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….

11 thoughts on “new class”

  1. Hi David, Here is Antonio, one of the student of the previous workshop.

    Where did I go? In MIlan, actually. But I hope to meet you in Sicily, next week (I think I will call carlo).

    It’s all true what you say about giving total freedom to emerging photographer. I am one of those that do not know what really think… but i must confess that lot of help in discovering what I like and what not came from you, in last year workshop. Thank, David :-)

    ok, I stop writing this too long letter. see you soon David.


  2. hi david,

    yes, i am looking forward to your “classroom notes”. i find your thoughts and ideas on teaching photography very interesting, as well as coinciding with some of my own.

    as i mentioned somewhere else on the blog before i have been teaching photography classes to high school students (15 – 18 yrs.) over the last 6 years and have been enjoying it extremely. it has been also very challenging but also very rewarding, it has definately made me a better photographer in some ways, which in turn has made me a more experienced teacher.

    anyhow, looking forward to more of your posts regarding your teaching experiences.



  3. Dear David;

    I’ve just come back from photographing a “anti-smacking” protest, (the govt here in NZ are passing a bill to prohibit any corporal punishment of children).

    I find that photographing protests need similar principles to shooting parades etc.

    Do you find in these circumstaces it takes a while to get the “cliche” photos out of the way before you get really creative?

    Also it’s interesting to see how most of the press guys are way out the front with long lenses, whereas there was only me and one press guy right up close.

    I find that working in close works best for me & I have to interact with people & generally get better images. For general work I seem to spend 95% of the time chatting & the rest taking photos.

    You mentioned in your last post to me to be a minimalist. I always used to use (before going digital) an FM2 and a 24 or 35mm lens & always got a great kick watching many of the press guys looking down their noses at me!! (I mostly use a D200 & 20mm now)

    Take care & Happy Easter


  4. Hi David… I have to say that I miss not being there with you and this new group…. Actually start of the week turned out to be rather interesting….I actually attended the Reds opening day parade in Cincinnati and chose to go to the black ghetto (yes, there is one in Cincinnati….). I met a very interesting crowd there and took some great shots of few guys who looked like they had just escaped from your Hip Hop story… Will have to show these to you when I get a chance. Give my regards to Diego, Simona (I presume that they are here this year again!) and Carlo. I separately keep reading your blog every day. It is a great escape everyday from this real day job that I have that prevents me often from doing more of what I would like….i,e go out and shoot pictures like I just did early this week…. Have fun in Sicily. Cheers, Eric

  5. david-

    I enjoyed reading your comments on teaching. I have to say that I have had the same experiences with students; not just in photography, but in a myriad of subjects- they want freedom, but freeze up when you aks them what they want to do with the freedom. When they are really given it, a few flourish, but many need more guidance and suggestion- if nothing else, to get over the fear. I look forward to hearing about your group in Italy, and how it goes with this seminar.


  6. david alan harvey

    ross….i suppose i do get some of the cliches out of the way first….somehow the act of shooting leads us all somewhere…it is interesting that rarely does one go right to “the picture”…things must evolve one way or the other…like a painters sketchbook or a writer’s scribblings…so magic the creative process….and such a mystery…..cheers, david

  7. davidalanharvey

    eric (french eric)…

    i look forward to any of your new “red fans” work and i am so so pleased you are working so diligently on this project..good good for you…

    question: is your father in sicily??? one of the assistants told me she thought she saw him….possible???

    cheers, david

  8. Hi David, I just saw your message. Yes indeed, my father is in Sicily, traveling with my mother and 8 of their friends…. He was going to stop by in Syracusa so I am sure that he must have stop to see if you were around….Guess that he must have just missed you. I saw the work of the new class…and the two shots that you have also posted. Certainly brings back a lot of good memories. How was it for you to see the events a second time? Were you pleased with what you did? Sometimes, I find it hard to got to the same place. I think that I take my best pictures as you say when I am “in the Zone”, with some feeling of “Euphoria” from discovering something new. Sometimes, I come back to a place I have really liked and I make few good shots but rarely with the same intensity and production….. Later this month (when you are in Spain) I will be in New York for work and will take 2/3 to wonder around and keep working on my “American Pie” project…. At the end of May, will also be going to Indy 500, so I am taking every opportunity to go out there and shoot… This is really thanks to you David! I never used to photograph that often…Photography has become addictive for me and your passion and enthousiasm continue to be a great inspiration. Have fun with the 2nd week of the workshop. HOpe to see you sometimes soon. Eric

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