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.
If the main objective of the glamour photographer is to make the model look attractive, there are probably more challenging subjects than Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera—but that doesn't mean David Blecman is complaining. The Positive Negatives founder and longtime shutterbug—he was named the photo editor of his county newspaper before his 20th birthday more than 30 years ago—has a history of plucking these plum gigs, having snapped pictures of celebrities such as Jimmy Buffett and Gene Simmons and worked for commercial clients including Sears, JCPenney, and Bath & Body Works.
At his studio, Blecman applies his skills toward shooting everything from headshots for models and actors to portraits of kids and teens. He also shares his expertise during workshops that cover both photography and modeling, so students can know what it feels like to be on both sides of a lens without giving their neighbors a turn with the binoculars.
A team of professors, photojournalists, and professional photographers are the driving force of Ambiance Digital Photography School, teaching the fundamentals of DSLR photography via step-by-step instructional videos. Besides the online database of videos, the pros put together downloadable and printable tutorials to accompany photo examples. Any member of the school gets lifetime access to the school’s library, which includes an in-depth course on Photoshop. Some of the continually updated video classes focus on topics such as black-and-white photography, taking group or self portraits, and mastering different sources of light rather than always carrying around the same lava lamp.
Uncork'd Art's instructors invite artists of all skill levels to let their creativity flow while practicing no-pressure painting. During their adult classes, experienced local artists unlock latent talents with a complimentary glass of wine, a brought-from-home snack, and muses equipped with brass knuckles. Instructors lead students in painting experiments during Just For Fun sessions, and provided materials allow for the creation of acrylic-adorned masterpieces. Throughout the 6-week art- and wine-appreciation course, students learn theories and techniques, sample fragrant vinos, and produce three finished paintings. Uncork'd also offers private parties for groups of 10 or more, as well as happy-hour classes, which include helpful instruction with complimentary wine and supplies. Prospective pupils can schedule their next creative frenzy by perusing the online calendar.
The Intro to Photography class is produced by Monte Zucker Photographic Education (MZPE), which provides quality professional photographic instruction. More than 30,000 enthusiastic students of all levels have attended their photographic tours on three continents over the past seven years to learn how to combine the power of technical expertise and artistic vision to create beautiful photos and films. In addition to offering the tours, MZPE produces instructional books and DVDs, as well as teaching in-depth photo-master classes around the world. The 2002 United Nations Photographer of the Year, celebrated photographer and mentor Monte Zucker once stated, "I don’t photograph the world as it is. I photograph the world as I would like it to be." Continuing on in his memory, current instructor Bob Ray teaches with an entertaining, passionate presentation that focuses on learning immediately in class. The experience provides an aspiring photographer a comprehensive set of tools to reach his or her artistic potential.
ArtSmash, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s annual gala, promises to present a lively evening of food, drinks, arts, and entertainment, with proceeds benefitting CHAW’s tuition assistance, outreach, and education programs. Admittance to the celebration gets gala-goers a potable philanthropic portion of delectable food, palate-pleasing wine and beer, and a signature cocktail. During the three-hour festivities, a spirited assortment of performers will entertain attendees, from a-capella collective Not What You Think to the casts of CHAWbaret and The Mikado. Take home work from local artists or the Capitol Hill Art League members in a silent auction, participate in invigorating dance lessons, or learn how to paint like the Renaissance masters, all skills and resources which can be later incorporated into lobbying for federally funded anarchist-hardcore day camps.