Two weeks ago I once again made the trip to Rockport, ME to my favorite workshop of the year: The Human Form at the Maine Media Workshops! I love everything about this workshop: the gorgeous landscape of Rockport at the end of summer, the folks I’ve worked with for so many years at MMW, and of course the wonderful students…
Maine is SO beautiful this time of year. The weather is always perfect, a glorious escape from the typical humidity of mid-summer Baltimore. And of course, the lobster is DELICIOUS. Every day, Jill Enfield and I would race to Graffam Bros Seafood Shack for our daily (yes, daily) lobster roll. We also hit the usual bar for our annual karaoke night, a tradition I’ve had with my MMW class for several years now…. and totally bombed. While it was of course it was a total (and somewhat embarrassing) blast, I would like to offer a sincere public apology for our rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”.
Maine Media Workshops:
I always feel so welcomed by the hospitality of the workshops here. The programs are fantastic, and I’m always thrilled to see colleagues and old friends that are teaching other courses during my stay. The faculty, staff, and even the models for our class at MMW have become like family. This year, Eleanore Kohorn was an excellent side kick to have in the classroom and on shooting assignments as my T.A. She was also gracious enough to send me some of her favorite quotes from the week, such as this gem: “Go back to something comfortable and then go in and fuck it up”. Maybe a title for a book on the creative process??
As I mentioned in a previous post, I am consistently astounded by the work the students produce at this workshop every year, and this year was no different…
My class this year consisted of 5 extremely gifted and motivated photographers. The small size of our group meant that we could really spend a lot of time diving into each students work and exploring how to [push to the next level]. Our classroom discussions got off to a very lively and open start, examining various challenges in photographing the nude, fears of making “inappropriate” images, approaching the nude from an intuitive standpoint, and other complicated ideas regarding the nude as subject matter. We talked about the notion of process over product- that we’re not going after an image; we’re exploring. And that if you believe that, there will always be a next step.
I was really impressed with how quickly this group of students grasped the idea that intuition cannot be controlled, and how to work with an intuitive approach in photographing the nude. They seemed to pick up on things very quickly, discovering new ways to look at the human body. Every student really pushed themselves to new levels of seeing, which was reflected in the work they produced throughout the week.