FOCUS–Fellowship of Communicators Uniting Socially is a fellowship located in Atlanta, Georgia. We are professional communicators who meet in various locations around Atlanta, throughout the year, to support each other and our work.


Robin Rayne Nelson's Keynote Presentation


Billy Weeks' Keynote Presentation


Billy Howard's Keynote Presentation


Question and Answer time with Billy Weeks, Robin Rayne Nelson and Billy Howard




Speakers:

Billy Howard is a documentary photographer, writer and videographer. He is vice president of the board of directors for Atlanta Celebrates Photography, the nation’s largest community based photography festival, and was a 2011-2012 Rosalynn Carter Fellow in Mental Health Journalism. He holds an honorary doctor of literature degree from St Andrews University in North Carolina and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other non-profit and governmental sources.

His work has been exhibited with the Smithsonian; the Library of Congress; Vogue Italia; on a five-city tour of Japan; and has been featured in documentaries for Frontline and HBO. He has been interviewed on Good Morning America and CBS This Morning and his images were projected at the opening ceremonies for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games during a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. He was selected as a 2016 Photolucida Critical Mass 50 photographer.

Howard produced the first full-length documentary book on the AIDS pandemic: Epitaphs for the Living: Words and Images in the Time of AIDS. His negatives, prints and correspondence from that project were acquired by Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, and his photographs are in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the High Museum of Art, the Carter Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other public and private collections.

 

Billy's Talk at Emory June 26, 2017


Robin Rayne Nelson is staff photojournalist and documentary producer with the Institute on Human Development and Disability at the University of Georgia. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, Time, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Der Spiegel, Paris Match, NBC News and London Daily Mail among scores of other domestic and international newspapers and magazines over the last 25 years. Robin specializes in disability, social justice and human rights issues throughout the Southeast and is represented by ZUMA Press, a news media agency serving news venues worldwide.

Robin is based in Canton, Georgia.

 

 

 

 

IHDD Documentary Project

 


Billy Weeks has worked as a journalist for over 30 years. His career started with the Chattanooga Times in 1984 as a staff photographer. In 1995, he became the Photo Team Leader, and in 1999 he was named Director of Photography/Graphics at The Chattanooga Times Free Press and in 2010 he became an independent documentary photographer.

As a photojournalist, Weeks has covered assignments that range from the World Series to small villages in Central America and Asia. In 2016, he was honored to give a Tedx talk Two Views in Documentary Photography on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His photographs of poverty in Honduras were selected as an award of Excellence for editorial photography in the Communication Arts Photography Annual. Additionally, he has won the Gordon Parks International Photography award twice and was a finalist ten times. He was awarded the Freedom of Information award from the Georgia Associated Press and many other awards for journalism. CNN and Photography District News featured his photographs on baseball in the Dominican Republic and Central America. His work has been exhibited at the New America Foundation in New York City, Hunter Museum of American Art, Art of Photography Show, Slow Exposures, South x Southeast, and several universities.

Weeks is a lecturer in photojournalism at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Southern Adventists University. He has been a visiting speaker at many Universities and a presenter at several workshops. He believes that not only should journalists cover their assignments, but should also give something back to their profession. Today he lives in Ringgold, Georgia with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs.

 

Day At Work - Billy Weeks

 



 

Video from our last meeting


Speakers on Panel

We are having a panel discussion on the importance of diversifying and how to provide what clients are searching for today.

Dr. Houston Davis serves as the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer of the University System of Georgia. USG is comprised of Georgia’s 30 public universities and colleges including four research universities, the Institute of Oceanography, State Archives, the Public Library System, and statewide Information Technology Services. USG enrolls approximately 314,000 students and employs approximately 41,000 faculty and staff.

Prior to May 2012, Davis served as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and served as the state’s liaison on the national Complete College America initiative. Prior to 2007, he served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the Tennessee Board of Regents, on faculty and in academic leadership for Austin Peay State University, in fiscal and academic affairs for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and as a regional counselor for the University of Memphis. In addition to his past professional duties, he served in the role of Director for the National Educational Needs Index project, a Lumina funded initiative measuring educational, economic, and population pressures in the 50 states that influence policy and planning at local, regional, and national levels.

He is involved in research projects and writing in higher education governance, economic development, and accountability issues and serves on several national advisory groups on higher education policy, degree completion, academic preparation, and accountability. He received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University with other degrees from the University of Memphis and Tennessee State University.

In addition to his professional duties, Houston Davis has served as director for the National Educational Needs Index project from 2004-2011, an initiative measuring educational, economic, and population pressures in the 50 states that influence policy and planning at local, regional, and national levels.

Dr. Davis is involved in research projects and writing in the areas of higher education access, governance, economic development, and accountability issues in higher education and serves on several national advisory groups on higher education policy, degree completion, academic preparation, and accountability.

A native of Clarksville, Tennessee, Davis received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, Nashville.


Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs and chief communications officer for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She is known across North America for work in agricultural issues management and crisis communication. She manages strategic communications, issues management, brand and executive reputation management, crisis communication and legislative relations for the college, agricultural experiment stations and Cooperative Extension.

She holds an associates degree in journalism from Middle Georgia College and bachelor and master degrees in journalism and communication from Georgia State University. Before joining the University of Georgia in 1993, she spent more than 10 years as an Atlanta newspaper reporter, public information officer and marketing specialist. She has won numerous regional, national and international awards for writing, editing, media relations, marketing and communication training, and is an often-requested speaker on media relations, crisis communication and other public affairs topics across North America.

She has published research and professional development papers on defining agriculture to urban audiences, effective media relations in urban markets, strategic issues management and working and managing in a telecommuter workplace.

Her current work focuses on what promises to be the greatest social justice issue of the next decade – food security around the world.


Michael A. Schwarz is an independent editorial and corporate photographer/videographer based in Atlanta, Georgia. Over a 30-year career Michael has completed more than 6,000 assignments for publications and corporations around the globe. His editorial client list has included USA Today, Fortune, Forbes, Business Week, The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, National Geographic Traveler, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Sports Illustrated. His corporate client list has included The Home Depot, UPS, The Coca-Cola Company, Harvard University, Brown University, GE, Synchrony Financial and Porsche.

Michael has a background as a photojournalist and is a 3-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. He has received numerous awards from the Pictures of the Year competition and was a winner of the Dag Hammarskjold Award for Human Rights Advocacy Journalism. Many, many years ago LIFE Magazine featured Michael as one of the best young photographers in America in a special issue of their magazine. In 1998, Michael collaborated with author Ellen Spears on the book "The Newtown Story: One Community's Fight for Environmental Justice." Michael is a native of Baltimore and a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Michael has served on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar and the Atlanta Chapter of ASMP. He maintains membership in the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP),and the Atlanta Press Club. In a recent reader’s poll sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club, Michael’s collaboration with writer Steve Sternberg, “When AIDS Comes Home,” was voted the favorite Atlanta story of the last 50 years.

In addition to his photographic work, Michael does digital photography consulting and training. His corporate clients have included: Nikon, and Best Buy. He is a featured trainer with Blue Pixel Inc. and has been a lead instructor of Nikon School since 2001 a workshop leader for the Mentor Series.


Greg Thompson is senior director of corporate communications for Chick-fil-A, Inc., one of America’s largest privately held restaurant chains with 2,000 restaurants and annual sales of almost $7 billion.

Prior to joining Chick-fil-A, Greg spent 25 years in worldwide management and executive positions with IBM in Atlanta, Tucson and Tokyo. In his career at IBM and Chick-fil-A, Greg has edited several magazines and web sites, produced numerous events, product rollouts, videos and multi-media packages and has hired countless photographers, videographers, writers and producers – including a number of Pulitzer Prize winners. He also has worked during that time as a writer, producer, photographer and consultant for a number of well-known organizations.

Greg joined IBM after a career as a photographer and journalist for three newspapers and The Associated Press.

He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he studied history, political science and sociology while also working as a reporter and photographer for the then Gannett-owned Nashville Banner.

Greg also is involved as a volunteer and consultant with several faith-based NGOs around the world. He serves on the boards of HOI, which focuses on Honduras and Nicaragua, and SCORE International, which focuses on the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama and Cuba. Greg accompanied a SCORE medical relief team into Haiti shortly after the 2010 earthquake and worked with CRASH Japan and Samaritan’s Purse in Tohoku, Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. He has also done volunteer work in Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and Cambodia.

Greg and his wife, Mary Belle, have been married 32 years and live in Marietta, Georgia.


Show your work

clockWe will have time for 5 minute shows. You can show anything you like to the group, just stay under five minutes. If you have something longer, maybe show us a clip and give us a link to see the longer version on the web.

We will use the timer to let you know if you need to stop.

We hope this exercise will help you practice before you meet with clients that say they can only give you 5 minutes.

There are people who will drive a long way and really want everyone to see their work for some feedback. Practice your presentation before you come with a timer.


Camera Cleaning & Repair

BerrieBerrie Smith, professional camera repairman, will be at the meeting doing professional cleaning of camera sensors for $30 and lenses for $10. Berrie is one of the guys Nikon sends out to large sporting events to provide live repair and sensor cleaning service to the NPS pros covering the event.

Without proper camera cleaning and digital camera sensor cleaning most photographers have experienced their photographs ruined by unsightly dust spots in their images - these dust spots are characteristically gray/black areas and are usually visible when photographing continuous tone scenes. Cleaning your camera equipment is not only a great way to ensure it continues working properly but is also a necessity in today's digital world. Digital sensors are electrically charged devices, which attract dust particles because of their static electric charge. The digital camera sensor, if not cleaned properly, will result in images with black spots scattered throughout your photographs.

