Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Deanna Gomes…

I can’t even tell you how I came across Deanna, but loved looking at the images on her website and reading about the passion she has for photography on her blog… and thought others would enjoy learning about her as much as I did.

World, this is Deanna Gomes, Deanna the world:

I’ve been a hobbyist photographer since I was 10 years old, in the Girl Scouts, were I learned how to make a pinhole camera with a roll of 110 film, some cardboard, and heavy duty tape. It wasn't until I was 37 that it evolved into a business. I was sitting on the beach in Lompoc, California at sunset while contemplating what I was going to be when I grew up. I heard a shriek of laughter from a little girl and turned to see her dancing in the surf. The sun was low and as the waves rolled in around her feet as she danced. It looked like the ocean was filled with glitter! It literally caught my breath!

I said out loud, “I wish I had my camera!” and it was right then that I knew I’d be a professional photographer some day!

In my search for knowledge and information on photography I realized how difficult it was to find. There seemed to be more websites and forums for photography than any other craft, but they only contained hints of what I needed. I was frustrated, but I was determined.

Yearning is such a creative force me. It drove me to find the knowledge and develop the skills that would help me create the images that lived in my imagination. As my portfolio and my business grew, the desire pushed me to understand the trinity of good exposure, to create a beautiful website and so on. No matter how much I learn and what I become skilled at, the drive for more remains in me.

It was shortly after moving to Colorado Springs that I joined a photography club that was just starting, I wanted to hang out with the beginners and hobbyists with the hunger to learn. There’s nothing like standing beside photographers with passion coursing through their veins, reaching out, sharing what they know and opening their minds in amazement.

We have 300 members in various stages of skill and development. Some of our members are seasoned professionals with fully outfitted studios and other members are moms with point and shoot cameras who just want to get better snapshots of their kids.

The group meets twice a month for education based instruction as well as once or twice a month for some fun photography outings. We are very active and very social group!

“Friday Nights with Studio Lights” started as an extension of the club members' interest in learning more about studio photography. I vividly remembered what it was like to hunger for the knowledge and have it be so difficult to come by, so I opened my small studio on a Friday night and invited 6 brand new, fresh out of the gates photographers in to learn and play. The only requirements for participation were that they had to bring an SLR camera and a bottle of wine! One of our fellow photographers modeled for us, we drank wine, moved the lights around, discussed lighting patterns, f-stop, shutter speed, focal length, posing, backdrop choices, and drank more wine.

We laughed hard and bonded strongly! Word spread, and as the photos were passed around I started getting calls from other photographers asking to join us on “Friday Nights with Studio Lights”.

Today the event still hosts only 6 photographers at a time as well as two models. I enjoy bringing other professionals in for these studio nights as it rounds out the experience and knowledge sharing quite nicely. We all learn from each other, the environment is so rich… and the best part is that it's totally free!

If you are interested in participating in a “Studio Night” feel free to contact me.

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