Pat Coddington

MPA: Why do you love photography?

I love that photography has both a technical and an artistic side to it. I naturally gravitate towards the technical elements (being an engineer) of both the gear and the process of composition. I’ve enjoyed learning about what elements contribute to a good composition. I find it interesting as to how precise camera placement needs to be for things like architectural photography where exact symmetry can make or break a photo.

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

It has to be the people I’ve met and adventures I’ve had. Through our travels with MPA, I’ve made some incredible new friends Travelling with MPA takes much of the worry out of visiting places I’ve never been to before.Their local contacts help arrange experiences and locations that would be difficult to find on your own. For example, we just returned from the Mongolia trip which was amazing and quite unique. I would never have experienced these if I had to arrange the details myself.

MPA: Your favorite thing about Photo Enthusiast Network?

Interacting with other photographers and direct access to the instructors. I also find the critiques and monthly competitions to be helpful. It’s always informative (and sometimes humbling) to get unvarnished feedback from knowledgeable but unbiased people.

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

Mongolia and Alaska

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

Photography is a fun hobby and it would ruin it for me to try to turn it into a money making thing. I want to continue to work on developing my artistic skills which don’t come naturally for me. I also have a few types of photography that I’d like to explore such as infrared photography.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

Right now we have a couple of trips booked that I’m looking forward to. The Southwest tour looks to be an amazing trip around a part of the county that I’ve not spent much time in. We’re also booked on the Kodiak tour next year with some of our new MPA friends. Should be both really fun and have some amazing sights. I’d also like to do the Albuquerque balloon festival one day.

MPA: Anything else you would like to share about your work?

‘m on Instagram at pat.coddington but probably need to get better about posting regularly. Another aspiration I guess…

 

David Brillhart

MPA: Why do you love photography?

It gives me the opportunity to exercise the creative side of my brain that’s otherwise spent analyzing, diagnosing, and treating my clients as a licensed psychologist.  I deeply appreciate the creativity photography not only affords me in grounding myself when shooting photos,  but exercising that artistic part of me with post-processing my images.

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

Hands down, the sense of family.  There’s a deep family connection that moves beyond student-teacher, to feeling like an extended and integrated part of the MVPA family.  Their genuineness—and the genuineness of many of their clients is palpable—be it a once-a-year meeting, or several times a year.

MPA: Your favorite thing about Photo Enthusiast Network?

The honest sense of non-judgmental community I feel when asking photography equipment-related questions, or requesting feed back on my photography.

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

Hands down:  Iceland.  The beauty will forever change your life.

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

1) Emotionally move people with my photography; 2) proactively integrate my photography in the trauma work I do as a psychologist; 3) improve my pano photography skills; 4) improve my post-production editing skills; and 5) mass produce a mindfulness-based calendar for my pain clinic using my photography.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

Antarctica.  I fell in love with the colors in Iceland’s waterfalls and glaciers; I look forward to photographing the icebergs and animal life in the Antarctic.

MPA: Anything else you would like to share about your work?

I work long hours as a psychologist with my chronic pain clinic and with my private practice.  For me, photography (shooting and/or editing) balances me by exercising my creativity.  I specialize in a newer trauma-based therapy called Brainspotting (www.brainspotting.com) that’s been life-changing.  I’m now bringing my photography into session to visually ground my clients who might otherwise be in a dysregulated emotional state due their trauma.  My psychology and photography work are both featured on my website:  www.actiipsychology.com.

 

Angela Narducci

MPA: Why do you love photography?

Initially I got interested in photography through my scrapbooking hobby as I got tired of cropping photos down to how the picture should have looked to begin with.  That process helped me with composition and framing. Later, while dealing with some personal issues, I was encouraged to focus on hobbies that gave me positive feelings. 

I immersed myself in learning all I could about photography and found a hobby that really gives me joy.  I love photography because it taps into the creative side that I didn’t think I had and has inspired confidence in myself.  Photography creates a sense of adventure for me and I feel like I “get in the groove” as I see the world through new eyes. I am forced to slow down, look around, and be present in the moment.

I’ve had some fun moments exploring areas for unique photo perspectives, like climbing up in a bell tower in Germany at the exact time the bells started ringing out the hour.  

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

 I can’t name a single one thing because for me it has been all different types of continual assistance in the evolution of my photographic skills.  First, I took a lot of classes about beginning photography but the McKays were the first to make sense of where to begin in the photography triangle, which was a huge breakthrough for me.

