by Skip Cohen
This past week's over-the-top response to SCU and all the new content got me thinking about the key ingredients that make a photographer successful. It's about quality and passion - not just the no-compromise quality of the work you produce, but the quality of life you live, your interaction with the community around you and the level of integrity you bring to each client and peer relationship.
I've received a lot of nice comments about the content and structure of SCU, but in all honesty I have only a little to do with its initial success. The key is the quality of the people involved, the growing list of sponsors and last but certainly not least, each one of you. It's about a group of people believing there's a need for something different and better in education.
The real key to any project like this is passion. Everyone involved intensely believes in helping each other and helping other photographers. They have a passion for far more than just photography - their success is about their passion for life and in turn they're putting that same dedication into helping us build something amazing.
That first Skip's Summer School in 2009 was in its own way a celebration of friendship and a tribute to quality. Every program since then has repeatedly demonstrated how passion has played a key role in the lives of each instructor, but equally important are the friendships - old ones being reaffirmed and new ones that will continue to grow in the years ahead. I've said it numerous times...the best part of our industry has nothing to do with imaging, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft!
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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.