Remember those aptitude tests they used to give you in school? You know, the ones that tell you what you’d end up doing with your life.
I remember mine. It said I had an aptitude for teaching. Teaching? I didn’t want to be a teacher. At the age of 12, my definition of a teacher was my old, wrinkled 3rd grade teacher who threw chalkboard erasers at kids. Besides, I was going to play baseball when I grew up.
Anyway, I dismissed those tests as useless.
So what do I end up doing? Nature photography and, get this, teaching nature photography. Whaddaya know? Seems those tests weren’t so useless after all.
I first began teaching photography with the Mountaineers in Seattle, WA. Each year they conduct a basic photo course and for several years I would simply help people in the field. Then I began giving the lectures. After that I taught some continuing ed classes on nature photography at the local community college.
Soon after I left Boeing at the end of 1999 I was assisting at workshops for Great American Photography Workshops. Before I knew it, I was listed as co-leader with the likes of David Middleton (who has since become a good friend and, in my book, the best photo workshop leader in the business), Cliff Zenor, Bill Fortney, and David Muench. I've lost count of the number of workshops I've led with either of the Davids. And I've had the great pleasure of working with Jack Dykinga.
I've also taught for other workshop companies, like The Nature Workshops and the short-lived Photographer's Alliance Workshops, as well as running my own workshops and teaming up with my pal Don Mammoser, one of the most enthusiastic field instructors I've ever met.
Some of the places I've led or co-led workshops include:
- Olympic National Park
- Mt. Rainier National Park
- The Palouse
- Oregon Coast
- Columbia River Gorge
- Page, AZ
- Monument Valley
- Arches/Canyonlands National Parks
- Zion National Park
- The Canadian Rockies
- Colorado's San Juan Mountains
- Grand Teton National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Redwoods National Park
- Nova Scotia