Student Testimonial

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Marisa White Virginia

Professional Studies 2012

Two years have passed since that life-changing adventure in Missoula where I dedicated an entire summer to eat, breathe and speak nothing but photography with a group of like-minded individuals. People I now call friends. It’s an experience like none other and one that I continue to think about on a rather frequent basis to this day.

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While attending the program, it was essential for me to be open-minded to possibilities. I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to take my photography and was eager to find an area to focus my energy and make it my own. With that in mind, I signed up for three Pro Studies courses: Advertising, Modern Studio and Adventure/Lifestyle, each very different, yet appealing to all of my sensibilities as a photographer.

Much like SI, Pro Studies proved to be intensive. Each course provided a very intimate week long, 8+ hours a day, of pure concentration further honing our skills with lighting, posing models, working for clients, and delving into the business side of photography.  I would consider Pro Studies a necessary supplement after coming out of SI while your mind is still fresh from the previous 11 weeks of sponge-soaking knowledge. And the bonus, you’re working with an instructor who’s actually a Pro!

Looking back, I recognize a specific pivotal point that set me on my current path. Wes Kroninger, our instructor for Advertising, created a composite assignment with four models. The catch? We could only photograph one model at a time.  Say what?! But it forced us to think about our concept. What did we want the final image to look like? Where did we need to place each model in the frame so they all looked like they were interacting with one another? How do we account for lighting each model? Then, of course, how do we put it altogether as one final image?

I use this thought process today on just about everything. My work now follows down a conceptual path and much of my ideas are thought out and written down before I ever put a camera up to my eye.  It occurred to me the other day that I used to do this all by hand, creating mixed media collages with photo copies and paint. RMSP gave me the tools to recreate what I’ve enjoyed all along using the digital format. This in turn, has opened up my art to a world of possibilities, limited only by my imagination.

See more of Marisa’s work at whitesparksphotography.com