Teton Photography Group – On the move

I hope everyone in the Teton Photography Group is aware of the new public meetings, the new image critique meetings, and the up-coming symposia in March and June. These things represent the public face of the Group but many things are happening behind the scenes.

First, the Steering Committee has approved a greatly enhanced program calendar that is ramping up this spring and will continue through the next calendar year.  Our new activities will include more open image critique sessions (4 per year), two educational symposia per year, 3 photo competitions per year, and new opportunities for exhibitions, photo sales, and public exposure for your photography.  We will continue to have our monthly, third Monday public presentations with diverse and interesting topics from a variety of local experts.

Second, the TPG is reaching out to other photography groups in Wyoming, Idaho, northern Utah and south western Montana. The groups have been asked to share public program information and events so that we can link you to activities throughout the region and so others can be made aware of our Group and the work of our members.

Third, we are making good progress on developing a statement of principles for wildlife photography ethics. We how have contacted several local non-profit groups and several federal, state, and local agencies to partner with us in this educational effort. We hope to have a draft document for you to review and comment upon by mid-March. The target date for the educational program is this spring.

Fourth, our efforts to educate local government, businesses, and individuals and help alleviate light pollution in the Jackson Hole region is progressing.  We hope to spearhead an effort with our partner organizations to return the night sky to Jackson Hole.

Finally, I am delighted to announce that today our website has a new interactive Forums feature that will facilitate on-line discussion of all aspects of photography – image critique and sharing, multiple genres of photography, general discussion, gear review and sales. We thank our webmaster, Mike Cavaroc, for his effort to bring about these new features. We have other new features for the site in the works and hope that we can move some of our social media posts to this much more convenient and interactive site.

As our membership grows we will continue to expand our services and programs to forward our mission to provide members with opportunities to develop and share their photographic skills and promote interest in photography throughout the greater Teton region.

What a week for photographers in Jackson Hole!

By all regards, this is a banner week for all photographers in the Jackson / greater Teton area. No, it wasn’t just the fantastic weather and innumerable Spring photo opportunities.  This week gives everyone several opportunities to intermingle and exchange ideas with some of the area’s best photographers.

First, this is the week of the Second Annual Photography Competition at the Art Association of Jackson Hole. Thursday, May 23 will be the first exhibition of the finalists and a wonderful chance for photographers to get together and examine the elements of fine photography in the wildlife and outdoor/sports categories.  Second, the Teton Photography Group had our first public program with Mike Cavaroc presenting “Videography with a dSLR Camera” to a group of 30 attendees and discussants. Finally, the TPG received our first publicity in the local print media.  An article by Kelsey Dayton in Monday’s Jackson Hole Daily featured our first meeting and Mike’s presentation. In Wednesday’s Jackson Hole News and Guide, Stepping Out section, there are articles about the AAJH photography competition by Amanda Miller and about the formation of the TPG by Kelsey.

The Teton Photography Group is real.  After four months of discussions, planning, and organizational meetings, we have had our first public program and have been announced to the community at-large. We added 14 new members this week and have received new ideas about future programs, symposia, and new resources on our web site. It is, in deed, a banner week.

Membership in the Teton Photography Group, Jackson, Wyoming

By now you know quite a bit about the history and goals of the Teton Photography Group. We are a group of enthusiastic photographers who spend at least part of our lives in the greater Teton county area of northwestern Wyoming and eastern Idaho. We organized to improve our photographic skills and share our experiences through social media, educational programs, and local activities centered around the Art Association of Jackson Hole.

How do you become a member of the TPG?  If you are already a member of the Art Association and have indicated interest in photography, you already are a full member of the TPG. Your dues are paid and you have all of the benefits of both the AAJH and the TPG.  However, you should do one more thing to experience everything the TPG has to offer.  Send your email address to us (TetonPhotoGroup@gmail.com) so you can be added to our mailing list and our social media sites.  We have a website, a Facebook page, a Google Plus Community, and a Twitter site.  When we receive your email address and confirmation of your AAJH membership, we will add you as a member to all of these sites. Finally, as a full member, you are entitled to present a sample of your portfolio and your contact information on our website. This will give visitors to the site a sample of your work and a direct link to you and your entire portfolio. Our Group website is connected to national photography clubs and associations sites with the key words needed for your work to be found and showcased. As a member of the AAJH your will have free or discounted admission to all TPG activities and all educational programs offered by the AAJH so your membership dues save you significantly when you are active in the Group.