Second, I attended a San Francisco safari and had my “a-ha!” moment when it all came together as hands-on learning. Lastly, the immersion into safari locations with the instructors has helped me focus on all the aspects of my photography.  I also love that on MPA safaris I feel like I’ve found my tribe of like-minded people and I feel safe as a woman in distant locales. 

MPA: Your favorite thing about Photo Enthusiast Network?

The image reviews.  I have a collection of pictures and articles that I’ve cut out of magazines just for the purpose of studying for composition, focus and technique.  The image reviews are the next-level of this.  I love that MPA encourages growth in a positive, supportive way.  Plus I have a treasure-trove of resources at my fingertips.   

 

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

This is such a tough question, my total count is 10 safaris so far, domestic and international (not counting the single-day outings).  It’s not just the photography itself in the international locations I’ve been in…it’s being able to photograph history in Germany, Prague and Greece. It’s the culture in Vietnam. It’s the wildlife in Tanzania.

 It’s getting an appreciation of the diversity from my own life back home.  All my international travel has been with MPA and I wouldn’t have experienced any of the world without the MPA safaris. Returning to Tanzania is absolutely on my bucket list.

 

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

My goal is constant improvement for personal enrichment, including learning post processing.  Everything I photograph needs to be as technically as good as I can get it because I don’t have the technical skills for processing…yet.  I take photos using both JPEG and RAW settings like bracketing with knowledge that someday I’ll have the resources to process these photos properly.

I also wish to improve my skills in storytelling with a single photo.  And I have an interest in food photography.  All this is for my personal satisfaction and contentment (and truthfully, the positive Facebook feedback isn’t so bad either).  I’ve had the experience of trying to turn a passion into an income and it just sucked all the joy out of my passion for a good time afterwards. 

 

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

I am going to Mongolia this year and Italy in 2020, which is a trip I’ve anticipated for a long time.  My heritage is there and I hope to get a feel of my ancestors. I’m hoping to make it onto one of the polar trips after that. A dream trip would be to Egypt.

 

MPA: Anything else you would like to share about your work?

I share the best of my photos on Facebook and that is the extent of my media presence.  I like nature, animals, details, abstracts, architecture, and patterns, really just about any type of photography except photographing people unless it’s candids from a distance.  If you ask me to photograph your party, I’ll cringe.  Your wedding?  I’ll have a dentist appointment, or a funeral, or jury duty, or just about anything else I perceive as more enjoyable than posing people with high expectations of “perfect” photos.    

Tim Scott

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

A successful image tells a story; it captures an adventure, a moment, a place, a smile or could be a yawn. It allows me to bring family and friends with me on our adventures. It requires a balance of technical knowledge, an artistic eye, along with a dash (or more) of luck. These elements all combine in differing amounts with every image I take. The more I learn the more I realize the more there is to learn grow; its a journey in itself. 

 

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

There are 2 aspects of MPA which hooked me from day 1 and keep me returning for more. First, the people. I can learn from amazing instructors, now mentors, and even friends. I can enjoy a scene and try to see it from another’s perspective. I can solicit critique in real time and adjust on the fly. Second, MPA provides an opportunity to remove all of the distractions and let me focus on photography. Life is busy. A career consumes the majority of my time. Weekends are for getting all of the other stuff done I couldn’t accomplish during the week.  MPA tours provide a respite; its a long weekend or extended expedition where all of the time sucks of normal life are removed and I can focus 100% on my photography

 

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

I just returned from Antarctica which has to be my favorite adventure. Ever. Every element in a scene would be amazing on its own, all together they blew me away. The landscape was immense, tall, and showcased more shades of blue than I ever imagined existed. The wildlife was constant and numerous; I hate to say that a whale sighting became mundane. The boat and the people added another level of amazing which I do not have the artistic ability to describe. Best. Trip. Ever. I still get goosebumps while describing the landscape or regaling listeners with our zodiac adventures.

I also have to add my first trip, Oregon Waterfalls, to this list; I knew after meeting the people that I was hooked and must start allocating vacation to these trips. 

