by Skip Cohen
The fun of Throwback Thursday is always in the hunt! The series above was from Graphi Studio's "Day in the Life of WPPI" book for the 2007 convention. Jim Garner was one of four photographers whose work was featured in the album for that year.
That's Charles Maring teaching a portrait class above, and there were probably 500+ people in the audience. And the image on the right, since it was his birthday yesterday, is Mike Colón, also teaching that year.
I'm not totally sure, but I think Mike's program was part of the Champagne Shoot-out series, an evening event we did in one of the larger ballrooms each year. They usually started around 9:00 pm and one year went almost to midnight. We had four different photographers, one in each corner doing live shoots and teaching at the same time.
Then, in the middle of the room, rather than cheap champagne, we had $10,000 of Häagen-Dazs ice cream with a sundae bar. Nothing beats the combination of great education with decent ice cream!
I remember one year two young photographers complaining to me about no champagne. Champagne was the original plan until the hotel hit me with their prices for the really low end stuff. My answer, "Which would you rather have, a hot fudge sundae or cheap champagne you won't like?" His buddy smacked him and said, "Shut up and get a sundae!"
I started with WPPI/Rangefinder in 2001. With an incredible team, the show grew to be the largest professional photographic convention in the U.S. And while there were always challenges in matching the right size rooms to the speakers, terrific hands-on education was a common denominator with so many of the programs.
Don't let Throwback Thursday go by without your own hunt for great memory-making images. It's a great feeling to look back and appreciate the growth of the industry and the friendships we all made together, starting so many years ago!
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.