…continued from yesterday’s post.
As I mentioned, we caught up with our group. We started by shooting the outside of the Baker Hotel, like I’ve done so many times before. I can never get enough of that old building. But then I noticed something. Something I’d never seen before. A swarm of people INSIDE the grounds. Not in the building, but on the grounds inside the fence. Well! If our faithful leader, Maureen, is inside then it must be OK. Come to find out she had received permission from someone (I don’t know who and it doesn’t matter. She’s our leader and I must follow!) I was so excited! How many times have I wanted to get beyond the fence and get up-close-and-personal with that old hotel, and now I am going to!
Karlie and I walked around through the fence and took full advantage of all the opportunities that awaited. Just as we had crossed over the pool, I noticed a couple of men sitting on the ground obviously doing some work on a piece of equipment. I recognized one of them. Yes, it was Peter Talke, in the flesh. I excitedly went up and introduced myself. What a very nice man! You can tell he is real and has a heart to help others.
One thing I’ve discovered over the last couple of years since getting serious about photography, there are two types of “professional” photographers: Those that claim to be professional and display it proudly as if to build themselves up, regardless of what portion of their income derives from their work of photography. And then you have those who are truly professional and desire to assist others without feel of competition, who build up others with true constructive criticism rather than tearing them down unlike the first group. You can spot the first group easily in forums or when asking questions by the snide remarks and short, quick answers. I guess they feel they must in order to make themselves feel superior. The second group is the one I want to associate with, and Peter fits into that group. The short conversation I had with Peter, I can tell you…he is a true professional. I hope to have the opportunity to learn from him in the future!
We took a number of photos on the grounds of the old hotel and even went to the lower level by squeezing under a closed gate. What an awesome experience! Now my next dream is to have the opportunity to (legally) get inside the building! As we were leaving the area, a handful of photographers were still on the property when we heard sirens. Yep, the police had arrived and although our leader had received permission to do what we had done, it had not been communicated with the police department so they escorted the others off grounds. They are usually not very lenient and will ticket immediately (and in some cases, bring out the cuffs without hesitation!)
What perfect timing! We were so thankful that we had been allowed to spend the hour or so on the grounds before the police arrived. We had all the photos we desired and decided to walk the streets of Mineral Wells to gather a few more photos for our collection.
If you have never been on a photowalk, do it! Don’t wait for next year’s Scott Kelby walk. There are many groups that do them regularly and you can find one near you through Meetup.com. What is great about a photowalk? Too many benefits to name them all, but here are a few:
- Experience! I am primarily a landscape photographer but doing a photowalk such as this forces me to go beyond my comfort zone, which leads to…
- Learning! You learn so much from shooting your own photos but also from those around you, which leads to…
- Making new friends! You meet people who start the day as total strangers and in the end make wonderful new friends and you build relationships by…
- Connecting with others of like-interests!