Experts from various industries regularly ask me to do presentations and photography instruction to professional groups of all ages throughout the U.S. However, I get the most satisfaction helping the younger generation. It is an honor to have the opportunity to help the photography degree program at Pellissippi State Community College by doing portfolio reviews and being on their board of advisory. I also enjoy having the students intern with my business. School administrators often ask me to present in various high school and middle school job fairs and art classes. My most recent visit to a magnet school totally blew me away.

Fulcom totally blew me away with their full photography studio, complete TV studio setup, radio station, and graphic design instruction. Fulton High School’s magnet school in Knoxville, Tennessee, made me wish I had gotten the opportunities that their students have. It would have armed me with the skills that I had to stumble through an entire career to obtain. I have done photography instruction for various schools, but the classrooms, instructors, and curriculum here really stood out.

Sandra VanWinkle, the graphic design instructor, is helping restart their magazine, The Falcon Quill. The magazine has a long history that goes all the way back to January 1953. The re-opening will give students opportunities to learn how to cover stories using photos as well as the written word. The magazine will also give them hands-on experience in photography instruction, magazine layout, and design.

I had to up my photography instruction game when I went to the school because the students were much more advanced than I imagined. My typical experience going into high school has been seeing a lot of disinterest and very low skill sets in photography. Not at Fulcom, though! All the students were engaged and eager to learn. Also, they already had a strong base of knowledge. It was really refreshing and inspirational to see. It also makes me very excited about what this new generation will achieve. Thank you to Fulcom, Fulton High School, the community supporting it, and the instructors who make it a magical place.

I can’t wait for the next opportunity to help Fulcom as well as the new generation coming into the field. They will be coming to my studio for a tour in the near future; and I’m excited about it. If there is ever anything I can help your school or class with, please don’t hesitate to contact me.