By the time we hit college age, the last thing we want is to listen to another lecture.
Why else do you think we want to go away for college? Freedom and escape from parental lectures!
In college, I was a glutton for punishment.
Actually I paid my own way, so I was hell-bent on getting my money’s worth.
I never passed up a chance to hear a guest speaker, someone who was in an industry in the real world, especially if they were a photographer.
It didn’t matter what kind of photographer the guest speaker was.
Whether their genre or specialtyÂ was advertising, commercial, fine art or news photography, I was there early to get the best seat in the house.
And I was there with my list of questions.
That’s why I feel my students will always benefit from such exposure.
It doesn’t matter one bit if they are in an introductory photography class.
Having that person there ‘live’ can have a profound effect.
Something worth noting was this: my photojournalism professor Charlie Brill had access to more professionals than the other photography instructors who were academicians who only taught, but never worked in the industry.
He never felt threatened by his guest speakers.
Even ones who had greater skill than him or those who might share views about photography contrary to his.
If he did, he must have placed his students’ interest above his own insecurity.
My friend Rick Sforza, Photo Editor of 3 newspapers in our area, the San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and Redlands Daily Facts paid my class a visit.
He brought some of the photo gear and also a portfolio of images to share with my students.
He amazed them with breaking news photography, illustrations, and even personal projects featuring his son on his iPhone.
Some of the wisdom that Rick shared :
- Projects–everyone should have a few projects or themes that they continually shoot for
- Shoot for yourself–assignments for work or instructors are necessary but coming home with an image for yourself is just as important
- Even if no one likes your picture, it doesn’t matter. It’s all subjective. “Frame that picture and keep it in your room”
- You don’t need a degree in photography. It’s preferable in fact if you major in something else. The idea here is photography as a major can make you a one-dimensional.
- Having a broad general knowledge is important because as photographers, we will need to converse intelligently and engage others whenever we take their pictures.
- Take pictures daily. Rick’s says “I take a picture daily with my iPhone”
- Not all the pictures he takes make it into print. Most of the time, these images go into his wonderful blog.
Rick Sforza Visit
Peter Phun Photography
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