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General DiscussionsWhy I Live At PM (photoMentoris) - add your story

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minniev
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Why I Live At PM (photoMentoris) - add your story

Post by minniev » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:08 pm

Yesterday we welcomed Dave Chinn back to pM after a long absence. I hope he is one of many. But it inspired me to want to tell the tale of how I got to pM, how Steve got to be the owner, where Dave fit in, and do some pictures too.

In April of 2016, I met up with Dave Chinn, whom I knew from another online forum, in New Orleans for a two day photo shoot. We dragged our spouses through the monsoon spring rains to photograph the French Quarter and its colorful inhabitants and had a blast. Over oysters and drinks at Acme Oyster House, Dave asked me if I'd ever heard of photoMentoris, I said no, and he pulled it up to show it to me on his phone. The first thing I saw was a red sign announcing closure of the site in a week's time unless someone stepped forward to take over. I knew my friend Steve Murray, who ran a subsection on the forum where I met Dave, had considered starting his own forum, so I sent him the link right there in the Acme, and promised him that if he took this site I'd help him with it. By the time I got home from NOLA, Steve was the new owner of pM.

The challenges of moving to a new server, repairing the losses and damages from that, and various other catastrophes large and small got in the way. So here we are, a year later, beginning the resurrection and revamping of photoMentoris. Friends and refugees from other forums have joined in. Former members have begun posting again. We are still small, but we are getting to know each other, and that's an OK way to re-start.

But it all began in oldest oyster bar in New Orleans, with me and Chinn on a photo-lark. If you want to add your own story of how you ended up here, please do! I hope Dave and Steve will add their perspectives, and I hope Dave will post a few of his photos from our trip.

If you've never had a meet-up with one of your online friends, I will encourage you to do so, it's amazing fun!
no (1 of 1)-2.jpg
Dave in the morning, soaking wet and waiting for coffee
no (1 of 1).jpg
Let's Do This!
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no (1 of 1)-4.jpg
While I was shooting this interesting lady moving behind the hot dog stand, Dave was destroying his camera by dropping it on the flagstone sidewalk. Like any dedicated photographer, he simply took his wife's camera from her and kept shooting.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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LindaShorey
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Post by LindaShorey » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:17 pm

Your photo story is utterly delightful, Minnie! Though I've seen your mesmerizing Lucky Dogs image previously, I didn't realize you shot it at the same time Dave was dropping his own camera :)

I came to PM because I knew Steve and you from another forum. Your talent has always been an inspiration for me so I will follow you anywhere - lol. Steve's positive attitude and joie de vivre are great gifts for us all, particularly when you consider the tone of some online forums. To this forum's future prosperity, learning and joy!
"What's important in a photograph and what isn't." http://photographylife.com/whats-import ... -what-isnt

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Post by davechinn » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:49 pm

minniev wrote:Yesterday we welcomed Dave Chinn back to pM after a long absence. I hope he is one of many. But it inspired me to want to tell the tale of how I got to pM, how Steve got to be the owner, where Dave fit in, and do some pictures too.

In April of 2016, I met up with Dave Chinn, whom I knew from another online forum, in New Orleans for a two day photo shoot. We dragged our spouses through the monsoon spring rains to photograph the French Quarter and its colorful inhabitants and had a blast. Over oysters and drinks at Acme Oyster House, Dave asked me if I'd ever heard of photoMentoris, I said no, and he pulled it up to show it to me on his phone. The first thing I saw was a red sign announcing closure of the site in a week's time unless someone stepped forward to take over. I knew my friend Steve Murray, who ran a subsection on the forum where I met Dave, had considered starting his own forum, so I sent him the link right there in the Acme, and promised him that if he took this site I'd help him with it. By the time I got home from NOLA, Steve was the new owner of pM.

The challenges of moving to a new server, repairing the losses and damages from that, and various other catastrophes large and small got in the way. So here we are, a year later, beginning the resurrection and revamping of photoMentoris. Friends and refugees from other forums have joined in. Former members have begun posting again. We are still small, but we are getting to know each other, and that's an OK way to re-start.

But it all began in oldest oyster bar in New Orleans, with me and Chinn on a photo-lark. If you want to add your own story of how you ended up here, please do! I hope Dave and Steve will add their perspectives, and I hope Dave will post a few of his photos from our trip.

If you've never had a meet-up with one of your online friends, I will encourage you to do so, it's amazing fun!no (1 of 1)-2.jpgno (1 of 1).jpg


Thanks Minnie !!! I do remember most of our conversation concerning photoMentoris, but wasn't aware, or don't remember you contacting Steve. Who knows, the whole New Orleans shoot may have been a hidden metaphor in regards to pM. I would like to think of it as some sorta karma? How we have gotten here would be an interesting read.

