Society for Photographic Education 2007

Posted in Photography at 3:53 pm by Michelle

Back again! This time from the trek across the country to Miami for the national conference of the Society for Photographic Education. Mostly, this organization serves photography professors and teachers and students, but it’s a fun group of social photographers that is also very open to folks like me, who teach occasionally. This conference (my 3rd national) was a blast. My interactions with people were consistently interesting: I got many slightly confused looks by people who couldn’t figure out where they knew me from, and then smiles of recognition when someone mentioned the Freestyle catalog (that one with me on the cover – scroll down to see it), which was out and about at the conference. Others recognized my name from the book, or saw the book I was usually toting around (yay for the snappy yellow cover!). Just to break the ice with anyone else, I had on me, either in my hand or around my neck, my ridiculously cute Rollei MiniDigi, which is was like an adorable puppy; absolutely irresistable to all the photographers in the room.
A few highlights of the conference: Signing my books at a table next to Henry Horenstein, whose books I’ve had forever, and Tony Mendoza, whose work is gorgeous. Meeting Kent Nunamaker, who wrote the first review of my book on Amazon.com, and his wife. Kent made a series of beautiful pinhole cameras and collects toy cameras used for advertising. They were wonderful! Also, had a great moment when Mary Virginia Swanson was shown the next Freestyle catalog – with her on the cover! I’ll throw up a photo of us – the two cover girls – when I get it.
I met lots of great people, including Angela Faris, who’s working on a book for my publisher, Focal Press, Dennie Eagleson, a professor at Antioch, and Jane Alden Stevens, a professor at the Univeristy of Cincinatti. It was great spending some time with great photographers, teachers, and accomplished women. I also got to hang out with Mary Ann Lynch, the Diana Queen, who was an incredible help in shaping up my book, and Robert Blake, another plastic camera afficianado, who runs the General Studies Program at ICP.
There was a lot of excitement by all the teachers and students about my book, which was very gratifying. Hopefully they’ll spread the word and keep the good ole book selling.