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The Garden Club of America’s 2023 Photography Conference: Storytelling


February 01, 2023

Photography enthusiasts gather virtually for a visual feast

On Thursday January 26, The Garden Club of America’s 2023 virtual Photography Conference Storytelling brought GCA club members together for a visual feast and inspirational banquet. The one-day virtual event featured several prominent photographers and a group of photography friends sharing their creative expertise. 

During the morning session renowned National Geographic photographer, Sam Abell, famously known for his inspirational “Life of a Photograph” series shared his approach to “micro and macro composition.” Encouraging the group to practice “deep seeing,” he analyzed the various techniques used to produce some of his most iconic work.

His presentation was followed by a lively conversation with Mary Jo Hoffman, a former aeronautical engineer and creator of the popular blog STILL. Hoffman began sharing her images online eleven years ago by posting one nature-themed flat-lay photograph a day. At the conference she preached the benefits of “dailiness.” She suggested that creating and sharing something daily can help shut down the inner critic and override perfectionism.

Jim Richardson, another accomplished National Geographic photographer, kicked off the afternoon session by showcasing common themes found in photographs he’s shot around the world. He finished by considering the place of mobile cameras in visual storytelling. “Mobile phones excel at storytelling and communicating,” he said. 

The conference concluded with The Imogenes, a group of friends who shared photos to communicate. Their unusual “game of telephone” resulted in an exhibit titled the “Visual Conversations Project.” Their journey also sparked inspiration for club members to find similar ways to connect through photography.


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