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The Best Job Ever!

The Opportunity of a Lifetime
From Thailand to Germany for Photokina
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Standing by while Flo translates my talk about how the NX20 makes travel photography lighter
Standing by while Flo translates my talk about how the NX20 makes travel photography lighter

There I was, sitting at my computer in Chiang Mai, Thailand, when an e-mail from someone named Haksu Kim came in through the contact form on my Web site.

“Hi Greg… The reason of my email is that we are searching some famous blogger, who can make presentation in Samsung booth during the Photokina 2012 in Cologne, Germany.”

“Is this some sort of scam,” I wondered? “Was there an African prince waiting for my bank account number?”

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But sure enough, the e-mail was legit and after a month of proposals and preparation, I found myself standing in front a crowd in Germany presenting my story of Travel, Personal Growth, Photography and Love.

Being invited to Photokina really was the opportunity of a lifetime, and reinforces my belief that if you follow your dreams and do what you love, opportunities will present themselves.

With that said, I am proud to invite you to enjoy my presentation…

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Getting Ready for Photokina

I had complete freedom to talk about whatever I wanted, as long as I found a way to discuss a little about Samsung’s new NX20: a compact and high-quality mirrorless camera. The rest of the presentation was up to me, and I wrote more than 10,000 words in my first draft.

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Each presenter was provided with a Samsung NX camera and lenses for Photokina 2012 The Samsung lineup of NX Smart Cameras Me with my Samsung NX20 and a mug of me as an angel using the camera

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Hours turned to days, as that draft morphed into a 25 minute Powerpoint presentation with 100 of my all-time favorite photographs.

Accompanying these images was the story of my life’s transition from a big-city guy entrenched in corporate America, to a man who has pushed his comfort zone aside to travel the world with his wife.

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Travel, Personal Growth, Photography, and LOVE

Me in the middle of my presentation on the 2nd day of Photokina at the Samsung Stage
Me in the middle of my presentation on the 2nd day of Photokina at the Samsung Stage

For each life milestone, country we visited, or example of personal growth, I showed an image that best exemplified it.

By the time Photokina opened on September 18, 2012, my presentation itself was a lean 15 minute long…

Except for the fact that I had a moderator and translator who stood on stage with me and increased my time to 25 minutes.

Despite Florian speaking German during 40% of my time on stage and being surrounded by shiny gadgets, moving screens, and other distractions, I was thrilled to find that most people stayed for the whole presentation.

If any of you are reading this, thank you SO much for your support!

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My Days at Photokina

Even after arriving in Cologne, Germany, I had no idea what to expect. I never had done anything like this before and was a bit nervous. However, when I arrived at the Koelnmesse complex two days before the opening of Photokina, I was greeted by the Samsung staff with smiles, reassurance, and a little bit of chaos.

NX Seminar Stage Setup - this was originally going to be our stage but it was moved the night before to accomodate passerbys
NX Seminar Stage Setup – this was originally going to be our stage but it was moved the night before to accommodate passerbys

The Samsung Booth two days before opening at 8:35am
The Samsung Booth two days before opening at 8:35am

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Wow! This Place is Huge

When planning for Photokina, I expected the Samsung booth to be the size of a small garage. At least, that’s what I had experienced when going to trade fairs in the past.

Spread out over 800 square meters, Samsung had interactive displays, fun backdrops to get a photo taken in front of, break dancers, multiple stages, a model train set, caricaturists, hundreds of TVs playing promotional material, smart phones, every Samsung camera on the market for visitors to play with, and more.

I had a blast taking part in all of the interactive experiences at the Samsung booth.

A panoramic view of the Samsung Booth at Photokina 2012
A panoramic view of the Samsung Booth at Photokina 2012

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I Never Left Photokina

Every day, I went up to the Samsung Stage twice and told my story to anywhere from 5 – 50 people at each one. I between, I either watched my fellow presenters or wandered around Photokina.

Originally, I had planned to use my free time to explore Cologne; but, I soon realized that I just wanted to spend my days surrounded by the Photokina environment. It was such a special feeling to be on the “inside.”

