Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
Seasoned shutterbug Joel “Gus” Archer takes pride in watching his photography students develop new skills and a visual voice as he leads a variety of classes that can benefit novice and experienced photographers alike. Beginners learn to wield their new Nikons, Canons, iPhones, or optically implanted cameras in group classes or deepen their talents in sports, underwater, or macro photography. In addition to teaching the general population, Joel has shared his expertise to train law-enforcement agencies from the International Association of Arson Investigators to the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association, as well as the Junior League of Oklahoma City. When Joel isn’t teaching, he draws from his Swedish and Cherokee heritage to inform his breadth of work and compiles tutorials such as his upcoming book, Dark Dirty Secrets of Digital Photography.
Guided by more than 25 years of experience in technological wizardry, Creative Photo Video Inc.'s trained preservationists transform analog movies and photographs into a modern digital format. Beloved tunes held captive on outdated tapes find a new home on CDs, and Home Movie Film, Video Tapes, Slides and Photos are transferred to shiny new DVDs or External Hard Drive, a durable and long-lasting medium that can be played back on any number of dedicated players, computers, game consoles, or Internet–enabled gramophones. The skilled technicians also helm wedding-video productions complete with photo montages and recaps, which have thrilled countless couples and have found their way onto the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Colorband PhotoArtisans are Roy Groat Jr. and Jamie Chen, whose photographing abilities transform beautiful scenery into beautifully crafted images. Before on-camera debuts, models have the option to meet with the photographers and discuss the shoot. During the portrait session, the picture makers will make pictures while subjects pose through two outfit swaps and two background changes (a $150 value). Emphasis is placed on creating great images in the studio with minimal digital darkroom enhancement. However, digital manipulations can be added upon request, from adding texture overlays or halos to simply shuffling faces around to confuse future generations.
Photography shouldn’t be a mystery. That’s the idea behind Photo Factory Learning Lab, a center helmed by experts who teach amateur and beginning photographers how to capture striking images. Through hands-on classes, seminars, and workshops, students learn how to work the functions of their cameras and visualize and design shots.