Members of Kenai Camera and Coffee meet at a local coffee shop. (photo courtesy Colette Gilmour)

Local photographers find confidence through collaboration

The group is putting on show at Kenai River Brewing

Since 2019, local photographers have been meeting for coffee at least once a month to share tips, practice trends, and “inspire each other.” This month, their work adorns the walls of Kenai River Brewing — the first collaborative show by Kenai Camera and Coffee.

Colette Gilmour, a commercial photographer, said Tuesday that she started the group because she was looking for a local photography community, and she couldn’t find anything that was still active.

“I decided to just jump online and create a Facebook event.”

Now, the group meets once a month in the summertime, and every other Saturday in winter.

They collaborate, they go on shoots together, they share tips and discuss new happenings in the photography industry. They also bring their latest work for critique.

Kim Sparacio said Wednesday that the group has a variety of members — from professional photographers to folks shooting with their cellphones.

Photographers, Gilmour said, are “solo creatures.” For her, meeting up, comparing work and sharing ideas drives motivation to keep shooting.

Irene Houdek said Thursday that being in the group has given her confidence as a photographer.

Putting on a show is a big step. For some of the photographers, like Sparacio, it’s the first time they’ve ever had work publicly exhibited.

Gilmour said that it was interesting for the artists to see their work printed out for the first time, instead of on a phone, camera or computer screen. Despite the photographers’ different styles and sensibilities, she said the show works as a cohesive whole.

“They really complement each other,” she said. “I feel like that says a lot for our group because we’ve created that friendship and bond.”

A release from the group says all the work answers the question “What inspires you about your life on the Kenai Peninsula.”

Gilmour’s pieces capture people fishing and mountains rising over the landscape. Houdek’s center on “simplicity,” a fallen leaf covered in frost and a rocky beach on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. Sparacio’s are each photos of fishing, but one was taken in 2018, the other in the last year.

Kenai Camera and Coffee’s Facebook group can be joined by anyone, Gilmour said, regardless of skill level or equipment. It’s at

Reach reporter Jake Dye at

Members of Kenai Camera and Coffee meet at a local coffee shop. (photo courtesy Colette Gilmour)

More in Life

Homer students pose after their performance from the musical Shrek on Saturday after the three-day Broadway Bootcamp theater workshop with director Jim Anderson in October 2023, in Homer, Alaska. (Emilie Springer/ Homer News)
Intensive Broadway Bootcamp offered in Homer in August

During the five-day bootcamp, youth participants will work with top performing artist educators to develop leadership skills through theater arts.

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Young actors rehearse their production during a drama camp put on by the Kenai Performers in their theater near Soldotna on Thursday.
Kenai Performers’ drama camp trains young actors, puts on ‘super’ show

When they arrived, most of the actors had never performed before, but in just a week they’ll put on a real show

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
A copy of Howard Weaver’s “Write Hard, Die Free” rests on an ink-splotched guard rail in front of the Peninsula Clarion’s defunct Goss Suburban printing press on Thursday.
Off the Shelf: ‘Write Hard, Die Free’ an exciting and incisive window into history of Alaska, journalism

Immediately after the death of legendary Anchorage reporter and editor Howard Weaver, I picked up a copy of his memoir

This 1961 drawing of the Circus Bar, east of Soldotna, was created by Connie Silver for a travel guide called Alaska Highway Sketches. The bar was located across the Sterling Highway from land that was later developed into the Birch Ridge Golf Course.
A violent season — Part 1

Like many such drinking establishments, Good Time Charlies usually opened late and stayed open late

Dillon Diering and Sarah Overholt dance while the Tyson James Band performs during the 45th Annual Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival in Moose Pass, Alaska, on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘We’re about community’

Moose Pass throws 45th annual Summer Solstice Festival

This summer salad is sweet and refreshing, the perfect accompaniment to salty meat and chips. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Fueling happy memories

Fresh salad accompanies an outdoors Father’s Day meal

Minister’s Message: The way life will be

“Is this the way it was all meant to be? Is this what God had in mind when He created us?”

Photo provided by Art We There Yet
José Luis Vílchez and Cora Rose with their retired school bus-turned-art and recording studio.
‘It’s all about people’

Traveling artists depict Kenai Peninsula across mediums

Promotional Photo courtesy Pixar Animation/Walt Disney Studios
In Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale) and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira) aren’t sure how to feel when Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke) shows up unexpectedly. Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, “Inside Out 2” releases only in theaters Summer 2024.
On the Screen: ‘Inside Out 2’ a bold evolution of Pixar’s emotional storytelling

Set only a year after the events of the first film, “Inside Out 2” returns viewers to the inner workings of pre-teen Riley

Most Read