Promotions Galore at SXSW Interactive

Lisa, Sarah and Elena for Samsung, SXSW Interactive - Austin, Texas

Lisa, Sarah and Elena for Samsung, SXSW Interactive – Austin, Texas

The storm cleared last night and today was a beautiful late winter day in Austin, Texas — sunny and 70 degrees. I headed downtown for some street portraits and to check out what’s happening this year at SXSW Interactive.

I don’t have a long history of going to these things so I can only compare this to what I saw last year. It seems like this year, there are more storefronts rented out, for several days, as promotional showrooms. I saw big splashes by Microsoft, Warner Brothers and Samsung. It was also nice that these places were open to regular people, like me, who did not have a SXSW badge. Some of them even served drinks and food. It’s my birthday today so I gladly partook in some free, mid-day alcoholic beverages. Combined with taking candid and posed portraits, it was a fine way to spend the afternoon. The family celebration was later in the evening so I had several hours to photographically explore.

Tablets at the Windows Studio, SXSW Interactive - Austin, Texas

Tablets at the Windows Studio, SXSW Interactive – Austin, Texas

As usual, I travelled light, opting this time to take my Olympus E-P3 with the 25mm f1.4 and my Olympus XZ-1. My most often used (these days) E-PM2 and 14mm was left at home. I will use it tomorrow at the giant SXSW Photowalk being organized by Trey Ratcliff. Today, I was planning to concentrate more on people instead of architecture. The 25mm (50mm equivalent) lens strikes a nice balance for candid photography as well as portraits. The XZ-1 point in shoot was going to fill the gaps with its 28mm to 112mm equivalent zoom lens.

Warner Brothers' Revolution, SXSW Interactive - Austin, Texas

Warner Brothers’ Revolution, SXSW Interactive – Austin, Texas

80's Flashback, SXSW Interactive - Austin, Texas

80’s Flashback, SXSW Interactive – Austin, Texas

Dancing on 6th Street, SXSW Interactive - Austin, Texas

Dancing on 6th Street, SXSW Interactive – Austin, Texas

As usual, people found creative ways to showcase their products and services. Nicely decked out showrooms are always popular especially when they have tchotchkes. But organizations with smaller budgets also had their own unique style. There was a colorful, 80’s leotard wearing troupe, dancing through 6th street, which gave me Olivia Newton-John flashbacks (Let’s get Physical, anyone?). The only problem was that I didn’t know what they were promoting.

Props for impromptu photographs were also popular, both Flickr (Yahoo) and Phunware used them. Think about this. Only several years ago, photo props wouldn’t work unless you supplied a camera and a photographer. These days of course, with the advent of smartphones, almost everyone has a camera with them. Common place now but it would’ve been unheard of just 1/2 decade ago.

Phunware Poses on 6th Street, SXSW Interactive - Austin, Texas

Phunware Poses on 6th Street, SXSW Interactive – Austin, Texas

Zoomdata Guy, SXSW Interactive - Austin, Texas

Zoomdata Guy, SXSW Interactive – Austin, Texas

Shelby for Samsung, SXSW Interactive - Austin, Texas

Shelby for Samsung, SXSW Interactive – Austin, Texas

One more change SXSW made this year was to separate the Games Conference into a free, publicly accessible venue south of the river. I took my boys to see it yesterday. And although the older, 14-year-old is too cool to be excited by this, the younger one was really blow away. It’s nice that the organizers and the sponsors have opened up some of these events to the people beyond the badge holders. SXSW has gotten so large that it has a big, sometimes negative, impact on Austin. It’s fantastic that everything is not just a badge accessed, walled garden. It certainly makes it more fun for me, at least. Let’s see what 2014 brings.

Lauren and Nicole for TrueAbility, SXSW Interactive - Austin, Texas

Lauren and Nicole for TrueAbility, SXSW Interactive – Austin, Texas

Tiffany for Xi3 Corp, SXSW Interactive Game Conference - Austin, Texas

Tiffany for Xi3 Corp, SXSW Interactive Game Conference – Austin, Texas

Photographs taken with the Olympus E-P3 with a Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 and my Olympus XZ-1 point and shoot.

Click on the photographs to see a larger image and hover over the photos to see the exposure detail.


6 thoughts on “Promotions Galore at SXSW Interactive

    1. LOL, Gregg. Guilty as charged. You know there tends to be more women at these showrooms but I do admit there is a bias towards women in my photos.

  1. Happy birthday — and congratulations on the quality you’re getting out of the Olympus point-and-shoot.

    Boot that image of the four Phunwear ladies up to 2xLarge by clicking on it and resizing in the gallery display. The clarity and dynamic range are terrific.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s