Saturday, January 21, 2006


Before moving on to all the fun and silly things that will inevitably happen here, let me start off by saying “Thanks for checking this thing out!” I’m not sure how you ended up here, but I’m glad you did. The links below (same on right) will provide [hopefully] useful information about us. Thanks again!

  • About Us

  • Who What When Where Why

  • FAQ's

  • Online Community

  • Looking to the Future
  • About Us

    Learning, Serving, Teaching, Inspiring,

    For starters, the group is largely determined by the individuals (that’s you!). I don’t know why you came to this site, but somewhere in the back of your mind you were thinking, “I wonder if…” and that’s exactly what I want to hear about. All of us will probably have somewhat different goals of what we would like to get out of it, but here’s a little bit of what I have in mind.


    “Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting.” -Ivan Illich

    A place for learning photography. That class you’ve been wanting to take?? Well, here’s your opportunity! Granted, it’s not a dedicated classroom, but do you really need a classroom to learn something? A bit of a tangent, I think some of the most valuable lessons in life are learned outside the classroom, but I digress. This is perhaps an oversimplification but as I see it, a formal photography class will do two things: teach you how to produce results, and give you a schedule for producing those results. Well….that’s pretty much what we’ll be doing together!

    One of my goals for each semester is that those who are actively involved will come away with a portfolio they can be proud of. I’m amazed by the number of people who like to take pictures, but don’t have a solid collection of photos –even if it’s just a simple online photo album. Not only will it be fun, it will be a time of personal growth too.

    Sure, we could get together every week and take pictures for the fun of it, but what’s the point?? In addition to the personal growth aspect I just touched on, it will also be an opportunity to help others. Part of using your talents is knowing when and where to use them. Below are a few suggestions of opportunities to practice what we’ve learned, with the mindset that we’re doing it because we love it and because it will be a blessing to others.

    Sunday mornings at NCC -- ministries, theaters, people, etc.
    Ebenezers Photos
    Small Group photos
    Buzz Conference
    Your idea here

    It’s often said, “If you want to find out how much you know about something, teach it to someone else.” Everybody has something to teach to somebody else, and I’m not talking strictly about photography. A large part of coming together as a group is so that we can share experiences and learn from each other. I hope to create an environment where we can show what we’ve learned along the way, so that others can benefit from it.

    This one is really not a different category, per se, but rather an atmosphere I hope to create. Initially, I thought the “Inspiring” aspect should be synonymous with “Teaching.” However, after putting more thought into it, I realized that I hope everything we do is inspiring! I hope we’re serving in ways that cause others to take notice, and I hope our enthusiasm for learning is contagious. There are those who merely live, and there are those who inspire others to come to life.

    Who What When Where and Why?

    Who we are: We’re a group of photographers in the D.C. metro area. …well, I hope it will become a group, but right now it’s just one dude writing this at some ridiculous hour of the morning (I’m going to take the liberty of writing the rest of this as if we were already a well-established team doing fun and exciting things.) Anyway, we are a group of people from National Community Church united by a common interest in photography. Our intent is to build a community where we can learn, teach, share, and enjoy the art of photography with others.

    What on earth we’re doing: We’re just takin’ pictures. …I take that back --but I’m not going to hit the backspace button-- we’re actually doing all sorts of things. For those who are interested in photography but less than confident in their skills we offer an environment where you can learn, practice, and develop your skills (num-chuck skills, bow staff skills, tetherball skills…) Using Stephen Elliot’s book (pending completion) as our curriculum, we’ll teach you what you need to know to start taking some great pictures, but as a group, you will have the opportunity to work with others and learn from them firsthand. Additionally, we get together and talk about helpful techniques, creative ideas, things that inspire us, and our favorite toothpaste. We’re doing life together and using a camera to capture those moments along the way. Art shows, coffee, ice-skating and corn mazes; we do it all! …Of course, we frequently hit up the town and have a great time taking pictures together too. Obviously photography is our focus, but that’s only one aspect of the larger topic of Visual Arts.

    When and Where: For the record, Saturdays are the appointed meeting days, but there is no hard and fast schedule. Some times we may take sunrise pictures, other times we’ll do night photography, and sometimes we’ll get together for lunch and popsicles. We’re open to ideas, and I hope everybody feels like they can suggest an idea or activity. For that reason we have our own Google Group Message Board. If you’ve got an idea, I encourage you to post it on the board and see what others think. Maybe you’re all tied up on Saturday, but would love to get together on Wednesday; feel free to make suggestions and see what comes up! For what it’s worth, most of us are near Capitol Hill or NoVA, so the activities will generally take place around there.

    Why?: You tell me! Why did you come to this website? Why are you still reading? What is it you’re looking for?? That, my friends, that is your “why.” People, like myself, are looking for an outlet. In recent months I’ve met enough people that are interested in learning to take better pictures, or simply looking for someone to go take pictures with. I decided to get us organized and see what we can do together. So come, learn, share, enjoy. Give us a reason for a “why,” and maybe along the way we’ll discover it together…


    “There are no stupid questions. …only stupid people.”

    I’m interested in checking it out, what do I need to do? Um…. just show up.

    How do I join? Follow the above instructions; if we like you we’ll ask you to write a six-page report and provide 4 references. (I’m kidding, folks; of course you can “join.” All we ask is for your participation in group activities, but that’s what this is all about in the first place.)

    Are there any prerequisites? Nope, come as you are. Last thing we need is a group of people who are exactly the same.

    Do I have to own a camera? Wouldn’t that be a prerequisite??

    I don’t know anything about photography, but I want to learn; can I still come? A good teacher wouldn’t expect his students to have the knowledge before it has been taught.

    When do you meet? Whenever we feel like meeting, gosh! …um, Saturdays normally, with occasional get-togethers thrown into the mix.

    What are you people like? We’re in D.C. for cryin’ out loud; of course we’re a mixed group. For the most part, we like long walks on the beach and some of us put mustard on our eggs. We run the gamut from Hill Staffers, to geeks, to fashion models. (…okay so maybe that last one was just an attempt to get more guys to show up.)

    These FAQ’s didn’t answer any of my questions, what do I do now? Send an email to yourself complaining and ranting until you feel better. Then read the email in six weeks and laugh at how ridiculous your complaint seems. If that doesn’t work, you could always ask the person who told you about this thing in the first place.

    Online Community

    I’m hoping this website will be the start of something much bigger. As it is right now, it is mostly just a go-to resource point. You come, read some stuff, and then go about your merry way. Why not use it for other purposes?! On the right you’ll find links to member’s websites or photo pages, as well as a section of links to pictures and things that inspire us. It would be greatness to use this as a discussion forum where we can exchange ideas, offer critiques, and “get together” despite our location –maybe the Google Group is a better forum for that, but I guess time will tell. If you’ve got an idea, post a comment here and let’s talk it up. I’m no linguist, but “community” and “communication” have to come from the same root word. Let’s share ideas and make it happen!

    Looking to the Future

    As mentioned above, this is a place for Learning, Serving, Teaching, and Inspiring; none of which are specific to photography. Ideally we want this group to morph and grow and multiply, taking on many different forms to meet many different interests all relating to Visual Arts in the broader sense of the term. Off the top of my head, here’s a short list of possible offshoots I, personally, would love to see happen at some point in the future: image editing, graphic design, drawing, painting, sculpting, motion graphics, film/video, and animation.