Our Board

Below you will find the officers and staff of Treasure Coast Photography Center, Inc. These officers and staff make TCPC run smoothly and seamlessly, but we are always looking for new people to add to the team. 

You will find descriptions underneath the staff and can click on the links if you need to email our staff for any reason. 

Shape

Officers

Robbie Sheets

President
I remember becoming fascinated with photography when I was around the age of 7 or 8. My parents had a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye box camera they let me experiment with. My favorite photo subjects were Landscape and the family (portraiture). For those of you too young to remember, the Brownie looked like a vertical box. It was molded Bakelite body, an early form of plastic, and took 2¼” square negative (black and white, of course!) I got my first “real” camera, a 35 mm Pentax Spotmatic, in the early 1970s while in the Navy, after the Navy I returned home and joined the Ft. Pierce Camera Club where I honed my skill and my interest in this amazing art form. I started to do outdoor portraits and before long, I decided that I wanted to make photography a career. When I learned of a photography studio in Ft. Pierce coming up for sale, Studio Charles, 222 Orange Ave. I purchased it and operated it until mid-‘80s. Much of my work involved creating oil-tinted black and white portraits using a 5x7 view camera. I also photographed weddings, created portfolios for models and did some commercial photography using mostly medium format, Hasselblad & Rolleiflex equipment. In 2008 I joined the Treasure Coast Camera Club, which shortly thereafter changed its name to the Treasure Coast Photography Club, because they believed the name implied that we were a club collecting cameras not a club of photographers! Although I haven’t worked as a professional photographer since the mid 1980’s, I have never lost my love and passion for it. I was able to transition into the digital age relatively smoothly and find that I greatly enjoy the many benefits digital cameras provide, such as being able to immediately see the photo you took as well, and all the digital editing tools like PhotoShop, that help you make your good photos great. My first DSLR was a Canon 40D then I went to a Canon 60D and now my current equipment is a Canon EOS R5 mirrorless camera with an RF 24-105mm f4L IS USM lens and an EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens. I’m excited to be the president of the Treasure Coast Photography Center, which has grown to over 100 members. One of my favorite duties is facilitating an online discussion group among members who submit their images for the group to critique. Another favorite activity is reaching out to people in the area interested in our organization, finding out where their talents and passions lie, and welcoming them into this warm and amazing group.

Mark Smith

Vice President

I love art, and photography is certainly a part of that.  I have been drawing for as long as I can remember.  I have degrees in both commercial and fine art from JCA in New York.  I have completed 5 years of evening photography classes at IRSC including intermediate and advanced classes.  I shoot with a Nikon 5500, 5600, and 780.  Both my art and my photography are very diverse.  I love taking photos of landscapes, animals, architecture, weather, nighttime, still life and people.  I am vice president of the TCPC and in charge of the “Creative Alternative Artistic Photography.”  My art photography can make you feel as though you could shut your eyes and envision the morning fog along the pond, a baby black bear walking along the edge of the water, the dew on the beautiful flower petals. . . to sticking your finger in a light socket or getting hit in the head with a hammer. 

All in all, when I looked inside myself, I loved what I saw. . . art, and some things that I cannot explain.

Facebook: Mark Smith

Instagram:  Mart_Photography

Instagram: Dangerous_curves_art

Email: marks.art1212@gmail.cpm

Cell: 772 370-6347

Gwen Carden

Secretary

Gwen, a professional writer, became interested in photography in her mid-twenties after being hired for a PR job. She realized that being able to take good photographs would be a useful adjunct to her skill set, as they would improve the chances that the press releases she wrote and distributed to local media in Palm Beach County would be published. During those early years she met two Associated Press photographers who let her tag along on news assignments and informally taught her their craft. She received some formal photography education by attending two Nikon Schools. When she began writing freelance articles for national publications, Gwen learned that her stories would be easier to sell, and the fees more lucrative, if they included photographs. Doing such assignments led her to further hone her photography skills. She found that she enjoyed doing portraits and did portfolio work for a number of aspiring male and female models. She acquired a portable studio setup and went to places of business, or where events were being held, and did on-site photo shoots. Several years ago, Gwen taught herself food photography and was engaged by the grocery chain Food Lion to showcase recipes for their recipe portal, including shots of the various steps of preparation. Gwen still works primarily as a professional writer and doesn’t consider herself a professional photographer but rather a serious amateur who primarily uses her photography skills and knowledge these days for enjoyment.

