I was recently honored to photograph the attendees of The Next Conversation – a weekend of discussions at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) on the campus of the University of Arizona.
I spent five year (1981 – 1986) at the UA and many hours in the CCP, though at its former site, attaining my BFA in Photography, and the last 29 years as a professional commercial, assignment, portrait and event photographer. So when my former photography professor Harold Jones, with whom I am still in contact, emailed to ask if I would like to be part of this important event and create an image of the 150 or so participants, as they streamed out of the auditorium and onto their next meetings, I felt honored to be the creator of such an historic image.
The weekend was attended by museum curators and gallery representatives from across the country, editorial and publishing powerhouses, educators, photojournalists, and fine art photography greats such as Frank Gohlke and Nathan Lyons.
The discussions were on topics relating to the industry – both fine art and commercial – in such areas as the impact of technology, photography’s place in museums and galleries, conservation and archiving, the photo marketplace, etc.
I suppose it could have been an intimidating task to stand there with 150 sets of eyes, all of whom are well-respected within my medium, but it was nothing of the kind. I chose to bring a light-hearted tone to the job and call down to them exactly what my camera settings were, putting them at ease and making them laugh. I had them in and out of there in five minutes or so and had a ball doing it. I think they enjoyed it too 🙂