RSS Feed

Category Archives: Teachers

Grand Tetons Photography Workshop

Posted on

Hello Friends and Photographers,

Schawbacher Landing, Grand Tetons, by Gina Genis

I only have 2 spaces open for my in-the-field Grand Tetons Photography Workshop from June 25 – 29th. The Grand Tetons are one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful places on earth. Join us for 5 days of intensive fun, learning, and extraordinary photographs. You will discover rivers, waterfalls, abandoned buildings, wildlife, wildflowers, lakes, and much more. I cannot describe to you how amazing this experience is. Hone your skills while enjoying the fresh air of mountains. Experience freedom with a camera.

Snake River, the Grand Tetons, Wyoming

A Visit To The North Carolina Museum of Art – Presence/Absence Exhibit

Posted on

The east building of NCMA which houses contemporary art and special exhibitions

I spent the long Memorial Day weekend in North Carolina. It was hot and humid. Plans for hiking to search out subjects to photograph for my macro photography workshops dripped off with my makeup. On the positive side, the weather drove me to explore indoor events like visiting the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Have you ever had a perfect day? Well, I had one at NCMA. A month ago, I was told by a Los Angeles curator to look up Todd Hido’s work because of similar sensibilities in our photography. Coincidentally, Hido’s photos were on display in a photo exhibit titled Presence/Absence. The 23 photos by various photographers imply the presence of people, even though none are visible. We can read the absence of people as a sort of loneliness and the results humanity has on history – whether it be personal or universal.

My favorite image is by Rob Amberg. Titled A Field Of Cut Burley Tobacco, pictured above, (Gelatin-Silver print, 1993, printed in 2002). This image is loaded with metaphor about the effects of man’s history in the United States. Amberg uses a long depth of field to tell the story of tobacco harvesting in North Carolina. But this image takes us farther back into the history of the US.

The photo depicts hundreds of stacked tobacco leaves, making strong shapes of Indian teepees (tipi) from the foreground to deep perspective in the mid-ground. The teepee shapes remind us that the land was once harvested by American Indians and their presence has been replaced by European settlers. The background shows a modern house with two trucks against a backdrop of empty hills. Another reminder of the progress of civilization; the contemporary home replaces the teepee as a human dwelling space. The separation of past and present is driven home by a streak of ambient light that slices the photo in half just at the edge of the last tobacco plants and the beginning of the farm.

Corridor, Ellis Island, Oct 1988 by David Simonton

Another compelling image is by David Simonton. Corridor, Ellis Island, Oct 1988, (Gelatin-Silver print, printed in 2004). An abandon hallway dares us to enter the worn and disheveled space. The plants and trees have broken through the windows reclaiming what was once their domain.

Jumping Tree, Haw River by Jeff Whetstone

Presence/Absence included images that were somewhat whimsical. A child’s type of fun is implied by Jeff Whetstone’s Jumping Tree, Haw River.  Strips of wood are nailed to a tree forming a step-ladder to climb and jump into the river.

Kenosha, Wisconsin – Spilled Milk by Brian Ulrich

Other images portray the manufactured spaces and the accidents humans leave behind. Brian Ulrich’s Kenosha, Wisconsin – Spilled Milk shows an impersonal big box supermarket with its harsh fluorescent lighting warning you not to slip on the puddle of spilled milk on the fake wood floor.

Once I absorbed this well thought out exhibit, I walked over to the West Building to see permanent collection. Motherwells, Klines, Frankenthalers, and more of the big names of modern art welcomed me into the many galleries. The antiquities collection, Renaissance, and Flemish paintings were impressive as well. After 3 hours, my feet were tired so I limped over to Iris, NCMA’s beautifully designed restaurant. Let me say this – even if I hated the art on exhibit, I would still go back to have dinner at Iris. The wine and food were excellent, and the free live jazz added the final touch to a perfect day.

One last piece of information. Entrance to NCMA is free. Parking is free. They have free live music on Friday nights. You can’t get a better bargain for a day full of wonderful art, music, and food. Check out the calendar for more info on films, concerts, and dance.

The Magic Of The Forest – Idyllwild, California

Posted on

A Walk In The Clouds - a thick cloud layer rolls up against the San Jacinto Mountains

Loyal bloggers and faithful followers,

You might remember my post from August 1, 2011, titled My Working Vacation. It describes the wonderfully quirky town of Idyllwild, California. I am again enjoying this place in the mountains for 10 peaceful days. It is rare that I am able to rip myself away from the demands and obligations of city life for such a long stretch of time.

Mother Nature presented three gifts to me yesterday, April 23, 2012, and I will share them with you.