Ginger Shoun

Treasurer

My first husband was stationed by the Army in Germany in the 70’s and I joined him after several months to have my first child. Every city over there had lots of parks, so their beauty (plus baby) inspired me to buy a 35mm camera at the PX to capture photos of ponds with swans and weeping willows and our son. Hubby left the camera in the cab heading back to the states.

The baby photos were ok, but the scenery shots were just snapshots, so I bought a Pentax K1000 back in the States and had a lot of fun, but even most vacation photos could only be called snapshots.

In 2000 I started working at the college, and shared a printer with Ceil across the hall, who previously had owned her own studio and had beautiful framed photos on her walls. Following her suggestion, I enlarged one of my favorite vacation photos and entered it into the Backus competition in 2004, and it was accepted. I also joined Indian River Photo Club but quit after several years because they all were doing digital and I was still doing film and didn’t fit in.

I joined Treasure Coast Photography club in 2006 but drifted away after a couple years. I came back in 2012, and became Treasurer in 2013, then added Field Trip Leader several years after that. I had to buy another camera in 2018, and got a Nikon D5500. I believe I have gotten so much out of classes, field trips, and workshops, and am truly passionate about my love of photography. Always learning!!

Board Members

John Furlong

Interest in photography was sparked by receiving two Nikon 35 mm cameras, for safe keeping, from my brother stationed in Japan in the mid-sixties. From there a progression with more film cameras while learning to develop and print with B&W film fed a desire to learn more and more about photography. A Fellow photographer suggested that since I was involved with nature/landscape photography, I should also try capturing similar scenes underwater. This lead to several years of exploring and capturing images of many different creatures in their underwater environment. It also ushered in learning to shoot using manual settings since flooding Nikonos cameras fries the electronics and I ended using underwater light meters to determine camera and strobe settings. I eventually surfaced and went back to above water nature/landscape scenes, using DSLR’s, lens and the new world of post processing. Have found that there is always a challenge and sometimes the unexpected with this type of photography along with applying what you learn in exploring other areas of photography.

Spencer Rutledge

John Nelson

John Nelson has been actively involved in photography since he was 8 years old. His father instilled a passion for photography in John and taught him his darkroom skills so that he could develop his own film and create his own prints. In 1972, John’s family moved to Rwanda in central Africa, and he attended Rift Valley Academy at Kijabe, Kenya, a boarding school for missionary kids. Already an accomplished photographer for his age, he became the editor and principal photographer for the school yearbook. John also began to experience the joy of wildlife photography at many of East Africa’s national parks. After graduating from RVA and Seattle Pacific University, John started a wedding photography and portrait studio business with his wife in Seattle, Washington. Moving to Florida in 1990, they continued to shoot weddings and portraits. In the early 1990’s they also partnered with Burdines and Estee Lauder to do glamour makeover events at the Treasure Coast Square location. In 2006, John changed his primary focus to wildlife and bird photography. He served as President of Audubon of Martin County for 8 years, and John continues to serve on their board as their conservation chair. Since 2010 he has also been the voice and producer of The Audubon Moment as heard on WQCS, Public Radio for the Treasure Coast. In 2018, John became the oldest (age 62) student to earn an Associates Degree in Digital Media Technology from Indian River State College while creating the documentary film “America’s Amazon, the Story of the St. Lucie River”. From weddings, portraits, photojournalism, wildlife and landscapes, John’s 58 years of photographic experience continues to be one of his greatest joys in life.