Category Archives: Featured Photographers

Featured Photographer: Steve Houston

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Steve Houston  

Type of Camera: Olympus OMD E-1Mk2

What do you love to photograph the most?
I enjoy many types of photography including event, family, people, landscape, wildlife, and floral.  More recently, I’ve grown to love photographing birds as well as the night sky, and utilizing Infrared photography to produce moody landscapes and architecture.

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography? 
What’s improved my skill and my enjoyment of photography the most has been to “GET OUT THERE!”  The more opportunities I have given myself to photograph, the better I see and the better photographs I produce.  The more I study the work of others, the more I learn to improve my own.  The other side of that is to get feedback and suggestions from other photographers.  

Along that line, I would say: “NEVER GIVE UP!” Don’t underestimate your talents and the quality of your own photographs.  It’s very easy to be overly critical of our own work, but this can discourage us from trying to improve our skills.  We are all on a journey to increase the enjoyment of our craft.

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:
I would say “NEVER STOP LEARNING!”   Try new methods, new subjects and new technology……and continue to take creative courses and workshops from great teachers like Kevin Gourley.

Steve Houston

© Steve Houston
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Featured Photographer: Dr. Sandy Hurwitz

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Dr. Sandy Hurwitz

Type of Camera: I shoot both a Nikon D800 and a Canon 5D. I host friends and family on our ranch and love getting new folks into wildlife photography. Being somewhat familiar with both brands enables me to better help newer shooters and helps me learn from experienced ones. My primary lenses are an old Canon 600mm prime and a newer Tamron 150/600mm variable. 

What do you love to photograph the most?
Wildlife / Nature –  I live on a ranch in South Texas which is one of the most diverse eco-zones in America. Our flowers bloom at least nine months of the year, our vibrant bird populations change seasonally and our temperate climate provides year round shooting.  In the Spring, Summer and Fall I concentrate on birds and wild flowers. In the late Fall and Winter I focus more on deer and other wildlife. Sunsets and landscapes are, of course, year round. The best thing about outdoor year round shooting for me is not the changing fauna and flora but the changing light. I never get over my fascination with lighting. 

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography? 
I basically use one quality camera of each brand and a very limited number of lenses. Every camera and every lens has its own characteristics and it  takes a long time to truly understand the fine nuances of individual pieces of equipment. I also almost always shoot in M mode which enables me to eliminate variables while giving me maximum control. With wildlife, you seldom can can move yourself or the subject to get better lighting or composure. Almost every image I capture or more importantly fail to capture is unique, you don’t get second chances. The benefit of multiple cameras, lenses and settings does not, in my experience, compensate for quicker reflex time and equipment familiarity in producing the maximum number of quality images. 

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:
Have fun! Find your passion and pursue it intensively. Push your limits to avoid getting into ruts. Most importantly, always have a coach. You never outgrow your need for one. The better you become, in fact, the more you need a coach. Olympic athletes are the best in the world but how many of them show up at the Olympics without a coach? Workshops combine all of these in one neat package…. coaching, concentrated shooting, new experiences, social interaction, travel and fun. I always come back a better photographer and a better person when I attend one. 

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Featured Photographer: Mary Burns

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Mary Burns

Type of Camera:  Olympus OMD EM1

What do you love to photograph the most?   I love photographing landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, wildlife – pretty much anything outdoors!! We travel to Rocky Mountain National Park 4-5 times a year and just can’t ever get enough of the total beauty of the area! With each visit I try to step out of my box and try new settings, new locations, wide angle, macro, pretty much just about anything goes!!! Our daughter and SIL are expecting their first baby (our first grandchild!) this summer so I’m now experimenting with newborn photography!!

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography?    I’ve learned so much over the past couple years, quite a bit of technical info as well as creative info, from taking a class and doing a workshop with Kevin – best money ever spent, hands down!!! By taking his workshop and getting his one on one help every day during the workshop helps to ingrain the information learned to become more instinct than having to stop and think, “What am I doing and what do I need to do to get the best shot?” I’ve also learned it’s OK to make mistakes because that’s how we learn!!

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills: My advice to other want to be photographers is to find that one person that makes learning the art of photography easy for you – for me it’s Kevin Gourley!! The other piece of advice I’d say would be to don’t limit yourself to one type of photography, branch out and explore all types – you may find there are multiple areas that interest you!!!

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Featured Photographer: Don Story

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Don Story

Type of Camera:  Nikon D500

What do you love to photograph the most? I love to photograph architecture, especially unique buildings old, historic or modern, landscapes of all types, flowers, automobiles and aircraft. My interests are varied in that I try to look at the world around me as though I am looking through the viewfinder on my camera. We see more than the camera does but only the camera and photographer capture a moment in time that lasts for as long as technology allows. The ability to capture a moment in time and the never ending challenge to learn to do it well are the motivation and reason I love photography.

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography? Gaining a better understanding and appreciation for light, natural and artificial in its many forms, colors, intensities and direction. Learning when light is good and when it can be better and when we need to wait for the right light. Understanding that photography is all about light. 

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:   First, never stop learning. There is always more to know and understand but choose what you need to know based on where you are in your photographic journey. Second, learn the basics of photography that are independent of your camera. Third, learn your camera’s settings from the basics to as advanced as you want to go with its capabilities. Forth, learn from others who share your interest and try new things. I have benefited greatly from books, videos, on-line courses but most significantly from other knowledgeable photographers sharing their experience and knowledge. Share your photographs and ask for feedback but stay true to your vision. There are a few absolutes in photography but it is an art.

