i am a teacher. in my heart of hearts that’s who i am.  in fact teaching is what got me into photography in the first place. in addition to teaching english i also was the yearbook and newspaper advisor. my first year we published a book that wasn’t quite were it needed to be in terms of photographic quality. so that summer i taught myself a little bit about photography so i could teach my students. then i asked a few friends in the business, who were so kind and generous with their time, to come to my class and teach my students some basics for taking a good picture. while my students took copious notes on the guest speaker’s lecture, i sat in the back and did the same. after four published yearbooks, rubbing shoulders with amazingly gifted photographer friends, spending countless hours on the internet researching my most recent query, reading book after book on photography, feeling encouraged by other photographers and their more work, and a great deal of trial and error, i learned how to take a picture. i was and still am, so inspired by the work of my former students who, i hope from their experience in publications and life, have become quite accomplished photographers, two of which i ask to second shoot with me whenever they are available.

i continue learning from numerous fountains, and hope i always am progressing and trying out new things with my skills.

i get emails quite often asking me how i do certain things pertaining to picture taking and my little business operations. I LOVE THESE EMAILS; keep them coming! (I try to respond to all of them, not always in a timely fashion, but i promise i do read them, consider them, and i will respond to all of them and will help answer your questions. if i haven’t, resend me your email; maybe it didn’t come through or the email trash bin ate it and then was deleted. or post it on my discussion board on my facebook fan page. once you fan the page you will be able to join the forums; click on the discussion box to add your thoughts, questions, comments, jokes, etc. ;) that way you can get my response and several other gifted and talented photographers’ ideas as well. once again, i promise to respond; it just might take me a touch of time.) i am so flattered that the emails come in the first place; i love the opportunity i have to give back all that has been given to me, and also the chance i have to be thrown back into the arena i love: education. only now it is a love affair with teaching and photography, which really couldn’t be much cooler. (yes, the english teacher just used “cooler”.)

a few months ago i received and email from rhonda.

IMG_5456rhondasoooprettyblog she shared her love of photography and also expressed an interest in learning more and wanted to know if i would be interested in taking some time to teach her. it was a no-brainer. of course i would be willing to do two things i love all while being with a really cool person and helping her with her passions and future endeavors. i was even more encouraged and flattered when i found out she lived in delaware and was making the trip for me (with a little business mingled on the side). so cool. ultra, ultra cool!!

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we made plans. she shared with me everything she was interested in learning, and i prepared the best way to teach it to her. she told me she was really interested in learning how to take pictures with night light (this post was one of the first she saw on my blog). so i threw together a little surprise for her: a shoot, at night. before heading out, we discussed some of her questions, i showed her what’s in my bag and shared why i use the equipment i do, then we discussed how to shoot manually, which was the assignment for the shoot: to work with the light available and only shoot manually. that is like baptism by fire. shooting manually can be on of the trickiest things to master in terms of photography, but once it is, it opens so many photographic doors, and night light? well, the basic component in relation to photographs is light. shooting with minimal to poor light can be difficult, to say the least.

rhonda owned the shoot. she kicked serious night-light bootie.

rhonda picked up manual in about 30 minutes, and she did so well shooting with night’s light; she found where it was most powerful, was able to recognize the wanted and unwanted shadows it was casting, and was able to execute a good shot; i was very impressed.

she is for sure the ap student, and is such a beautiful and gifted person in so many ways:

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the sassy night-light sisters (photo credit to jen; thanks jen!!):

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i wrangled in my neighbors, who are so good and nice to me, to be our models. they were so patient with us while rhonda and i talked out the logistics of the shot, found our light, or discussed our settings and what was working or what wasn’t. i knew they were cold and hungry, but i was so grateful to them for being willing to help us.

just of a few of gorgeous jen and pat in some “beautiful” light:

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so similar to the one above with pat in the foreground, but i loved this image of jen. perhaps my favorite of the night:

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to both of you: thank you so much for being there; i am so grateful to have you as friends and neighbors. you rocked it!!

after feeding our models rhonda and i went back to my place to discuss post processing and photoshop. like when i was in the classroom and my students “got something” it was so cool to see the “light go on” with rhonda. i really enjoyed seeing her grasp something and appreciate the understanding of it, that up until that point had been an enigma. it was so rewarding, and i felt so appreciative of her too and the encouragement she so freely gave me and the desire to learn and progress. i was inspired by her spirit and the energy she possesses to grow in a passion. not to mention what a quick study she is. the next day we had a newborn baby shoot scheduled. we arrive at the location a touch early so we had some time to discuss light and practice shooting it’s different qualities.

we discussed. then practiced.