For food, Samsung had a big area for staff to sit down, relax, and eat. By the end, the waitresses knew exactly what I was going to order: coffee, a still water, and a ham sandwich. I would say I placed that order three times a day, for six days straight.

Every morning, I walked right past the hoards of visitors lining up to get into Photokina, just by showing my exhibitor badge
Every morning, I walked right past the hoards of visitors lining up to get into Photokina, just by showing my exhibitor badge

The Samsung dining area where I ate many ham sandwiches each day
The Samsung dining area where I ate many ham sandwiches each day

The A/V Booth gets ready to put my presentation on nine 55" monitors
The A/V Booth gets ready to put my presentation on nine 55″ monitors

The Samsung Presentation Crew - Chris, Haksu, Florin, Austin, Me, Dario & Christina
The Samsung Presentation Crew – Chris, Haksu, Florin, Austin, Me, Dario & Christina

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THANK YOU!

I wanted to conclude by sending a huge shoutout to everyone who made Photokina the amazing experience it was!

  • The Samsung staff: Haksu, Chris, and Austin… couldn’t have done it without you guys!
  • Florian Wels: our awesome moderator and translator. He had to stand there and continue to look interested in each of our presentations after hearing them 15 times.
  • Peter Voss: I can still hear you talking about all of the features in the Samsung Galaxy Smart Camera – both in English and Germany.
  • Cymera: the beautifying app, that brought us all so much entertainment watching as people got special stickers, wigs, and glasses
Peter Voss presented the Samsung Galaxy Smart Camera in between our presentations on travel photography Florian, our moderator and translator, has a good laugh during my presentation I volunteered to be the subject during the presentation on Cymera - the beautifying camera app

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And, of course, my fellow presenters!

It was so wonderful being with fellow travelers, photographers, and bloggers. Each one of my co-presenters did an outstanding job and I can’t imagine what Photokina would have been like with anyone else. You all ROCK!

Be sure to check out their Web sites:

Christina Grabber

Christina Grabherr Presenting at Photokina in German

Dario Endara

Dario Endara presented his work as a travel photographer and related it to the NX20

Jeff Hutchens

Jeff Hutchens - a National Geographic photographer - presents on the Samsung Stage

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So now I’m sitting here on the floor of the Berlin airport, waiting to board my flight home to New York City. I can’t believe Photokina is actually over! What an amazing, life-changing, and unforgettable experience that was.

[ok, so technically I wrote this in the airport, and published it from NYC...]

Were you at Photokina? Have you heard of it? Thanks for reading :)

Share the Journey

  • Min Jung

    Hi Greg!!
    Thanks for mentioning us on your website!!
    Cymera also thanks you for the amazing experience in Photokina as well!

    • http://www.AdventuresofaGoodMan.com Greg Goodman

      Hey Min! Thanks so much for using my face in your demo. I had a blast getting to know Cymera :)

  • http://www.darioendara.com Dario Endara

    Awesome post Greg! Thanks for the shout out! It was indeed a great experience and one that I will never forget. The 6 days (actually 8) flew by. I guess it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun. Safe travels and hope to bump into you somewhere in Thailand.

    • http://www.AdventuresofaGoodMan.com Greg Goodman

      Thanks Dario! It really did fly. I can’t believe that it’s already been 10 days since we finished. Enjoy your castles :)

  • http://www.peter.voss-moderation.de Peter Voss

    Very good man!!
    First of all – thank you very much for this huge package of perfect pictures – capturing myself at work and fun – you ‘ve send me!
    And it was a pleasure to go back in time by watching all your impressions – nice pictures and even better discription concernimg this days in Cologne.

    Hope we see us again here or on the other side of this planet..!

    All the best – Peter

    • http://www.AdventuresofaGoodMan.com Greg Goodman

      Thanks Peter. It was a pleasure getting to know you as well.
      I look forward to that day when our paths meet again.

  • http://rishikeshriverrafting.com Anubhav Roy

    Very beautiful pictures.. :)

    • http://www.AdventuresofaGoodMan.com Greg Goodman

      Thank you kindly, Anubhav.