Benefits of Getting Together

Union University Photography Students during a photo weekend at Morris Abernathy’s home outside of Nashville, Tennessee July 19, 2003.

Aside from learning new things, finding a way to meet up you can also build new professional relationships, gain friendships with like-minded people and even get to know people on a more personal level. 

Kristin Sayres has Ken Irby review her work during the Southwestern Photojournalism Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. [NIKON D2X, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 800, 1/80, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 69)]

Early in my career I would go to conferences and workshops as a way to get feedback on my work. I wanted to improve and early on there was a lot of room for improvement.

Joanna Pinneo and Don Rutledge at Ridgecrest during the very first meeting of the SBC photographers. In the background is Paul Obregon and his wife and daughter as well as Carol Veneman.

In 1987, Jim Veneman and I both were trying to get better. We had begun a friendship based on that we both worked for similar organizations. We wanted to get the staff from MissionsUSA & The Commission Magazines together as well as others.

That first group included as well as some of our spouses:

  • Don Rutledge
  • Joanna Pinneo
  • Mark Sandlin
  • Paul Obregon
  • Warren Johnson
  • Jim Veneman
  • Stanley Leary

This group would get together and just share what everyone was doing and then started inviting others to join the group like Thomas Kennedy & William Allard.

Attending a workshop is like gifting yourself a new possibility to learn something new from peers who have better experience and knowledge to share with you a new bee into the world of professionals. 

Building new relationships and meeting new connections are important to personal growth. A workshop gives you as the professional the best opportunity to meet other people who share your interests. It is always a pleasure to meet someone with the same enthusiasm that you do. Attending a workshop is a great way to meet other people in your area with shared interests. It is not, of course, a guarantee that a friendship will flourish but it never hurts trying. You will at least be able to find a friend and somebody who knows your “talk shop,” as it were i.e. to discuss matters concerning your work etc.

This Year

I organized this year a ZOOM meeting on Fridays to replicate the best I could this concept of getting together and getting to know other colleagues.

This is one of the many different meetings we had this year. The speaker was Dave LaBelle.

For those who love Photojournalism I recommend attending this year’s event that will be online. The 2021 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar will take place virtually November 9-13, 2021, marking 49 consecutive years of the longest continuously operating photojournalism conference in America.

In Person Events

I am planning to host some fun get togethers in the near future. I am looking to hosting a lighting workshop for a few hours one day. If you are interested let me know, so that I can put you on the notification list. These will be in the Metro Atlanta Area.