I’ve been super busy lately, but I just have to blog about WPPI 2010: an incredible event filled with great photographer friends, new faces, parties, classes – the works!
I was invited to be the moderator of our group and teach things like lighting and composition with the fantastic photographers Mike Colón and Ray Santana. It’s always great having the opportunity to give back – and I loved the idea of working with and inspiring children through a subject that has inspired me so much. Many of the kids were underprivileged and had never had the opportunity to ever handle a camera – even a point and shoot. This made the experience even more special for them. We started the day with pizza, an introduction by Pictage’s fantastic CEO, Jim Collins and classroom instruction at the Boys & Girls Club: teaching the kids about the art and fun of photography.
Afterward we took the kids on a field trip to the one of my favorite shooting places, the Springs Preserve for some hands-on-shooting! And, to help inspire the them to think outside-the-box, a photo scavenger hunt was planned: The kids had to shoot things like “happiness without including a person”. Or “Create an image of an “A” shape without using a sign or any text.” Or “Take a picture of something large but make it appear small.” Challenging stuff for sure and it was so cool seeing how much the children got into it. We definitely had a few aspiring photographers in the mix. :-) Watching their faces light-up when they saw the results of their work was something I’ll never forget.
Bellow is fellow photographer Matt Savage, Jim Collins and myself with our great group of kids:
And a big group shot with all the kids, photographers and volunteers taken by Kenny Kim:
At the end of the day, Mike Larson did his infamous camera toss where he throws his (very expensive) camera into the air. One of many favorite moments of the day was all the kids yelling in unison “Higher – Higher – Higher!” Haha, loved it!
I came in hoping to inspire and give what I could to this wonderful group of kids – but what I didn’t expect was that at the end of the day I would leave so incredibly refreshed, recharged and inspired by them. It was such a great experience. And a big, HUGE thanks goes to the Pictage team and to Jim Collins for having the vision and heart to make this happen!
Also a big shout goes out to all the other photographers/friends involved: Mike Colón, Zack & Jody Gray, Will Jacks, Kenny Kim, Mike Larson, Justin & Mary Marantz, Shawn Reeder, Ray Santana, Matt & Stevi Savage, René Tate, Monty Jessop and Joe Buissink.It was great to experience it with you guys!
Saving the best for last, here’s a video created by Ron Dawson that perfectly captures the energy and vibe of the day-long event: