A Long Time Coming
In May of 2015, I told Jake McCluskey of Shutter Click Adventures that I had an idea for a site that would blow the doors off of Photo Education as we know it. While he was intrigued by my broad claim he countered it with, “So when are you going to make this thing happen?” My response was hopeful but problematic to Jake, “January 2017”.
He laughed for a bit then told me that we should begin working on it sooner than later. I had a ton of projects lined up ahead of me that were going to continue pushing back the launch of f.64 Academy. I thought I was doing the right thing, but as it turns out I was just full of excuses. For the next eight months, Jake would bring of f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite quite often.
As a matter of fact, we went through many names before we settled on f.64 Academy. The first name was Rudis Media; the second was Rudis Academy. We were pretty dead set on Rudis Academy, but as we discussed it more and more, the thought of using my name in it just didn’t seem right. It didn’t fit the mission of f.64 Academy, especially f.64 Academy Elite.
My vision for the site was to have a place where everyone’s ideas and opinions are looked at equally. After all, the only way we are going to innovate and move the photography industry forward is if we do it as a team. I cannot be the only thing that moves it forward; it has to come from group discussion, social engagement and the involvement of everyone’s experience that decides to become a part of the f.64 Academy Elite. With these ideas in mind, Rudis Academy sounded vain, arrogant, and pompous. That is not what I wanted my direction to be.
Why the name Elite?
Before I begin describing f.64 Academy Elite, I want to clarify that we are not Elitists. Typically Elitists believe they, and their opinions, are higher than others. Elitists, in their right, are held to a high standard, but that standard is seen negatively by those around them.
Now that the Elitist mentality is out of the way, let’s look at Dictionary.com’s definition:
With these definitions in mind, we can elaborate on the mission of f.64 Elite. We are a group of individuals working in the collective group of photographer’s. By ourselves we can be successful, we can grow as artists, and we can develop all of the necessary traits to be considered a professional, all of this is possible. However, as a group, we can accomplish anything at an exponential rate! In our growth process, we will be looked at as authorities figures with influence in the Photography industry.
Surely, we could stand alone quite successfully but as an Academy of Elite Photography Professionals, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. We know that there is no such thing as a plateau in our passion for photography. We know that through Constructive Criticism and Social Engagement we will get to the root of problems more efficiently and fix them with more efficient means. We know that there is no such thing as “That is how we have always done it” and that a mantra of Continuous Improvement will only yield more professional results every time.
I am more excited than ever to open the doors of f.64 Elite and welcome anyone who wants to innovate the industry we work in and more importantly, wear a positive attitude in the process! Welcome to f.64 Elite.