CONTENT PRODUCTION, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
BUILDING A COMMUNITY THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo Night 2017 - 2019
As soon as the seats went in and the curtains went up, I was itching to host events in the movie theater in the basement of Mobelux. One of my other proud scores (see below) was rescuing 24 period-correct theater seats from Richmond stalwart, The Westhampton Theater, that sadly was slated for demolition as soon as construction began on Saunders Station. With the great resources of the building, including an HD theater with reference-quality audio, classic theater seats, a popcorn machine, I new I had to get great stories in there.
Being a photographer himself, Garrett, Mobelux co-founder, challenged me to develop a program that would engage and inspire. Not solely serving as a happy hour or a meet-up, I lined up presenters who'd inspire through their words and their works. Ethan and I made it a point to meet every photographer in town we could, attending meet-ups, book events or screenings & openings, in an attempt to build a diverse group of artists.
We'd luckily made friends with a few early on who championed the cause and provided a sounding board for our ideas. As we went, having talented hands available to help with the events became key. When we were hosting & greeting, we had some of the cities best photographers helping run the happy hour, shoot behind the scenes footage or help clean-up.
As an aspirational event I wanted to ensure we were always pushing the envelope. I also challenged us to ensure that the bills were as diverse as possible, always looking for additional opportunities to represent unheard voices. This also gave a great chance to contrast more experienced professionals with new voices, a dynamic that we found great success in.
These diverse bills also allowed a new audience to continue to build, and each presenter, whether they a seasoned pro or rising star, brought their own insights, styles and followers to the space.
The event continues to grow, but recent successes include: an exclusive first-look at a national Documentary on renowned Photographer Garry Winogrand by VCU Film & Photography chair Sasha Waters Freyer (balanced by a presentation by the mysterious and talented Mister Fili) and a night of daredevils; grizzled Commercial Photographer Adam Ewing sharing stories of thrill-seeking motorcycle shoots offset by wunderkind, National Geographic photographer and world traveler, Trevor Frost.