The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Picture perfect: Shutter junkies share their love of photography

  • Rachel King didn't even own a camera when she was in Bob Phelan's Photography 1 class. The six-week course is part of Rolla's continuing education program.
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  • Rachel King didn't even own a camera when she was in Bob Phelan's Photography 1 class. The six-week course is part of Rolla's continuing education program.
    "My husband bought me a camera for my birthday so I could keep up with the class," said the St. Robert resident.
    It didn't take long before she was hooked; so much so that just six months after completing the class, she opened her own portrait studio appropriately called The King's Photographer.
    King is proud to call herself a "photo junkie." So are several hundred other photography folks in and around Rolla and beyond who are card-carrying members of the Ozarks Shutter Junkies.
    According to Phelan, former Missouri University of Science and Technology staff photographer, over the years there had been a number of start-up photo clubs but because of a lack of organization and short-lived enthusiasm, they fizzled out.
    Since 2012 the Shutter Junkies have not stopped their monthly meetings nor have they stopped swapping ideas and images.
    "There are no rules or dues," said Phelan who has been the group's leader since its inception. "Instead this is a very informal group with different skills who come together to meet and share ideas."
    Barbara McNamara, of Doolittle, has been a part of the group for several years now. She also met Phelan through his photography classes.
    "We have a very diverse group of members who are all at different levels of photography skills ranging from amateur to professional with many in between. One major component we have in common is the drive for knowledge to improve our skills," she said. "I am proud to be part of this amazing group."
    As well, she has learned a lot about printing photos, sharing them on the Internet and the business end of things.
    They usually have a member of the group who is an "expert" in a particular photo area. For instance, that could mean a wildlife or landscape enthusiast or a wedding photographer. They also talk about equipment and a lot of "how to."
    Phelan added," We exist to de-mystify the camera."
    King added that one the best parts of the group are the field trips.
    "We'll get a group together who are interested in going down to Maramec Spring Park or Dillard Mill.
    Anne Lindgren, a founding member of the group, said that the Junkies really took off when they launched their Facebook page.
    "We went from 23 people to over 300 members today," she said. "Through Facebook people post their photos, comment on them and make suggestions."
    King has been very impressed with the work of the young people who have been a part of the group. She says that youngsters bring a unusual perspective to photography.
    Page 2 of 2 - "My hope is that we can get more young people involved in the group. Photography is not just for individuals but it can be done as a family. I'd love fathers, daughters, or mothers and sons to do this. It would be a great chance for them to share a common interest."
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