Chris will be one of our featured instructors for the CPE Academy at our 2018 Carolina Photo Expo at the Sheraton Imperial in Durham, NC August 3-6, 2018.
Our interview today is with Chris Garner. Chris is an experienced studio owner and longtime PPNC member. He will be teaching a Pre Con class, now called CPE Academy. If you are interested in taking Chris's awesome class, be sure to register today at the link following the interview.
A: Hey Chris, we are glad to have you today.
C: Thanks! Glad to be here.
A: I understand you will be teaching a CPE Academy (PreCon) class for CPE. Tell us about it.
C: My class will be called "Foundations of Portraiture." It will cover the fundamentals of lighting and posing, and we'll even touch a little on some business and business resources.
I feel that many new photographers have a tough time grasping the hard and fast rules of the physical properties of light, and we will break it down into a super simple way that can be easily understood and also put to practical use. Everyone's end goal is to be able to break all the rules and create their own creative style, but I feel that you have to know the rules before they can be broken.
The first official photography class I ever took was "Basic Portraiture" by Dean Craddock at East Coast School in 2000. This class is based loosely on the principles of that workshop.
It was the most important class I have ever taken on photography, and I feel it will be a great addition to CPE Academy.
A: This sounds like a great class for beginners and those who are in the early phase of their photography journey. I took a foundations class with Bob Boyd when I was well into my intermediate phase, and it was still a very good class for me at the time. Do you think your class will be a good fit for intermediate as well?
C: I think it will be a great fit for intermediate and even advanced. I am looking forward to teaching it just so I, myself, can get back to the basics and brush up on my fundamentals. Just like the trumpeter for the New York Philharmonic still practices his scales, photographers must always remember and practice their fundamentals.
I personally feel like I'm "stuck" sometimes in my progression, and others may feel this way, too. I think that just getting back to the basics will be a breath of fresh air for lots of photographers while also keeping newer photographers from spinning their wheels.
A: Good point. I have learned in many of my ventures that when you get the fundamentals down pat and they become second nature, you are much more free to be creative at an advanced level.
Other than your class, do you have any advice for photographers about resources for foundational information about their photography and business?
C: The best advice I can give on additional resources is to become a member of PPNC. The tips and tricks you learn from other members...both new and "seasoned"...tends to stick with you better than anything you learn in a book or online. These people have put everything they discuss to practical use, and that means a lot to me if I'm taking advice from someone.
A: I too am an advocate of in-person learning. When I attend an in-person workshop, class, or convention, the lessons I get from them tend to stick with me very well. While I use the internet to answer specific questions, I find that I get a much deeper understanding of the craft in person.
Would there be any pre-requisites that you think would be necessary before someone were to sign up for your class?
C: The only prerequisite I can think if is basic knowledge of your camera. And by basic, I mean knowing how to turn it on and adjust the settings. You don't even really need to know what the settings mean, we will be briefly going over aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. early in the class.
A: Perfect, it has been great chatting with you today. We look forward to seeing you at the 2018 Carolina Photo Expo.