 

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

I love bringing stories home from my adventures to share with family and friends. My deep dive into photography began after bringing home disappointing pictures from travels to tropical locales; none of my pictures looked (as awesome) as I remembered the scene. I wanted to do more. I wanted to take my viewers breath away as the scene took away mine. I wanted to bring the aquamarine blue from the alpine lake home as many would never reach it on their own. I wanted to bring the penguin waddles back as I knew we couldn’t smuggle a penguin home. My 2019 New Year’s resolution is to have enough images I’m proud of to create a 2020 calendar! 

 

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

We’re already booked for the 2020 Arctic trip which has to make the top of the list. I’m also excited for the South West and Yellowstone in winter tours in the next few months. I really want a black and white image of a herd of buffalo and condensation from their breath, there might be a river and a tree in there too 😉 Africa and Iceland are on our short list too! 

 

Follow Tim here! 

https://www.instagram.com/timmyscott/

Kevin Wach

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

KW: When I see through the lens, it’s a different world. I like creating art and capturing memories. Photography has helped me come out of
my shell. School was difficult for me so when I found that learning photography was easy for me, it helped build my confidence in many
ways.

 

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

KW: I started out with the MPA team when I was 15 years old. I went to a beginning photography class and then I went on my first photo tour in Santa Cruz. My favorite thing about MPA team is that they welcomed
me and they didn’t treat me like a kid because I was much younger than the other students. Being with the McKay’s allowed me to travel places and meet new people. They helped me get out of my comfort
zone.

 

MPA: Your favorite thing about Photo Enthusiast Network?

KW: I like every thing about PEN. The community is helping me grow and the friendships are great. I like the Tuesday tips and the image reviews.

 

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

KW: The Animals of Montana trip was great and was my favorite. It got my feet wet in wildlife photography. Yellowstone was amazing. I liked the snowmobile adventure with David the best!

 

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

KW: I would like to master Photoshop and get my images to the next level. I’d like to find a way to make photography my career path.

 

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

KW: I would like to go on the next Albuquerque Balloon festival trip.

 

MPA: As a personal note from us.  Kevin holds a very special place in our hearts and all of the team here at MPA both past and present. We have watched him grow from a really shy kid, to a young adult  that is getting to experience the world and develop friendships all because of photography!  Kevin is spotlighted for a number of reasons. But his work has come so far and we are sure you will enjoy it as much as we all do! 

 

Follow Kevin here! 

https://www.facebook.com/WachPhotography/

Kari Dahlstrom

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

KD: I love everything about photography. Photography combines both technical skill and artistry, and every photographer combines these things in a different way. Photography compels me to explore, to get out of my comfort zone and to create. It challenges me to master the technical aspects while also tapping into my creative side.

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

KD: I knew right away on my first photo tour that I was hooked. I thrive on learning from the instructors and love being surrounded by other talented photographers. Each person sees different things and captures unique images based on their own creativity. We can all visit the same location and walk away with different images. That inspires me!

And, my favorite thing about MPA is the true community the McKay’s have created. The motto, “Photography, Travel, Friendship and Adventure” is a way of life for the whole MPA team and for their clients.

MPA and PEN have provided me with an invaluable support system that encourages me, challenges me and fulfills me. I love being around people who appreciate nature and travel and other cultures, the same as I do. Not only have I advanced my photography skills, I’ve made true friends.

 

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

KD: Every trip is different and amazing and carefully planned by MPA. I loved my first trip which was to Alaska where we hiked a glacier, rode the dogsled and photographed the aurora. But, my favorite trip has to be the Arctic where we had incredible encounters with polar bears. Being in a zodiac with a polar bear swimming just yards away was incredible!

 

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

KD: My goal is to gain as much technical and artistic skill as I can and to always keep growing. Photography helps me tell the stories of my travel experiences which I’m working to publish through freelance travel writing. (Read my article about photo tours, with a quote from Ally McKay HERE!

I am also really motivated by the image review offered through PEN and I hope to enter images into the PPA competition in the near future.

 

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

KD: As I read this, I’m packing for McKay’s Yellowstone in winter tour, including Animals of Montana, which everyone says is fantastic. I’m also really looking forward to Mongolia where we’ll be photographing the eagle hunters.

 

MPA: Any other info you want to share about yourself or your work?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kari_dahlstrom_photography/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KariDahlstromPhoto/

Portfolio: https://karidahlstrom.zenfolio.com/f510796787

Laura McCue

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

LM: At first, photography appealed to me as a way to capture a moment and preserve it. As I pursue this passion, I find that I seek out and appreciate the beauty in, well, everything.  Photography encourages me to interact more frequently and more closely with other passions: nature, animals, and children.  I love sharing these captured moments with others.

