CCS Film, Photo, Writing & Performance
I have 7+ years experience working as a professional photograper, filmmaker, and actor. I currently work as a high school English teacher and am working toward a MFA in Creative Writing at New York University. For photography, I have been trained in traditional film and darkroom techniques and currently work primarily with digital. I'm also an expert with post-processing and have studied cinematography and design. My well-rounded background, as well as my varied experience photographing and filmmaking professionally helps me to stand out. I have photographed and filmed beauty, fashion, and lifestyle campaigns, I've photographed professional models as well as people not used to being in front of the camera. I've also studied film directing and bring the experience of directing both actors and non-actors in front of a camera. My approach is to put the human connection first while using techniques I've learned and acquired along my journey.
I love working with people! I don't believe that creativity is something that only a few people are blessed with. Everyone is creative, and being able to express that is so beneficial in so many ways. I love to help people express themselves and see things in new ways. I'm a huge believer in the balance between artistic expression and technique. Both matter, and they work together to create images and narratives, and I love to help people discover both of these aspects of expression.
Photos and videos
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I meet the student where they are in their journey. If you're a beginner, we start with basics. Every skill you learn in life has its own language.
For photography: this both technical and creative. We first cover things like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, settings that make up exposing a photograph. From there, we can add creativity, taking on different challenges as we move forward together.
For filmmaking: the same applies as photography, except it's a moving image so even more challenging. But also more contextual. We can talk about the technical aspects of capturing images but also about pacing, rhythm in editing, selecting shots to tell a story, and working with actors.
For acting and improv: it's all about reaction and play. We'll talk about how to break down scripts or scenes and techniques for finding true reactions. We'll practice both scenework and monologue.
For tutoring and writing help: we check in about your goals and your strengths/weaknesses. What's unique about what I do is that I will create a unique lesson plan tailored not only to these things but also your learning style.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a BA in Film and Media Production from Arizona State University. This includes courses in video production, photography, editing, and design, as well as more human-centric courses, like acting and directing. My education is well-rounded, both technical and based in human connection and storytelling. My approach to photography and teaching reflects that. Additionally, I have studied acting at HB Studio NYC and improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles. Currently, I teach high school English and am pursuing an MFA in creative writing. I have taken courses in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and academic essay writing, and I am comfortable helping with all of these things. I have also taken a course specifically geared toward preparing for standardized tests.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
$50/hour lesson is my standard rate. If a student is interested in a longer workshop, this can be tailored to specific requests.
How did you get started teaching?
Through word of mouth, I have obtained clients starting with friends and friends of friends who are interested in learning more about photography/film/acting/writing to enhance their own lives, ability to capture personal memories, or social media presence for their start-up businesses. Initially, I taught just photography, but I have expanded to include my other skillsets, all of which I have studied both at the university level and at specialized schools (HB Studio, Upright Citizens Brigade, Catapult...).
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with beginners - people who are hoping to just get a better grasp of how to use their iPhone for quality images or get their memories down on paper, and I've also worked with people who are serious about photography, filmmaking, acting, or writing as a career or an element of their career. I've worked with students who are children, elderly, and between. Right now, I work primarily with high school students, but most of my first clients were older adults.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I recently went outside to find that fireflies were out. I immediately grabbed my camera. It was dusk, and it was a gorgeous time to see the way they illuminated the world as the sun was setting.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Find someone who you connect with. If you are looking simply for information, most teachers will have that. The Internet will have that. Find someone who you feel will nurture you through this journey, tailor lessons to your progress, and provide insightful feedback.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
Be honest with yourself about your goals. Your goals can change - that's normal and healthy! But be clear with yourself so that you can communicate your needs to others, including teachers or mentors. People can help you best if you give them a starting point. Of course, we can figure this out together, but if you are able to check in with yourself, it will only help you in the long run.