Visual Arts

Nine Favorite Photography Resources in Metro Phoenix

See also: A collection of local photographers and artists in our 2010 Creatives and 2012 Creatives feature See also: Bob Carey on Art, Photography, and "The Tutu Project"

The year of the shutterbug overload is here. Old school photographers might wince at the mention of Instagram, Hipstamatic, apps for photo filters, fish-eye lenses at Urban Outfitters, and all-too-prevalent use of countless tools on Photoshop, but technology has given the art form a new audience that embraces digital and experiments with alternative process.

There are plenty of great photographers in Phoenix. Heavy hitters, including Mark Klett, Betsy Schneider, Carol Panaro-Smith, James Hajicek, and John Wagner (to name a few), have ushered in a strong class of emerging photographers that showcase their work at ASU, through local galleries, and annual auctions. All of these artists might hold their own framing secrets and favorite photo spots close their chests, but we asked a few of them to dish out some basics -- for pros and amateurs alike.

Here are our favorite photography resources in Metro Phoenix.

9. Tempe Camera Tempe camera has long been a go-to for camera repairs, new equipment, film developing and dark room rentals. The staff might be a little intimidating, so brush up on your camera vocab before complaining that "there's a weird grinding noise when you zoom with the lens thing," but as with any good resource, these people know their equipment and they're not afraid to school you on a few basics.

8. Photography 101 You don't have to be a photography major to take an intro to photography class at almost all of the local colleges and universities -- just make sure you sign up early. Classes are usually taught by tech savvy grad students who will start with the roots of their art form and teach students how to use a film camera and develop their own film.

7. Tilt Gallery If your looking for inspiration and world-class workshops, check out Tilt Gallery. The space, owned by photographers Michelle and Melanie Craven and Sabine Guedamour, specializes in alternative process photography and hosts annual group, solo, and juried shows (they close for a short time every summer). Tilt's workshops include basic and advanced techniques in historic and alternative process photography as well as presentations from local and visiting artists. More information can be found on the Tilt Gallery website.

6. C.R.I.S. Camera Services Thanks to gravity, loose gravel, and inevitable bad luck, you're likely to drop that point and shoot, brand new SLR camera or bag of lenses at least once. And when you do, you'll want to head to C.R.I.S.. The Chandler-based repair shops specializes in digital camera and lens repair on, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Ricoh, Fuji, Sigma, Olympus, Sony, Kodak, Casio, Panasonic, and Samsung cameras, and while the rest of the country has to ship theirs into C.R.I.S., you just have to drive down the I-10.

5. Fine Art Framing If you're lucky enough to nab a piece by Mark Klett, Brad Armstrong, or Bob Carey, head straight to Fine Art Framing. Local photographer Richard Laugharn has run the framing shop in Tempe for years and has framed works by the best photographers in the state. Given, he might not be the cheapest option for your upcoming First Friday show or your final project, but he's the guy who guarantees to give your photograph a classic and sturdy home.

4. Snapfactory Photographers Mark and Diane Wallace run a full-service, digital studio that specializes in photographing people, but when they're not shooting subjects for a client, the photographers open up their doors for workshops for all levels in digital photography, commercial styling and video production. Classes are all hands-on and run from $150 to $500, depending on session time and equipment use. For more information, check out the Snapfactory website.

3. Norton Photography Gallery at Phoenix Art Museum When Phoenix Art Museum teamed up with the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona in Tucson, the local photography community was abuzz. The result is a gallery at the museum dedicated to showcasing a collection of historical and contemporary photographs that include more than more than 80,000 works by 2,000 photographers. Curator Rebecca Senf from the CCP has brought in work by Ansel Adams, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, W. Eugene Smith, and Edward Weston, to name a few. Currently on view is work by ASU Faculty member Stephen Marc. Admission is included in a museum pass.

2. Capture 12 at monOrchid Stephen Gittins is no stranger to teaching photography. The local artist has taught at ASU for years after getting his MFA, and this year, he found cool new digs at a studio inside monOrchid where he plans to do the same. Gittens' studio is called Capture 12, which aims to provide classes in photography that's not in a classroom. For more information on upcoming classes, check out the Capture 12 website.

1. Art Intersection In January, Alan Fitzgerald, with the help of local artists Carol Panaro-Smith and James Hajicek, transformed an enormous dance studio into a gallery/workspace in Gilbert. Yes, Gilbert. They founded the 7,000-square-foot space on photography education and built a number of classrooms for creative workshops and public lab space for alternative and digital processes. And then they put artwork on the walls. Since its 2011 opening, Panaro-Smith has curated shows that include daguerreotypes, platinum/palladium prints, photogravures, and gelatin silver prints from local emerging and established photographers.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton