Raindance Filmmaking's practical filmmaking and writing workshops break the daunting cinema-creation process into digestible lectures as industry professionals lead talks to elevate the aptitude of independent filmmakers and artists. Courses replete with script-format guides, sample CVs, and storyboard templates accompany prolific producers' various lectures. Students can select courses that teach film industry basics including how to build a budget, choose a camera, and promote themselves without having to change their names to Spike Spielberg. Some classes conclude with networking sessions at local bars where participants can trade business cards to further their cinematic pursuits.
Whether she’s snapping shots of Lil Wayne’s sparkling grin, the urban landscape of Detroit, or the Arab American National Museum, photographer Asia Hamilton inspires people to view the world from a new perspective. Her photography raises awareness on issues of waste and consumption, and strives to unmask the beauty hidden in a cityscape.
When she’s not on a globetrotting, eye-opening adventure, she’s teaching aspiring photographers at her studio, Nozomi Live Photography & Design. She demystifies photography concepts such as lighting and composition before taking shutterbugs out on urban excursions, where they can practice techniques in the bustling city. She helps her protégés feel more comfortable using their cameras’ manual settings, making the picture-snapping devices feel like an extension of their bodies without duct tape or cybernetic surgery.
When John Antone founded Axis Music Academy and started developing his proprietary teaching method, the academy was a cramped four-studio Southfield office where he gave guitar lessons. Sixteen years later, Axis has blossomed into a quartet of spacious, well-lit facilities that have one specialty in common: turn individual musicians into bands. Supplied with 12 private studios and all necessary instruments and gear, students get to set their own goals and chart their own course to learning, composing, and recording music. Whether that journey starts with them working through their favorite song on the guitar or stubbornly trying to play the tuba with their ear, the teaching staff helps them reach their goals using the full benefit of their expertise. Budding virtuosos can then combine their strengths during a slate of rock bands, glee clubs, and other group activities.
Axis Music Academy is also currently Michigan’s only Apple-authorized training center, which saves prospective producers a trip out of state if they want to get certified and tested in industry-standard recording software such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton, Final Cut, and Garage Band —all taught using a brand-new suite of computer stations and the industry-insider techniques of Charlie Grover, the former drummer of gold-certified rock band Sponge.
Lessons rarely stay confined to the classroom, since Axis lines up opportunities for students to show off what they've learned onstage at local venues, sports games, and even on air during the morning news. It also stays active in the Detroit-area community by participating in Axis Music Academy 501(C)3 and other programs.
Nature photographer Mike Moats deals exclusively in evocative and otherworldly up-close shots. His workshops can last anywhere from three hours to three days, and cover general image-making techniques, such as controlling depth of field, composition methods, and postshoot digital processing. Moats also teaches his students to think like photographers: lessons often cover selecting a subject in any season and working in natural light. With proper grounding in the theory and practice of shooting tiny subjects, macro-photographers will have plenty to shoot no matter where they live, unlike photographers who specialize in Leap Day lunar eclipses. :m]]
After working for 24 years at what he calls a "real" job, Bob DiTommaso left the office environment to pursue his passion: photography. It wasn't an easy switch—his career move required long hours and lots of hard work—but Bob says he wouldn't change a thing. The effort paid off in the end, when he opened his own studio, Robert DiTommaso Photography.
Bob works mainly in family and children's photography, but his interests run the gamut from portraits to landscape and sports photography. Regardless of subject, the seasoned shutterbug brings a keen eye for capturing the ineffable in each and every shoot. And he prints his images in-house on a wide-format professional ink-jet printer.
When he's not taking great photos, Bob is teaching others to do so during photography workshops that take place in-studio or on-location. He even leads photography safaris, multi-day trips that trek through national parks and other breathtaking locales in search of the perfect shot of Bigfoot buying deodorant.
When Prem and Cheridy Mukherjee got married in 2001, they didn't know anything about creative wedding photography. Prem's interest in taking photos had been piqued during his travels in Sydney, Australia, but it wasn't until after he had met and married Cheridy that his interest flourished into a real talent. Cheridy soon picked up the camera herself, and together the husband-and-wife team became Arising Images, expertly capturing shots for weddings, engagement announcements, and family-portrait sessions. In 2009, with more experience under their belts, the couple wanted another shot at their wedding album. They once again donned white attire, along with a colorful pair of sneakers, and posed for artistic, playful shots that truly captured their joy—something they strive for in their own photography sessions.
Prem, who has shared his expertise at national conventions, passes along his camera-friendly knowledge to budding photographers during starter and intermediate classes. He spends the sessions educating students on the functions of their own cameras and the fundamentals of editing images with Photoshop Elements, eschewing the traditional method of going over photos with a ballpoint pen and masking tape. Private lessons shower all the attention upon one participant, while a tag-along on a photo shoot or wedding allows students to view Prem and Cheridy in their professional environment.