If you are not yet a member of the Art Association of Jackson Hole, please join immediately so you will not miss a single event or program.  Membership is only $35 per year and can be obtained on-line (www.artassociation.org) or by calling 307-733-6379.

Our email address is:  TetonPhotoGroup@gmail.com
The TPG website is:  www.TetonPhotograpyGroup.org
Our Facebook page is:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/459493864122722/
Our Google Plus Community is:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/104570801506195329251
Our Twitter link is:  https://twitter.com/TetonPhotoGroup

We are gearing up for our first public program on Monday, May 20 at 6 PM in the conference room at the Art Association of Jackson Hole (240 S Glenwood.)  Future meetings and programs will be on the third Monday of every month at 6 -7:30 PM.  The meetings are open to the public, we hope to see you there.

History of the Teton Photography Group

The Teton Photography Group was conceived in December 2012 after discussions with several local photographers.  The simple question was asked, “With all of the great professional and amateur photographers in the Jackson Hole region, why is there no photography group?”  The question was repeated frequently until someone suggested that the real question was, “Why don’t we start one?”

I am a newcomer to Jackson, moving here in September 2012 after two years of travel photographing national parks around the US and Canada.  I had retired from my 65 hour/week job and was in pursuit of my passion for nature and wildlife photography.  I was aware of many high quality photographic clubs and associations in most major cities and was surprised that there was none in Jackson. I spoke with photographers everywhere that I shot and began to sense there was interest in, if not enthusiasm for, some sort of networking and educational opportunity for local photographers. I met a number of locals in a series of great photography classes based in the Art Association of Jackson Hole. On the last night of the last class, a sign-up sheet was circulated for those interested in getting together to discuss and share photographic interests.

The sign-up sheet became an email list that quickly grew to about 40 names.  In January and February of 2013 I had the chance to speak directly or through others with professional photographers David Brookover, Tom Mangelsen, Henry Holdsworth, Jason Williams, Mike Cavaroc, and Thomas Macker.  All were encouraging and enthusiasm spread for getting an informal group together to discuss the issues that could insure the success or impede formation of a local or regional photo group.  The first “pre-organizational” meeting was held at the Art Association on March 11. Only 6 attended that first meeting but we were able to flesh-out a number of issues and attain a means of approaching the issues.  Homework was assigned and over the ensuing two weeks many answers were found and potential solutions to major impediments such as meeting venue and communications were investigated.

The second pre-organizational meeting was held on March 25.  This meeting was attended by eleven enthusiastic members and addressed the difficult issues of organizational structure and charter, vision and mission statements were drafted and circulated to the email list.  Thomas Macker proposed that the Art Association  would be a natural partner and could provide a venue for meetings, programs, and exhibitions.  Mike Cavaroc volunteered to head a Communications Committee and serve as Webmaster for the group. Mike established a social media presence on Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter.  It was clear that an organization was forming and that the next steps would be to formalize a partnership with the AAJH, define the group’s leadership, and codify the activities and programs that the group will support.

On April 8 the third and final pre-organizational meeting was a discussion with Dave Muskat and Thomas Macker about the details of a partnership with the Art Association of Jackson hole.  A proposal was made to utilize the extensive resources of the AAJH for all organizational and logistical needs. The Group could define leaders to plan programs and presentations but would not be burdened by the need to develop an organizational infrastructure.  All members of the AAJH could become members of the Group with no additional dues or fees.  Members of the Photography Group would have full membership in the AAJH and all of the benefits.  This was proposed to the interested members via email and was overwhelmingly supported.

We have solicited volunteers to serve on a steering/program committee and are in the process of compiling and prioritizing a list of programs for 2013.  We hope to have a draft calendar of events for monthly programs throughout 2013 and a means of communicating with our growing membership.  

The work of organizing the group has been a real team effort that I believe will provide a strong and enduring foundation.  Time will tell if the initial enthusiasm will lead to a large membership base and high quality educational programs but seeing the superb images captured of this beautiful area by so many outstanding photographers, I cannot help but think the Teton Photography Group will have anything short of a long and stellar future. I hope you will be a part of it.