Sign On, Meet Up, Shoot Away

~Miki Johnson

Seattle-based photographer Chase Jarvis has long been a champion of amateur/emerging photographers, especially insofar as professionals are trying to shut them out of the industry because they feel threatened. The black box -- what Jarvis calls that core of insider knowledge pros can get overly protective of -- needs to have the top blown off, he says. Jarvis has been doing this on a personal level by posting detailed explanations on his blog of how he gets his shots, how he packs his bags, even every outtake photo from an entire shoot (the pros take crappy pictures too!). Now he's stepping it up to the next level by helping the Seattle amateur photo community, collected in a Flickr Meetup and Strobist group, to come together for big photo learning sessions. They just had their second shoot day, with 100 photographers and lots of models, lights, and, yes, professionals congregating in a HUGE studio space Jarvis helped procure. Check out the video here and the longer background description from the first shoot here. Although most communities will be hard-pressed to find a professional steward who "gets it" as quickly and completely as Jarvis, this is an idea and ideology that Jarvis (and I) hope to see proliferate around the country and globe.

~Miki Johnson