An Art Institute of Pittsburgh student wants to unite student photographers across the city.
There's no shortage of aspiring photographic artists and photojournalists in Pittsburgh, especially not on college campuses. But despite the abundance of student-run media clubs, opportunities for young photographers to network across schools remain scarce, says Richard Woodson, a senior graphic design major at the Art Institute.
"There are tons of schools down here," says Woodson (pictured). "Pittsburgh isn't large to the point where having all these people united is just unfathomable."
To remedy this lack of a citywide community, Woodson created a Flickr page and a Facebook page for his newly formed Student Photo Group of Pittsburgh, an organization open to photographers from any school.
With luck, he says, it will attract members from smaller on-campus groups, as well as others who, like him, don't enjoy brief, informal meetings.
"I was the person who wasn't interested in those small groups," he says. "I don't want to meet with people for 10 minutes and talk about our pictures and go."
Although Woodson hasn't yet established any meeting dates, he plans on using the club to organize activities as diverse as photo walks, gallery showings, print trades, picnics — even the publication of a blog and an online zine. And while his own passion is black-and-white film photography, Woodson is recruiting people from across all genres and practices.
"I spend about five hours each day scouring the Internet for these kids that I know are photographers and that are in college here in Pittsburgh," he says. "They have Tumblr accounts, they have blogs, they have Flickr accounts, they have Facebook pages. You don't make that if you're not trying to reach out to somebody."
Although Woodson will graduate next summer, he hopes the group — which currently boasts 13 members — will continue to grow in his absence.
"I'm just hoping this is something that lasts after I'm gone," he says. "I can definitely see it expanding beyond students."