Meet the teachers!
With a combined 20 years working as professional photographers Anita Lee and Laura-Lee Gerwing are bringing their experience, skills, exuberant and fun personalities together to bring creative photography workshops for youths to Vancouver.
When I was a kid I had a natural draw to the arts. I'm a creative spirit through and through. I loved every creative outlet I could get my hands on from making jewelry, knitting, drawing, painting, etc.
I started taking photos with an old film camera my mom gave me when I was around 10 years old and instantly loved it! At that time there were no photography classes available for my age and the internet was not around at that time to help me learn and develop my skills.
As I got older I still loved photography but it was never a thought to make a career out of it as it was so uncommon, not like today. It wasn't until I was 30 that I finally said to myself 'hey, I can do this full time!' So I did. I quit all of my day jobs and focused on photography and here I am 11 years later, one of Vancouver's leading Family Photographers. Fully self-taught.
Looking back if I would have had classes when I was younger, had other resources available, or if my parents had ways to support this natural talent that I had, who knows what would have happened.
BUT, I love my journey and my story and wouldn't change a thing! Because of how it all played out I have come to this point in my life where I have this insatiable drive to teach kids who were like me when I was young. I want to give them what I didn't have, an opportunity to learn, grow and create with guidance from a professional!
Balancing a highly creative sensibility with strong technical know-how as a commercial photographer; working with people from all walks of life and a variety of industries. I have always been immersed in visual pursuits. I developed an unwavering love for film and stills photography early on. I had cameras: from 35mm to Polaroid, to lomography, to a super 8 film camera. I might as well have a camera attached to my hand and my one eye forever squinting. I have been a camera operator on a few small independent film productions and also ran my own wedding videography company. How geeky was I? I even had an online video and photo music magazine (when online was still NOT a thing). Yes, I am THAT nerd.
I enrolled in Langara College’s continuing studies photography program and took classes to train and get inspired doing stills. I also wanted to build and leverage that technical side as much as I could so I would KNOW how to create all those images I had bubbling up from within. That program sealed it for me. I was going to work as a professional photographer.
Want to know something else? I love connecting and working with people. Bring on the quirky, creative, geeky, nerdy, impossibly shy and quiet as well as the impossibly un-shy ones too! My job is a mix of “counsellor,” teacher/director, and cheerleader. To get the photos I get, I need to be a quick study. I need to get a feel for who is in front of my camera and make that connection in a split second. I am a feeler and a natural teacher who at one point in time went to SFU to study to become an English Literature teacher for middle and high schoolers. So, I know a tiny little bit about curriculum and lesson plans. That is another story altogether.
If you really want to find out more about me and my photography visit my website here.