I was asked a few years ago to teach a photography 101 class at our local library.
At first I was repulsed by the idea. But after some consideration I gave it the green light with a few conditions:
*The class had to be for serious amateurs. I didn’t want a basic 101 for those
with zero experience
*The class size limited to 12 attendees
Fine. They set a date, announced it, filled up the class with about 20 on a waiting list.
Whoa….ok. The interest is there.
After I ran my first series I noticed a few things:
* the students were eager. They ALL showed up consistently and ALL did their assigned
* I really enjoyed teaching it.
* My style of teaching seemed to be a hit.
Go figure. It was working.
And I had NO idea what I was doing insofar as exactly what to teach. I made it up as I went along, following certain parameters:
*I did NOT want to go all techie, you know, let’s look at ALL the camera settings, file types, bla bla bla
*I wanted to PUSH the students to learn to SEE light, learn composition and create a style their own
This of course required some serious distractions. And this was of paramount importance to me.
Teach them to see, and they’ll learn for a lifetime.
I bombarded them in each class with establishing my credibility (showing images I created), going over the basics of exposure (ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speeds) and how tones & light works (source, distance, angle,shadows, mid tones, specular highlights).
Rinse, repeat….over and over. And do the same while going over the images they submitted each week.
This worked. NO endless rambling about camera settings. Just pure learning the art of “seeing”.
My version of tough love.
They never asked about histograms, file types, camera types, lenses or any other academia distractions.
The way I see it, those questions will arise and get answered organically as they master the art of seeing.
I wouldn’t want to teach this any other way. It wouldn’t be fair to them, and it won’t be nearly as fun to teach.
So when Kirk Saint asked me how I taught these classes, I offered to run a webinar style meeting. Which I recorded, and placed in the forum.
That, AND my powerpoint files for members to use as models in case they want to teach something similar in their community.
Yours in photography and success,
“If you want to be a profitable and successful photographer, then study profitable and successful photographers.”
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