Thursday, January 7, 2010

In NY: The Empathetic Photographer Class

My plan, once this commercial shooting thing is over, is to open up a school to teach whacked-out photo philosophy to like minded kids. Un-accredited of course...who needs a degree in photography anyhow? But before I was able to launch this plan, out of NY we have Thatcher Keats offering up The Empathetic Photographer Class.

The Empathetic Photographer Class:
The class will begin Wednesday, January 27th, 2010.
The class will run for 8 weeks.Your Host and professor is Thatcher Keats
Issues of technical competence, aesthetic concerns, differing lives in photography, artistic deficiencies, as well as the issue of exploitation and empathy will be addressed through discourse, presentation, and critique sessions.
Thatcher Keats has exhibited at ClampArt, The Christopher Henry Gallery, The National Arts Club, and Fashion Moda, among others. hosts a portfolio of his work.

Keats has been a guest of Yaddo, and has published a book, Confidence Games, in 2006.

Keats has taught publicly and privately in New York for four years, including at the International Center of Photography in 2010.

Please call @ 347-728-1141, or send an email to to reserve a spot.
Photograph by Thatcher Keats


bird. said...


Yes, who really does need a degree in photography in order to succeed? If you have one are you supposed to put it at the beginning of your portfolio for the client to see?

In any event, anyone who shoots as much Hassy as this guy would probably rope me in. Interesting work.


Anonymous said...

well, you do you need a degree if you want to teach at the college level (in most cases), although it's frustrating (to me as a non-advanced degree holder) that this is the case. i mean, 30 years of working as a freelance and commercial photographer but, because i haven't studied the phenomenology of the photo critique, i can't teach?

Timothy Archibald said...

Bird- this guys class is the antithesis of Brooks.

Anony- I think the idea of a commercial shooter teaching students is one of the big problems with all of these art schools...things like Academy of Art, etc. It creates too much emphasis on making money and being commercial, and the students seem to never have this spiritual center and deep relationship with the medium. Of course there are exceptions.

I love the way Keat's class makes no promises on opening up the commercial world and teaching kids to print money...he really keeps it grounded to the things that matter: becoming a more empathetic photographer....honing your instincts...things like that.

My school, of course, will promise to do all of these things simultaneously. JK.

bird. said...

I know.... I think as "bad" as Brooks could be sometimes from the overly structured, scientific point of view (and overly sold capitalistic POV), it does have some degree of use. That much is for sure, and I can't deny it. I learned a lot about how to make things happen (and even if I didn't want to, why they happened).

Still, it's a dichotomy I often times find myself contemplating. Sure, if you want to teach in a "formal" (accredited) setting you need a degree (not my cup of tea). Maybe there is something to be said for that, tho? But I also think that knowing too much technically can hinder creativity and one's approach to photography on a whole. The best pictures are often times the ones with the most uncontrollable elements-- nothing a teacher could have ever taught me (or us) in school. Nothing will ever teach you more than taking your camera and just shooting... Teaching the creative process-- now there's something we could all use insight to as artists.