The SLC Photo Collective in downtown Salt Lake City has been open since July 2011 and is more than a photography studio. It also is an art gallery and a place that hosts educational workshops.
Dave Brewer, owner and operator of SLC Photo Collective, had a dream of opening a place like this for quite a while. Before he started SLC Photo Collective, Brewer ran a small studio out of his home and would host workshops out of Marriott Hotel conference rooms.
“The environment [from these hotel conference rooms] felt so limiting,” Brewer says. “That’s when the wheels started turning in my head. Wouldn’t it be great if we just had a space where we could host these workshops? Where we could have a place to shoot, where we could teach classes and do workshops and get people involved?”
Brewer loves sharing his knowledge of photography
As his work and name got around, he found himself outgrowing his studio in his house. He had an idea to find a larger space that he would allow other photographers to rent either on a full time schedule, or for even just an hour.
Photographers can rent the space full time at a rate of $500 a month or $300 part time per month. For photographers not wanting to lease, there are rates starting at $50 per hour.
The idea was to also allow photographers on a budget to donate some of their time to help out at SLC Photo Collective in trade for studio time. Brewer feels he is providing opportunities to these photographers that he never had when starting out.
Brewer also started a group on meetup.com that informs artists of upcoming workshops that cover a wide range of topics from hair and makeup, to photography to learning how to use Adobe programs.
Brewer didn’t stop there. He was always searching for new ways for the SLC Photo Collective to serve local artists.
“That’s when the idea started, why don’t we have an event space where we could do art galleries?” Brewer says. “We should jump on board with Gallery Stroll.”
Gallery Stroll is a non-profit organization that hosts gallery strolls every third Friday of every month. Galleries across downtown open their doors to the public and showcase art from different backgrounds.
SLC Photo Collective became part of the stroll
The work showcased in the 3,500 square foot studio is mainly work from photographers. But currently SLC Photo Collective is also showcasing some paintings on their walls.
Because of SLC Photo Collective’s location, they have somewhat drifted from the gallery stroll crowd. However, the art showcased in SLC Photo Collective is open to the public.
Brewer’s favorite aspect of SLC Photo Collective is the social aspect. He loves bringing the community together and loves to share the art of photography. From events that SLC Photo Collective has hosted, Brewer knew it was going to be a place that brought creative people together.
“At our grand opening show, first night we opened, I was like ‘whoa, this is going to serve the community a little more than I anticipated,’” Brewer says. “Over the last year and a half, I feel as though a lot more photographers have come together.”
The main aspect of SLC Photo Collective is a collaborative community for photographers. Though the space is open to any type of art and creativity in the community, Brewer’s main view and dream for SLC Photo Collective is essentially for the photographers.
SLC Photo Collective has become a place where seasoned photographers can share ideas. Also it’s become a place for new photographers to network and learn and grow.