The Benefits of Association

Excerpt form my monthly column for The Virginia Professional Photographers 
Newsletter November 2013

The benefits of association....

Remember the days when you wanted to research a topic you were 
unfamiliar with? You would reach into the shelf where a row
of World Book Encyclopedias were waiting to be explored. I remember 
pulling the letter M or P, etc. off the shelf and just flipping
through the pages to see what interested me. I remember the letter
P well. This was how I first explored Photography. I also learned 
from my dad as he was a very good semi-amateur photographer in his
day. We had a darkroom in the house where I spent countless hours
exploring the magic of photography.  

I've learned from books, trial and error. You name it, I've learned
from it! The most important resource I have found however is the
knowledge and experience of someone with more experience than me.
Working in the employment of another photographer, assisting
a friend or being a part of a collective group of people who share
my same interests; I've learned the most while in the presence of
other photographers. 

Fast forward to today, you no longer have to invest in a set of 
encyclopedias. Just log onto a personal computer in the
privacy of your own home and explore the world to your content. 
There are literally no limits on what subject can be explored and
is available at your fingertips. The subject of photography is not
limited to a few pages in an aging book; fresh content is available
every day. 

The one key element that is missing while sitting alone with your
computer in your room is the knowledge and dynamics
that can only be found in the presence of others. A spark of
knowledge sometimes comes wrapped in a conversation at
dinner, or an impromptu question in the classroom or workshop. And
yes, I've learned from others while instructing them!

Attending a week long seminar, or sitting across the table from a
colleague, I have found treasure that has kept me gainfully 
employed for what has now become a career. What price can be placed 
on this valuable resource? The answer is "much more" than the price
of dues or the major expense of attending a week long workshop.

Let's all stay ahead of the constantly changing curve. See you
at a monthly meeting, and convention in February! Like you,I'm excited
to turn the next page of my career! 

Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Robert

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