You can buy off the shelf sensor cleaning kits and attempt to clean your image sensor but if you are not careful you can do a lot of expensive damage, very quickly. The cost to replace a scratched low pass filter / image sensor assembly ranges from $600 to $1,600 (parts and labor) depending on the camera.

Berrie does repairs for photographers all over the world. Ken Rockwell even lists him on his website as someone he uses. I personally have used Berrie and continue to refer him to my friends.

 


August 2015 Meeting

If you plan to come, please drop Stanley an email letting him know how many in your party are coming. We want to encourage you to invite your photographer colleagues.

When: Saturday, August 22, 2015
Time: 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Lunch @ noon: Provided by Chick-fil-A [Need you to register to have a meal ready]
Program: 12:30 – 4:00 pm
Where: Roswell Presbyterian Church - Fellowship Hall

    Map of 755 Mimosa Blvd, Roswell, GA 30075
    755 Mimosa Blvd Roswell, GA 30075
This is the campus map of the church. Park on the Oxbo Road side and come in the door closest to the Youth Wing. You will find the Fellowship Hall down the hall on the left.

map


Speaker

Pat

Patrick Murphy-Racey
Knoxville, Tennessee

Sony Artisan Associate Patrick Murphy-Racey has been looking ahead and adapting to the “next thing,” for his entire career. While he started in newspapers, he quickly moved into magazine editorial work, then into corporate and advertising, high-end wedding photojournalism, and now half of his assignments are video. Patrick has traded in his Canons and Nikons and shoots almost entirely with mirrorless cameras and whatever lenses he wants. Many of his portraits these days are lit with LED’s rather than strobes, and he only has one camera left that even takes a CF card. Murphy-Racey is looking ahead at 4K, how that technology will impact stills, and is always looking to tell a good story with stills or video, or both. At 50, Patrick “ain’t skeerd” of what lay ahead and is excited to share life lessons on staying fresh as a visual journalist. Patrick will share why Christ must be the center of trancending, reinventing, updating, adapting, and making forward momentum as we shoot our way through life.

pmrphoto.com
instagram.com/pmrphoto
vimeo.com/user1069751/videos


Devotional Speaker

GaryGary Chapman
Atlanta, Georgia

I specialize in capturing moments that help organizations create awareness, express their vision and build their community. You can trust me to bring an honest, photojournalistic style to your commercial, corporate, editorial, or non-profit assignments.

Working both locally and in more than 70 countries has taught me how to approach people with respect and empathy, whether they are from the lowest castes of India or the upper echelons of corporations and media limelight. Everyone has a story. We can work together to communicate your message in a way that deeply connects your audience to the purpose you want to accomplish.

Delta, World Vision, Atlanta Mission, National Geographic publications and National Geographic TV are just a few of the organizations that have called on me.

When not working, my wife Vivian and I enjoy urban living in a 1936 converted soda factory loft in Atlanta where we have been experiencing the joys of walkability, public art and sharing the Atlanta Beltline with the diverse population of a very creative Atlanta.

www.GarySChapman.com


Show your work

clockWe will have time for 5 minute shows. You can show anything you like to the group, just stay under five minutes. If you have something longer, maybe show us a clip and give us a link to see the longer version on the web.

We will use the timer to let you know if you need to stop.

We hope this exercise will help you practice before you meet with clients that say they can only give you 5 minutes.

There are people who will drive a long way and really want everyone to see their work for some feedback. Practice your presentation before you come with a timer.


Camera Cleaning & Repair

BerrieBerrie Smith, professional camera repairman, will be at the meeting doing professional cleaning of camera sensors for $30 and lenses for $10. Berrie is one of the guys Nikon sends out to large sporting events to provide live repair and sensor cleaning service to the NPS pros covering the event.

Without proper camera cleaning and digital camera sensor cleaning most photographers have experienced their photographs ruined by unsightly dust spots in their images - these dust spots are characteristically gray/black areas and are usually visible when photographing continuous tone scenes. Cleaning your camera equipment is not only a great way to ensure it continues working properly but is also a necessity in today's digital world. Digital sensors are electrically charged devices, which attract dust particles because of their static electric charge. The digital camera sensor, if not cleaned properly, will result in images with black spots scattered throughout your photographs.

You can buy off the shelf sensor cleaning kits and attempt to clean your image sensor but if you are not careful you can do a lot of expensive damage, very quickly. The cost to replace a scratched low pass filter / image sensor assembly ranges from $600 to $1,600 (parts and labor) depending on the camera.

Berrie does repairs for photographers all over the world. Ken Rockwell even lists him on his website as someone he uses. I personally have used Berrie and continue to refer him to my friends.



If you plan to come, please drop Stanley an email letting him know how many in your party are coming. We want to encourage you to invite your photographer colleagues.