photokina is the world’s top trade fair for all things photography, and CEWE were there in full force! Our stand looked amazing as always, with lots of our lovely products on display for visitors to explore and enjoy.

This year we also hosted a brilliant blogger event in conjunction with sisterMAG, and our very own Bethany and Felicity were on hand to ensure everything ran smoothly. Here’s their account of a special weekend in Cologne…

Day One

We arrived at the studio to an array of beautiful flower arrangements, magnificent balloon arches and a stunning table setup – it was a bloggers’ dream! Shortly afterwards our UK bloggers arrived: Keep Up With The Jones Family, Gingerlillytea and Travel Mad Mum along with 20 other bloggers from all over Europe. The day began with a short introduction from the lovely sisterMAG ladies, Toni and Thea, followed by a wonderful talk from LA crafting queen Brittany from The House That Lars Built, who travelled all the way from the USA to join us! Brittany talked through her journey and how she became a successful DIY-er and shared her wisdom on how to make it big in the world of blogging.

Photokina

Anastasia Benko then took us straight into the photography action with a how to in photo styling, which was my favourite part of the day. The studio area was filled with fresh flowers, CEWE products, vintage treasures and quirky collectables which we used as props to enhance our photographs. With so many around, it gave each of our amazing bloggers a chance to work with props that fit their own individual style. Anastasia talked us through how to use repetition and textures to form the perfectly styled snap. Luckily we had lots of natural light to work with as the sun shined all day and beamed through the glass roof of the studio!

Photokina

Now for a bit of fun with Brittany and a masterclass in DIY. We headed upstairs to a crafting table filled with crepe paper, embellishments and glue guns aplenty for a lesson in creating beautiful DIY daffodils for your home. The CEWE team and each of our bloggers tried our hands at creating a bunch of flowers using metallic crepe papers, and whilst mine may not have looked as fabulous as Brittany’s, I had a fun time trying my best!

Photokina

Our final workshop of the day was a photo tour of Cologne with MySnapTrip. We headed to the centre of Cologne and the historic old part of the city. We were lucky that we were out during the golden hour, and on such a glorious day, the light was fantastic – the colours were beautiful and that certainly helped our photography!

It was really cool being shown around by a local guide who could advise us with some insider secrets. All the tourists are there to take pictures of the Cathedral but it turns out most people stand far too close. Our guide showed us a fantastic spot where you can get the best view of both enormous spires! Cologne is a beautiful place and it’s not hard to take (too) many photos.

Photokina

We rounded off the day back at the studio with a special CEWE cocktail and the most fabulous dinner. The tables we filled with some of the gorgeous flowers from earlier and the place settings were all camera themed – such a nice touch. It was lovely to have time to chat to everyone, find out more about all the different bloggers, where everyone had come from, and talk about the day. Whilst there were bloggers from across Europe who specialised in all sorts of different topics (travel, parenting, weddings, DIY, even floristry), the one thing everyone had in common was a love of photography!

Day Two

To start the second day we met at the CEWE stand at photokina for a coffee and a catch up. Safe to say that even coming in, everyone was blown away by the scale of photokina – it’s the world’s leading photography fair and takes up hall after hall of the exhibition space of Koln Messe. If you want to know anything about cameras, new technology, and basically all things photo, it’s the place to be!

We kicked off the activities with a tour of the impressive CEWE stand and we did this in small groups. This was great because everyone got to speak to all the various CEWE experts, and get really hands on with all our beautiful photo products.

As well as showing off the current range of CEWE PHOTOBOOK, calendars, cards and wall art, we were also able to get a sneak peek of some of the new things that are coming soon. Most exciting is the Gold, Silver and Gloss Highlights that you will be able to add to the cover of photo books and also to cards, and a beautiful new lay flat matte paper. There were opportunities to try the new version of the Creator Software, and see some of the new apps that CEWE are developing.

Photokina

A particular highlight for most of the bloggers were the room settings: 5 different areas set up like real rooms from real houses, filled with stunning photo decor – a mixture CEWE products and some photo crafts projects that anyone could make themselves. It’s very inspiring to see what you can do with photographs, and how effective it is combining framed posters on the wall with photo cushions on the sofa, retro prints on a pin board and photo coasters on the table. Our bloggers left feeling totally inspired.

Photokina

Once we’d seen everything on the CEWE stand we re-grouped for a tour of the rest of photokina. Our tour was led by Chris Santos, a photographer himself, tech expert and all round photo enthusiast. We visited the stands of all the big camera manufacturers and saw what the likes of Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony and GoPro are launching in the next few months.

We learnt about clever drones, 8K cameras, 360 filming and VR headsets, as well as all the latest models and cool gadgets. We left feeling very knowledgeable thanks to Chris’ expertise and very excited thanks to his enthusiasm. The technology available now is amazing and made everyone think about how our own photography will evolve in the next few years.

Exploring photokina rounded off the perfect photo weekend – and we already can’t wait for the next one in 2018!