How I got here started in May 2014 when there was a discussion on another forum about some members going to Las Vegas for a street photo shoot. Bobby Deal had a studio in Vegas at that time and I wanted to be part of this photo shoot. There were 8 of us total in attendance with two days on the streets of Vegas, while the third and last day was in Bobby's studio with two models for a photo shoot. In December 2014, Bobby contacted me about joining his new photography forum, PhotoMentoris. I joined and stayed around until April 2015, but still a member, just not active. I would pop in from time to time to see how things were going to see if any changes were in the works. Thats when I saw the site needed/wanting new ownership or was going to shut down. Not sure how Minnie and I got on the subject of pM, but things happen for a reason. Even if we don't know the reasons at the time, but sort of feel/think what the reason was based on todays recent, past and future of PhotoMentoris.

I too, would encourage anyone that had the opportunity for a photo meet up to do so because it is an entertaining experience.
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Shadow of a Lonely Man DEC_5559w B&W2.jpg
'Shadow of a Lonely Man' Street photography is a favorite of mine while this was one of my main reasons of any visit to any city. New Orleans is at the top of the list
DEC_5352 B&W.jpg
Many photo opportunities/entertaiments in New Orleans
DSC_9779w.jpg
From L-R Sharon, (my wife) Jester and Minnie, notice Sharon doesn't have a camera. As Minnie said, I kept on shooting.
http://www.davechinn.com/

Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.
David Alan Harvey

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minniev
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Post by minniev » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:10 pm

Thank you Dave! I appreciate you sharing your side of the trip, and your pM journey as well.

It is interesting how our paths cross and new paths open up, but the journey is fun and very scenic. Your wonderful images (except for wet bedraggled Minnie who cannot be helped) add much to the story. It's something we need to do again!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by St3v3M » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:34 am

I speak for a living and am honored to the point where I'm left wondering what to say.

I think you all know me by now, and how I got here at least through the emails I've sent, but fair is fair and it's only right that I re-introduce myself.

My name is Steven Murray, aka St3v3M, aka S-, or Steve, and I have been a 'photographer' for as long as I can remember, but have only committed myself in the last few years. In that time I came across a controversial ad for a photography forum and joined up. While there I offered to run a single photo challenge that turned into a multi-year Weekly Photo Challenge odyssey. Sometime into that I helped start a Critique Section and eventually a Section of my own, at least as much of my own as it could be.

One of the most amazing things that came from all of this was meeting most of you, you who have helped me in my life, my photography, and of course everything we do here. I'm not sure if most you know, but while I have my name on the domain the site is not mine, it's a collection of all of you. I'm serious when I ask what you love about the site, hate about the site, and want to see it become, and have had some of the people here help guide it us that direction. I can go on and on about me as I've been known to talk for hours, but one thing I love most is to listen, and I'm listening to you.

I remember the day Minnie asked if I knew Bobby Deal from photoMentoris. It's been a wild ride and an adventure ever since then. I took this over to make something of my own, but mostly to save the community here. I love photography, and I love helping people where I can, but mostly I love what you've done here and the home you're building. There's much to do yet, and many, many more people to join us, but I'm honored and amazed by the joy each one of you bring to the site, sharing your work, heart and soul, your honesty, and personal care for one another. This is a tribute to you and it's only getting better!

Why do I live on pM? You, all of you, and what you do here each and every day! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by St3v3M » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:37 am

minniev wrote:... By the time I got home from NOLA, Steve was the new owner of pM. ...

I may be the owner, but the community is yours! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by St3v3M » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:39 am

minniev wrote:Dave in the morning, soaking wet and waiting for coffee

What an amazing photo of Dave! Love it! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by St3v3M » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:44 am

LindaShorey wrote:Your photo story is utterly delightful, Minnie! Though I've seen your mesmerizing Lucky Dogs image previously, I didn't realize you shot it at the same time Dave was dropping his own camera :)

I came to PM because I knew Steve and you from another forum. Your talent has always been an inspiration for me so I will follow you anywhere - lol. Steve's positive attitude and joie de vivre are great gifts for us all, particularly when you consider the tone of some online forums. To this forum's future prosperity, learning and joy!

I've watched your art grow from the day I met you and have been amazed at how far you've come in such a short time.

I'm honored to know you and to have been a part of the history of your work! Thank you for being here! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by St3v3M » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:51 am

davechinn wrote:Thanks Minnie !!! I do remember most of our conversation concerning photoMentoris, but wasn't aware, or don't remember you contacting Steve. Who knows, the whole New Orleans shoot may have been a hidden metaphor in regards to pM. I would like to think of it as some sorta karma? How we have gotten here would be an interesting read.
...
I too, would encourage anyone that had the opportunity for a photo meet up to do so because it is an entertaining experience.

I've always believed life was a series of choices, but there are times it can feel directed as if everything just falls into place. The story of our site, and the family here is one of these and I couldn't be happier for it. I've met many people in my life that have helped me, but none more than everyone here!

And Wow! 'Shadow of a Lonely Man' is an amazing work of art you should be proud of. I've been to No'leans twice, hated it the first time and feel in love with it the second. It's also where I took my favorite shot, one that's a mystery to me still today. Your work is an inspiration to me! Thank you! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by Duck » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:10 pm

It's interesting to see the arcs of people's lives and how they converge at just the right opportunistic time.

