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  • The idea to display local amateur photographers’ work for sale, rotating monthly, came after the crew at Side Street Framers partnered with Annapolis professional photographer David Blecman in February, adorning the store’s walls with his landscapes, still lifes and stunning nature photos.
    Photo by Meredith Thompson
    The idea to display local amateur photographers’ work for sale, rotating monthly, came after the crew at Side Street Framers partnered with Annapolis professional photographer David Blecman in February, adorning the store’s walls with his landscapes, still lifes and stunning nature photos.

Side Street Launches Photography Program To Spotlight Local Shutterbugs

Meredith Thompson
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View Bio
March 6, 2014

Aspiring photographers, listen up: There’s an exciting new opportunity to have your work critiqued by a professional, learn how to improve your skills, have your photos displayed for sale and gain local exposure coming to a frame shop near you. Beginning this March, Side Street Framers & Gift Gallery in Severna Park is hosting a program in conjunction with Annapolis-based, internationally recognized professional photographer David Blecman, inviting shutterbugs of all skill levels to enter their best work for selection for a monthly exhibit at the store.

“We love photography, number one, and number two we love promoting artists,” co-owner Donna Philips said, explaining the idea came about after Side Street hosted a month-long exhibit for Blecman in February.

Participants are encouraged to digitally submit three photos that fulfill the monthly theme – this March, water - to Blecman for critique. On the second Tuesday of each month, he will provide insight on the composition of their work, including what they did well and areas in which they can improve. “I’ve watched him critique and he is phenomenal,” Philips emphasized. “There were no tears, and he did it in a way that was very constructive critiquing, and funny at the same time.”

During the program’s first critique in February, Blecman offered insight on framing and composition, color, exposure, subject matter and other elements of capturing a great photo. “These critiques are not competitions – all I do is talk about all the good points of each photograph and what they could do to improve upon it,” he shared. “I think what people learned … is how to see and crop things a little different knowing that the photos may be displayed; when they have elements of a photograph so close to the edge, if it does get matted and framed they’re going to lose part of that image.”

Following each critique, the staff at Side Street will select a collection of photos they believe will sell the best, and notify the photographers their work has been chosen to be exhibited for sale throughout the upcoming month. Side Street will then get the photos wall-ready with acid-free matting and backing so consumers are presented with a finished product.

Following the mid-month critiques, Side Street will host an artists’ reception on the first Wednesday of each month, inviting the photographers’ friends and families as well as the community to come and enjoy their work and all that the gift gallery has to offer.

“We have been highly impressed with what has been submitted thus far,” Philips observed, illustrating they’ve seen photos ranging from waterfowl to sailboats to children and more. “You can tell that [the photographers] are very conscientious about how they’re taking photos.”

David Blecman began his photography career shortly after graduating from high school in the late ‘70s, and before turning 20 was named photo editor of his local county newspaper. After nearly two decades of shooting everything from weddings to bar mitzvahs, he launched his own photography company, Positive Negatives, in 1997. His extensive portfolio boasts work done for companies including White House, Black Market and Bath & Body Works, as well as celebrity shoots featuring President George W. Bush, Beyonce, Jimmy Buffett and many others.

Side Street Framers & Gift Gallery is located in Park Plaza at 558B Ritchie Highway in Severna Park. For more information about the photography program, contact Donna at Side Street Framers by calling 410-544-9050, or go to www.sidestreetframers.com. To participate as a photographer, go to www.meetup.com and join the Annapolis Photography Workshop Group and Side Street Framers meetups.


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