Studio Photographers

Virtually any town (and all cities) have professional studio photographers whose services may include portraiture, advertising, print restoration or corporate promotions. The first step to taking advantage of this resource would be to arrange a presentation or field trip, inviting one or more photographers to visit the class and discuss their work or to host the class in the studio or on location.

Additional variations might include arranging for small groups of students to spend an extended period of time observing a professional photographer at work. It may also be possible to set up workshops in which students can refine their darkroom skills, learn about studio lighting or receive specialized instruction in some other aspect of professional photography.

Local photographers may also be willing to serve as judges for photographic competitions or as a panel to critique student work on a regular basis. Depending on the size of your class and the number of professional photographers in your area, you may be able to organize "mentor sessions," in which several students meet with a local photographer for specialized instruction, critiques and advice. One advantage of this kind of activity is that it would expose students to a variety of perspectives, promoting a broad awareness of photographic opinion and stimulating discussion.

Finally, don't forget the wedding photographers, nature photographers, technical photographers, print retouchers, lab technicians, camera repair shops, antique dealers and others who may have specialized skills or information to offer your class. A close inspection of the Yellow Pages may be the best place to start a busy year of informative presentations and field trips.

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