FAQs

Q?How did you get started in photography?
A.

My parents liked to say that I tried every hobby known to man until I found one that was expensive. When I was 14 my best friend got a single lens reflex (SLR) 35mm film camera and I thought that looked like fun. So I bought one too, and shortly after that we turned his mom’s laundry room into a darkroom. Next step was asking if we could take pictures for the high school newspaper and yearbook, and that led to a job assisting a local photographer. His name is Kent Whitehead, and he became my mentor, and more  importantly, good friend. Kent taught me that photography can be more than a job. After doing studio and commercial work all week, and a wedding on Saturday, Kent would spend his Sunday mornings driving the back roads of Southern Indiana, looking for interesting pictures. And most Sundays, I was there with him. That’s where I learned that with the right attitude and a  trained eye, you can find good pictures anywhere.

Q?What’s your education and where have you worked?
A.

I attended college in my home town of Evansville, Indiana, and that’s when I started working as a newspaper photographer. I would do the college thing during the week, then Friday night and all day Saturday would shoot pictures for the paper. I graduated from the University of Evansville with degrees in Communications and Sociology, and continued at the paper, The Sunday Courier and Press. From there I went to Birmingham, Alabama to work at the Post-Herald, and then to upstate New York to work for two Gannett newspapers, the Times-Union and Democrat and Chronicle, in Rochester. In 2000 I left newspapers to start a new career in consulting and teaching, as well as doing freelance photography assignments.

Q?What cameras do you use?
A.

I’m a life-long Nikon shooter, getting my first, a Nikkormat, when I was 15. I’ve been teaching Nikon School since 2002, so I’m very familiar with all their gear. But in the course of my work consulting and teaching I’ve taught Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji… you name it, I’ve probably shot it. And bottom line, cameras are tools, and if you understand how to use a tool, you can use any similar tool. At this time my primary cameras are the Nikon D7200, D750, D810 and D4S. My favorite carry-around camera is one of the Nikon One cameras, which I’ve quickly grown to love for their compact size and choice in lenses.

Q?How much do photo workshops cost?
A.

Obviously, the answer to this depends on many things. I’ve taught workshops that were as little as $250 for a one-day session to $6000 for a two-week overseas trip. There are lots of variables, but the key ones are whether travel, meals and/or lodging are included. Generally speaking, prices for trips in the U.S. are for instruction, local transportation, fees and permits and such. Transportation to and from the workshop is up to you, as well as paying the cost of lodging. Overseas trips tend to be more all-inclusive, covering all transportation from either a U.S. city or the local city you’re starting from as well as all lodging and quite often most meals.

Q?How much experience should you have before attending a hands-on workshop?
A.

This is a question I get all the time, and people are usually surprised at the answer. Quite honestly, the less photo knowledge you have coming into a workshop, the more you’re probably going to learn from it. Hands-on workshops are a chance to live photography. Morning, noon and night (and sometimes late at night, and VERY early in the morning), you’ll be shooting pictures and talking photography. You absolutely learn by doing, and if you’re shooting pictures all day, you’re going to get better. A big part of being successful at photography involves being comfortable with your camera gear. If you’re able to react quickly to what’s happening with adjustments to focus and exposure, you’ll have a better chance of getting the picture. And if you’re not constantly wrapped up in thinking about the technical stuff, you’ll have more time to think creatively. The workshops I teach are geared towards all level of photographers, from beginner to advanced. Whether you’re looking for near constant instruction, or just want to go on a trip that’s build around photography, as long as you enjoy being around people you’ll enjoy the workshop.