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Missouri Photo Workshop

Posted by Hollyce Cervantes on September 12, 2008

Thursday morning started off a little crazy after my group sighted our first celebrity walking the Mizzou campus, John Anderson from ESPN. After basking in the glory of seeing our idol roaming in our habitat, we quickly ran over to the Missouri Photo Workshop. When we entered the room, there were people packed in rows and sitting on the floors. Many people might have thought that Britney Spears was hosting a seminar because it seems the paparazzi decided to come to the workshop. There were cameras everywhere–in front of me, behind me and to every side. After settling down in the front, I realized I was sitting right next to Kim Komenich in the front row. I was immersed in the action.

Bill Kuykendall started the seminar with a historic and informational slide show on the history of the Photo Workshop. I learned about how much this seminar has grown from a small gathering in Aurora, Missouri to reaching the J-School in Columbia, Missouri. He showed us slides of “Small Town America” pictures that were heartwarming and touching. Kuykendall discussed how these pictures show the fundamental values of Americans and our mythology. These pictures conveyed stories–stories that the photographers wanted to show us. The photographers acted as teachers showing us the importance of these values through pictures. The audience is cooing with oohs and aahs as he flips through the pictures. Everyone in the room was able to connect with the raw essence of human life captured in each photograph.

Next, Kim Komenich stood up to speak to the group. He started off by saying, “There has not been a year where I have not learned something about photography.” Komenich continued by saying that his favorite aspect of photography is the intimacy in photographs. Photographers truly get to live in the world and know the people within it. Then he talked a little bit about Bill Eppridge, who was not present at the seminar. You can view his blog at http://www.billeppridge.com/ . We listened to an audio clip as he reflected on MPW (Missouri Photo Workshop). It is evident how much these great photographers care about pictures as narrative stories. Komenich talked about how Missouri makes the MPW so important. He said, “It’s something about the Midwest. Homecookin’. People have a way of making time for you.” Missouri is the real world and the people make this great state what it is. I glanced at Kim’s notes sitting next to me (being the nosy journalism student that I am) and at the top of his yellow legal pad in doctor’s handwriting is, “Real pictures happen on their time, not yours.” I think that is very relevant to many things in life. However, pictures that truly capture the moment can capture the viewer’s heart. Komenich emphasized that statement multiple times throughout the seminar.

During the question and answer section, my attention was drawn to an older man sitting in the back row. He has been attending MPW since the second one many years ago. His grin fills his entire face. He has lived the “picture perfect” life, recording moments and memories with photographs. He is an inspiration to students, and I had a wonderful time hearing him speak.

Next, a sweet lady in the front row commented on the beginning of MPW. She said, “Show truth with the camera. Early workshops were a bootcamp.” This woman is precious with her light blonde hair and blush pink pants. Her nike shoes are pure as snow white with tiny light baby pink Nike checks. She has the cutest smile plastered on her face. You can tell she is so happy to be a part of this. Her pink cheeks and lips are truly picturesque. She should be in front of the camera instead of behind. Her name is Mimi Smith, and after the seminar, I had the chance of talking to this delightful woman. I will always look up to her.

Overall, even though I am not a photojournalism student, I enjoyed this seminar. Everyone relates to people in pictures because at one point or another, we are those people in the photogrphs. It is a lovely way to capture time and cherish it always. Props to the photo workshop!

More information here!

To contact me, e-mail hmczbd@mizzou.edu.

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