For many Americans traveling abroad, Europe's centuries-old charm sparks feelings of love. That’s what happened for Carissa Hoopes, and while she didn’t fall for a mustachioed bread maker, it was during a trek across the pond where her passion for photography solidified. After returning home, Carissa was inspired to pursue a professional career, first learning under other commercial and wedding snappers, and eventually opening a business with her husband, Chris. As he manages the production and design details, Carissa takes the creative lead, capturing the tender, genuine, and naturally funny moments clients have when they aren't aware they’re in her camera’s viewfinder.
The Lone Star School of Music nurtures musical musings of all ages and skill levels inside its audibly creative studio space. Fatherly music motivator Kurt Phillips invites parents to partner with their pintsize player up to 5 years old during an eight-week session of wee rock classes. Engage your tyke in a range of singing, dancing, and music-making exercises that enhance motor and cognitive abilities.
Since 1991, Natural Ear Music School has fulfilled the garage dreams of musicians of all ages, using approachable methods that simplify the fundamentals of playing music. Eschewing the sheet music and drills of most music schools, Natural Ear Music School understands the way that musicians communicate, using muscle-memory and hearing-skills exercises to excite amateurs and gigging pros alike.
The artists at Wildcat Studios teach classes of six to eight students to manipulate digital images and snap lush outdoor portraits. During two-hour Photoshop fundamentals classes, budding digital artists learn to adjust color and contrast settings, correct red-eye, and smooth out skin tone in digital photographs on the studio's computer workstations. Instructors' step-by-step lessons also imbue pupils with the skills to automate repetitive tasks, as well as apply textural effects and edit parachute pants out of portraits of former presidents. In a three-hour outdoor portrait class, aspirant photographers hone shooting techniques in the wild, both with professional lighting and without any auxiliary equipment. Students also experiment with camera settings that best capture portraits of people and pets, enhance understanding of lens selection, and become familiar with depth of field. The studio provides lunch for all attendees, granting the perfect opportunity to take a candid photo of an apple in mortal danger.
e-Careers helps students flesh out their resumés and advance their careers with continuing education, available online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company hosts study programs that detail children’s education, web design, and most foreign languages, excluding the language of robot love. To simulate the traditional classroom experience as much as possible, each course comes to life with animated content, video and audio training, and virtual laboratories. Likewise, communicative features such as discussion boards allow participants to collaborate and converse, eliminating the need to send tweets when the teacher’s back is turned.
For the instructors at Austin School of Photography, great shots arise not from an attempt to emulate a certain style, but from an intimate knowledge of camera mechanics. The mandate "Know Your Camera," emblazoned across the bottom of the school’s website, serves as a guiding principle of its classes and seminars, which aim to help good technique become second nature for students. Two introductory photo courses create a starting point before students take on more advanced offerings, such as studio-lighting strategies, documentary photography, and pantomime-horse portraiture.