This morning, I had the ridiculously fantastic honor of talking to high school photo students at Kennebunk High School. The connection? Their teacher- Geoff Drew- was MY high school photo teacher 10 years ago in Hollis, New Hampshire. Since then he has taught in Connecticut, Maryland and now Maine.
If there was ever one teacher who had the most influence on my career, it was him by a mile. He would stay after school with me day after day, feeding my photography addiction and teaching me the craft. He is the one who encouraged me to follow my passion and study photography in college instead of a more traditional path. And I did indeed! Like him, I also went to Syracuse University.
A few years after graduation I received a grant from the White House News Photographers Association. As part of that award, I was asked to speak at a photo seminar at the Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. I presented a slideshow of my work and spoke about how I got into the business, recounting my amazing high school photography teacher who encouraged and believed in me. To my complete surprise, Mr. Drew was in the audience that day with his photo class from Maryland. It was a very cool moment.
So, today, it was very special to see his continuing influence on young futures in his super cool classroom. I was very impressed with his group of kids and am already looking forward to a return visit.