I had the opportunity to tour MountainLens during a studio tour last weekend. I met Jeff Miller and April Johnson at the local Camera Club of Hendersonville.
April does a beautiful job of photographing pets. Take a look at Asheville Pet Photography. She spoke at the Land of Waterfalls in Brevard. I thought it was great that in her presentation, not only did she share her work, she shared the process. Dog slobber and all 🙂
I’ve known Jeff longer, and hands down he is my favorite critiquer I’ve heard from both clubs. He seems to offer something on every photo, and he doesn’t get stuck in a rut only looking at for same things. He seems to actually look at each photo on its own merit. I’ve also never heard him put anyone’s photo down. That is not to say that he just he just pats everyone on the back either. He usually starts off with, “what if you tried this” or “I wonder if there could’ve been a better angle”, about the most adamant he seems to get, is if you have converging lines on architecture, when you’re not trying to portray a sense of scale, or if the horizon is crooked.
There is a huge difference in critiquing and criticizing a photo, plus photography is subjective. I’ve heard other critiquers sound like a broken record about watching the edges, highlights or shadows, not enough or too much negative space, not liking black or maybe white backgrounds, following or breaking the rule of thirds. I’ve even heard some put down a photo because they shot the same thing in the past which unless you are complimenting someone on seeing the shot from a great angle that you didn’t see I think you should keep that to yourself. It may be that person shot that for the first time and we all see things differently anyway.
Photography is an art. We are all individuals. There isn’t just one ‘right’ way. It would be one boring world if we were stifled to be cookie cutter in anything, not just photography.
Okay somehow I ended up on a soapbox here.
Let me climb down and wrap this up. Jeff & April’s studio is something to see even if it did give me monitor envy and make me wonder how some of my pictures would look like printed instead of tucked away on a hard drive. They seem open to hearing what workshops photographers are looking for. I wish I’d made time to explore the grounds some but I did get to pet two stunning Persians of Aprils.
So in you’re in the area look into what they offer- I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.