By: Jyllian Roach, Editor-In-Chief | Photo (top) By: Colleen Moody, Guerrilla Photo Group | Photo (Bottom) By: Laine Luper
When Web Design graduate Colleen Moody first attended a Guerilla Photo Group event with a friend, she said she thought she would have a little fun modeling and be on her way.
Instead, Moody found a home with the non-profit group and consistently attends the weekly events – but as a photographer rather than a model.
“It’s such a great learning environment,” said Moody. “The learning is through immersion and example instead of textbooks.”
The group, which meets every Wednesday evening, began in 2006 as a place where amateur photographers could meet with and learn from professionals in a studio space with lighting and camera set ups, said Founder Rip Williams.
“When I first started in commercial photography, I had a mentor and good friend who was kind enough to let me go to his studio and play around,” said Williams. “A few years later I got my first studio set up, and thought ‘How would I pay that forward,’” said Williams.
The group has since evolved and now includes photographers, models, hair stylists, make-up artists and costume designers, he said.
The group also hosts bi-monthly art shows of photos taken during the weekly events. The April show was hosted at Hotel Andaluz and featured images which paid homage to the film noir genre, said Moody. Moody’s photo entitled “Shadow Games” won first place.
“A lot of models end up on the other side of the camera, which is awesome,” said Williams.
Long-time group member Jon Cottrell said that one of the things he enjoys most about the group is the mix between photographers who have been working in the field for more than 30 years and amateurs who have never before picked up a camera.
The group has a strong open-door policy during photo shoots so that others can collaborate and learn new ideas or tricks, said Cottrell. The collaboration has led to some incredible shoots, he said.
“We did a zombie shoot with a total of nine models,” he said. “We’ve done breast cancer awareness shoots. Rarely do we set things up like that, but when we do, we see a big turnout.”
Guerilla Photo Group meets every Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. at 500 Second St. SW, Suite 9. The event is completely free of charge and available to anyone interested in any aspect of photography.
“Sometimes I see things and I’m like ‘Oh, that’s pretty,’ and now I know how to take a picture of it,” said Moody.
Amy Foster contributed to this article.