A Simple Answer To a Difficult Question

Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here on the Staddon Family blog!

I always find myself writing specifically for photographers on my own blog at Lenspiration.com but I thought this particular concept could relate just as well to just about anybody learning just about anything! So, here goes . . .

There’s a big question that every photographer [substitute your own passionate interest here] will eventually ask:

Where do I go to learn photography?

2426_Maple Hill-Kansas-USA_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 40 mm, 1-1000 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 200

This might not seem like a big question at first.

But within the Christian photographer circles that I interact with all the time, there’s a deepening realization among parents that the options for where to send their teenage young people to learn photography are becoming less and less, fewer and far between.

When a culture rejects God, it rejects the common-sense boundaries that He sets. When folks reject Him in their personal lives, they reject him in their business, intellectual and artistic lives as well. The floor is open to the whim of the day. The sensation of the day. And it doesn’t seem like very many folks know the difference between epic and erotic any more.

If you don’t believe what I mean, just do a Google search about learning Lightroom online. Regardless of whether you want to jump into landscape photography or portrait photography or astrophotography, chances are you’re going to need to learn Lightroom. And lighting. And composition. And camera settings. And it’s hit and miss (more miss than hit) when you go to learn these things, that you will find a fish in the ocean that has a sense of God or Biblical morality.

So, where do I go to learn photography?

There are a few potential solutions. A parent could tell their young person to squelch the desire to learn photography. Or young photographers could just learn on their own, handing over their education to experience, trial and error. They could learn from very old sources or heavily censored material. Or, of course, they could go down the highway of traditional education and unlimited Internet access.

Each one of these options have their pros and cons. And each pro and con should be considered. And balanced with each other. But I think there is a better way to go about solving this problem. I think there’s an option that I haven’t mentioned yet. And that is, network with those of like interest and principle.

2395_Maple Hill-Kansas-USA_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 73 mm, 1-50 sec at f - 16, ISO 400

This can be done online or it can be done in person. Find—seek out, search high and low, go the extra mile for—people of wisdom and places of good rapport who will serve as mentors for your young people in both spiritual and informational skills. This could mean old sources or new sources, traditional education or Internet surfing. And there will always need to be a healthy level of trial and error. But there’s power in networking! Birds of feather flock together. Work with someone of experience who can help your young person know what to do or where to go to help them grow in their interests!

Lenspiration has some opportunities for networking, and I’m working on building more. The Lenspiration Community brings Christian photographers together online. The CAPTURE Workshops bring photographers together on-location for hands-on training. CAPTURE is a 3-day intensive, learning photography in the classroom of creation.

From New England to the West Coast, here are the four CAPTURE’s that will be held in 2015. Any of these places close to home?

1 CAPTURE-Oregon-2015 (w-dates)

2 CAPTURE-Vermont-2015 (w-dates)

3 CAPTURE-Kansas-2015 (w-dates)

4 CAPTURE-Virginia-2015 (w-dates)

A $50 discount is available for the first four folks who sign up for each CAPTURE!

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“To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; to give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels” (Proverbs 1:2-5).

2442_Maple Hill-Kansas-USA_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24 mm, 1-20 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 400

4 Comments

  1. Donald S. August 13, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    Thank you James for make your experience available in bite-size portions.

  2. Esther Staddon August 17, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    It is such a blessing to study with people of like interest and like principle. I remember meeting parents of a student that had studied with you, James, who deeply appreciated not only the photography skills but also the challenging Godly encouragement offered through your courses. May the Lord richly bless and encourage each one who attends the 2015 Capture Workshops.

  3. James August 18, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    That’s right, Esther! God bless you too!

  4. Daniel August 30, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

    Wow! That is indeed a thorough answer to a potentially overwhelming question. This is an answer to prayer and a dream come true, James!!

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