I’m surely the final participant to journal this event, but better late than never. I decided to make the trek to Ray Larose‘s brainchild, NEWLK in May 2015. It included an 8 hour drive for me, and many of the participants were awed when we were doing meet-and-greets outside the SBUX on the market square that afternoon.
I’ve tried on more than one occasion to raise a group locally who’d want to socialize and shoot on the regular, but as a result of what I can only assume is my abrasive personality have failed in that regard. Since leaving the professional life, I’ve wanted to reconnect with people who enjoy photography for its own rewards, as opposed to dealing with peers who see your jobs and opportunities they’ve lost out on. The professional life for me was a solitary one, with no cooperation or community feel. While studying photography in college, I made real friends with similar goals and dreams. We all were drawn to art school for a shared love of making images.
So I ended up driving to find like-minded friends and found them.
First thing’s first: finish the roll of PanF in the camera.
OK, let’s WLK!
Our group numbered above 20, and I didn’t get to shake down everyone for their details and philosophy on life, but I did make some connections.
After a good stroll, I had put some faces to twitter handles and found that I wasn’t the only regular person on social media. Many of the conversations and laughs were completely natural, as if a group of old friends had come together organically.
There was gear chat, composition chat, smack-talk about film stock.
I found myself falling behind the group on more than one occasion simply because I have the compulsion to talk to people I don’t know, and usually ask to take their photo. I get some odd looks, but I also get some memorable frames.
We had a pub dinner, enjoyed some golden light and went our separate ways. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve made a lifelong friend or two in that afternoon. Hopefully other participants came away feeling the same.
Images in this set are courtesy of Rolleiflex MX, 3.5 Xenar loaded with Kodak Ektar. Processing and scans handled with aplomb by Richard Photo Lab, Valencia CA.