Introducing speakers, mentoring fellow photographers and reviewing student portfolios were just some of the highlights for Sedona photographer Bob Coates when he attended Imaging USA the Professional Photographers of America’s (PPA) annual convention in Atlanta Georgia.
When asked, “Why mentor other photographers?” Bob replied, “To give back to the photographic community! People were there for me as I was an up and coming photographer and this is part of the way I say thank you to those who blazed trails before me. From a purely selfish standpoint I also learn a bunch when I teach. You often have to find new ways to explain ideas because everyone learns in a different way. Finding that new way of expressing photography ideas makes me stretch and that increases the depth of knowledge.”
Imaging USA is also the site of one of the world’s largest International print exhibitions and Coates had three prints he submitted accepted for display in Atlanta. The prints on display were a commercial image of ‘Tlaquepaque in Winter’, and two illustrative images, ‘Flowerscape’ a black and white gerber daisy and ‘Salute to Georgia O’Keeffe’ with an artistic rendition of a cow’s skull over a flower and artistic background. “I will always try my hand each year in print competition,” exclaims Coates. “It makes me push and stretch the limits of my photography knowledge and that’s great for my clients because things change so fast images that would have landed in the PPA Loan Collection a few years ago now might not even make it into the general collection today.”