2012 | Photography Exposition at the Antigua Aduana building in San Jose Costa Rica

Photography Exposition

Antigua Aduana Building

As a photography company in Costa Rica we were compelled to go to the Photography Exposition or Expo Foto near downtown San Jose. The Antigua Aduana (Old Customs) building was just right for such an event. There was attended parking for only $2, beautiful light from the stained glass windows and ample space for the exhibitors. There are not many photography retailers in Costa Rica, a fact we found out during the several weeks it took us to find someone that would clean our Nikon lenses. We finally did find a company, Tec-Fot and we were disappointed not to see them at this event. They did a great job.

We anticipated meeting other local photographers based on our experience with photography expositions in the U.S. It was not the case here. There were images displayed but the photographers were no where to be found. We expected that the photographers would be standing by their work even if it was the last day and their feet were killing them, because that’s what we had done in the past.

Inside Antigua Aduana

Lighting Display Expo Foto

Besides the two local booths that had both good equipment displays and a helpful staff (like the company pictured above) the large sponsors are what made the event worth attending. Olympus had both technical and fun displays, as shown by this fake beach set up. There was an Olympus camera on a stand on the left hand side so you could view the cameras capabilities but no one seemed to notice it. Everyone just got our their phone and took a picture with it.

Fake Beach Set up

They even had nice, colorful set-ups so that you could test their cameras color and focus options. Unfortunately, there was no one there to tell people what it was for.

Olympus Display Expo Foto

Epson had a nice display, enough said.

Epson Model

Sony seemed to be the only company that had photography professionals in mind. They had high end products and their new line of travel worthy gear displayed prominently. There were plenty of knowledgeable Rep’s on hand to answer questions.  They also had the cute doll box for fun. I am doll parts (A free gift goes to the first person that puts the name of the band in the comment section).

Pro Lenses Sony

Sony Camera Display

Dollbox at Foto Expo

There were nice displays of well known Costa Rican photographers with examples of their work and interviews. We learned a lot at this section.

Mario Castillo Display

Display Arnoldo Bolanos

Right after the Camera Obscura and the catered food section, we found the Speakers Area which doubled as the Movie Showing area. During the 3 day event they showed a movie every evening including Flags of our Fathers by Clint Eastwood. We were lucky enough to meet the Keynote Speaker, Roberto Salas. Roberto is well known for his work of Fidel Castro in which he and his father have shot joint projects dating back to before Castro led Cuba. Roberto was born in New York and currently lives in Havana. If you don’t know about him look him up. He has done so much great work. His images have been featured in Life magazine and he has been a UN correspondent. He also is a bird lover but says he doesn’t have to patience to photograph birds. I of course, handed him a business card and said” I don’t care if you clean your teeth with it. I just have to give you one.”

Speaker's Room Antigua Aduana

Roberto Salas Photo

Overall, we had a good time and Barry did find a UV filter that he needed. He was a bit disappointed that this expo seemed to be geared towards amateurs and beginners, but realizes that you must cater to your audience and the audience here seemed to be young Tico’s just learning about the craft. That being said, we did only visit on Sunday, the last day of the expo foto. The biggest fail was one local company who put the rudest guy ever in their booth. We will never, ever go there or recommend them. He seemed to think that he was the most important person on earth and had obviously not been clued in to trade show etiquette. Even if we were tourists just visiting for the week there was no reason for him to act a fool. The shop is in San Jose and they have 4 letter to their name. I won’t put the name because I prefer they not get any attention at all from my site.


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