18 January 2014

February Classes coming soon!

Today in my Photo Class, one of my students said "WOW, can you believe next class is the last one?".

Um, actually NO! I have been thinking about how much fun it has been teaching them and I thought we MUST have more time, but no. I was looking at the shots taken the first week by the students, with trepidation. The eagerness to take as many shots as possible, and to understand how the camera was working and to add on composition and color. I think it was a bit much.

a little too much light, exposure too long.. fear of the camera in manual.
I will not say which student this is, but she has come a LONG WAY BABY!!!
Now I look at the photos and I see light being seen and felt. I see color being understood. I see composition molding. I see artists who are now looking at the world around them as more than something to spray shooting with some mechanical object. I am so very proud of them all!
Stephanie Krauss Verdun © 2014 
This is from the texture shoot! Just look at the texture, sharpness depth of field. (This is not the photographer of the first shot.)

I cannot tell you how much fun I have had in these classes with these students. I hope they continue to shoot and show their work! I would like to at some point show all of their favorite prints in a small show. THAT I will need to work on a bit.

So, what comes of this? Students that seem to have learned something. I am more excited than I have been in years about teaching and I am loving shooting again. I would love to have had more time outside, but that is to come. 

NOW for the February Classes!!! I hope some that have been idly talking about it sign up very soon! The time is sneaking up on us all!!!

Thank you January Class!!!!


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06 January 2014

Welcome to 2014

The end of 2013 was fraught with uncertainty and the inability to pay the simplest of bills because of an unannounced, unplanned, not discussed with me, change in my teaching schedule. One semester was to correct the overload I had but the next is just a sign that this is not for me. Adjunct teaching, I was warned was even MORE uncertain than being a regular freelancer. As a freelancer, you have communication and a contract that either comes to a definite end, or is renewed.. but with.... COMMUNICATION.
I have to admit, I have been frustrated in my search (as sadly many know who have been on my website or facebook page). I am regretting the frustration as I think about a day recently I had in my part time job.
Because I have been unable to keep up financially, I have gone back to work in retail. I have not been in retail since I was about 19 and I had dropped out of college. In fact, it was my motivation to go BACK to college and fight through to get my degree. I have been kicking and screaming as I think about the job and there are good days and there are bad days. I have taken to the idea of my walking five to six hours straight is exercise, which is sorely needed. I have met some wonderful people, most are SIGNIFICANTLY younger than I, but they are fun to be around and laugh with. I find that I do not take the work home with me, and I am able to go to my studio (which I am calling to the goddesses I able to keep) and do my work with a semi clear mind.
Keeping this all in mind, I have been trying to get perspective and put things in order.
On Saturday, perspective walked into the store.
In the morning, I began teaching a course that I put together and promoted and found that glimmer of hope I had begin to miss in teaching at a college level. I had wonderful students, interested in learning and were NOT sitting on a computer watching videos, doing other homework, or "texting" on their phone. I was feeling good, and I am bringing in income of my own, under my OWN business name. Something I have wanted to do forever. It is slow coming but it is coming.
But, I digress...

Elisabeth Neville © 2013
Right after the class, I got in my car and slipped and fish-tailed my way to the North Shore Mall  for my 5 hours of work. I got to work, clocked in, put on my headset, hung my name tag on it's lanyard around my neck and walked out the doors to help the customers. At some point in the shift, I began "ringing at the desk". Customers came in and purchased one to 15 shoes at a time. Yes, 15. Nearing the end of my shift a large group of customers came up to purchase their items. In the line was a young lady, who at first my thought was "zip up your sweatshirt I don't want to know you that well." But judgmental wardrobe thoughts aside, I ended up getting her at my register.

Going through the typical playful banter I usually have with the customers, she was grinning ear to ear. Now, I KNEW I was not THAT funny. What was she grinning about?
This early 20s young woman whose clothing I had critiqued earlier blurted out "This is my first pair of boots!".
First pair? At 20? I cannot even imagine. (I of COURSE did not say that our loud.) She continued her story: She is a single mom, on her own and trying to make ends meet. She made it through the holidays and got her child the gifts he wanted, and worked double shifts the entire time. The waited until her next check, paid her bills and still had a little left over. She always wanted a pair of boots, and she bought herself one of the tall black stylish type. They were on sale, and she was BEAMING!
I was so excited for her. In fact, I am STILL excited for her. She said she was going to wear them everyday until they wore out. I said I want her to come in and look for me next time she is out so I can check to see that she is holding to that. She laughed and said thank you, and almost skipped out of the store.
I finished my shift and checked out and walked to my car and sat for a minute, as I seem to always do when I walk out of the mall. While I was sitting I thought about this young woman and I actually broke down and sobbed for a minute. (Clearly it was stored up for a while in there..)And I thought how spoiled I had become and how many pairs of shoes I have (FAR less than I used to... FAR FAR less) and how I take it for granted. The education I have (which is not being used right now) and the life I have and that I complained about my galoshes when I was a child, and the color of my "bean" boots when they were not the right color or name brand when I was a teen, and that I am basically working 3 jobs to make it, but have the opportunities to move forward.
This young woman has so much in front of her and I KNOW she will succeed. She helped me, and made my prospects in 2014 much brighter.
For that I thank HER!

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