Troubled In Tennessee

That’s the way a new photography teacher signed her comment on the website of the fabulous photographer Jasmine Star.jasmine-star

Ms Star is an emerging celebrity wedding photographer and celebrity photography teacher. When Jasmine first started to make a name for herself on the American and later international scene I wasn’t much impressed. Ms Star was a good photographer (and I dare say better than me) and a pretty good teacher (I like to think we’re equal on this one.) but it was as a compassionate photographer blogger where she won my heart.

And now she’s done it again.

You see Troubled In Tennessee is a relatively new photographer who it seems works in a small town. So when she (I’m assuming it’s a she.) offered a photography class the competitive photographers in the community started questioning her motives and put her down saying she was too new a photographer to offer classes.

So let’s get a couple of things straight.

I teach photography classes for money. Period. That’s my motive and it should be the motive of Troubled In Tennessee. Nobody tells me whether my photography classes are any good with the sole exception of my students.

I love it when I see the light of understanding flare in my student’s eyes when they start shooting better images but there was a ticket price to be paid at the door.

The admission fee creates value for them and for me.

Next question about how long someone should be shooting before they teach.

One of the world’s celebrity photographers came to Toronto last year for a one-day hands-on workshop for pro photographers. This is a BIG NAME guy and he made sure we knew it. Guess what? I hated the class and found the teacher so arrogant and such a poor instructor I won’t name him here just in case he was having one off day (but I doubt it. I’ve read similar complaints from pros in other cities where this guy showed up.). The whole day was one disorganized mess.

On the other hand, when I taught at a local photo school which was run by a camera retailer a couple of younger, much less experienced photographers turned out to be a couple of our best teachers.

Why? Because like me, they love photography and they love teaching it.

So Troubled In Tennessee here’s the remedy for your problems.

  1. Put together the very best photography course that you. It will get better over time 🙂
  2. Promise your students that they will learn how to take radically better images after taking your course.
  3. Raise your rates so you attract the most dedicated and eager students.
  4. Not only ignore your critics but pray for them and their release from the karma of their thoughts and comments.
  5. Astonish yourself and your students with your infectious joy of being a photographer as you teach your butt off.

As I said in a comment on Jasmine Star’s site: My dear we need more teachers in this world. We’ve got enough critics. Keep teaching.


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