Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

SPE 07 Savannah, GA

Its a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon in Downtown Savanna Ga., I am here for the 2007 SPESE Regional Conference. Joe Champagne is sitting next to me in the hotel lobby with Mark Taylor talking about shooting “Raw Files” and the best way to work with them in Photoshop. That’s what I love about these regional conferences. There is always a buzz in the air about all aspects of photography.


Mark Taylor and I – SPE Reception

Missing the 3rd Mustache Man

There are students and faculty sitting around with laptops and portfolios sharing work and their passion and enthusiasm for photography. I’m sitting here blasting out this little blog entry and who just walked in but Jessica Hines. It doesn’t matter where you go in and around the hotel, there is always great creative energy and conversation about making pictures. The one person who is sorely missed is our former Regional Chair John Scarlata. Our new chair Mark Malloy gave us an update on John’s health at the business meeting yesterday and we took this photo below after last night’s keynote to let him know we are all thinking of him. There is absolutely no doubt that a lot of very good and positive energy is being sent to John from this conference.


Group Photo Taken for John Scarlata – Hi John! We Love You Man!

Try to find Gil, Joe, George, Cathy and Cameron

Sam Wang is this years “well deserved” honored educator. I grabbed a shot of the two of us the first night of the conference. I always get inspired at these conferences. As an educator and administrator I don’t ever seem to have enough time to pursue my painting, writing and photography and I always leave with a renewed commitment to make new work.



SPE Region Chair Mark Malloy / Carteret Students Renee, Tina and Kim

I handed my digital camera to a student the first night to take a group shot of my group and he dropped it on the ground. Uhhg! Needless to say… it’s toast. I have no camera to take anymore photos so I’m using my cell phone (see below) to record the rest of the conference.  Joe Champagne and I took a long stroll to photograph  before and after lunch on Saturday. It was weird not having a camera with me – I know Joe got some great shots because the light was activating all the ancient spaces in and around the downtown area.


Taking Photos with my Cell Phone – Photo by Joe Champagne


Honored Educator Sam Wang

Sam gave an inspiring talk as this years honored educator. I was very impressed how he acknowledged his students and made it a point to let everyone know that he learns from his students and photography is an never ending learning journey in a complex world. Sam doesn’t like to discuss the concepts behind his work – he wants the viewer to interpret and just enjoy his images. So here are a few nuggets of wisdom I wrote down on a hotel pad during Sam’s presentation.

Its the process, journey and search that is important in photography, not necessarily the final image.

• I think about concepts with my GUTS.

• Mundane subject matter can blossom when photographed.

• There should be no distinction between teaching photography and making work – they feed off each other.

Photographers are observers. I like to find out about things. That’s why I make photographs. I look at every subject as if its the most important thing in the universe.

Its about having FUN – making photographs with special friends.

I think Sam said it all and there is nothing else I really need to add to his highly prolific observations on photography.





2 comments on “SPE 07 Savannah, GA

  1. Shannon Ayers
    October 16, 2007

    Awesome conference, I learned quite a bit. Can’t wait for the next one. I would probably say that Sam Wang, Zig Jackson, Silvia Lizama, and of course Mark Taylor were my favorites.

  2. Patrick Keough
    October 16, 2007

    Yes Shannon.. this years SPESE conference in Savannah was excellent and truly inspiring in a variety of ways. I agree…Sam, Zig, Silvia and Mark were highlights. I am going to get Mark to come and do a talk for our students in the near future. I am still recuperating from the CRAZZY Kareoke 🙂 I was glad to see you had your work out on Sunday and that you got a critique during the critique sessions.

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This entry was posted on October 13, 2007 by in Workshops & Seminars.
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