Off The Wall Join us on October 1 for an evening of fine art, door prizes, trivia questions and fun. Your Off the Wall ticket purchase will guarantee an upgrade to your art collection while supporting DCP's efforts to bring the power of photography to our North Texas community.

Member of the Month

Originally from Maine, Michael Girard currently lives in the Dallas area. He retired from the US Navy after 24 years of service and continues to serve in a defense contractor role supporting the Navy. He always enjoyed photography but only seriously pursued it as a hobby beginning in 2014. Michael enjoys exploring abandoned places and photographing them after dark. He likes the relaxed feeling of waiting three or four minutes to capture one image and the peaceful surroundings these places usually offer. He also enjoys shooting landscapes and city lights.

How do you support your photography habit?
Retired from the Navy, I have a military pension and currently work full-time in the defense industry.

When did you start taking pictures?
I’ve always liked taking pictures but never realized that there were “rules” involved. A Navy photographer taught me the rule of thirds in the late 90’s, and that was the only rule I was aware of until another friend taught me the exposure triangle and how to use my Nikon D3100 in manual mode in 2011. I took my first class with DCP (then Spot Studio) in 2014. That was when I really started taking it seriously.

What was your first camera? Current camera?
I’ve had multiple cameras over the years, but I started taking it more seriously when I got my Nikon D3100. I upgraded to the D7100 shortly after which I still use today. I still want to make one more upgrade, but I’ll wait until I know for sure because that should be my last camera.

Have you ever made money from your photos? Is it something you plan to continue?
I’ve sold a few prints here and there, mostly to friends at work. I had planned to attend a couple of art fairs this year to check out how photographers sell their prints with plans to try that out next year. Eventually I plan to build a website but not for a couple more years. I may also start contributing to a stock site.

What motivates you to pick up your camera? How do you feel when you’re shooting?
Now that I have a few years of practice, I’m usually able to capture what I intended to capture. But every once in a while, I’ll get an image that seems to look better than the scene I was shooting. It’s hard to describe but I look forward to those magical captures even though they don’t happen too often.

View more of Michael’s work on Instagram.

Connie Carr is based in Dallas and travels frequently in her role as a national account manager for an Italian company. She enjoys the hectic travel aspect of her career, feeling lucky to visit so many places and enjoy local culture. To balance that busy schedule, Connie appreciates spending quiet, meditative time in nature for photography. By observing the lines, structure, and rhythm in nature and adding artistic camera techniques, she hopes to capture a little bit of nature’s magic in her fine art images.

If you aren’t a full-time professional photographer, how do you support your photography habit?
My job allows me a great deal of flexibility to enjoy photography. Even though my photography work is “part time”, it is growing into a full-time profession.

When did you start taking pictures?
Technically, I was four years old.  My first photo, which I still have, was of white ducks and a bridge. My mom thought I was wasting film. I remember thinking I was creating a masterpiece! The more real answer is 17, when I was editor of the high school yearbook. I wasn’t a fan of the photos that had been submitted for consideration, so I borrowed the principal’s 35mm camera. I had no idea what I was doing, so he taped the wheels and buttons of the camera in place and told me not to move them. It worked! I got my shots!

What was your first camera? Current camera?
Kodak Instamatic? First “real” camera was a Canon AE1. My current systems are Nikon and Fuji.

Have you ever made money from your photos? If so, is it something you plan to continue?
Yes, I have done dance, sports, portrait, product and lifestyle shoots for many clients. My focus going forward is very different. I’m focused on nature photography with final images intended for print, either for a wall or to be included in a photo book.

What motivates you to pick up your camera? How do you feel when you’re shooting?
I actually stopped shooting two years ago. Most of my work at that time was product and lifestyle photography for corporate clients and it wasn’t fun for me anymore. It was probably more about burnout, but I needed a break so I stopped. A year into that pause, I very randomly decided to join a group of photographers on a trip to the Palouse area of Washington state during the harvest season. I had never shot landscapes before and I really don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to go on that trip. But I went and was awestruck with the jaw dropping scenery in that area of the country. The calmness, serenity and enjoyment of photography returned to me during that trip. Fast forward to today and I continue to focus on nature photography.

View more of Connie’s work on her website or Instagram.

Born in Saskatchewan, raised in North Dakota and Montana. I started messing around with photography early on, shooting black and white film with a Kodak Instamatic and learning to process my own film in the bathroom, which in turn I converted into a makeshift darkroom. When I was about 14 my older brother who was in the service during the Vietnam war finished up his tour of duty and decided to take a trip to Europe for several months. He shipped all his belongings home and spent the next several months abroad. All his stuff was stored in the basement of our house and I just started digging through boxes where I found two 35mm cameras, a Walz Envoy 35 which was a knockoff of a Leica Rangefinder and a Minolta SRT 101 single lens reflex. I appropriated both, and was on my way to a career in photography.

I attended Montana State University and received a degree in Film and Television. While going to school, I was photo-editor of both the Yearbook and the newspaper, and worked summers for a portrait studio and held a second job as a Ranger for the Forest Service. At the ripe old age of 21, I started my first photo studio with a close friend and we began shooting advertising work for DANA Corp, Sharp’s Firearms and Big Sky Ski Resorts to name a few. The major bonus of this was never having to pay to ski (Awesome)!

In 1980, I moved to Dallas and began working at a large commercial photo studio, where I shot annual reports, catalogs and advertising for a varied clientele. After a few years working as a shooter, I moved on to running the studio portion of the business as well as shooting. In 1985, I started Anderson Studio and have had three different studio locations over the years. Currently, I specialize in people, fashion and oddly enough, motorsports. To those who know me and my penchant for Hotrods, not too surprising.

In 2005, I purchased a building and built a 5000 sq. ft. live work studio situation that has drive-in access for shooting cars and other large sets. Currently married to professional make-up artist, Paige Anderson, we shoot together when we can and we sometimes still speak to each other. Check it out at