Do you struggle with who you are as a photographer? Are you afraid to be yourself with your photography even it means shooting unlike everyone else? When raising children, we teach them that who they are is good enough. Even at a young age, peer pressure is around and we never want them to conform to others in an effort to ‘ﬁt in’. Our goal as parents is to encourage the uniqueness that we see in each of our children. Being different is good and in reality, we are all different from everyone else in some way or another.
If we are so adamant in teaching our children to just be themselves, why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be like everyone else? Isn’t that a little hypocritical of us to expect one thing of our kids but not to expect the same of ourselves? Think about it,monkey see monkey do right?
I’ve seen it all too often, and have been guilty of it myself before, where a photographer will get down on themselves because they’re not good enough or they don’t ﬁt in. You know what? It’s okay if your photography is different than others. Creativity is the beauty of photography. Photography is a way to express yourself, a way to tell the world a story. Let’s face it, we don’t all have the same story to tell. To me, that is amazing!
In learning to tell a story through writing we have to learn what a noun, verb, and a preposition is, in addition to the many other grammar rules, prior to being able to fully and creatively express ourselves with our words. Like in writing, we need to learn the rules of photography, what they mean, and how they affect an image, to completely communicate the story we want to tell with our cameras.
That, my friends, will be the purpose of my new photography workshop, Shooting 201: Exploring Creative Photography. Together, we will explore the meaning and purpose behind unique ways to use your ISO, exposure, aperture, focus, shutter speed, and much more. This knowledge will be a stepping stone in discovering who you are as an artist and how to express yourself. Along with teaching assistants Caroline Jensen, Celeste Pavlik, and Sarah Vaughn, we will not only discuss technicalities in achieving a certain effect but also creativity and what draws us in as the viewer.
I don’t know about you but I am ready and excited to stop comparing myself to others, embrace my inner creative, ﬁnd what makes me unique, and create art that truly makes me happy!
April Nienhuis, Oklahoma
Director of Online Media | CMU Instructor
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Being a second shooter for the past six years has encouraged April Nienhuis to find a creative approach to photography. While the main photographer works her magic posing and taking the more timeless images, April searches for unique perspectives and compositions that will be complimentary. As much as she enjoys fun and somewhat quirky imagery, her work tends to elicit a tranquil factor that many find soothing yet mysterious. Not believing in tying yourself down to one style, she loves a bit of everything – color and black and white, natural and artificial light, traditional portraiture along with the more abstract. April is also the instructor for CMU’s workshop Shooting 202: Exploring Creative Photography. Other than photography, April likes to cook, read, decorate and organize.