The organizers of the Palm Springs Photo Festival faced several challenges. Palm Springs is low and spread out meaning that Festival events took place in different venues across town. That in turn created the need to track the attendees, their classes and lectures, their meals and meetings, and ensure that the right person was in the right place in front of the right mentor, and with the right boxed lunch at the right time.
The festival is the brainchild of Jeff Dunas, a renowned photographer who had attended many such photographic events in other places. But he said, there was nothing quite like it in the United States. "The idea came to me in the early '90s," he told the online magazine "Double Exposure" last year. "I had been attending the Rencontres d'Arles Photo Festival in France every year since 1986, and I always thought that it would be interesting to have a kind of adapted version of this event in America," he explained. "But it really didn't exist. I kept thinking that somebody would do it, but no one ever did."
Jeff told the magazine that he'd visited a friend who owned a spectacular Moroccan–style hotel called Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs. Dunas said he thought it would be the perfect location for the festival. "It's very accessible to a huge population," he told "Double Exposure" adding "and you can get around on foot—you don't even need a car."
But with the setting came the challenge. Hordes of people moving from one area to another, the delivery of boxed lunches to the attendees and participants at the right place at the right time. And it didn't stop there — attendees weren't only going from symposia to seminars — there were also vitally important peer reviews of their work – a whopping 505 portfolio reviews in 4 days.