My personal passion, practice and teaching is as a fashion, still life, travel & artistic photographer for over 30 years. My skills started at 10 as a hobby from my dad and grandfather. My first published photo was the featured, half-page gallery in the third issue of Rolling Stone magazine, my second was a year later in Popular Photography's annual review. Little did I realize then I'd later have the most controversial cover in the magazine's history, hundreds of letters, pro & con. Prior to my 20-year commercial career, I fabricated & deployed a photo system to measure active volcano explosions for NASA at MIT as the senior technician for the lunar landing site committee. It was at MIT & privately that I studied with Professor Minor White & his colleague, Ansel Adams. Leaving science & Cambridge for New York, I worked my way up in fashion eventually working at the top for Vogue, W, and many other publications. My clients included Revlon, L'oreal, Clairol, Polaroid, & Fuji. I was a technical consultant to the latter two photo companies. I had covers & articles with Popular Photography, American Photographer, New York Times, & Photo District News while teaching at the New School, NYC, as well as lecturing nationally. Two years with Minor White I learned his creative seeing teachings through many national seminars. I now have a photography manual underway, "Real Views: Mastering the Snapshot, Learning to See", updating his powerful exercises and lessons in "heightened visual awareness" in personal photography. In other words, it is like going to a gym for your eyes to see creatively with your camera. This is what I teach here, using my textbook with well-honed, tangible results in your strengthened visual skills. It is your vision, not your equipment which creates a finely expressive image!
Having acquired a pragmatic structure for creating personal images, with time, training, and experience, one enables a powerful sharing of our "inner landscape" with others. The visual language communication that photography so uniquely yields is of the deepest satisfaction when mastered. It becomes a source of both purpose and reward in our lives. It is the runway for all other aspirations in the medium, of subject matter, purpose, and technique.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
DON'T BE SHY, REMOTE WORKS! If haven't used it I'll get you up & running. Remote or in person, or both, we use my book's lessons, "Real Views", to raise your camera craft & expressive creative vision. We start with the three essential, technical basics, (Framing, Timing, & Zoning). We then proceed through the manual's visual training lesson exercises. This is typically 10 hours of teaching. This can take place over two days (shooting & review) to three months. You need only have a camera or smartphone and a compelling desire to acquire a mastery of your inner landscape. Any specific goals you have we may also cover, lighting, portraiture, still-life, etc.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Six decades of hobby, scientific & commercial photography. A student with two of the world's top landscape photographers, Minor White & Ansel Adams. Well-practiced in personal, scientific, and commercial imaging.
Seminar site: https://bit.ly/SnapsLabSchool
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
My "Real Views" course can be taught in as little as a single three-hour seminar. Better to spread it out to approximately 4-5 such sessions, from one month to a year, especially to have my reviews of your continuing progress. The seminar exercises & sessions fee is normally $350. In this Corona/remote era I require a $50 first lesson fee, and a voluntary donation thereafter. I'm totally flexible in payment, don't be shy. We take whatever reasonable time we need to educate you. This course will change how you see; don't settle for hardware lessons only!
How did you get started teaching?
My two years of weekly study with Minor White, MIT professor, author of the "Zone System Manual" and lifetime colleague of Ansel Adams. I learned his teaching methods for "expressive photography", training students to acquire "heightened visual awareness" in photography...and life. I'm nearing completion of a manual of lessons on this unique method of photographic training, "Real Views", a copy is included when published.
What types of students have you worked with?
All types, including slow ones like myself.
Kids, including my teen daughter, now the fifth generation photographer in the family. Their joy!
College students, eager for content and style.
Professionals, demanding in proficiency and effectiveness.
Casual smartphone snappers are amongst my favorite students as they crave creativity yet deny it to themselves as not attainable.
Years of wonderful, anonymous tourists around my traveled world who were about to miss what was the best possible from that beauty in front of us! Involuntary students who never complained. And with digital immediacy their surprise at what is unseen yet possible.
And even loved ones who are warned or already know to never go on a walk with a photographer unless deprived of his camera.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
There are so many! Recently photographing AND getting an iPhone photo lesson from Tim Cook, the president of Apple. Surviving, with photo results he liked: Robert De Niro, actor. A strong dude who doesn't like to have his picture taken. And many adventures worldwide & in the delightful space of my former NYC fashion studio, 363 Sixth Avenue. Crossed the Sahara Desert, my peak nature's photo experience. And perhaps, the contentment of initiating young Sharon Stone NYC waitress, actress yet to be, on her illustrious career, assuring her that whatever she wanted in the visual world of beauty, she would attain. Revlon had astoundingly turned her down the day before. Go to Paris, I told her, where they will love the long scar on your neck! Three months later she was on the cover of French Vogue, top of the creative fashion world.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Make sure your teacher first holds vision, not hardware.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
How motivated are you to improve how you see?
Much as in going to a gym, this requires disciplined work.
I want your tuition to be well spent as well as well-earned.
The heightened visual skill you will acquire grows for a lifetime.