UPDATE Mon. a.m.: I've had lots of response to this, including a reader who wanted to swing by yesterday afternoon! It will take a while to sort through all the answers and get a calendar going, so you might not get a response from me right away. —Mike
Are you in a rut? Doldrums got you down? Does your photography need a jumpstart?
If you happen to be passing anywhere near Out-of-the-Way TOP World HQ, why not stop and spend some quality instructional time with Mike, your portfolio, and your project plans?
Tailor what you want:
- First, tell me your level on a 1-2-3 scale, where 1 is casual and recreational and 3 is ambitious and experienced.
- Then, tell me the level of what you want to accomplish: 1, 2, or 3.
- Finally, tell me how hard you want me to go on you, on the same scale: if you're a 1 I'll take it easy and go gentle, if you say 3 I won't pull any punches.
If you're a 1-1-1 you'll get a very different review than if you're a 3-3-3. What are you? You decide. And you get to decide how thick your skin should be.
I'll talk to anybody on any level, including levels above my own (I'm actually pretty good at that). Bear in mind I won't be much good if you're a professional and you bring a portfolio aimed towards getting paying work from image professionals such as ad agencies or editors. I've been out of that world for long enough that I don't know the trends and fashions.
Cost: $100 per hour for up to 6 hours (but see bold paragraph below). And I'm very sorry, but I don't want to do this remotely. Part of the reward for me is in-person contact and the chance to view real prints. My life is too virtual already.
What you need:
- A finished, presentable portfolio of personal work, between 12 and 30 photographs
- 2, 4 (all in one day) or 6 hours (over two days), not including the meal we'll share.
- A filled-out Questionnaire, which I'll give you when you sign up
- Attentiveness and an open mind
Mike Johnston of TOP. Photo by Mr. X. Trans.
If you have future project ideas, by all means write a paragraph about each, and bring "seed pictures" if you have any—those early examples of what you'd like to do more of.
You can bring examples of additional work outside of the main portfolio if you like. We'll talk about your direction, what your strengths seem to be, how you might be spinning your wheels, and ways you can make the most of your opportunities.
One thing, though—camera talk verboten! We can discuss ways to improve your seeing and your shooting skills—I can even give you specific exercises—but we'll be talking about how pictures work visually and how your visual concerns come across. I will not discuss whether you ought to get a Canikon or a Nicanon. Just pics, aesthetics, goals, and vision.
If you will write up a post about your experience with me, showing some of the photos you brought and telling others some of the things you learned, I'll refund half the fee.
I'm within driving distance of New York City. Here and back in one day would be tough, but driving in one day and out the next would be easy, and there are plenty of nice places to stay overnight in the area, from B&Bs to hotels.
If you're flying, you'll come into Elmira, NY (ELM), or Rochester, NY (ROC). I'm one hour from Elmira and an hour and fifteen minutes from Rochester. If you're flying a private plane or charter, there's Penn Yan / Yates County Airport (KPEO) less than ten minutes up the road.
The Finger Lakes are a great destination for a photographing trip when the weather's amenable.
I can do up to two of these a week. Contact me for scheduling.
"Open Mike" is the Sunday Grab-Bag of TOP, covering many topics.
Original contents copyright 2015 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
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