“Are we there yet? How much longer? I am BORED!” These are all common phrases heard by most parents on any car trip longer than 30 minutes. While we commonly think that this is something that only children do, at a recent camera club meeting I felt like I was in that car with some of my fellow photographers. Phrases of “I hate winter… my images are so bland, It’s too cold outside; there’s nothing for me to photograph, I’m so tired of shooting the same old stuff!” These comments took me back to the days of creatively entertaining my three daughters on a road trip. I felt like there had to be a way to be creative and inspire others during a magical time of year – Christmas.
While obviously not my creation, an internet search revealed a 365 photo-a-day project as well as a photo of the month project. These projects presented a topic or subject to be captured each day and received a new subject the next day. The subjects presented were so simple or so common and with very little creative thought; I felt like our new members were craving knowledge as well as inspiration. Armed with a slew of ideas from different photo-a-day programs, my plan was born. I decided to create and implement the “31 Days of Christmas.” With input from the board of directors and Camera Club President, Helga Skinner the project came to life. Each day was to be a different theme. There were no rules, except to be creative and look at the topic through the eyes of a photographer. The topics were very broad such as “together” or “looking up” to allow maximum creative exploration but there were also educational topics such as bokeh (intentionally adding blur to a background or image), macros or close-ups, landscapes and reflections.
Christmas with majestic twinkling lights, sights of baked goods being prepared, and family gathered with beautiful arrays of assorted wrapping papers under a Christmas tree are all inspiring themes, not to mention the host of props with the possibility to create spectacular images and tell incredible stories. With the broad open topics, I hoped everyone could be inspired by something surrounding them.
While the time of year posed a challenge for many to find the time to
pick up their camera, it was a learning experience for those who did, as well as an opportunity for creative, artistic visions to be brought to life in each image. Members Tom Morack took the “together” challenge to a whole new level with his image of “Jeans” taken from the outside of Duncan’s Clothing store, as well as a gorgeous bokeh image of Christmas lights. Helga Skinner spent an evening at home creatively capturing ornaments from various angles. Wanda Krack took advantage of “sun” theme and made an early morning shot of the sun rising behind a winter shrub branch. Betty Austin kept warm inside with her artistic shot of the decorative bowl and Christmas light bokeh background. There were so many other images that were just as amazing as the ones mentioned above.
Would you like to be challenged? Inspired? Like to learn about your camera or simply just be around others who love photography as much as you? Check out our website www.cookevillecameraclub.com. Please join the Cookeville Camera Club which meets the 2nd Monday of every month at First Presbyterian Church. The official meeting starts at 7:00 pm or come early have refreshments and talk about what we love. We will be watching for you!!