Contact: 775-687-0610 | 855-729-7117 (toll free)

FOCUS Photographer Symposiums

FOCUS is a photographer symposium sponsored by Nevada Magazine, organized and moderated by Art Director Kippy Spilker.

Comprised of presentations and demonstrations given by respected talented local photographers as well as organized photo walks and outings, these events are great social learning events for photographers. Come and meet new friends, gain helpful insight and knowledge, and just have a good time. This cost varies, depending on location, and is open to photographers of all levels, from beginner to pro. Even if you’re simply shooting with a cell phone, you will likely still find something of value, and at the very least you might get to meet others with similar interests and make some new friends.

See information on past FOCUS events at the bottom of this page.

FOCUS 3 is now open for registration! It will be held Friday, June 22, 2018, and will begin at the Brewery Arts Center in Carson City. There will be an optional brown-bag-lunch social hour at Carson River Park, and the event will resume at 1:30, with guided photo tours (not mandatory – you can explore on your own or with friends) at Silver Saddle Ranch.

The cost is $10 non-refundable, and you must register online (or by calling Carrie Roussel at 775-687-0610) in order to attend. Attendance is open to those aged 15 or older, and will be limited to the first 80 registrants. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m., Thursday, June 14.

• 8-8:45 a.m. will be meet-n-greet time. If you are not interested in socializing, you don’t need to show up for this.

• 8:45 – 9 a.m. is time for welcomes/brief introductions and the group photo. The first presentation starts promptly at 9 a.m.

• M.d. Welch will give a live studio lighting demonstration at 9 a.m. and then we will move on to 20-minute “How did you do that” presentations

• Cindy Whitaker shares how she got her first gallery show

• Rick Mosher describes the magic behind his creations

• Larry Neel will extoll the benefits of diving back into your archives and reworking older photos

• Kristen Kabrin tells us how she got out of her comfort zone

• Kippy Spilker discusses ways in which you can use your photographic talent to “pay it forward”

• After lunch, Larry Burton and Mark Vollmer will lead photo tours around Silver Saddle Ranch. Tours will run from 1:45 – 2:30 and 2:45 – 3:30. Larry’s tours will involve more walking, and include the fields east of the ranch and the ditch going south with a focus primarily on macro/flowers/insects, etc. Mark’s tour will include the ranch, old dump (flowers growing amidst antique remnants) and ditch going north with a focus primarily on landscapes. Each tour will leave from the red ranch house – please be there by the start of each tour if you are interested in participating.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER! The cost to attend is $10 non-refundable, whether you attend morning, afternoon or both. We ask you to specify when you plan to attend simply for planning purposes. After you register you will receive an email with release of liability verbiage asking you to respond that you accept (in simple terms – if you get hurt while attending this event, you will not hold Nevada Magazine responsible). Without your acceptance (or, if you are under 18, a parent or guardian’s acceptance) you will not be able to participate in FOCUS 3.


FOCUS 4 will be coming in winter of 2019 (Jan-Feb timeframe), to the Vegas area.

Not many details are firmed up yet, but check this page later in 2018 to learn more about what will be in FOCUS down south, for the first time!


FOCUS 1 was held Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in the Laxalt Building chambers, Carson City. It featured 4 presenters for a half-day event, followed by lunch at Q’s BBQ (no longer open, due to a catastrophic fire).

• Melissa Knight spoke on gaining and retaining customers

• Larry Burton shared the basics of taking sharp photos

• Christi Tolbert discussed the stock photography market

• Neil Lockhart gave tips and tricks for nighttime photography


FOCUS 2 was held Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at the Legislature Building in Carson City. A full-day symposium, this event had lunch catered in and featured 9 speakers.

• Neil Lockhart gave a live light painting demonstration

• Kaitlin Godbey showed everyone how to build a better Instagram profile

• Michael Horsley shared how he gets his best wildlife photos

• Jerry Fenwick went a step further and shared how people can get the best wildlife photos, even from their own back yard

• Kristen Kabrin kicked off our “How did you do that” session, featuring black and white photography

• Dennis Doyle, “How did you do that” shared long exposure tips

• Susan Koppel, “How did you do that” explained how people could get great zoo/animal sanctuary photos

• Lee Molof, “How did you do that” went through some post-processing options

• Kippy Spilker ended the symposium by sharing tips on bettering your chances of being published in Nevada Magazine

Please contact Kippy Spilker with any questions about the FOCUS photographer symposiums.

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