Our first Minot SMUG meeting had about 35 members in attendance, and the topic was Raising the bar, with Gavin Seim as our guest speaker. Gavin Seim is a successful photographer out of Washing State and hosts the Pro Photo Show, which he created. Surprisingly, he has been in the Photography business for 10 years, but he’s only 26 years old.
Listed below are some great tips he gave the group:
1. How we advertise ourselves as ‘professional’ photographers, even though we may have just picked up a camera and built a website
2. The days of apprentices seem to have disappeared as photographers sell themselves, probably disingenuously as seasoned professionals.
3. People need to take the time to develop their craft and really learn the fundamentals of photography.
4. The industry is hurting because of this trend and it’s time to educate people on what really makes a Professionals photographer and how they differ from the person who just picked up an expensive camera and starts charging money for snapshots.
Gavin is a dynamic and quirky speaker. I personally enjoyed what he had to say, as did many others, but it was very evident that the message he was preaching was very polarising in some ways. I think it’s an important topic right now in this industry. We can’t survive as a profession when everyone calls themselves a photographer. Just go to any wedding, and you will see 6 people chasing the working photographer around with their DSLR trying to out-shoot the pro.
This is where I really think SMUGs can do their part to educate the new breed of photographers about learning the craft of photography. We need to “Raise The Bar,” so to speak, in the quality of work bring this industry out of the darkness that it seems to be heading towards.
I highly recommend people check out Gavin Seim’s websites. He is a master at HDR photography, Lightroom and Photoshop. Gavin also produces the successful podcast Pro Photo Show and offers a number of workshops including Raise the Bar.
Websites: Raise the Bar http://prophotoshow.net/seim_effects/rtb/
Pro Photo Show: http://www.prophotoshow.net/
About the Vancouver Island Scribe: Adam Collishaw
I’m a professional photographer based out of the port city of Nanaimo BC Canada. I primarily enjoy shooting composite portraits and weddings. I shoot primarily with a 5dmkII and 7d. A fun fact about me is I really enjoy playing ice hockey and smashing hard rubber pucks at goalies! Having SMUGs in Nanaimo and Vancouver Island really give us the opportunity to build of community of photographers/friends and help grow the industry right in our area.
The Mansfield, Ohio SMUG group met at the Shelby Senior Center for the third time. We had twelve members in attendance, which was nice to have an intimate setting. The plan for the night was to see a presentation done by Randy Pugh, but due to an emergency, he was unable to make it to the meeting. Now, the Mansfield SMUG had two hours to talk photography; however, this wasn’t a challenge.
Our first objective was to look at everyone’s photos that they had taken for the previous month’s photo assignment, which was “leading lines.” All of the photos were great, and after a drawing with all of the participants’ names in a hat, Stephanie Metzger was the winner of a $50 B & H gift card! For the next photo assignment, she chose “animals” as the subject for us to shoot.
The SMUG ended up being full of conversation, despite the hitch. Since we knew that Andy Foster would be presenting at the next month, the group asked him to give us a preview of what would be coming in a month. Andy pulled some of his photography up on the monitor for people to see, while people asked questions. I could tell that many people were excited to see what And will bring to the next meeting!
After Andy gave us a sneak peak of his presentation, 9 o’clock came, and everyone seemed satisfied with their time as if it was any other meeting. We’re all very excited for the next SMUG in September!
Alec is 17 and based out of Shelby, Ohio. He’s been shooting for about 5 years and still uses his Nikon d40, which is the first DSLR he ever purchased. He loves taking portraits and mostly behind-the-scenes type photos. He loves photography because it lets him transform memories and people into an art form that can be shared with everyone. Make sure to check out his photos!