Sony Kando Trip 3.0 | Bringing Creators Together
When the Sony A7III came out in April of 2019 I was still using a FujiFilm XT2 camera, which I loved but it didn’t work well in low light. After doing A LOT of online research, I made the switch to Sony and here I am in Oregon attending my first big event with them.
Sony Kando brings content creators together over the course of several days to network, learn and create. Kando 3.0 took place in Sunriver, Oregon at the beautiful Sunriver Resort. Leading up to the event I didn’t know what to expect. Since we were headed to Central Oregon, I expected us to be surrounded by nature, which is especially exciting for those who do landscape and wildlife photography. On the first day, I saw a coyote casually taking a stroll across the resort.
For 3 days, Sony made us feel at home and took care of every little detail. My schedule was packed everyday with workshops, model shoots, meals, and networking events. At one point, I had to cancel a few workshops, so I could just relax and enjoy the experience. There were sets available across the resort, so you could shoot models on-hand. The model shoots are my favorite part of Sony events because everything is there for you and all you need is your camera.
SONY ARTISANS & COLLECTIVE MEMBERS
Sony Artisans and Collective members arrived a few days earlier than the rest of the community. On the first full day, we were able to network with this diverse group of photographers. I appreciated that many of them were easy to talk to and were open to giving advice. Sony does a great job of picking the right people to represent their brand.
SONY ALPHA a7R IV
Being one of the first photographers to test out the new Sony a7R IV was worth the trip to Oregon. For 2 days, I got to spend some time with the 61 mega-pixel beast and shoot some amazing portraits and action shots. While it looks and feels similar to the Sony A7RIII there are some new ergonomic changes to the body. The AF is super responsive and there’s a nicer, wider joystick on the back. You’ll be able to seamlessly adjust from your Sony a7 III or a7R III to your new Sony a7R IV. The IV doesn’t release until October, but that’s plenty of time for Sony Artisans, Collective members and Sony photographers to create their detailed blogs and YouTube reviews. Great marketing Sony!
Unfortunately, there is still no touch screen or horizontal tilt, but hopefully that will be apart of the Sony a7R V. I realized that if Sony gave us everything we wanted in one camera, they wouldn’t be able to sell us more cameras.
Sony built in two days of workshops where you could learn about different topics of your choosing from different Sony Artisans and Collective members. There were classes on “How to Use Mixed Lighting” to “How to Build Your Dream Portfolio” and every topic in-between. I thought this was a great way to learn in an immersive environment with likeminded creatives. I attended 5 classes and got some great tips on using artificial light. Next year, I hope to hear more from the Alpha Collective members and get more insight into their creative processes. I’ll probably focus more of my time on attending class that meet my needs as a portrait/ lifestyle photographer.
The environment at Sony Kando was so welcoming that I felt comfortable chatting with other creatives and learning about them and their work. During meals and downtime, you really got to network with people from all over. Most of the Artisans and Collective members were readily available to chat with you. I plan on connecting with a few New York City based photographers while we’re at home.
There are few brands that can harness the power of their consumers in a way that makes them feel valued. When done right, brands can create communities that serve as ambassadors for the brand. These ambassadors regularly speak highly of the brand and also help to convert consumers into Sony product users. I think it’s important for brands to value their consumers and continue to cultivate their relationship with experiences like Sony Kando 3.0. Whether you’re a hobbyist or professional who loves your Sony camera there is absolutely a reason for you to attend Sony Kando in the future.
Having access to Sony employees and being able to share your ideas with them is remarkable. I really look forward to next years trip, hopefully in Costa Rica or somewhere tropical, so I can bring along my Sony photographer friends to enjoy the experience.