 

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

LM: I came to MPA to learn more about photography from the experienced, professional McKay team. I’ve progressed in my photography thanks to MPA—but I also return to MPA for the fun & friendship. I consider each of the McKay team a friend, and the type of clients MPA attracts are kindred spirits.  There is a lack of egos and a genuine interest in learning and in supporting each other.  I’ve developed several close friendships with fellow McKay travelers.  The PEN community continues this tone—friendship, support & learning—throughout the year. 

 

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

LM: It’s hard to choose just one! A recent favorite is Vietnam.  It’s a beautiful country with diverse scenery; I enjoyed interacting with the Vietnamese people whom I generally found to be optimistic, happy, kind and generous.  I had a lot of fun in my efforts to capture their spirit and culture.

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

LM: To continue to develop in my ability to use light, composition, and storytelling in my photography and to bring joy to those with whom I share my images.   

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

LM: Mongolia!  If you told me twenty years ago that I’d be looking forward to going to Mongolia I would have had a good laugh and said, “you’re crazy”. Now, I know that I’ll love visiting with the locals, seeing the beauty of the country and capturing the moments… 

Joe Orban

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

JO: Two reasons I love photography, first I like to make people think and feel emotion, and my photos can sometimes do that which in turn makes me feel connected to them in some way.  Second, my professional career was all left brain, math and computers, photography exercises my creative right side of the brain, the Yin and Yang of my life!

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

JO: I feel lucky to have met and traveled with the MPA team.  My favorite are the people, travel leaders and other photographers with whom I count as friends whether near or far.  As for travel, I really like that MPA takes care of just about everything leaving me to only think of photography and the experiences and surprises of new places.

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

JO: All my 3 international MPA trips have been fantastic and could be favorites, but I must put New Zealand as the most favorite maybe because it was the first with MPA and the locations and variety of photography stretched my skills to new levels I never dreamed of before.

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer / artist?

JO:  I would like to crystallize my photographic style and show or publish more of my images.  My style has been all over the place, but I seem to most enjoy photographing Street and Environmental Portraiture.  However, I am always trying something new and enjoy the photo events with local cosplay and model groups.  It is a serious hobby and my main goal is to enjoy life and photography help me do that.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

JO: Maybe India, but I most look forward to travelling, period.  Short term, I would like to travel the USA to many of the beautiful national parks.  I am more likely to travel where and when the opportunity strikes!

MPA: What’s a little extra info about yourself?

JO: When I first seriously started photography with a real DSLR in 2008, I answered a questionnaire about what I would like to do in the future by writing that I wanted to travel the world with my camera.  Retired now I am happy to have fulfilled a life’s goal and MPA helped make that possible. 

Lori Myers

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

LM: I remember being in awe of landscape and animal photographs in magazines and galleries when I was young and wanted to learn to take photos “like those”. I promised myself I’d take up photography, “someday”. I love to challenge myself – and while sometimes frustrating, I keep learning

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

LM: Just about everything and everyone. From the first “Mastering your camera: Part 1” class – David and Ally’s style and content teaching the classes “turned the light-bulb on” for me and I was hooked! My first tour with them was a body-numbing cold trip to Yellowstone – I learned so much from all of the instructors – composition, lighting, exploring – including how to really have fun making new friends – and challenging myself each time I pick up my camera.

The attention doesn’t end in trips. The PEN community is terrific, and image reviews (in depth and even casual) are so valuable because you get feedback from David, Ally, Steve and Toby – as well as the community. It’s a terrific place – almost like a digital neighborhood where everyone is looking out for each other with some amazing photographers to learn from. You get support, but also the serious critique (if you want it) that pushes you. At least three times in one year I’ve asked for Tuesday tip or tutorial on something, and wham! it appears. That’s pretty amazing.

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

LM: Can I say I they have all been my favorites? I have three: Alaska in December (Alaskan RR, meeting Dallas Seavey and his dogs, amazing Aurora show, hosts Frank and Miriam, Nu’kah! and Dippy)…Artic trip on a ship for a week: polar bears, midnight sun, amazing history, amazing crew, Polar Plunge…and Iceland: waterfalls, landscape, Aurora, horses, sheep, waterfalls…The photo ops are all wonderful; but the relationships Dave and Ally have made along their journeys which they share on their tours provide personal
and unique experiences each trip

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer / artist?

