by Skip Cohen
The fun of Throwback Thursday is always in the hunt, combined with the memories old photographs bring back.
In 2009, after a somewhat stormy resignation with Rangefinder Magazine/WPPI, I started Skip's Summer School. It continued through the summer of 2013 and was responsible for some incredible friendships that are alive and well today. The initial concept was based on programming with several speakers each day and everyone attending the same programs.
We started out in Las Vegas at the MGM, who because of the recession, pretty much gave us the hotel. Prior to the pandemic, it was one of their slowest summers in history. We used one of their big ballrooms, which was set up with charging stations and WiFi, allowing people to stay in touch with their business and at the same time enjoy a great list of talented speakers. But as time went on, the request for hands-on shooting became more important. The program morphed into a hybrid of hands-on with general sessions for all attendees in the mornings and evenings.
At the Chicago conference in 2012, the group above was Michele Celentano's (4th in the front row) hands-on portrait class. Held at the DoubleTree in OakBrook, I look back at it being one of the best in the series. And while I've lost touch with many of the attendees, a lot of them are still active in the Skip's Summer School forum, started by good buddy, Brent Watkins, on Facebook.
As things slowly return to a level of normalcy, take advantage of every workshop or conference you can attend. For example, ClickCon is coming up in a couple of weeks in Chicago. Very little beats the surge of energy and creativity that comes with being together with other artists and focused on your growth and education.
Meanwhile, whether you like to share images on Throwback Thursday or not, take the time to enjoy the hunt. Find an old photograph and then just stare at it for a little while! Let the memories of the "good old days" do their work to counter the stress we've all lived through over the last few years.
Nothing beats hands-on education to build your skillset. But, remember, growth only occurs outside your comfort zone!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.