The idea for the Wells Point came out of experiences I had teaching photography over the last decade.
I noticed after a few years of teaching, most of the questions the students asked were broadly the same. The students could be from the U.S. or Bangladesh or Mexico, but their issues were surprisingly similar. They were struggling to understand, but more particularly to internalize, how to use their cameras to get that “thing in front of them” onto the film or memory card. The students might be photographing different subjects, be they people, places or things, but their struggles were remarkably similar.
The instructional strategies I developed over time became an integral part of my classes. Standing back I saw that I was unconsciously systematizing the lessons over the years, honing and refining them. In one class, I might try a new strategy to illustrate a given technique. Sometimes the new approach worked and sometimes it did not. In either case, I refined my teaching techniques. The highlight of all of this process was when a student’s face would light up because they “got it.”
The end goal of the process was to get the students to become more intuitive in how they used their cameras. Photographing should become a natural, almost zen-like act for the photographer. Once that happens, the photographer (and the teacher) can move on to the next and arguably most important lesson, which is what does the photographer want his or her images to do or say?
Over the years of teaching, I realized I love teaching. My students tell me I am pretty good at teaching them to “see like a camera.” It may be a skill I inherited from my mother, who was a teacher by profession and passion.