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Featured Photographer: Jennifer Fooshee

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Jennifer Fooshee

Type of Camera:  Sony a7RII

What do you love to photograph the most? My very favorite things to photograph are landscapes and night photography. I spend about half the year in Utah, so the possibilities are endless! I love streams, the red rock formations, waterfalls, and the milkyway! It is truly amazing what nature has created for us to enjoy. And I feel compelled to capture it in photos as best I can.

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography?  The one thing that has helped me improve my photography skills is to step out of my comfort zone and try new techniques that I have learned from fellow photographers and instructors.  Traveling to different time zones, different places, and asking questions on how to accomplish certain looks/photos have resulted in some of my favorite photographs. I probably would have never set out at 5 AM to capture a sunrise or stay up until 3:30 AM to shoot the milkyway by myself, but encouraged and accompanied  by fellow photographers it was fun!

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:    Never stop learning from fellow photograhers, classes, videos, reading, etc.  I am continually fine-tuning my skills in photography and editing, and am learning how much fun this form of art is.

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Featured Photographer: Barbara Hunley

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Barbara Hunley

Type of Camera:  Nikon D300

What do you love to photograph the most?  I enjoy all genres of photography but what I find that inspires me the most is macro photography.  The mystery of detail found deep inside a beautiful bloom or the colorful detail on an insect is an awesome experience.  Exploring with your camera for those unexpected details can be so rewarding.

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography?   You begin as a photographer but there is never an end.  Learning through other photographers, classes, and/or experimenting on your own, there is always something new to learn or experience.

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:     Photography encompasses many forms of artistic composition through the lens of a camera so try different aspects of photography and find which one you enjoy the most.  There is always something to photograph and you want your pictures to tell the viewer a story.  The more you practice, the more you learn.

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Featured Photographer: Emily Spencer

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Emily Spencer

Type of Camera:  Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EOS 70D

What do you love to photograph the most?   I shoot for the simple love of photography—so my favorite things to photograph are what I am doing at the moment; from traveling around the world, hiking or four-wheeling around Colorado, playing at the Lake in Austin, attending sporting events, exploring cities or just enjoying my backyard—Great Photographs are all around you!

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography?  Really understanding the settings on my camera and how they all work together.

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:   Hands down – taking photography classes with Kevin.  From his group classes to his workshops to private sessions.  His approach to teaching photography is a great balance between the technical and artistic aspects of photography.  He taught me how my camera really works, how to edit my photos for the best results and how to take that knowledge out in the field with me all while being mindful of my creative vision. Kevin is a true mentor and is so opened with sharing his exception knowledge of photography.

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Featured Photographer: Bill Henderson

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Bill Henderson

Type of Camera:  Nikon D500

What do you love to photograph the most?  I love to find those moments or scenes that evoke feeling of joy, humor, love or just inspiration.  I am opportunistic, looking for what is available – Wildlife, Landscapes, Nightscapes, People, Architecture, Flowers or whatever.

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography? That I need to continually be learning, from classes, from colleagues, from Adobe or YouTube tutorials.  Certainly it also helps to look at photographs by great photographers, in books and online.

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:  

  1. Don’t be discouraged by the obvious greatness of other photographers!
  2. Know that in time your skills will grow.  Practice, practice, practice – or shoot, shoot, shoot.
  3. Seek to know your camera – all its settings, all its potential.  YouTube probably has multiple videos just on your camera and its particular use in many settings.
  4. Come to understand LIGHT!  And how aperture, shutter speed, ISO and Flash affects your photography.
  5. Find, learn, and use good editing software like Photoshop and Lightroom.  Look to learn from colleagues, classes local and online.  Again, Adobe and YouTube have many tutorials on these and other editing programs.
  6. Travel with teachers and colleagues to new venues that excite and challenge your interest and skills.
  7. Focus on enjoying your photograph in such a way that you are motivated to continue learning and growing.

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Featured Photographer: Glenn Rudd

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Glenn Rudd

Type of Camera:  Nikon D850 and D4, Olympus OM-D E-M1II

What do you love to photograph the most?  Wildlife, Landscapes, Nightscapes, People, Architecture, old Cars, Trains, Equipment

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography?   Accurate control of exposure (shutter speed, ISO, focal length) and focus.

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:  

  1. Master the technology and pursue the creativity.
  2. Learn the technology in live, hands-on, situations from experienced professionals.
  3. Develop expertise (training and practice) in post-processing techniques (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.).
  4. Join and participate in photography organizations such as Photographic Society of America (PSA), Texas Photographic Society (TPS).
  5. Associate with experienced photographers who excel in creativity.
  6. Participate in photography workshops with reputable photographers.
  7. Travel with the express purpose of practicing your photography.
  8. Join and participate in a local photography club.
  9. Learn to print and frame your photographs.
  10. Share your work (online websites such as Smug Mug) and in Exhibits.
  11. Learn the fundamentals of judging and enter competitions.
  12. Volunteer to judge in local venues.

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Featured Photographer: Chet Holt

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Chet Holt

Type of Camera:  Nikon D7000

What do you love to photograph the most?   I like capturing moments that you might not remember otherwise but reflect back on when you see the pictures and think how you could ever forget them.

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography?   Like most things in life, good photography takes practice. Once you get one type of style or method down, branch out and try something new. Kevin teaches us to always be adding tools to your photography-skill toolbox.

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:   Keep at it and read photography related websites and magazines. Find photographers you like and follow them on Instagram.

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