Alright, I apologize off the bat for the blatant self-promotion. As most of you know I try to keep that to a minimum in my stream, at least as much as I can considering in some way every image I post of mine is a form of self-promotion. But you get what I mean. ;-) ... I hope.
Nonetheless, I did want to take a moment to mention this, in large part because a lot of you have e-mailed me asking when I would do more workshops, and I wrote all of you back with some answer or another, more often than not promising to let you know when I created my next schedule of workshops.
Well here it is.
But wait! There's more. It is not just me, alone teaching these workshops but a friend and fellow photographer Aaron Reed, who many of you probably already know. So finally a project that the two of us have been working on for what feels like hours, if not days has come to fruition. Just kidding, we have been cooking up this scheme for several months now.
Teaching workshops like this is an... odd business. (How is that for a sales pitch). But seriously, it is. I have been doing this off and on for something like five years now, teaching photography that is. I guess teaching has been on my mind longer than photography, before I got bit by the photo bug I got my degree in history and was on the cusp of applying to graduate school to become a history teacher when all those plans got waylaid by photography.
I enjoy teaching. It seems to come naturally... most of the time. It's still hard though. And exhausting. But I think that is largely because I really work at doing it as well as I can. Which, if you have taken one of my classes may seem odd because my teaching style is generally fairly laid back and relaxed. But I still pack a lot in, especially in terms of mental preparation.
See, teaching isn't just standing in front of a bunch of people and reciting definitions and answering technical questions. It isn't even standing in front of people and reciting definitions and answering technical questions being able to explain all that in a way easily understood. It isn't even quite standing in front of people and reciting definitions and answering technical questions being able to explain all that in a way easily understood, and getting them inspired to go out and do it on their own. But that is a lot of it, or at least the bunch of it that I can explain easily. All that first part is important, but there is more. There is the careful molding of them not just into a photographer that resembles you, the teacher, but into something that resembles them. Not just in getting them to understand concepts and technical aspects, but getting them to believe in their command of them, to believe in their abilities as photographers. Teaching then isn't so much giving them a platform to stand on to reach new heights, but a springboard from which they can launch themselves.
Of course, my personal approach to teaching never really allows me to get too comfortable with what I know either. I mean, I am always conscious of what I have done well or poorly, I always try to think up new ideas or exercises to try out on my classes. I read all my class feedback. Even when I take other classes I am always paying attention to how the teacher teaches or carries themselves in front of a class. I am always looking to improve because I always have a strong desire to do the best I can to help others realize how good of a photographer they can be.
So I guess what I am saying is that I enjoy it, immensely. But it is a great deal of responsibility because you are working with others to help them realize their potential and that is a serious business. I will say though, that teaching well is its own greatest reward.
Ah, but I have rambled on long enough. Maybe that actually makes you more interested to take one of these workshops, maybe less. I hope the former. But if not, let me use a bit more of your time, but just a bit.
The philosophy behind our workshops is to learn, to be inspired and to have fun, mostly in equal measure. Education without inspiration moves forward only sluggishly. Inspiration without education, goes somewhere, just not always somewhere productive. But what good are either if you are not enjoying yourself?
So, we have put together a schedule of five workshops that we intend to use to achieve all three of these goals. There, that is my sales pitch, more or less. ;-)
Ok, thanks for reading along so far, at least to those of you who did. To those who didn't, well I understand, no hard feelings, but no thanks either. :-p