Google+ gets a conference all its own, and it’s all about pictures

Google+ is an interesting place for photographers to share their art, according to many photogs we’ve spoken with. So it seems fitting that the first Google+ focused conference would be all about photography.

“There is no more vibrant online community for photographers right now than the one we have on Google+,” said Ivan S. Makarov, photographer and pioneer of the philanthropic Plus One Collection.

“Flickr and Facebook both have groups, and photographers usually spend time in smaller communities, inside those groups. Google+ does not yet have groups, so the community itself is bigger,” Makarov said in a recent interview with VentureBeat.

And now, that photography community will be getting a lot more exposure, thanks to a conference organized by Photoshop User magazine editor Scott Kelby. The first ever Google+ Photographers’ Conference is set to take place next month in San Francisco, and it will be all about the power of images plus the power of community.

While the conference isn’t produced by Google, it has the full support of the Google+ team, including Google VP Bradley Horowitz, who will be speaking at the conference. Other luminaries slated to speak include photo-blogger Trey Ratcliff, tech personality Guy Kawasaki, Google+ community manager Brian Rose, and a number of others.

Content will include sessions on best practices for Hangouts, how to build a brand on Google+, what kinds of content and posts perform best, and photography-specific sessions on shooting portraits and sports photography. The schedule also includes several photo walks in scenic San Francisco locations with conference speakers and photographers.

Makarov’s Plus One Collection is one of the more interesting photographic-related uses of the Google+ platform. It aims to be a photography book for charity, with all proceeds going to Kiva, the micro-lending startup for the developing world. So far, the project includes the work of 516 photographers — something that Makarov attributes to the Google+ community and tools.

“The online photography world is very fast-moving, with the river of images flowing in front of us every day. It’s so easy to forget what impressed us because there’s an overload of information,” he said. “The Google+ tools for sharing and discussing topics are… very powerful. For example, in the first hour we posted the news about our book release, our website got 5,000 unique visitors, as people kept sharing the news about the project to their streams. It’s very easy to spread the word on Google+, as long as one has an interesting message others feel is worth sharing.”

The Google+ Photographers’ Conference is taking place May 22 and May 23 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco. Registration is open now, and tickets are $300.

Image courtesy of olly, Shutterstock


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