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head on over to rhonda’s blog for some coverage. she didn’t have an easy model to work with ;), but she (rhonda) totally worked her understanding  and came away with some really noteworthy images (not saying that because they are of me ;), but because she took what she was learning and applied it and did so well!!!). i loved how she didn’t get discouraged or down on herself for one moment, but kept trying and tinkering around until she had it right; so inspiring. one image she shot i intend to use as my new facebook profile picture; i loved it so much. ;) she soaked it all up, continued asking questions, practiced some more, and was so enthused along the way. it was such a pleasure meeting her. i knew i was going to like her from the correspondence we had had through email and facebook, but i didn’t know that we were going to form an immediate bond and friendship. she was such a warm person and took such a genuine interest in me and my family. we enjoyed her company so much we invited her back to spend more time with us after our shoot on saturday. ;) she was open-minded, interesting, thoughtful, sincere, kind, observant, and talented. she is someone to watch for sure.  it has been a week since she left, and gunnar has asked for her almost every day. it has made me miss my new friend.

i am also grateful to her because she helped spring board a goal i had been sitting on for a while: to combine my two loves and teach photography to those who are interested in kickin’ it with me. there has been interest in personal photography tutoring and some mini-workshopping for a while now, and i have decided to make it happen this year! with the help of several generous and thoughtful friends i will be teaching a few workshops in the spring and summer, maybe even the fall. dates, locations, and details are to be announced for those, but they are coming, and i can’t wait!! seriously, i am jumping out of my skin with excitement at just the thought of it!

until then i am now officially offering individualized photography instruction. i would love to be able to meet you and answer all your questions face to face in a relaxed setting; just us, kickin’ it with our cameras.

the full menu: personalized instruction pricing

an entire day of kickin’ it with kamee june: cheesecake factory style

8 hours personalized instruction style: a full shoot, lunch, and dinner

kickin’ it solo: $950.00

kickin’ it with a wingman: $1350.00

kickin’ it with 3 or more kickers: $550.00/kicker

a half a day of kickin’ it with kamee june: cafe rio style

4 hours of personalized instruction time: a mini-shoot, and dinner

kickin’ solo: $750.00

kickin’ it with a wingman: $1250.00

kickin’ it with 3 or more kickers: $450.00/kicker

kickin’ it with kamee june: starbuck’s style

we’ll grab drinks and talk for an hour or two

kickin’ it solo: $350.00

kickin’ it with a wingman: $480.00

kickin’ it with 3 or more kickers: $240.00/kicker

please contact me if you are interested in scheduling some kickin’ it time! until then keep your emails and comments coming. a big thank you to rhonda for unknowingly helping me to accomplish a goal i have been stirring for a while now! so thankful for you, and inspired by your eagerness to learn. keep it up; i can’t wait to see where you take your eye for this world!! (ps rhonda is going to the white house this week; wonder if she will be able to take her camera in? probably not. it’s going to have to be mental memories for us to read about on her blog. (add her to your bloglines; her blog has such a rad voice.) thank you to rhonda for making the trip and for spending some time with me and thank you to all of you, who like her, take a genuine interest in me and my photography.

glasses up!!

here’s to rhonda, my first student of 2010,and her insatiable desire to learn and master, and to setting goals and making them happen!!

keep your eyes on the blog for workshop details. they are coming soon!!! would love to see you all there!

and a sneak peek from my baby shoot with rhonda (a thank you to the allegre family for being so willing to share their time and family with us; thankful for all of you too. ;)).

more coming soon. until then…

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