Local photography club snaps into action

Friday, July 23, 2010
Members of the River Region Photography Association during a field trip to the Sand Prairie Conservation Area near Benton, Mo. (Submitted photo)

A local group is encouraging the art of photography and social interaction for both professional and amateur shutterbugs.

The River Region Photography Association has grown to include 20 members since it was begun five months ago by Dan Buckenmyer, a Fruitland photographer who is studying to be a professional.

"I saw there was no camera club in the area, thought there was a need and started working toward putting it together," he said. "I received quite a bit of feedback."

The group meets once a month to share and critique photos, the subjects of which are assigned at the previous meeting. The assignments range from the use of studio lighting to capturing nature scenes to shooting a self-portrait.

Buckenmyer said he wanted to make sure all levels of photographers were represented in the group. To get membership started he sent letters to several professional photographers and college photography departments in the area.

Rebecca Moore, who owns Rebecca Moore Photography in Jackson, responded to Buckenmyer's invitation to join the group.

"I went into the group not really knowing what it was about except that it would be full of people who had a love for photography," she said.

Moore said she wanted to join the group because she thinks regardless of skill level, photographers should surround themselves with people who share an interest.

"I like to share a piece of myself with people who love photography, and that's really what the group is about," she said.

Having a big group of people who have different experiences and know different things about photography provides an opportunity to learn, Moore said.

The group went on its first photo shoot field trip to Sand Prairie Conservation Area near Benton, Mo., in June, which Buckenmyer said coincided with a photo contest hosted by the Cape Girardeau Nature Center.

He is working on bringing in a guest speaker to talk to the group about photography in the coming months. He said he would like the group to focus on more field trips to natural areas and historic sites.

Buckenmyer said he hopes to partner with college and high school photography clubs in the future to help expand membership.

Dr. David Baird, an associate professor in Southeast Missouri State University's industrial and engineering technology department, is also a member of the group. Buckenmyer said through Baird's connection with the university, the group has previously been allowed to meet and use photography equipment in the Seabaugh polytechnic building, allowing the group to practice with more sophisticated equipment than most people own.

The group's meetings, Buckenmyer said, are informal and include lot of question-and-answer time as well as critiques of members' photos.

Beginning in November, photos from the group will be on display at the Cape Girardeau Public Library. The group also has a display scheduled for the Conservation Nature Center in February.

Membership dues are $20, but all events hosted by the group are free.

The next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Geraldine Hirsch room at the Cape Girardeau Public Library.

Visit http://riverregionphotography.yolasite.c... or or call 225-6593 for more information.

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