Central Maryland Photographer’s Guild (CMPG)
CMPG is an education and public service directed affinity group based in Photography.
Will Burnham and Geren Mortensen, Jr., conceived CMPG in the spring and summer of 2003. The founders saw the need for an organization that serviced the Central Maryland area and the methodology of the guild was dedicated to a goal of providing education and photography skills.
The first official meeting was held in November 2003, with a group of a half-dozen intrepid souls who gathered in a cold fourth grade elementary school classroom. Meetings were held monthly and CMPG grew in scope and attendance.
Mr. Mortensen was contacted in 2016 and was asked to provide additional history of CMPG. He explained that many of the area camera clubs were focused on equipment, competition and exhibits. CMPG founders saw those who weren’t “star performers” and could not get feedback or critique of their photography. He stated that the new photography group would not put attention on judging, prizes and awards, but encourage the sharing of ideas and so members could enhance their technical and artistic skills.
Warren von Uffel concurred on the above-mentioned comments, and also noted that “CMPG was formed as a reaction against the usual camera club’s interest in competition-based meetings with event along the way. The initial group wasn’t able to sustain the guild as an active camera club, but two members from this initial formation maintained their respective friendship and active photographic activities. After a hiatus of about two years, they formed the CMPG more or less as we know it now in 2016. The initial meetings were used to set the ground rules that we try to follow to this day.”
January 2010, the first slate of formal officers were elected and bylaws were adopted. In 2010, CMPG filed to change the business structure from a d.b.a (doing business as) to an Unincorporated Association. Stephen Talabac noted that Warren von Uffel was the official first director of CMPG. Further, Mr. Talabac reported that the yearly dues were $25 and remained at the same amount until 2016 when dues were increased to $30.
One of the first major undertakings was participation in Ellicott City’s “Art and Dine” program of 2004. Eight members of CMPG participated in the event in which over 100 works were exhibited and offered for sale through the Gallerie Elan (formerly Margaret Smith Gallery.) The opening reception was one of the largest events held at the location for a local artist or group.
CMPG continues to expand our repertoire of seminars, topics, and events. Speakers at our meetings have included Baltimore/Washington area photographers, Howard Korn, Timothy Edberg, Ian Plant, Greg Holden, Art Silverglate, Michelle Frankfurter, Karen Messick, Irene Socilotto, Peter Foiles, and Cam Miller, along with a host of other talented photographers. CMPG has hosted public workshops by and for professionals. Our members and officers develop their own presentations centered around various techniques and technical aspects of photography. We believe that we are one of the best places to come if you are looking to examine and improve your photographic techniques in a peer-driven environment.
As we move to the future, CMPG is positioning itself as one of the premier amateur photographic organizations in the Baltimore/Washington corridor.