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Photo Contest Insider Blog

palm springs photo festival

Photography Event: Palm Springs Photo Festival in Spring 2016

February 17, 2016

Are you a student or professional photographer looking for a place to show off your work this Spring? The Palm Springs Photo Festival might be an awesome opportunity for you! The event isn’t just for pros—it’s for students too. In fact, it has a lot of extras for photographers-in-training, like discounted registration prices for students, an emerging photographer scholarship, and intern opportunities.

If Palm Springs Photo Festival sounds like something you want to look into, here’s what you need to know.

When & Where is the Palm Springs Photo Festival?

The 2016 Palm Springs Photo Festival will be held April 24–29 at the Palm Springs Hyatt Hotel in Palm Springs, California, as well as Korakia Pensione and the Palm Springs Art Museum. The opening reception will be held right after the Open Portfolio Show (at the Hyatt) on Sunday April 24 from 5–8 p.m. at Korakia Pensione.

Contests and Portfolio Reviews

One of PSPF’s best features is the slideshow contest which requires no entry fee! You can put together a slideshow of your best work or latest series, and submit the slideshow to the judges. As long as you submit the slideshow by Wednesday, March 30, you will have a chance to win over $4000 worth of prizes!

Other opportunities to showcase your work include the Open Portfolio Show and the Portfolio Reviews.

The Open Portfolio Show will go from 2–5 p.m. on April 24 at the Palm Springs Hyatt Hotel. You’ll be given the opportunity to display your work to other attendees, members of the faculty, sponsors, and the general public. There will only be room for 60 photographers, so it’s best to register as soon as possible!

The Portfolio Reviews will occur throughout the conference. Both commercial and fine art photographers can enter, and participants can pick which reviewers they’d like to look over their work. The PSPF websites recommends that you “Bring a tightly-edited and cohesive body of work … Show what [the review faculty] can expect if they hire/exhibit/publish you.” You can bring prints or digital versions, and it costs $300 for 5 reviews. If you intend to participate in this program, check out the reviewer biographies so that you can choose who you would like to view your work.

Networking Opportunities

There will be plenty of chances for you to mingle with other photographers at this event. You can do this at the afore-mentioned Open Portfolio Show, the Opening Reception at Korakia Pensione (there will be an open bar here!), the Networking Dinner (a $55 outdoor buffet dinner which will serve beer and wine at Korakia Pensione), and the Festival Party, which will take place at the Palm Springs Art Museum Elrod sculpture garden (featuring wine tasting and an open bar). Undoubtedly, the entire event will be full of chances to make new friends and business partners—these are just a few of the events where hanging out is the whole point.


The PSPF also hosts a workshop program! This year, there will be “16 intense, hands-on, remarkable classes with world-renowned working photographers and educators.” The workshops will start in Sunday with meet & greet where you can meet your instructor(s) and classmates. The actual classes will start on Monday April 25, and most of them will last for three full days. The PSPF website notes that the cost of the workshops will cover fees for models and transportation, and you’ll receive a boxed lunch each day.


If learning from other photographers is what you’re looking for, you won’t want to miss the PSPF seminars, which will run throughout the entire festival. Some noteworthy seminars include: Protect Your Work Using a Copyright Registration Workflow, Fine Art Photography Is a Business, Digital Printing Workflow for Pros, Mona Kuhn: The Creative Process, and Your Photo Book: Finding a Publisher.