My first experience teaching was about five years ago when our pastor’s wife, Liz Miller, asked if I would come in and speak to a group of seventh graders about photography. I did not consider myself qualified to teach, but they were EXCITED about it and I knew that I could find SOMETHING to explain to them that they didn’t know before. So I decided to go for it. After that little class the students were given cameras and sent out to take pictures that would qualify a few of them for a regional competition. When I saw the enthusiasm that they had, when I saw the pictures that they took and the impact of the pictures I had shown them, I felt, in a small way, like they were mine. I felt proud of them. Since then, I’ve helped coach students every year for their competition pieces and begun teaching the online Raw Talent Class. I’ve seen my students win photography competitions. I’ve helped my friend Josef Samuel start a local photographer’s association called The X/Stop Project, which focuses on networking, education, and community service. I’ve held one-on-one mentoring sessions. This is not a laundry list of my achievements…this is me realizing for the first time that I’m drawn to teaching! Silly to just realize this, but for the past few years people have been asking me to hold a workshop and I’ve always said “I don’t think I’m cut out for that.” So it literally just dawned on me in the past couple of months that not only can I do this, but I am really excited about it! I’m excited about meeting current Raw Talent students who want to take their lighting to the next level. I’m excited about all the light bulb moments I’m going to be able to witness in person. I’m excited about seeing people grow, and having a part in that.
So thank you to each of you who have pushed me, asked repeatedly, and never let this thought leave my head until it became a reality. 🙂 You know who you are. You have helped me grow, and I hope I can do the same for others.