Snap! photography exhibits return to Orlando 

Four days of photo-centric events make us fall in love with photography again

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Motion to Light opening night 7 p.m. Friday, May 3; $20-$60 | daytime viewing and guided tours, noon-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, May 4-5; $10 | 1427 Alden Road | snaporlando.com

Homegrown Florida Photographers 6 p.m. Thursday, May 2 | Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave. | snaporlando.com | $10

Snap Fashion Night 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4 | 1427 Alden Road | snaporlando.com | $20-$60

Snap Lectures 10 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Saturday, May 4 | Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave. | snaporlando.com | $30

Snap Lighting Workshop 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5 | Orange Studio, 1121 N. Mills Ave. | snaporlando.com | $30

I’ve taken issue with the art-party model in the past. Whether it’s Art Basel Miami Beach or Snap Orlando, the idea of scores of artworks packed into multiple venues and crowded by hundreds of partying art-lovers – who, as is normal at a fabulous social event, are paying more attention to each other than the work on the walls – seems fun, sure, but less than optimal for appreciating the art. Last year, I may have even suggested that Snap could hurt you (“Snap-happy: Patrick Kahn’s monthlong, multi-venue photo event may induce whiplash, but it’s worth taking the risk,” May 10, 2012).

I guess 2013 is my lucky year.

This year’s model, slimmed down to its essentials and packed into four days, looks like the perfect balance of partying and connoisseurship. There’s still a starry complement of international artists, as well as a hand-picked selection of local artists. There’s still a glitzy opening-night party and an even glitzier fashion night shoot-out, at which aspiring photogs can snap away at professionally styled models – while the rest of the room enjoys champagne, fire dancers, DJ Sum-One, a light-painting photo booth by Jason Page (pose in his space and he’ll create a wildly inventive digital portrait) and a video installation by Dmitry Kmelnitsky (“Magnetic Field,” a glowing, sparkling, ever-changing image seemingly floating in space or enveloping the viewer). There’s still a philanthropic element: See more about 9-year-old activist Vivienne Harr in “The Anthropologists,” page 14. Artists will present a day of lectures at the Orlando Museum of Art, like last year. But best of all, daytime viewing hours have been added. From noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, visitors now have the option of guided tours or can simply revel in the bounty of work contained within Snap’s 13,000-square-foot Alden Road warehouse. Whatever you love best about Snap, it looks like 2013 is your lucky year, too.

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