Yes, Photography Can Be a Team Sport

Derrick Story
2 min readNov 17, 2022
Heceta Head Lighthouse near Florence, Oregon. Photo by Derrick Story.

We parked our cars in the sweet afternoon light at the lookout for Heceta Head Lighthouse. I could hear the excitement in their voices as they set up tripods and mounted their cameras on them. Twilight was only moments away.

Heceta Head is a special place. It’s rugged and beautiful and spiritual all at once. You remind yourself while framing the shot that this icon has been photographed a thousand times. Yet, there’s always room for one more. And that’s what we were doing this November evening.

Our photography workshop was already half way over. Eight enthusiasts plus myself had been exploring the Oregon Coast in three SUVs. I mixed up the seating daily so folks had a chance to learn more about each other. I found EV charging stations in hospitable costal towns such as Reedsport and Yachats. Fish and chips were served everywhere. Life was good.

Once we gathered each morning at our headquarters, we were together shooting or processing images as a group until it was time for dinner. And even then, they would break into smaller groups to keep the conversation going.

We usually don’t think of photography as a team sport. Typically, we’re off alone or with a buddy as we explore the world through our camera lenses. But that’s often the result of circumstance rather than desire.

My experience after leading workshops for the past 10 years is that photographers are social creatures when around their own kind. In other social situations they may be awkwardly hiding behind their viewfinders. But who doesn’t feel slightly out of place at an office mate’s wedding reception?

But when you mix photographers with other photographers, it’s like kids at a birthday party. My biggest challenge is keeping their fingers out of the cake.

Photographers working together at twilight. Photo by Steve Csoto.

The sun dipped below the horizon at the lighthouse lookout. One of the photographers turned his camera back toward the pack as we were working the scene. The image he captured, of us engaged in our individual visions, but as a group, is worth a thousand words to me.

Derrick Story

Photographer, writer, podcaster — — Editor of "Live View" on