Guerrilla Photo Group hosts free studio sessions for pros, amateurs

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 8/3/17

A revolution is rising in the world of photography and Taos finds itself a newcomer to the front line of the battle.

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Guerrilla Photo Group hosts free studio sessions for pros, amateurs

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A revolution is rising in the world of photography and Taos finds itself a newcomer to the front line of the battle.

For the past two months, Marion Carrillo and Isa Stewart have been hosting a satellite of Albuquerque’s Guerrilla Photo Group in their home. They are welcoming newcomers and professionals to use their studio and gain experience in “the business.” The group exists to give both pros and amateurs the opportunity to learn more about the field of photography and master skills needed for studio shoots and fieldwork. After joining the Albuquerque group and moving to Taos, Carrillo decided to give Taoseños the same opportunity he was given. Now he educates participants with his knowledge of photography.

“Photography is an opportunity to freeze a moment in time,” Carrillo said. “In the studio, you have control of that time. This is an opportunity for you to create a small world and to capture that in the back of your camera.”

Thursdays from 6 p.m. to midnight at their home, Carrillo and Stewart set up a backdrop and adjustable studio lights for subjects and photographers to use, free of charge. Models, makeup artists and photographers are encouraged to stop by and share their talents with the group. They must be older than 18, as adult material and themes can be present in some shoots. Guerrilla Photo Group was set up to encourage collaboration between the various disciplines of the arts, as well as those of varying experience in other fields.

Originally founded in 2006 by photographer Rip Williams in Albuquerque, GPG has grown to include communities of photographers, models and other artists who have been published in various venues and mediums. The group is free for anyone to join. All work produced at the shoot must be for noncommercial use. Studio space is usually assigned a time. Cleanup in between sets is up to photographers.

“It’s a great group, always learning, always expanding,” said photographer Steven Bradt. “If you really want to expand your skill set, hook up with a networking group so that you can learn from others and then apply what you learn and practice, practice, practice.”

Bringing together professionals and amateurs has put a smile on Carrillo’s face on several occasions. Every week, he watches people create art they may not have thought possible before. Hosting events that average 10 to 15 people per session, GPG is always looking to expand and work with additional artists.

“GPG is the place for the people who don’t feel like they belong,” said Carrillo. “Photography is always what we are about. That comes before anything else and no judgment is passed here. All walks of life are welcome. We toss it all into a studio-shaped blender and just say, ‘Go.’”

Carrillo joined GPG after trying to get his life together and realizing he may have not been on the right path. He said he has not looked back since. Before hosting the group in Taos, Carrillo was given opportunity from connections made through the Albuquerque GPG group, including a brief career in the film industry and real-time photography studio experience. Stewart said she began learning photography when she was given a camera at an early age and she has been involved with the craft ever since.

There are basic standards for the group, but for more information on GPG, visit guerrillaphotogroup.com.

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