In helping others understand the goals and mission of the Iowa City Photographers Guild, I thought it would help to share the story behind its creation.
Over ten years ago, I created ResourcesForLife.com as a single website to serve as home for a variety of activities and interests; including my pro-bono photography work, mostly with an emphasis on travel photography, photography as art, and creating stock photos for use with web and print content.
For many years, it was adequate to keep my photography interests under the ResourcesForLife.com umbrella. While I do some professional / paid work, much of the photography I do is simply for the love of photography.
In 2010, as WordPress.com became a more formidable hosting service, I began using it for my website customers with great success. I also started launching independent websites for my various interests (computers, web design, photography, music, wellness, etc.). As a born collaborator with a desire to cooperate with and help others, I decided to launch some websites that would be broader than my own personal work and feature the works of others. These are separate from my own personal professional websites. Here are some examples:
- inspiring-music-videos.com – Through this site I’ve made some really wonderful connections with other local and global musicians.
- iowacitycomputersupport.com – Having met and worked with many of the local computer support providers, I decided to setup this site as a local directory and help line. I regularly take phone calls and respond to emails to help customers find a match for their support needs. It’s appreciated by customers as well as the support providers. Although I’m a computer support provider, 95 out of 100 calls that come in I typically forward on to someone else.
- iowacityjewelry.com – With a desire to help promote downtown retail businesses, and having been impressed with the quality jewelry stores we have in downtown Iowa City, I setup this site.
- iowacitywebsitedesigners.com – Through this website I’m happy to have established friendships with many of our local website developers.
- supershrinkme.com – This website still has some growing to do, but the goal is to provide a website where people can share their wellness journeys through their own 120-day lifestyle transformations.
So, it’s in the spirit of these other sites that I launched the Iowa City Photographers Guild website. I’d already been attending local photo walks and meeting with local photographers. My belief was that a more formal organization could help facilitate greater collaboration in our area — and it has. To date, we’ve had many local photographers join the group and connect in some way.
With regard to collaboration, I’d been most inspired by the efforts of Valerie Duvick who began working with other startup photographers and helping promote their work. Photography can be a competitive business, but Valerie Duvick helped create an atmosphere of cooperation. We have some of her videos here on the ICGP website. These videos are an inspiring example of how when we work together, we can be more than if we work in competition with each other.
Since starting the ICGP, I’ve helped setup websites for many local photographers and helped promote their work. I’ve advertised for them here on the website and elsewhere. Most of this I’ve done without any charge. My passion has been to help promote lesser known photographers who might otherwise have a difficult time being discovered.
I hope you’ll join with the ICGP and support the spirit of collaboration and cooperation among photographers in the Iowa City area.
~ Greg Johnson