My journey here began early on in my switch from film to digital back on 2004/2005. For several years I floated from forum to forum, not settling on any one right away. There were so many to choose from and each had their own personality and idiosyncrasies. Some structures I found awkward to use, some were specialized and others were rather inactive. The interesting thing about lurking is that you start seeing who the players are and where they reside within these communities and there were a couple of names that repeated across multiple forums; Ed Shapiro and Benji, were two names that caught my attention. Not because of their photography (they are portraitists, I am not) but for their willingness to selfishlessly help others. Not just with a quick supportive pat on the back but with complete lessons rolled into these episodic posts worthy of publication in a book or magazine. I eventually decided to jump in and create an account and join a community. In 2010 I joined "The Camel", a really happening forum with so much activity it was mind boggling.

During those five years of lurking I was getting myself reacquainted with photography. I had grown up shooting 35mm film and even traveled the world during my enlistment in the Navy with a Canon AE1-P and several lenses (I still have 2 bodies and an assortment of lenses). As time went on, though, my art career began to take off and I was using drawing and design as my principal artistic outlet and photography soon took a back seat to documenting a few family moments and recording some of my artwork. Nothing serious and nothing overly involved. Until my wife bought me my first digital camera, that is. By 2004 it was getting harder and harder to get film developed and printed. She bought me a 6MP Kodak Easyshare and a dye sublimation photo printer that printed 4x6 photos that took forever to print (five passes per print, one for each CMYK and one for a top lamination sheet.) I digress.

In searching for outlets (excuses) to use my newfound hobby I discovered meetup groups. People who share the same love of photography coming together just to take pictures. The only problem was that most of these groups were a collection of amateur photographers led by an amateur photographer with little or no 'real' instruction. I quickly got disappointed with the Kodak as I was more comfortable with a SLR in my hands. Within a year I had bought my first dSLR, a Canon 40D with the 70-300 kit lens... and all things changed. I discovered I really didn't know as much about photography as I thought. Sure, the fundamentals were there, but all those damn buttons and menus and... well, stuff I didn't think I needed. I needed help and I knew my fellow photogs were in similar boats. I began seeking education. As luck would have it, the internet was a treasure trove of information. Not quite what it is today, but enough to get me on track. Before long I found myself being the "go to guy" if anyone had a photography question. Shortly after that 'discovery' I began my own Meetup group and it eventually evolved to a teaching gig and this is when I started looking for a place where teachers and instructors could meet. No such luck.

It was during this evolution that I started getting some attention on the Camel. I had begun publishing my blog posts into their Tutorials section and became active in many of the conversations. I then received a referral from Bobby Deal (seconded by Ed Shapiro) to take on the role of a moderator for that section of their forum. An honor and a privilege I took up. I began weeding out and organizing that section of the forum and it became the foundation for how our Tutorial section is organized here on pM. My hope was to be given the opportunity to evolve that place into a haven for photography instructors also and this is where I began to make other friends; Bobby, Tom, Ernst, John, Michael and others. During that time ownership changed at the Camel and many of us noticed a slow but swift shift in the personality of the forum. Pro photographers began getting labeled as 'elitists' and amateurs suddenly began getting complacent with this weird entitlement mentality that just didn't seem real and definitely didn't sit well with pros like Ed, Bobby and Benji who felt abused for their generosity. So much so that Benji was the first to leave and let me tell you, his leaving was definitely noticed though no apology was given or changes made. Then the division of forces came and I was lumped into the group with Bobby and Ed and the others and we were summarily booted out sometime in 2014 with no warning or the "benefit of a reach around," as they say.

It was then that Bobby approached me with his concept for photoMENTORIS and he, John, Tom and myself got together to build this place. We would build it in our own images and become GODS OF OUR OWN DOMAIN!!! :fart:

Maybe not, but we did have lofty ideas and a certain expectation. Bobby also had a definitive goal for this place and that was to create a place where both pros and amateurs can come together to meet, share ideas and learn from each other, without egos, without posturings and without the drama encountered in so many other forums (not just the Camel.) For the most part I am very happy with what has been built here. Our initial goal seems to be in place and holding strong. I am happy that I have a place for instructors to be able to chat amongst themselves without fear of having students listening in and calling them out. I am happy to have a place where we can continue to share ideas and teachings. A place where we can ask questions and get real answers rather than opinions and a place for critical commentary rather than attaboys.

Unfortunately Bobby's situation changed drastically to the point he was not able to maintain the forum as he'd hoped but I am glad that Steve was able to step up to the plate to take over the reigns here. I, for one, am very grateful for this. We are definitely still in our infancy in terms of growth and hopefully we'll get some attention for our efforts. I am finding it hard to promote the site since it is considered 'bad form' to advertise someone else's forum within a similar forum. Although I would love to start creating fake accounts and blast the Camel with posts about this place. (!)

Anyway, that's my long story of how I got here. Hope I didn't bore you too much. ;)
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
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