In Search of Community / by Zack McDowell

New York City is a wonderful place. Around every corner lurks some grand adventure full of surprises that you've yet to experience. Most days while strolling underneath the expansive skyscrapers we imagine all the human-beings that fill each room. We think about how those lives are interconnected and how each one will eventually influence the world. The rhythm and beat that drums the city fills our spirit and rejuvenates us to daily create the best images we know how. At the end of the day the City is filled with people and it's people that continue to inspire us.

One day while sipping some ice coffee on a hot afternoon we realized that there's something missing from this dream of a city. After some thought we came to the conclusion that, while we are surrounded by people, one thing that is missing is community. Being a creative in the digital world can be lonely at times. Sure you have set days that are filled with some of the most creative and fun people but in the end, you head back to the studio to edit for days on end. You contact clients through email, phone calls, and every now and then you head to lunch to catch up.

While most days our job can be the most satisfying thing in the world it's not the same as gathering - truly gathering for the sake of gathering. To know others and be known. In an effort to infuse ourselves into a group of like mined people we became members of two amazing organizations - American Photographic Artist and The Art Directors Club.

APA|NY is one of the country’s leading non-profit advocate for commercial photographers. Their goal is to establish, endorse and promote professional practices, standards and ethics in the photographic community. They do so by seeking to mentor, motivate, educate and inspire photographers in the pursuit of excellence. Their aim is to champion and speak as one common voice for image makers to the photographic industry.

ADC, founded in 1920, is the first global organization to celebrate and award leaders in creative communications. Also a nonprofit organization they are one of the most concentrated groups of creative talent in the world, ADC’s mission is to connect, educate and inspire creative professionals around the globe through its programming. From its Manhattan gallery to its international membership base, ADC provides a neutral forum for creatives of all levels to network, learn and grow.

So far our experiences with both organizations have been extremely positive ones. We've been able to connect with so many inspiring people that continue to motive and grow us in ways we have still to discover. For that, we are forever grateful.