LM:  To be able to create art which I am proud of – which moves and inspires me – and others – and to share with my family and friends. To get comfortable with more environments (like city and portrait photography) in addition to landscape and animals which I currently LOVE to shoot.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

LM:New Zealand next spring (well, fall there). I’ve been so comfortable traveling with MPA – and joining friends from previous tours – that I know regardless of how the trips unfold, I will have an amazing experience!

One last comment; yes, these tours are offered to inspire learning and understanding the art of photography – they end up being so much more about the special friendships I’ve made over the last 1 1/2 years with people who share a passion for photography – through MPA Academy! Thank you Dave, Ally, Toby, Steve and Nick

Bryan Scanlon

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

BS: I’ve always been a sucker for a good story. I’ve got two writing degrees, a ridiculous comic book collection, 20+ years in professional public relations, am addicted to audiobooks – and I am married to a librarian. Photography is storytelling. There’s also the whole adventure component. Going places, meeting people, turning the corner and there’s picture/story staring you straight in the face, an amazing change in the weather (for good or bad), etc

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

BS: By far it’s the quality, attention, and enthusiasm of the instructors – and now the community. The trips have a large ratio of instructors, so you are getting a lot of attention at your level. I remember this one trip where David was all over me about watching my shutter speed on aperture priority mode, which was also telling me that I was ready to shoot on manual by showing me the limitation on my work (vs. some platitude like “shoot in manual”). The whole day pushing that in my head. It got me into manual mode and thinking far more about subtle changes in my photos.  

The attention doesn’t end in trips. The PEN community is terrific, and image reviews (in depth and even casual) are so valuable because you get feedback from David, Ally, Steve and Toby – as well as the community. It’s a terrific place – almost like a digital neighborhood where everyone is looking out for each other with some amazing photographers to learn from. You get support, but also the serious critique (if you want it) that pushes you. At least three times in one year I’ve asked for Tuesday tip or tutorial on something, and wham! it appears. That’s pretty amazing.

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

BS: Yellowstone. And the extension with Animals of Montana was terrific. It’s a great way to get into wildlife photography and just have a lot of fun with a great group of people. (The photos are terrific, too.) The countryside and park are beautiful – even when it’s ridiculously cold and snowing sideways. 

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer / artist?

BS:  Now that I have the fundamentals down and shooting in manual mode, fluent in Lightroom, etc., my goal is to define my style and create art and emotion vs. simply documenting a moment and getting exposure, etc. right. I’ve learned a lot quickly, but now I need to focus and hone the craft, with smaller, harder gains over time to get even better. Instead of taking a bunch of photos and “sorting it out later in Lightroom,”

I want to very purposeful and think about a thread of the story to build upon before I press the shutter. “What do I want from this? What is the story I am going to tell? Who’s the protagonist? What do I want to viewer to feel? How do these series of photographs when presented together create a powerful narrative?” I’m less harsh on myself about technology, and very serious about the story and focus and craft and taking far more risks.

I’ve started printing and that opens up a lot of learning. I want to spend more time working a scene before pressing the shutter. Shoot with more purpose. Craft with more precision. Edit more delicately. And then, maybe, create more memorable art.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

BS: I am headed back to Mexico next year and just returned from shooting the Day of the Dead celebrations. I’ve been to Cuba twice, and can’t wait to go back. Cuba is a street photography dream location with amazing people whose faces seem to tell a hundred stories in a single frame—and it’s at a critical point of change. There’s something terrific when you’re taking human photos that are also rooted in deep history, tradition or ritual. 

You can find Bryan’s work HERE or on Facebook or Instagram (@bkscanlon).

Paul Anderson

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

PA: I love the outdoors! Photography gets me out and allows me to create.  Behind the lens, it is a different world!  When I download and open my images, it is Christmas all over!

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

PA:  I was able to move off of “auto” very quickly after reading the book and attending my first class at MPA.  Having the basics is so important.  Now I am applying advanced techniques that I’m learning on the PEN website.

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

PA: Being a landscape and wildlife photographer, the Winter Yellowstone trip was amazing and the addition of Animals of Montana made this trip the best photography experience I have had so far.

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer / artist?

PA:  he McKay team has given me the confidence in my work to enter into the professional arena. I will definitely will be joining the Professional Photography of America soon.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

PA: Of course…An Africa Safari would be my dream trip!