skew pro and are more likely to drop big bucks on equipment than the average

Like most store managers, Bill Skinner is a hybrid. Some days he’s a personnel director, others, a salesman, but always, a strategist. As the professional photography market has shrunk, Skinner has decided to go after a category of customer he calls “the photocrat.” “These are everyday people who’ve become passionate about making images,” he explains. “They may start with point-and-shoots, but they move up to D-SLR’s and at that point, decide they want to take control of the image they’re making instead of letting the camera do it. They realize that P [an automatic camera mode] doesn’t stand for ‘professional,’ and they’re

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