© 2010 Justin Garvin © Justin Garvin 2009

Student Greatness

“A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.” ~Thomas Carruthers

As I recently finished teaching another batch of photography students at Boston University’s Center For Digital Imaging Arts, I was thinking about this quote and realized I could take it in a couple different ways.  I believe the intended meaning is that if I’m doing my job right, showing my students how to see pictures and teaching them what makes a good photo story, that they will eventually figure it out for themselves and need me less and less every day.  But I fear that the same can be said about my relationship to the photo industry in general.  As I help to turn these photographers out into the world many of them will become my competition and presumably my editors and clients could one day need me less and less.  With some classes I worry about my job more than others and this most recent class is one of the worrisome ones.  They were good people and good shooters and I expect to see them out there, camera in hand.  Here are a couple images from two of the students.

From a story on abandoned state hospitals By Justin Garvin

At the Spin A Yarn farm in Rowley MA, farmer George Pacenka prepares to feed his sheep who wait for their first meal of the day at 7am on Dec 4, 2010. "You have to love the animals and this way of life" says Pacenka, "It is a 24-7 365 day a year job. I love it, I wouldn't do anything else". Maintaining a small farm is a challenge, but Pacenka has found ways to remain solvent by running the majority of his operation as a family business with the help of his wife and children.Some of his operations include dyeing the wool as well as knitting and selling finished wool products.

From a story on a family farming operation by Deborah Squires