I really believe people at all levels should share everything they know with everyone. Nothing is to be kept secret–there are no secrets when it comes to knowledge. Teach everyone everything. When we share what we know, we empower others while maintaining our place as a fearless professional.
And you have to be fearless to take on the photography profession these days. But for the people who do it for love, even better, and I share with them all I can.
Last week I taught a day-long Street Photography workshop. Wow, was that amazingly fun. My student was in Colorado for a conference, visiting from Tampa, Florida.
She said she had photographed street but she wasn’t comfortable photographing people and capturing their faces. Well, that changed on that day–maybe it was the class setting, but she did great and took on the subject head on, literally. She was shooting a Nikon with a 50mm. And I was shooting a Nikon with a 20mm.
There were some things that one lens worked better at than the other. That’s just the way it goes when you have no focal length zoom and have to work with what you have. There were some subjects that we both photographed, and hers worked out better and vice versa.
But overall, I was so pleased to spend the day pounding the pavement, seeing what we could find and finding plenty of subjects.
The first time I taught photography, I was 18 and was teaching at a night school for a high school program for adults. When I walked in, the students looked at me like, “What’s he doing up there?” Then they found out I was the teacher.
I remember back then thinking I hope I have enough material to fill each class, and we ended up not having enough time to finish, what with questions from the students filling in time.
This workshop went well, too. We met at a coffeeshop to look at some of my street photos, talk about approaches and our backgrounds, then went out and worked up and down the 16th Street Mall in Denver. We took a lunch break at Union Station where we input our photos into our laptops to see which ones were immediate possible selects. Then we worked the afternoon and finished up at another coffeeshop where we input the rest of our shoot and discussed the day.
She was well on her way to many great storytelling photos in her future–she has a good eye and sense for finding her subject. And had some winners from the day’s shoot. I was very impressed.
I look forward to teaching more. There’s something about watching another photographer light up, excited about photographs. I know that feeling well, myself.
Any day photographing is a good day.
Here are some of my selects from the day.