December 26, 2019

2019 Student Spotlight

By: Michelle Gendreau

As 2019 comes to a close, we thought we’d take a moment to look back on the work that has come out of Gather Academy in the last twelve months. Much of it has been an invisible type of work: building a learning platform and putting systems in place to help things run smoothly, writing new workshops and thinking about the best ways to deliver content to our community. We won’t bore you with those details, but we do want to share some of the beauty that has come from this journey. We could go on and on about what our students mean to us, but we also believe that pictures can speak more fluently than words, so we’ll leave you with a curated collection of student work from our first run of workshops. We are so proud of our students and feel so fortunate to have been part of the learning process for so many of you. We look forward to many more opportunities to learn alongside you in 2020.


Student Work, Flower Portraits: Capturing the True Beauty of Flowers, Kathleen Clemons

Column 1, top to bottom: Denise McKay, Kim Nordby, Mark Westermeier, Rosemarie Prydal, Kim Nordby
Column 2, top to bottom: Louisa Arendt, Penny Adam, Marg Harrison, Penny Adam, Penny Adam, Kim Nordby, Louisa Arendt
Column 3, top to bottom: Penny Adam, Rosemarie Prydal, Kim Nordby, Penny Adam


Student Work, Child Portraiture Workshop/CPW Graduate Intensive, April Milani and Helen Whittle

Column 1, top to bottom: Mary Daaboul, Miriam Hancock, Liz Davenport, Miriam Hancock
Column 2, top to bottom: Liz Davenport, Samantha Morris, Emmanuelle Pigueller
Column 3, top to bottom: Samantha Morris, Samantha Morris, Emmanuelle Pigueller, Maxine Small
Column 4, top to bottom: Maxine Small, Miriam Hancock, Mary Daaboul
Column 5, top to bottom: Miriam Hancock, Samantha Morris


Student Work, Learn to Bend Your Vision, April Milani

Column 1, top to bottom: Krystil McDowall, Natalie Finney, Benita Clark
Column 2, top to bottom: Benita Clark, Camilla Winter-Moore, Merja Varkemaa
Column 3, top to bottom: Merja Varkemaa, Lenna Castro, Marianne Ullmann
Column 4, top to bottom: Stephanie Simon, Krystil McDowall, Lenna Castro
Column 5, top to bottom: Marianne Ullmann, Stephanie Simon, Michelle Gendreau, Camilla Winter-Moore


Student Testimonials


“I had long been a fan of April’s and Helen’s work and I immediately jumped at the chance of joining them in a Child Portraiture workshop. It immediately felt like a gathering of friends—the community I joined was so supportive. April and Helen give so much of themselves in the materials and also their time to review and help in whichever way we needed. My approach to photographing my kids and children of clients changed immediately. I finally understood the main reason I couldn’t capture the image I set out to. I am more purposeful. A big take away for me was the push and the thought process needed to start working on a portfolio. And finally—I can’t forget my love for Lensbaby. April and Helen really helped me develop my creativity. I need to find the time to join them again—their editing skills are another level and really resonate with the style and artist I want to be.” -Maxine Small


“Kathleen is a wonderful teacher and coach and I am learning so much my head is spinning to take it all in. I am new to this type of photography and Kathleen is extremely helpful and encouraging in her critiques of our photos. I learn not only through the weekly lessons, but also through the critiques of all of the participants’ photos each week. A truly outstanding course!!!” –Marg Harrison


“This is the first workshop I’ve taken with Kathleen and I’m so glad I did! She is passionate about photography and it comes through in her easy to follow teaching method. I’ve taken several workshops but this one has provided a lot of information in a way that ties all the details together very well.” -Penny Adam


“Kathleen Clemons’ Flower Portraits class was one of the best online classes I have ever taken. The content was well organized and delivered in a way that was easy to understand. Plus I really appreciated the “live” feel of the class through on-going communication in the forums. The weekly assignments and the video critiques helped me to practice applying what I learned and where I had opportunities for improvement. Kathleen’s teaching style was very welcoming and inclusive. We were all in this together, with the goal to take our flower photos to the next level. Not only is Kathleen a master at flower photography, but she’s an excellent teacher as well. I would sign up for another Kathleen Clemons class in a heartbeat.” –Denise McKay


“This has been the most valuable course I have taken—and I have done more than a few! The way the course has been presented and Kathleen’s critiques have been outstanding and I have learnt so much in the last few weeks. She is always available, supportive, and so generous in sharing her knowledge. The critiques are clear, honest, and perceptive, but never feel critical—just endlessly helpful. To learn from such an expert in her field has been a privilege.” -Rosemarie Prydal


“I use the terms raw and emotive a lot when I try and describe how I want people to look at my work, but in a way those terms are too general. I have yet to completely grasp how far I will need to burrow into someone before I can unmask them, but that is part of my journey as a photographer; it’s the part that excites me and brings me to computer every morning, and it’s the part that brought me to the Gather Academy’s Child Portraiture class.  I took this course to learn to connect with my subjects – to pull their inner most selves out from their eyeballs with an imaginary string. (I’m not sure why, but that’s my feeling of a true connection. I know it’s weird. But just go with it).   The Child Portraiture Class has been hands down the best educational opportunity I’ve had to date.  Not only are April Milani and Helen Whittle each rock stars in their chosen genres, but the individualized attention and comprehensive feedback you receive as a student is something I haven’t experienced from another class at this price point.” –Liz Davenport


“I have looooooooved this workshop! I feel like I’ve really been part of something so special and I’m not ready to re-enter the real world. It’s like when I’ve been at a birth, and I leave the new family… it’s such a bonding and emotional time and it feels very odd to walk away from it. This course has produced growth in my work, but also my character. It’s been inspiring and challenging and so incredibly rewarding! It’s been an absolute honour to be taught by you both, and to maybe now be able to call you my friends… You are both so talented, and so generous in sharing this! You are special people who have provided a special course! Thank you for the memories, and for giving me the ability to capture future memories of the most precious time in my life! There is absolutely no price that can be put on that! So so so much love, and a belly and heart full of thanks!” –Camilla Winter-Moore


“I couldn’t recommend this workshop more. The level of one-on-one attention is priceless – I came away from the course having learned everything that I’d hoped to (from editing skills to a better understanding of lighting) PLUS so much more (working with unwilling models, portfolio building, thinking creatively). I feel thoroughly inspired to keep improving, whilst also so much more confident in what I now already know. Thank you so much April and Helen!”  -Samantha Morris


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