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Photo Union League


Next Photo Union Meeting Tuesday, June 14th @ 6:30

Photo Union Meeting Dates
MPC Members: $27.00 a session
Non-Members: $30.00 per session

Note all meetings are on Tuesdays 6:30 - 9:00

Meetings for 2016 

June 14th

Message & Assignment from Sally

Hello Photo Union,

Your response to the assignment “I Wasn’t Always This Tall” was all I’d hoped, and more.  Deliberation relative to camera height in your work was rarely overt, yet consistently perfect.  We looked up, into, down upon, across, back and through.  You took this theme across place, space and time.  Bravo to each of you.  

For June, you are invited to revisit any previous assignment of your choosing – or, to visit one you missed.  We had discussed the idea of how time might have changed our response to a certain assignment, and the opportunity to explore and investigate it once again.  Alternately, there might be pure affection for a previous project, and with our current assignment, the opportunity to expound upon it. 

I’ve provided a list with a number of our previous assignments below.  We will be excited to see which you’ve selected, and the work you create in response to it.  

A reminder that June will be our last meeting before our Summer break.  I hope you’ll have the chance to join us for Photo Union to share your work, join in our discussions, or just to feel the camaraderie of kindred spirits.  

See you in June and happy shooting,

Sally Mars

A Selection of Previous Assignments (You’ll find further elaboration on each of these as needed on our facebook page): 

I Wasn’t Always This Tall – This assignment encourages us to explore camera height, making conscious and deliberate decisions regarding camera height as it relates to both formal image composition, and the psychological implications of camera height on a subject; also known as “Bend Your Knees.”  

Seven Steps – This assignment seeks to reinforce a sense of opportunism relative to image-making.  Sometimes life offers us an abundance of time and inspiration in which to make photographs.  Other times, it doesn’t.  “Seven Steps” asks us to exercise a physical economy – a literal 7 steps, or less – in creating a body of work, providing proof of how much can be created with limited time and space.  

Love Poems – This assignment asks for a series of images to describe love – not in a descriptive sense per se, but in a conceptual one; it asks that you tell us not what you love, so much as why you love (it).  

Visual Prose – The “visual narrative” is common parlance relative to contemporary image-making.  But our work does not require – as a narrative typically does – a beginning, a middle, or an end.  Instead, our work echoes poetry, or prose:  A series of phrases or verses which together describe the emotional or literal aspects of experience.  

Sustenance – Sustenance is literally that which sustains us.  So we ask:  What sustains you?  There is the physical – food, air, shelter; the emotional – love, drama, peace; the spiritual – transformation, connection, faith.  We seek to learn through your images what keeps you going, and more, what makes you want to.  

Edges – This assignment asks us to investigate edges – actual or conceptual; a transition from one plain or texture or object to another; that always fascinating point of beginning and end, where one thing becomes another.  

Emblems – Emblems are simple or small ideas or objects that represent greater ones.  As a map may represent a county, or a flag a nation, so too we have our own personal emblems:  A memento that represents a time, or a being; a memory, or a dream – realized, or not quite yet.  

Come Together - 
The goal of this assignment is to create work which exploits the power of art – photographic art specifically – to reinforce a kind and affirming world view. Images of unity, community, collaboration, cooperation, generosity and mercy are ripe topics to explore in the creation of work that in ways great or small truly betters the world.  Taking time to create art is in and of itself always a generous act.  

Eggs – I ask you to shoot an egg, or eggs.  Are they your focus, or an aside?  Something ironic, iconic or silly?  Are they whole, are they broken, raw, cooked, scrambled?  Are they incidental in a broader work?  Are they one or many?  Feel free to explore shapes, textures, ideas.  

Still Life – Perhaps a more challenging assignment to some than others, our Still Life assignment asks you to find or create subjects that intrigue you, and within a stillness of arrangement explore the various contributions of light, composition, texture and content.

Black and White – While there is always a dialog with our equipment during which we are translating what we see into what we will capture, seeing in black and white is a different act than seeing in color, but one that can, with practice, come as naturally.  For this assignment, I ask you attempt to “see in black and white”, approaching your work knowing the goal is monochrome imagery.  

The Beautiful Mundane – A favorite assignment, we are here asked to find the beauty in the everyday, often over-looked or even neglected world around us.  This is an exercise in seeing, but moreover, it is an exercise in experiencing world as an artist.  

The Dark – This assignment asks us to focus on the darks within our images, and/or to channel the dark in some sense – literally, conceptually or otherwise.  

The Light – Light enhances any great photograph, and is an essential ingredient in photography.  This assignment asks us to seek specifically great light, or alternately, lighting conditions that reinforce and emphasize our goal for a given image, whatever that may be.  

Self Portrait – This self-portrait assignment isn’t interested in what you look like; it is interested in what you ARE like.  This isn’t about how you look to others, or how you think you look to others.  This is about how you feel, or what makes you you, be this some detail about your life or being.

Circles, Squares, Triangles – Pick one, and create a body of work exploring this theme in objects or composition.  

Love – Differing from our specific poetic exploration described above, this assignment seeks images of love – your own, or another’s.  

Culture and Tradition – This assignment asks us to explore rituals, culture and tradition, either as an insider, or an outsider.  

Words, Quotations, Poems, Literature – This assignment asks us to explore in images that another (or we) have created with language.  We are welcome to share our inspiration, or not.  The goal here is to not merely illustrate the written word, but to interpret, convey or enhance it.  

Home – What does home mean to you?  Is it your space, your block, your state or country, your people?  Show us the home of your heart.  

Open – No assignment, no direction, no parameters.  A raw chance for you to create and share work of your own choosing.  My hope is your response presents a self-assigned essay, or a greater body of work you’ve been exploring, or beginning.  

Click Here to Register for Photo Union

Sally Mars: Sally Mars is Producer of Photography, Broadcast and Film for Photographers and Directors. She also consults as a Project Manager, Creative Director and Marketing Consultant in print and broadcast for select clients including; Prada, Coca Cola, Volvo, Target, Mercedes, Union Pacific, Microsoft, AT&T, Cessna, Fox Sports, Nike, Champion and Reebok. Her agency clients include; Bailey Lauerman, Carmichael Lynch, Clarity Coverdale Fury, Goodby Silverstein, Campbell Mithun Esty, BBDO, GSD&M, Olson, Martin Williams, and Fallon International.

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