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The Value of Real Live Community
With all the connectedness in our virtual lives, do you ever find yourself craving real human interaction? I certainly do. I have found a photographic community of the flesh and blood variety here in the Twin Cities at the Mpls Photo Center. This community is the Photo Union League (PUL). The PUL is a group the meets monthly and is facilitated by Sally Mars. Each month we are given an assignment. The photos in this post were for the "Darkness" assignment. Each month we bring prints related to the assignment to show and discuss. The discussions are more about the photographer's artistic vision and what we as the viewers see in the work rather than a critique session.
We'll have 15 - 20 people showing work in any given month. The discussions are refreshing and enlightening. Hearing someone express what they see in your work often brings out elements in your photography that you weren't even aware of.
It's too easy these days to rely strictly on social media sites for our photographic interaction. A few years ago I found myself spending so much time on flickr that I felt it had become a huge time sink. So one day, I decided to go cold turkey and I completely cut the cord with flickr. All the sudden I found I had more time to actually go out and shoot. I was craving real human interaction with photography. I have found that with the Mpls Photo Center and the Photo Union League.
If you can find such a community I highly recommend getting involved. If you can't find one, maybe you can create one. You may find, as I have, that people are much nicer in person than they are in a virtually reality world.
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