I've been involved with photography since 1976. In 1982 I had several pieces exhibited at the Chrysler Museum. In 1984 this became my profession. Early days I worked for several magazines, the Virginia Opera, the Chrysler, and did the artifacts for the Auction Catalogue for the U.S.S. United States. 1986 saw me start my studios for portraiture and weddings. I had 2 of the largest studio operations in my market. In 2002 I embraced digital. I've done countless portraits and covered probably 1000 weddings. I'm semi-retired now and work on personal projects - some using film - and mentor and teach photographers.
I'm never more alive than when I'm behind a camera. Whether it's a 4x5 loaded with black and white film, standing in a field, waiting for just the right moment when the sun is going to burst from behind the clouds and bathe a farm in light, or with a digital camera helping a subject find the perfect visual expression. That's what I enjoy about my work.
great teacher with years of knowledge to share
I had great experiences with Michael. He was very professional when taking my maternity and family photos. He knew just the right way how to capture the light, weither it be inside or outside. I also witnessed him teaching photography lessons and considering taking his class myself.
I always ask what kind of photography are they interested in, and current skill level. Then based on that we might start out with basics - like how your shutter speeds, aperture, and ISO work, and how to control and master them as part of your creatuve process. Or we may look at how to approach landscapes, environmental or studio portraiture. I want the process to address what they want to learn, what they need to learn, and how to have fun learning.
43 years of experience, and 30+ years of doing this as a profession. When I started there were no college level courses.
Typically $75 an hour, unless it's a classroom situation.
I had so many clients asking if I would a class that we started offering them in the studio during the off season. We had to limit them to 20 students because of the overwhelming response.
Mainly beginners, but many intermediate who wanted to learn more about the professional side of the business.
For the last 2 years I've created portraits of medieval and renaissance reenactors in Januray for an event they call 12th Night.
This link (https://www.facebook.com/pg/Fine-Art-Portraits-for-Reenactors-462462737432457/photos/?tab=album&album_id=806285616383499) will take you to a "contest" I had to see whose portrait should be the cover image for a magazine I created of the event.
In any endeavor look for someone who is where you want to be; who has achieved what you want to achieve. A peer is probably just as confused as you are. In photography, I'd avoid anyone who hasn't been doing this at least 5 years, and isn't - or hasn't - been making a living from it. If you were traveling to a strange land, would you want a guide who'd been there several times? Or just someone who knows how to access Google maps?
Where do I want to go with this? It's okay for this NOT to be a career; just an enjoyable hobby.
Where do I see myself as a photographer a year, five years, three decades from now?
After considering those points you'll be better able to talk with a mentor, and the mentor will have a better idea of how to address your concerns, skill level, and goals as a student.