On top of being director of editorial strategy at Communitech (and my boss) and having 18-month-old twins, Tony Reinhart has also helped launched a new photography event in town. You know; in his spare time.

I made Reinhart sit down over beer to tell me all about FLASH, and what inspired him to get involved.

From the age of five, when his mother handed him a Kodak camera, Reinhart has been fascinated by photography. In fact, he strongly considered becoming a photographer during college. Though he chose to focus on journalism full-time, photography remained a passion and a hobby.

This past March, Reinhart was chatting with some like-minded friends at Pascal Dufaux’s art exhibit. Dufaux was mixing art and technology in his installation, which got some of the attendees chatting about other ways to use Christie technology with artistic media. Reinhart, along with Charles Fraresso of Christie, Catherine Bischoff of CTT, Gordon Hatt of CAFKA, Mark Walton of Foto Re, George Tsintzouras of Christie and Darin White of makebright decided the Christie projection technology would be the perfect way to showcase photography.

“It kind of happened spontaneously,” Reinhart said. “We ended up having a conversation about how to incorporate photography with the local tech community and do something interesting. Charles had mentioned that Christie had just installed really great new projectors in the Tannery Event Space and that would be the ideal venue for something. We buckled down to figure out what we could do and that’s how FLASH came to be.”

FLASH is a one-day event that celebrates photography. The event will happen January 23, 2015 at the Tannery Event Centre.

It’s a response to the ubiquity of photography these days, Reinhart explained. Today everyone seems to have a camera on them.

“We kind of take it for granted now,” Reinhart said. “You can just pull out your phone and take a picture. But photography used to be something that was a niche type of hobby. Some would say an elite pastime, because it cost a lot for the equipment and it cost a lot for the film.”

FLASH is the group’s attempt to surface and highlight great photography from Waterloo Region (and beyond).

FLASH has a call out to all photographers – professional or amateur – to submit one image to the event website by January 4, 2015. A panel of photographers and art curators will judge the submissions. Successful applicants’ photos will be shown during the event, and three local photographers (yet to be named) will have their work featured. Headlining the evening will be Barbara Davidson, an award-winning photo-journalist with the LA Times who started her newspaper career locally at The Record. Davidson will be giving a talk at FLASH as well as having her work featured.

“We want to surface talent, but still adhere to good photography,” Reinhart said. “This isn’t a vehicle for people to throw up any old photo they snapped with their phone and put a neat filter on. It’s still based on quality photography. Everything will be curated.” He added, “We just want to bring more people into the community of what you would call ‘good photographers.’”

FLASH is a photography exhibit for the 21st century. Don’t expect to show up and stare quietly at prints on a wall.

“It’s going to be a fun, social event,” Reinhart said. “There will be appetizers and drinks. It will be a bit more of an upbeat and energetic evening. And all the photos will be shown digitally instead of in print.”

“Hopefully people will get inspired; they’ll interact with each other and get to talk about what makes a good photo,” Reinhart said.

So, what makes a good photo?

“A good photo is one that you remember looking at and then you want to keep looking at,” Reinhart said. “One you don’t forget as soon as you look away from it.”

***

While many of us will be busy snapping holiday photos this weekend, there’s a lot more going on in Waterloo Region. I see and hear that…  Head down to Kitchener’s city hall tonight to meet City of Kitchener artist-in-residence, Dwight Storring. Local startup Palette is helping to power the exhibit. The reception runs from 5-7p.m…. Leadership Waterloo Region is hosting an information session this Thursday Dec 11 at 4:30 p.m. at their offices in 230-B Gage Ave, Kitchener… If you’re still working through your gift shopping, you can cross some items off your list and be serenaded by traditional Victorian carolers in UpTown Waterloo the next two weekends. The carolers will be out starting at 5 p.m. on Dec 12. Trolley rides and a visit with Santa will also be happening… Take your family out and bowl for a good cause on Monday Dec. 16 as part of Magnet Forensics’ OUR bowling event at Bingeman’s Kingpin Bowlounge at 425 Bingemans Centre Drive in Kitchener.

Photo: Tony Reinhart, one of the FLASH co-founders, is excited to see Waterloo Region’s finest photography exhibited at the first FLASH event.