In the middle of drafting this I attended a talk by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg where he said, “Kids learn teachers, not subjects“. Many subjects from school have proven useful in my photography career. The lessons that really stick with me were by passionate teachers who demonstrated them in unique ways.
I’ve written before how my high school art teacher really inspired me to follow a creative career. She showed us the world has no restrictions, it is we who apply them.
Learning to think laterally is a skill that has benefited all aspects of my life, not just creativity. It helps me to solve problems and think outside the box finding solutions for clients.
My geography teacher, like many of his generation, was a bit of a hippie from the 1970s. He taught to the text book however would take us on field trips to really understand the science. Sitting on sand dunes sketching the effects of erosion made us look closer.
Learning about weather patterns, my geography teacher had us study evening weather reports, challenged us to do our own predictions and understand synoptic charts.
Photographers are obsessed with weather and like to dabble in a bit of meteorology. Just look at how many weather apps we have on our phones! For location jobs, such as promotional photography for schools and universities, it’s the photographer who calls the shots regarding weather delays.
Analytical thinking is also important and in high school science we looked for predictable, repeatable results.
I distinctly remember studying the psychology of advertising in depth (and later at university). Today I use some of that when crafting campaigns for clients.
OK maths isn’t my strong point. Often at parent teacher nights my parents would politely hear that, “he shows strength in the humanities“.
In photography there is only one rule you need to know, the inverse square law:
Now that I’m involved in international standards for photography at ISO I really should have paid more attention to maths. My colleagues on the committee are very clever PhD scientists debating high level formulae.
A genuine love of reading is one the greatest gifts english teachers have given me and my children.
My best English teachers celebrated my writing and gave me the tools to confidently speak to an audience.
Passion for learning
Something I can credit to all all my teachers is a continued passion for learning.
After formal study my mentors strengthened that with on the job, practical training. Subjects at school that I wasn’t drawn to suddenly became important. Physics, chemistry, computer science and maths when applied to photography fascinate me and maintain my desire to learn.
Continuing Professional Development
In a fast changing arena like digital photography and an ever changing world it’s essential to maintain your education. We’re always learning, whether that’s self guided or through a formally structured course. To be an Accredited Professional Photographer the Australian Institute of Professional Photography requires members to participate in Continuing Professional Development.
Having great teachers early in my schooling instilled me with a passion for continuing to both learn and share those learnings with others. I’d love to hear your experiences over on Linkedin.