I drove from the ocean, where it was gray and drizzling, to an elevation of 6,500 feet in the San Jacinto mountains. Once I punched through the clouds, the weather was spectacular. Temperatures in the high 70’s, clear, with just a whiff of a stray cloud here and there. I spent the day visiting friends then started back to my cabin in the woods. As I rounded a hairpin turn on Highway 243, a rare vision compelled me to stop and photograph the scene. A cloud bank rolled in below, and stalled as it hit the mountains. It just hovered there, like a white cotton candy carpet. I felt as if I could step off the mountain side and walk on the clouds. A scene to remember.

I teach a landscape and nature workshop in Idyllwild in June. I like to scout out places to take my students. I decided to check out how much water was flowing from my favorite waterfall. The weather was too sunny to get any good shots, but I took my camera anyway. Maybe get some flower photos, I thought. Just as I arrived at the path to the waterfall, Mother Nature smiled on me again. The cloud bank rolled overhead, providing some moody fog and shady weather that is perfect for photographing the waterfall.

Path along the creek to the waterfall

Detail of waterfall


Waterfall in Idyllwild

I spent about 2 hours shooting the forest path, creek, and waterfall. I felt I had some nice shots to put on my website for the workshop. Once I packed up and started the hike back to my car, Mother Nature again showed her kindness by blowing away the cloud bank and returning the sunny, warm weather. I spent the evening enjoying the sounds of woodpeckers and squirrels on my deck in the wilderness.

The magic of this mountain never ceases. Each day is a different gift. These are the presents I treasure more than the kind money buys. I don’t even remember what I got for my birthday last year, but I will remember this day forever.

If you would like to photograph Idyllwild with me, consider taking my workshop on June 2 & 3, 2012.




Beauties Pose For Outdoor Portraits

Posted on

Carly in Cowboy Hat

Brooklin's Got a Great Smile

On April 20th, I had the pleasure of photographing some lovely ladies from Biola University. They graciously agreed to pose for portraits so I could use the images on my new website. The photos are to promote a workshop I teach called Perfect Portraits. It is aimed at photographers who want to learn to capture great outdoor portraits without a battery of expensive lighting. All of the images you see here were photographed outdoors with only a reflector or a flash.

If you are interested in my workshop, click here for information.

Brooklin and Carly

Gina Genis Radio Interview With Creative Orange County


Economy Portraits book

If you have an interest and about 1/2 hour to spare, have a listen to a radio interview I did with Creative Orange County on February 28, 2012. Susan Petrella, the engaging host asked questions about my current work, how I became interested in photography, and what makes me tick as an artist. Click here to listen.

By the way, the Economy Portraits book can be purchased on

A Beautiful Photo To Brighten Your Day

Bear Lake, Utah side, photographed in June 2009

Dear WordPress friends,

This is just a little photo of a peaceful place to brighten up your day. Thank you for reading, commenting, and following my blog.

Gina Genis Photo & Workshops

Encouraging Art Students in a Bad Economy

I am frequently asked to give lectures to the graduating art students at Colleges and Universities. Choosing fine art as a career is always difficult. In America, the arts are not supported by the government as much as they are in European countries. Artists have a tough time making a living in our current economy. What do I say to these hopeful students?

Ceramic Ducks from the Window Peeping series by Gina Genis, shown at Laguna Art Museum, Gallery 825, Cypress College, Truman State University

The reason I am requested over and over is because I am honest and provide solutions.

First, I am asked to show my work. I spend about 1/4  of the time going over my most successful series, informing students about how they were executed, where they have been shown, and the reviews they have received. This is in no way to brag or show off. It is a learning lesson about the steps taken to get the work done, exhibited, and reviewed.

Next, I give them the information about the art world that you don’t learn in school. This is practical information about how the gallery and museum system works, the art publications, and how important it is to attend openings. You have to be part of the art community to have your work shown. Many students believe you can be a hermit and hide in your studio cranking out work and magically get “discovered”. Not true. The most successful artists are the ones who are social. They attend museum openings, charity auctions, and participate in art world events. I provide a handout listing the most notable art galleries, museums, and critics the students should be familiar with. It also includes 10 steps necessary to launch a promising art career.

During the lecture, I always have an open forum, so students can break in with questions at any point. Inevitably, someone asks “how do you make money?” I explain that there are several ways to make money other than selling your work. My income results mainly from teaching workshops & private lessons, affiliations with camera companies, jurying exhibits, and giving lectures. I encourage them to get creative and think of ways outside the traditional gallery system to show and sell their work. For instance, organizing an art show in a business park that has empty buildings. Many landlords would rather have something going on temporarily than an empty space. Joining an artist group is a smart thing to do. A conglomerate of artists have various talents, and together they can construct amazing shows. They share contacts and provide a community of friends who understand the particular challenges artists face. They deliver support that the 9-5 world does not understand.

The last part of the lecture is spent on critiquing student work. This is always pleasurable. I love seeing fresh work and giving suggestions to improve it and which galleries would be most responsive.

The students walk out of school armed with information to begin their careers. I hope to see their work on museum walls in the future.

%d bloggers like this: