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Pictures or Photographs?

You can’t teach old dog new tricks.  Or can you?

For the past several years, I have heard reports about a pair of photographers who were doing some amazing work in the Ludington area. After seeing their inspiring photos of Lake Michigan and the Ludington State Park, I had to learn a little bit more.

A father and son team, Brad and Todd Reed own a growing gallery on the main street in Ludington Michigan.

While exploring their website, we learned about a class they offer two afternoons a week during the summer months, so one summer afternoon my wife and I made plans to attend one of the sessions. We knew we needed to sharpen our skills or, more truthfully, acquire some skills. I was hesitant about spending three hours in a classroom on a beautiful summer afternoon, but we were blown away with what we heard. Time flew by and we wanted to hear more.  Todd was our instructor that afternoon and he shared some of their tips, experiences and ideas. In the evening Todd joined him and our group for a sunset photo shoot. They gave tips and advice on setting up that perfect shot.  But, we found it just as fascinating to watch Todd and Brad setting up their shots and explaining their rational on how they were composing the shot.

One side note, as we were about to leave our home for the class, my wife asked me if I had packed the tripod. I had not, so set the camera down and packed the tripod. About 65 miles into the trip, I asked my wife to erase the shots on the camera. She asked “Where did you put it?”  Sure enough, we packed the tripod and left the camera on the counter!  Fortunately, we had a spare camera with us and Todd graciously loaned us one of his.  But, we learned a good lesson that day. If you are going to take a camera class, bring a camera! 

Todd and Brad also offer a more detailed class over the course of two days with and early morning shooting session and a sunset shooting session. The weekend includes a review and critique of photos taken and instruction of the technical aspects of photography. They go over shutter speed, F Stops, ISO, depth of field and much more. They ask you to take the manual to your camera and they help each person individually to understand how their particular camera works. Throughout the entire weekend, I never felt I was asking a dumb question or was wasting their time. They teach you how to take your camera off automatic and get creative.

The morning shoot was in the Ludington State Park and Todd and Brad shared insight on how to catch the morning light and make it work in your photograph.

The evening shoot was on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Yes, the sunset was an object of the lens, but there was so much more to shoot. Todd explained that so many people leave with their cameras as soon as the sun sets, thereby missing some spectacular shots. I never realized how good the shooting is after the sun goes down.

This is not your ordinary photo class taught by a part time photo enthusiast. Todd and Brad have real passion and flair for what they are doing. Todd is a former newspaper photographer and instructor. Brad a natural photographer, taught us that photography is an action sport. You have to get right up their where it is happening!

The intent of this site is not to recommend places or businesses, but this site seeks to promote Michigan and when I see someone with a passion for the beauty of Michigan who has the gift of capturing it and sharing this beauty with others, I do not hesitate to recommend them.

Visit their website, sign up on their email list, take their afternoon class, and take their picture perfect weekend class. Visit their gallery on Ludington ave and buy something.




Written by Dave.