FROM PHOTO SHOOTS TO PHOTO CLASSES...
I've often been asked why I've made the transition from practicing Photography to teaching Photography.
As a young girl, I loved taking pictures. I was always the kid in school with a camera. As I got older, it evolved into a real hobby, and I almost always had a camera in my hand.
Time went on... I got married, and had children. I was constantly taking pictures of my kids! It was then that I realized how important the gift of Photography is; to be able to capture all the moments and memories that otherwise would be forgotten had you not taken the time to photograph it.
Every summer, when I went to the bungalow colonies, I took pictures of my friends kids...for fun. Then one year, I went to a new bungalow colony. Someone approached me, saying "I heard you take great pictures, can you take pictures of my children?"...as in "professionally"...I was nervous to take that leap..but said yes! It was the first time I accepted money for my photos, but word spread very quickly, and before I turned around, I had a little business going.
It grew and grew, and I was really busy. While it was intense work, sometimes shooting for 10-11 hours straight, 4-5 days a week, in 90 degrees weather, with mosquitoes and gnats, and getting caught in countless thunderstorms! it was sooooo rewarding. It was a tremendous sense of satisfaction for me. Needless to say, I loved what I was doing. I enjoyed meeting new people, interacting with the children, getting them to smile, and I especially loved finding that amazing shot when looking through my pictures at the end of the day.
As one client told me after her photo shoot, "I have to say, even the stinkiest of stinkers didn't stop you from getting the most gorgeous pictures. Daniel barely cracked a smile and somehow you got so many absolutely stunning pictures. You captured moments that didn't even happen!...thank you so much!!!"
I did this for many years...and then one day, everything changed.
I received a phone call from one of my clients, asking if I can give a Photography class to a group of women that have sick children. Every week, one night a week, these women had an extracurricular activity planned, a little respite from their tough lives, and when asked what they wanted to do the following week, a few of them responded "Photography". I was the only woman photographer she knew, so she reached out to me.
After I hung up the phone, many thoughts raced through my head. I had a slight fear of public speaking, and would be nervous, but yet really wanted to do the chesed. My husband is a musician and was always playing for sick children, using his talent for chesed; why can't I? I decided I must get over my fears. I sat down and started writing down ideas of what I could teach these women. I wrote and wrote and got so involved, that before you know it, I had half a notebook filled. I then thought to myself , "Hey, this would make an excellent Sunday Program for Girls!".
I called a graphic artist the next morning and put together an ad for the first ever Photography Workshop/ Sunday Program for Girls. From start to finish, the idea for this new business venture was out in less than two days.
Ambitious? Crazy? Not sure, but the phone calls started coming in.
After a while, many women started asking me, "Do you have a Photography class like this for Women? I'd love to take one!"...and I started thinking, "Hey, why not have a class for Women???", so back to my looseleaf I went, which very quickly filled up! and now I started advertising a Photography Workshop for Women. My first class had six women. When they were done, they told me that they still wanted to come back..."Isn't there more you can teach us..?"..and lo and behold, my Advanced Photography Workshop for Women was born! and then eventually my other workshops were created , "Learn to use your Canon Camera crash course", and "Need help organizing your pictures on your computer?" Workshop"....
I realized that there was no such thing in the Frum community. If a woman wanted to learn Photography, where would she go? a secular college in Manhattan? It made me happy to know that I was providing a place for frum women to learn something they loved, taught by a frum teacher, in a kosher environment.
It's amazing how Hashem works...and the sequence of events that brought me to what I am doing today.
I never "planned" to pursue Photography as a profession, it was just a hobby to me... but, one lady approached me in a bungalow colony to take pictures of her children...and I never "planned" to teach Photography either, but another lady called me to give a Photography Class for women in need....and the rest as they say, is history.
This evolvement from Hobby-to Profession, from Photo shoots-to Photo Classes, was all orchestrated by the One above....and I thank Him every day for allowing me to do something I love and look forward to every day!