IT’S been five years now that I’m teaching photography and I have to admit that I’m sometimes frustrated with myself for failing to inspire some students and to those students as well who failed to see the art in photography. John Free, a documentary photographer, shared his thoughts about photography school and how it damaged potential.
In a video posted in PetaPixel, John Free vents his thoughts about photography schools that are just there for the money. He said his personal experience enrolling in a world’s top photography school was horrifying. He was glad he went out early enough to keep his passion going.
In his video, he said the only person who can teach you photography is yourself, but he is offering workshops, though. I might have to disagree with his take on photography schools. Not that I’m a teacher myself but because I’m a student as well and will always be a student. If given the chance to go back to university to get a photography degree, I’d do it.
However, no school or any institution will be able to teach you photography if you are not invested in what you do. One of the major pitfalls in learning photography is the lack of purpose. Photography can be boring even to those who are professionally shooting already, how much more if you’re still learning it.
But if you love the idea of framing scenes and moments the way you see it, no matter what you do when you’re not shooting, you get to enjoy photography by experiencing it. Thanks to photography, now you get to see things no matter how small they are or whether they’re gems hidden and covered with mud.
The more you’re connected with photography, the more you appreciate everything that happens around you. It gets more interesting like a newly painted world showing colors you never noticed before. An environment surrounded by inspiration and fascination.
John Free, in the end, said that if ever you decide to take a photography course, review the work of your teacher if he has what it takes to teach you. Well, just like in any other things we decide on, we need to make a smart one. Apart from reviewing his past work, I believe it is more important to find out if he can actually teach or inspire students.
In my case, photos of photographers that I follow, and even those that I don’t know keep me in the loop of learning. They are my teachers. They allow me to see their world and inspire me to see more in mine.
Last weekend, after excitedly waiting for the day, George Tapan, the man behind the beautiful tourism photos of the Philippines, gave a talk about his work and his inspiration during the Photo Festival in BGC. This is guy is just truly legit and very much an icon of photography. Continue learning photography whether in school or by yourself. Keep on shooting, everyone!