Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Group Experience........

A few months ago I was honored and happy to be invited by Egmont van Dyck, founder of the site The iPhone Arts, to join a group of other "iPhoneographers" for monthly outings, inspiration and community. I have always known that I am not really a "group" person, but I pride myself on stepping out of my comfort zone when the opportunity presents itself, so with gratitude, I accepted the invitation.

This past Sunday I joined them at Fort Point in San Francisco for a few hours of shooting, lunch and lively conversation. I had fun, met many great new people, learned some things and took a few photos I was happy with.

©2013 Dianne Poinski

©2013 Dianne Poinski

While it was a great day, I found myself thinking about the experience of photographing in a group setting. I have always found it fascinating that so many different images can be created by a group of photographers shooting at the same place, but I don't feel I do my best work in those situations.

For me, photography is a deeply personal and meditative experience. Even though shooting with my iPhone has loosened me up, I still find it difficult to get into the flow of things when I am shooting with other people. We all went our separate ways many times during the hours we were there, but it still felt like a group experience.

On my way home, I stopped at an orchard that had caught my eye while driving west that morning. The sun was going down quickly, but the 20 minutes I was there confirmed what I had been feeling. I was more relaxed and found more joy in that short time of solitary shooting than I had during the day at Fort Point.

©2013 Dianne PoinskiThis image is manipulated past the point I usually feel comfortable with, but I have been playing
 with the "Distressed FX" app,  and the texture I used also added the birds.......

I have to stress that this has nothing to do with who I was with. They were all generous and warm people, so I am wondering what is it? Is it distraction? Am I being overly self conscious? Could there be a little competition?

Or could it be that's just who I am? Do I need a reason?

I am curious about how other photographers/artists feel about this? Do you thrive in a group setting or do better on your own?


  1. I've only ever really photographed on my own... well sometimes my husband is with me... but I'm doing the picture taking. I prefer being alone though for me it is also a meditative practice... I like to go slow and really look, wait for the light and shadow to really entice my heart, for the wind to settle or maybe to blow. Your photos are wonderful, I know I have much to learn viewing your art!

    1. Thank you Laura! I love what you wrote - "....wait for the light and shadow to really entice my heart....." Beautiful and well said! Thank you! I too venture out with my husband as well. He's also not photographing, but I appreciate that he drives me around and stops when I want..........very grateful!

  2. I am only an amateur photographer and from what I have done so far, I am happy shooting all by myself. That way I can concentrate on what I am doing. I can live in it. I was never comfortable photographing with people around me. I have always thought it was me, but then, today I know it's not only me :-)
    P.S: I love your photography and the way you process them!!!

    1. Thank you for your comment! It feels good knowing I am not the only one that feels this way!

      I love following your photography on IG! You do beautiful work!
      Have a great weekend!

    2. Thank you so much Dianne. Happy to have kind feedbacks from an experienced photographer.
      You too have a great weekend :-)