Friday, September 01, 2006

Getting the Most Out of Your Photo Class, Part: 1

Become an extrovert. To a certain degree, this is a true statement. It seems to me that the people who get the most out of a class are those who speak up, ask questions, and/or make an effort to get personal discussions with the professor.

Unfortunately, on many occasions I don't feel like I get the time or opportunity to give people the attention they deserve during class. Large class sizes or time constraints often cause individual critiques to run short. As a result, some students feel left out. My recommendation is to schedule a time where we can look at your work one on one and get personalized feedback.

I remember one time when a student asked me to take a look at some of her contact sheets. It was a great opportunity to discuss which images stood out and why. We talked about technical and compositional issues as well as ideas and directions for her work. That meeting seemed to be a springboard for a whole series of strong work with a more focused direction.

Your classmates are another invaluable resource, especially those with some years of photographic art making under their belt. Get in the habit if showing others your work and getting opinions (technically and aesthetically). Don't be shy; artwork is meant to be seen.

In conclusion, your photo class will be what you make it. Don't expect someone else to do it for you. Be proactive and take responsibility for your photographic future.

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