in about two hours i will meet 8 new students…..for some reason, this is always a bit awkward….because all i can remember are the students from the previous workshop…i tend to think, where did they go??
the rest of the afternoon will be spent looking at the portfolios of this new group….the students are from spain, italy, u.s.,u.k.,and malaysia…..pretty eclectic crowd and all are in the 25-35 age group….the main thing for me to find out about them is what they want photography to do for them…their dreams and their goals….i will spend time with them as a group and i will spend time with each one individually to dig a little into their psyche…find out what makes them "tick"…without understanding their personality i cannot be a good "teacher"….
even though we will all be shooting the Easter processions together, i want each student to be thinking about his or her own style and choice of expression….in other words, i always look at a class as 8 totally different people, not "group" of 8 people all expected to think the same way or even do the same thing…i do not teach my students to be like me or think like me….
ironically, giving emerging photographers total freedom actually is what scares them the most…even very young people are too used to being told what to do or shown what to do….my biggest challenge and their biggest challenge is in finding out who they really are….to unlock their personality and find out what they REALLY think…to get them to be "authors" of their own life….everyone says they want freedom to create, to be themselves, but when you actually give it to them, they can feel lost because so much of their young adult life they have been "boxed in" one way or another….
my job is show photographers how to be free and yet then have the discipline to make photographs which are truly expressive ….freedom combined with hard work…. poetic thoughts but with "pen to paper"….my photographers must face themselves….they must look hard and they must look deep….
i will keep you updated as to this class progress and showing some their work and my work along the way (as soon as i can get my laptop somehow into the internet!! no small task here!!) hopefully this will be of interest to many of you and i welcome comments or questions along the way….