When Alicia Donovan began her photography career, she was worried about not having a studio. Using nature as her backdrop, though, she noticed something that doesn't happen beneath hot studio lights—people interacting with the world around them, feeling comfortable in themselves. So she made it a principle to work outdoors, to illuminate her subjects in the available light of sun rays. Although she specializes in capturing pets and children in their element, she also extends her talents to life's milestones: senior photos, graduation photos, and holiday portraits.
It’s sometimes incredible to fathom just how many people are behind one movie: you need a group to write a script, draw up storyboards, direct, act, hold the camera, do makeup...the list goes on. Casting all these roles is a familiar task to Suezean Matarazzo, a veteran of the film industry who is also the school's founder. At Austin Film and Maker Camp, her instructors teach elementary through high-school-aged students how to collaborate on a short movie of their own or on constructing robots or animation.
In the camp's workshops, art and science are combined to teach students real-world applications of technology, engineering, and math as they work together to design, prototype, and build their own inventions. Workshops stay small, so the camp's roster of instructors and guest speakers—such as casting agents and stuntmen—can help individuals hone their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
Like with any new skill, learning photography can be intimidating—unless you have the right resources. Since 2008, Texas Photo Workshops has enlisted the services of professional, award-winning photographers to lead its various workshops and adventures. Today, these sharp-eyed instructors share their wisdom with beginners, intermediate photographers, and professionals through one-on-one mentoring, exotic expeditions, one-day workshops, and online workshops. Among the instructors is founder Kevin Vandivier, whose portfolio includes work for Life, Newsweek, and National Geographic, and many others. In photography classes, students can either learn the basics of operating a DLSR camera, or capture wildflowers in their natural environment as they sway in the breeze and apply bug repellant to each other's stems.
Experienced photo gurus Doug Box and Randy Kerr impart practical photo skills to curious shutterbugs during engaging seminars that have appeared across the States and in eight countries abroad. Doug Box, author of myriad photography-technique books, is one of 13 Kodak mentors and is the Executive Director of the Texas Professional Photographers Association. His co-teacher, Randy Kerr, heads World Photographic, which uses photography as a vehicle for illuminating humanitarian and environmental topics. Both men have been teaching photography classes for years and help amateurs take photos that capture piercing looks, toothy smiles, and elusive dodo sightings.
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. 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.