One of the most amazing parts of teaching is being constantly reminded why it is you do what you do.

As part of the Outside the Lens team, I am currently out of my traditional structured High School classroom element and over the past three weeks have been trekking throughout downtown La Jolla teaching multiple age ranges in multiple locations. The experience has had its challenges --lugging heavy equipment around in the San Diego summer heat, memorizing a new group of names and faces each week, balancing the brain from your high school vernacular and toning it down to your middle school speak --but nonetheless rewarding. It has proven to me that really in any circumstance as a teacher, no matter the type of student or the age range, that I can succeed and achieve rave reviews from students and parents. All this at the same time learning a completely new part of San Diego and finding a way to navigate through it (thank you NYC for conditioning me for this).This has lead me in some awesome spaces including the Coast Room of the Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla and the La Jolla Historical Society. 

This summer I have been teaching a little of everything - The Big Picture ( aNature and Architectural Photography class, to Street Photography, to a new class I created called #Trending.  I have been able to collectively tap into the resources that inspired me as a youth, all the while learning to hone and perfect the craft myself. In the Big Picture it was the work of artists such as the famed Ansel Adams and Julius Schulman who inspired us me in films like Visual Acoustics where Schulman explains how elements like adding people to his work really helped it take off and showcase a time past. The trailer for Visual Acoustics below and the full movie can be found on Hulu for free at http://www.hulu.com/watch/678465 .

On the nature spectrum we visited the work of world renowned photographer, Peter Lik, and with the help of Krystal Lawler, the Gallery Director for the Peter Lik Gallery we were able to engage in our own personal tour of the collection.

As my work began in fashion and portraiture it was fun to become a tourist along with my students and document the sites here in San Diego. Heres a few shots I got that I really love. 

For Street Photography it was artists like Scott Schuman aka The Satorialist (whom I've had the opportunity to meet several times during NYFW with IMG Models) where I learned the principles and building blocks of my own website and ideology, the work behind starting your own website, the hours behind the scenes, and the laborious task of making sure you are sticking to the script EVERY day. Intels video for Mr. Schuman has always been a source of inspiration for myself as I began learning the fashion and street landscape so it was none other than imperative that I showed the clip.  

 

In #trending I was given the task of teaching the social media landscape to middle school students in a way that empowers them to create content and share, but with caution and with purpose. To question the students with things like filters for their photographs and challenge them to understand why we hashtag, if a filter is necessary or important to a photograph, and examine what items and elements make a video/photo successful via social media. For the answers I looked to brands that have dedicated themselves meticulously and with much success to their social efforts such as a formed company I had worked for like IMG models, and how they use the page to document of the moment information as well as the videos of Levi Maestro, a young entrepreneur I had the pleasure of meeting at Reed Space in New York City a few years ago. Levi also is a self made photographer/videographer who started from humble beginnings documenting moments with his friends which lead him to success in the digital field all through the promotion he put out there on platforms like vimeo, instagram, twitter etc. In this class I was able to put my extensive knowledge of social media marketing to the task with years of experience from both companies big and small, trial and error as an entrepreneur for my own sites and ideas, and studies from San Diego resources such as Immersive Youtha youth marketing agency that regular publishes tips and tricks to reach young audience viewership.

Levi and Alex circa 2012 at Reed Space

Levi and Alex circa 2012 at Reed Space

Learning new things is one of my favorite things to do. But there is something to be said about revisiting a topic you have already learned. It can make it feel new; feel fresh. For me, having the opportunity to relearn photography and media and disect it on the stage for each age group has been a learning experience for me as well. Passion, even the strongest kind, can fade. But only if you let it. The secret is to discover and remember and find new reasons why you love doing something everyday. Hell I think thats the secret to life. 

Tell everyone.

O ya and we had some fun in slowmo. Shout out to Hilary from Outside the Lens for the edit. 

P.S. Special thank you to Outside the Lens for giving me the opportunity to teach what I want in these amazing locations, to MCASD and the La Jolla Historical Society for allowing us to use your facilities and show the students why La Jolla is so amazing!

Alex 

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