His budget was scarce—just $350,000, coming from 57 sponsors and attendance fees—to fund the festival which was organized by 60 staff members as well as volunteers. This year more than 1,625 people came to the various workshops, seminars, portfolio reviews, daily symposiums, and evening presentations. The most surprising, touching, and inspiring thing about the festival was the passion of these people for photography. It's quite rare to see such enthusiasm, conviviality, and kindness, or such an unpretentious approach. It almost resembled a photo club of the past.