In the annals of American photography the images made by Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographers in the 1930s and 1940s are famous. Over a dozen men and women captured a variety of life and work styles during the Great Depression. Their pictures, distributed to news media and other outlets, illustrate how people were dealing with the hard times of the Great Depression, and were used to justify programs for relief and aid.
Will and Deni McIntyre spent the first 25 years of their photographic lives shooting magazine stories and subjects for books in 70 countries. When international travel was curtailed after 9/11, they segued into movie work and long-form storytelling. In 2000, a friend in the equestrian community moved to Wyoming to become head wrangler at the A Bar A Guest Ranch. “We went out as guests to the A Bar A,” Deni says, “and fell in love with the rugged landscape and glinting light. That and the ranch folk we met drew us back over the next few years to give photographic workshops and create a website for the ranch.”
Mobile, Alabama-based photographer Laura Cantrell says, “Mothers trust me to capture and preserve the magic in childhood.” Her photography business in Mobile was inherited from her father who sent his 17-year-old daughter on her first assignment to photograph a train wreck with a 4x5 Speed Graphic. By assisting her dad at weddings and shooting portraits she learned lighting, posing, and how to please clients.
Orest Macina says he is “a self-taught photographer interested in painting with light to capture the beauty all around us in vivid colors.” He holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical Computational Chemistry, and has worked in the pharmaceutical field. He first became interested in photography in high school, though his interest lagged through college, graduate school, career, and marriage.
Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio are a photographer and writer couple who explore fascinating and focused subjects. One of their past books featured what 30 families in 24 countries ate during a week; another was about robots and their masters. Each of their books required challenging photography and extensive interviewing.
Their latest achievement, entitled What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets, explores the foods and lives of 80 individuals. Photographs show what they ate in a recent day, food lists plus lively texts provide context for their diets and Peter added pictures of daily life. In their travels through more than 30 countries, Peter and Faith covered people shopping, cooking, dining, their recreation, and more in various venues. The couple are organizers extraordinaire.
Portrait photographers are responsible for a lot of happiness among a wide variety of people, because well-done family pictures grow more valuable yearly. They usually portray infants, seniors, friends, and relatives, though sometimes portraits are interpretations of unusual subjects. Thomas Balsamo knows this because he has 30 years of experience photographing families and children. His work has also led him to a personal project that originated when his good will and curiosity were extended toward individuals or groups who found their portrait sittings emotionally and psychologically unusual, as well as uplifting.
After almost 40 years of making platinum prints, chemical fumes had harmed Tom Millea’s lungs to a point where he could no longer go into the darkroom. He says, “Closing my studio was traumatic in the extreme.” He didn’t believe that anyone else was capable of printing his work as he envisioned it. He liked computers but had no desire to try to make digital prints look like his platinum prints. “One technique could not replace the other,” he says. He selected prints from his inventory to sell in gallery shows and considered himself retired.
But by 2004, when the color palette of digital inks had changed, Millea thought his prints were beautiful, and comparable with his darkroom images. He began making digital color photographs full-time using an Epson 2200 printer. Over the next five years, he says, “By myself, step by step, I learned to use the computer to make images I felt were uniquely my own.” He eventually put together a complete digital studio with Apple computers and two Epson printers, the 4800 and the 9800. He could then make his own prints up to 40x60”.
When the Virginia Tourism Corporation needed a series of illustrations, to help publicize tourism with imaginative style, photographer Keith Lanpher, based in Norfolk, was chosen for the job. This was a location project that called for seven days of shooting with numerous models as well as a passel of dogs and a large smoke machine.
Photo Arts group members live in the Palm Springs, Redlands, and Joshua Tree areas of California, and we are very informal with no officers or rules at monthly meetings. We exchange critiques and chat about photography in many of its myriad forms. We also eat well.
Some members are experts in Photoshop and related programs, some are infrared fans, a few favor black and white, and...