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Monthly Discussions, Presentations & Mutual Inspiration

‘Making Inspired Photographs’
Evening Class

Next meeting is November 11th...!

At long last I’m restarting monthly Evening Classes, and for those who are
new, “No, it’s not a class!” and “Yes it is, only there’s really not a single
teacher, because we all learn from everyone who comes.”

The only requirement’s to talk with Clark about your goals & expectations
and to bring new stuff each month to Show and Talk About. Simple.

People enjoying conversation and photos at previous meetings.

Each month we’ll expect a slightly different mix of people, but please RSVP so we know how many to expect (269-7700 or email). -Clark

Here’re some links from awhile back (2011?), but still good.

What are all those camera modes for, anyway?

If I had more hours...I would make more portraits

ReThink Scholarship video


Are You a Renaissance Soul?


How to Want Very Little

Digital Photography Tutorials

Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond's photos

from a 2011 Evening, our First
monthly Evening Photo Group

We had our first meeting in December. Excellent evening. Meaty and inspiring, and ‘perfect’ that we had just a small group, because we were able to give extra time to our thoughts and feelings about a wide range of topics, and establish a loose sense of how our future meetings should flow.

Everyone showed photos they’d made recently, described what they were trying to achieve, why they cared about it, how they felt about their results... and the rest of us asked questions and shared ideas, such that, by the time we had to leave we all felt very appreciative of each others efforts, and most anxious to see what kinds of photos and stories will be presented NEXT month! Even baby-step progress, I'm sure, will be just as interesting to hear about and see, as whole new directions.

So if you missed it... you missed a stellar evening and a wonderful beginning. I suspect each month we'll have a slightly different mix of people, which will give each meeting it's on unique flavor and character. So each month's meeting will be both new and fresh, and yet part of something that launched December 9th, with me, Bill Schreiber, Danielle Gilbert and Amy Eskind.

For January, we need to set a day and time. We're now biased toward Wednesday evenings, but can change if another time works better. 7-9 worked, but so could 6:30-8:30. If we have a large group we can use a timer to make sure everyone gets a chance to present, but it's obvious that we'll not have a problem filling our time. When people show their photos and talk about what they are trying to achieve, it is amazingly interesting and engaging. In this context, rank beginners are just as interesting to listen to as those with decades of experience. Technical info is pushed to the background, but pops up when needed, then falls away again.

Before you come, you might be freaking out about showing your images and having to talk about them — but after you've been to one meeting — you won't want to MISS hearing everybody else. That's the best part. Everyone comes away with new thoughts about moving forward with their own photos, but by far, the biggest impact and value comes from listening to the other presenters, and hearing how they strive to make more satisfying and meaningful images.

Thank you to those who came in December. And welcome to any who want to join us in January. Just RSVP so we know how many to expect.

Some of the original thoughts for ‘Inspired Photographs’
from way back in October 2009

An Evening Class to show and talk about our photographs

This is still rough as I hatched this idea just this morning (originally 10/4/09). It’s based on powerful class-like photography sharing and discussion events I attended years ago, which led me to surprising personal insights and clearer motivations about my own photography, and also helped me become more articulate and confident when discussing images with others people. So I started today, with the core question of "what kind of photo class would I pay to attend on a semi-regular basis" that would nurture, focus and accelerate my own progress and goals through shared feedback and disciplined discussion about current images. It could become quite intense for those who value intensity, but it can be self-moderated too, so everyone can travel and progress at their own pace. So... if you like how this sounds, sketchy as it is thus far, please let me hear from you. -C.

Starting November 2009, at Clark’s photo studio

Fee: possibly $10 per class PLUS five recent photographs to share, or maybe $20 per class if you don’t bring new photos
(or $10 or less if you help by bringing food or drink. I'd like not to have to do the food/drink part myself, but can if needed). Recent means in the past year, for the first class you attend. After that, recent means within the past month. Latest thinking is NOT to charge $$ for this class. May help keep the focus on everyone bringing new photos each month.

Technical skill and ability level is irrelevant. The class is for PEOPLE who want to make more meaningful images. Complete novice photographers and lifelong photographers alike. I believe we will all inspire each other, many times over if the focus remains on the photographs, and not equipment or technique. I find that technique improves rapidly and easily as interest in meaningful images grows. Minimum age has not been discussed yet, but we will probably set one (12...? e.g. my son Jay would be very interested, and inspiring too, but I'm not sure about including kids at this point. Maybe it would be good? We'll decide very soon.).

So... we will not spend much time focusing on technical info. The focus will be on the images, and the stories behind them.

We will physically meet once a month, and by email as often as we like.

I will not be the teacher. We all will. I expect to moderate the first class, and expect others to share that responsibility thereafter. And yes I’ll pay $10 too! The $$ are to help support the class.

We will sit in a circle. We will have a digital projector, but physical paper prints can receive equal attention.

It will be less about tools and techniques, and more about the human aspects and possibilities of the process, and evolving your personal satisfaction with your results.

The goal is to motivate and inspire PEOPLE to make more meaningful photographs. Regardless of their prior experience or equipment. We will likely become a very generous and responsive group of friends.

I plan for this to be on a weekday evening, and hope to settle on a night that suits those with the strongest interest and desire to take part. Looking like a Wednesday evening at this point. So if you want to do this, help me determine which night of the month might be the best. At this point, I assume it will be a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night, from 7-9 or perhaps 6:30-8:30.

Everyone must RSVP for every class, by phone or email, so we can know how many people to expect. Based on prior classes, I expect the numbers could rise to between 20 and 40 people, and we may have to limit the size, so if you want to be part of this, let me know early on. I would prefer a small group, but we could run this "as though" it is a small group, with Show & Tell by everyone who's brought new images, and some good Q&A time following each presentation.

Expect the classes to inspire and motivate, but the “real meat” and work of these classes will take place BETWEEN the classes. And we all may be talking on the phone & doing email in between too.

Again: This might sound a little outrageous, or confrontive and scary, but that's one of the goals. This is "the class I want to attend and be part of" so I am building it for my own benefit, and if you so choose and are interested in learning a lot about making more satisfying photographs, it can be for your benefit too.

So far... we have five people signed up. I'm now thinking an ideal number would be between 10 and 12. And we may close the enrollment after the first week on November.

Please share your thoughts with me, and ask questions. I appreciate your interest.
Regards, Clark, 269-7700, clark@SimplePhotographs.com.com

The things we tend to take for granted are the richest veins
to be mined in making images. - Ruth Bernhard

Clark Thomas photography, Nashville, TN

Clark Thomas, 615-269-7700
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