May starts the round of camera fairs — London, Paris
I love camera fairs and May is always my favourite month of the year because it really starts the ball rolling. For photographers in south east England the month kicks off on Sunday with one of the regular the South London Camera Fairs organised by George Kozobolis. It's a relatively small but intimate affair held in the village of Bexley on the south-east edge of Greater London.
As with all similar events it's the early bird wot gets all the choicest worms, so aim to be there for 8 am if you don't want to miss anything. Come one o'clock and exhibitors are thinking of heading for home.
Full details of all the events mentioned in this article are shown at the foot of the text.
Next up for London fans is the much bigger Photographica event which attracts international buyers and is always a frenzy of activity. Organised by the Photographic Collectors' Club GB, this large fair takes place on May 21 in London's Victoria district.
But for real fair mania you shouldn't miss Paris. The Bievres Photo Fair takes over the entire small town of Bievres which it situated near Versailles, about 28km south-west of Paris. This year it has edged itself just into June — on the weekend of June 3 and 4.
Unlike most other events, Bièvres is an outdoor fair so weather is an important factor. In 2015 the weather was glorious but last year was a bit of a washout. Stalls occupy the entire centre of the town which becomes a true Mecca for photographers on this one weekend a year. Bièvres is the largest camera fair in Europe and attracts buyers from all over the world — including a large contingent from England and many far eastern visitors.
I'll be there again — I'm travelling with the team from Red Dot Cameras and MW Classic Cameras — and look forward to meeting old friends from the British vintage camera scene, including my friend Peter Loy. Bièvres has become an annual fest for me and I look forward to spending the weekend mooching around the stalls and grabbing some photographs.
May 7, 2017: South London Camera Fair, Freemantle Hall, Bexley High Street, Bexley Village, DA5 1AA. Open from 8 am to 2 pm. Early entry from 8 am, £5; from 10 am, £2. Parking at nearby Bexley Station or Bexley High Street Car Park, DA5 1LB.
May 21, 2017: Photographica, Royal Horticultural Hall, Vincent Square, Victoria, SW1P 2PE. Opening times 10am-4pm but early entry possible at extra charge (See website for details).