Another side to my photographic life

Ten years ago I, almost literally, fell into the job of Head of Photography at Peters Valley Craft Center in Layton, NJ.

The Department Heads responsibilities range from developing the schedule to implementing it to locating & training assistant(s) to acquiring equipment and supplies to repairing equipment to rebuilding & repainting painting classrooms to fetching water for one of the residencies on Sunday morning, etc.

One of the most enjoyable and yet most annoying aspects of this job is the annual preparation of the next years class schedule. This is truly a 2 edged sword.

It is enjoyable because it gives me the opportunity to call on incredable photographers and teachers that I may have never met before and talk with them about their teaching philosophy, methods, etc.

It is annoying because you have to guess what 18 or 20 classes your students, both current & future, will find irresistible AND match teachers to the classes.

The selection of teachers in the Peters Valley environment requires the careful balancing of relative fame & popularity to travel distance. Normally, the further they travel the more students we need as a base to run the class. Due to the facilities layout at Thunder Mountain, where my Analog studios are located, I can only, comfortably, seat 6 to 8 students.  Now this is wonderful for the students since they are guaranteed teacher face time but it leaves me a slim expense margin. This difficulty has been offset some, recently, by the ability to adjust the course tuition to cover these expenses more reliably. This is not to say the entire wet lab is cramped, there is a 14 enlarger darkroom with separate film loading and processing rooms.
The Digital Studios are, normally, located in a wonderful building in the center of the campus with the nickname of “Greek”. This is due to it’s large white columns and general Greek revival appearance. I can host 10 or 12 students along with computers & printers quite comfortably.

more to come…..8o)

About whyphotograph

Photographer, computerist, slayer of Dragons Head of Photography for AWSchmitt Ltd. producing Creative, Illustrative Photography for your needs. ( www.awschmitt.com ) Formally Head of Photography, Peters Valley Center For Crafts, Layton, NJ (www.petersvalley.org)
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