Student Profile Steve Batson
For some people, entering the field of photography is a career move. For others, the impetus comes more from wanting an outlet for one’s creativity.
NYI Graduate Steve Batson started out by wanting to find a way of expressing his creativity, and now, in addition to holding down a full-time job in the IT department of a large high tech company, Steve runs his own photography business, specializing in portraiture.
“I’m not particularly artistic, but with photography, especially since the advent of digital, I find that I can be,” he said.
Steve got more interested in photography in 2000, when he got his first digital camera. Shortly after that, he started looking for a course in photography, and found NYI.
At NYI, Steve was able to first learn how to take a good picture, and later to learn to adjust it digitally.
“Using what I learned from NYI, I really try to get my images right in the camera so that I’m only doing basic adjustments and cropping. I will occasionally do photo art type stuff for fun, though,” he said, using the magic of digital manipulations.
In taking portraits, Steve has found that he still has to work at posing people, and at getting them to relax — the more at ease the client is, the better the protrait will be, something that’s important to Steve as he isn’t a big fan of rigid posing.
“I like a more natural and relaxed look,” he said. “I like to give minor suggestions of where people should sit or stand and I do minor adjustments. This doesn’t always give me what I want. Also, I tend to be somewhat reserved with people I don’t know, so getting people relaxed and smiling can be a challenge at times. I continue to work on these areas and I continue improving. I usually get what I’m looking for, but there’s always room for improvement.”
After completing the NYI Course, Steve got his first paying job through his daughters, who are both competitive dancers. “I was offered the chance to shoot individual portraits in their dance costumes. I shot about 30 kids and made pretty good money for a Saturday shoot,” he said.
Using his digital point-and-shoot, which had some manual control, his flash, and the umbrella supplied by NYI, Steve was able to check each image, and make corrections, adjustments and cropping in Photoshop. He used a professional lab.
“I was very pleased with my results and so were my customers,” he said.
Steve was a cautious shopper when it came to picking out a photography school. He had seen the ads for NYI in his photography magazines, but before signing up, he did a thorough Internet search.
“Everything I could find was positive, so I decided to give it a try,” he said.
“I was sold after the first lesson. Shortly after I started progressing through the lessons, I got an offer to pay the course off in full for a discount, so I paid it off and requested that I be sent all of the materials. I didn’t want to be waiting for anything when I finished a lesson.”
And he found that right away, the Course gave him that creative outlet he’d been craving.
“I was very excited to progress through each lesson and submit my projects. I remember waiting anxiously for each instructor review tape to come after completing a unit. I got involved in some on-line photography forums, one in particular dedicated to NYI students, and got even more excited, and I learned a lot more. NYI has made a huge difference in my photography in so many ways and I continue learn and build on everything I learned from NYI. ”
It seems likely that next Steve will move into other areas of photography that he hasn’t yet fully explored.
“I’m always thinking about what’s next. I’ve recently been inspired by looking at the work of other artists, and I’d like to look more seriously into areas not involving people such as landscapes and still life. I really love shooting photos of old stuff, or even replicas of old stuff. ”