A group of photography lovers is learning from some of the industry's best in Charlottesville this week. The LOOK3 Education Week kicked off Tuesday with four short courses packed with tips from art professionals.
80 students are enrolled in this year's Education Week - which culminates with the LOOK3 Charlottesville Festival of the Photograph. They're getting a chance to look and learn about the art of photography through different lenses.
"I'm really interested in how the camera can be a tool not just to reflect the world and just be a witness, but to go beyond that," said Mark Strandquist, photographer and Education Week student.
Strandquist is trading in time behind the camera for time in the classroom.
"It's not only are we just showing work, but we're coming up with ways for people to network, to meet each other, to come up with ways to collaborate further," said Strandquist.
He received a scholarship for this year's LOOK3 Education Week. Tuesday, he sat in a course in hopes of enhancing his skills.
"They're all coming in to learn about new techniques with audio recording, interviewing , social media, marketing, finding their inspiration and so we try to create a broad spectrum of topics to learn about to enhance their professional development," said Kate Ringo, LOOK3 Education Coordinator.
The week is designed for students to have a comprehensive learning experience. It features creative courses, access to Charlottesville exhibits, and a portfolio review from photography professionals.
"It's just so important to have a chance to show your work and share your work. That's the best feedback an artist can have," said Mary Virginia Swanson, Education Week instructor.
Constructive feedback will allow artists like Strandquist to strengthen their careers.
"These things - these events - because they just have these residual aspects that go well beyond the festival, not to mention what they do for the local community," said Strandquist.
The Education Week package includes a ticket to the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph that starts on Thursday.