July 2003 photographers’ meeting report

In July 2003, I organized a few networking meetings for photographers in the Tokyo area.

See announcement here:

The first meeting was held on July 10, 2003 at 7 PM in Harajuku, Tokyo (photo above). Here’s a very brief summary of what we did:

A total of 14 people came to our humble little dinner meeting in
Harajuku. We dined at the Sizzler restaurant, and it was a good
venue. (They let us pay the bill individually.)

First, we all introduced ourselves and those who brought their photos
passed them around after dinner. Architecture, belly dancers, nudes,
Okinawan dancers, B/W, etc.

Everyone was very friendly and we had no problem striking up
conversations with one another. Lil showed off her new Canon
PowerShot G5 digital camera, Louis talked about his botched interview
with Hiromix, Juergen showed his nudes published in a German digicam
mag, and John gorged on the salad/dessert bar all evening long.

Most people did not have a Web site, and some wanted to start one.
Lil highly recommended that you hire a professional to do it. But the
drawback was the cost. It sounds like we should have a photographers’
Web site workshop.

A few people went for drinks at the Pink Cow afterward.

It was great to meet everyone. Thanks for coming. Hope you had a good
time and were able to make new contacts.
July 12, 2003 meeting report
For the July 12 meeting, we had six people after two people (one from Numazu in Shizuoka) cancelled. It was another good meeting of people and photos (no women though). Six was a good number for everyone to talk to everyone. We met at the same Sizzler restaurant in Harajuku at 6 PM, but had to leave after 2 hours because of the Sat. night crowd. So we went to a coffee shop afterward at 8 pm. Most of the people were not in tokyo photo club, they saw my message board.

I met an Iranian photographer (who came all the way from Utsunomiya) for the first time. He showed photos of heroin addicts in Tehran. We also had a sports and financial photographer who just started out a year ago and now doing jobs for major clients.

A Canadian photographer showed us his two self-published books (50,000 yen for the first 10 copies). He gave advice about printing companies that offer self-publishing.

Louis came again and he showed photos of ama women divers (even while undressing) and backstage shots of the Miss Universe Japan contest (undressing, etc.)

People who show up at these meetings tend to be very sociable and friendly, so I’m very pleased with meeting these different people pursuing different things. Needless to say, it broadens your horizons when people share their worlds with you and vice versa.

So the next meeting will be the 26th or during that week. A weekday evening is also possible. So let me know if you want to meet and when. The meeting date is still flexible.

After July, perhaps we can arrange a meeting in the fall. A friend of mine who is the vice president of the Tokyo PC Club has welcomed my proposal to have a digital photography meeting at one of their monthly PC meetings. A few of us digital photographers could give presentations of digital photo equipment and techniques. I think doing a joint activity with the PC Club is such an obvious thing to do. They have an LCD projector so showing slides would be no problem. So that might be in Oct. or Nov.

Have a good July!
July 27, 2003 meeting report

n July 27, 2003, eight people came to our meeting, including three women! (Actually only 2 of them were photographers, and one was a very nice mum).

We met at Sizzler in Harajuku 5-7 pm. Dorian, one of the original members of Tokyo Photo Club, also came. He complained about how the photography market (mainly stock) in Japan was really depressed.

In contrast, the lovely and busy Kerry Raftis talked about her booming business in shooting portfolios for models in Tokyo. So folks, it IS possible to make it as a photograper in Japan.

Federica asked about rental darkrooms in Tokyo where you can make prints 11×14″ prints. The only one she knew was in Yokohama. The ones in Tokyo was only 8×10″ maximum, so she has to continue going all the way to Yokohama.

With great regret, Alan didn’t think of bringing any photos to this photo meeting whose main purpose was to show pictures to people, so you have to see his Web page. (See his note.)

Australian, Singaporean, American, Austrian, Italian, and Japanese. The group was very cosmopolitan as usual.

I’ve met over 25 new people this month through these meetings. I got the feeling that there’s a need for specialized photography workshops. I don’t mean teaching the basics, but teaching studio lighting (with a live model), making a Web site, Photoshop lessons, and digital photography (especially scanning). I’ve noticed a lot of people have not really sat down and learned the basics of these subjects.

I know a few people who are experts in these fields and who can easily teach these things in English. We just need to set a time, place, and logistics. There aren’t any computer classrooms which we could rent for Web site or Photoshop lessons (if you know of such a place, tell me), so you would need to bring your own laptops with the required software. We could try that in a place that has a lot of power outlets.

No, I’m not interested in establishing a photo school, but occasional workshops would be helpful I believe. It’s something I have to think about after the summer. Thanks to all the people who came to the three meetings.

Hope y’all enjoy the rest of the summer.