The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

    Photography professor hosts masterclasses to boost students’ engagement

    To keep photography department students engaged in their curriculum, El Camino College Photography Professor Darilyn Rowan invites guest photographers to talk to them during free Zoom masterclasses.

    In the past, the photography masterclasses were open to the entire campus and held in-person at the Marsee Auditorium at El Camino College. But with the campus being shut down because of COVID-19, they are now held online.

    Rowan invites actively working photographers to talk to the students about their work, their background and their training in photography.

    “The response to the masterclasses from the students has been overwhelmingly positive,” Rowan said. “The participation is huge. The enthusiasm is enormous.”

    With the masterclasses, students have been able to learn more about the different aspects of photography in order to build their careers in the future.

    “I view the photography department as a learning community, and the masterclasses [are] one of the elements of that learning community,” Rowan said.

    So far in the semester, Rowan has hosted five masterclasses. Josh Cho, architect and interior commercial photographer and part-time photography professor at El Camino, was one of the featured guest speakers.

    “I [felt] privileged and honored that I [was] asked to present,” Cho said. “It’s always a great joy to share information to students in my class, and in my colleagues’ classes, and just in the educational setting.”

    During his lecture, Cho recounted his experiences in the photography business to the students.

    “I [tried] to give students some real-life sort of, like, business experiences on my end in terms of, like, sharing them, like how I got into commercial photography,” Cho said.

    According to Cho, he showed the students his photography gear such as his camera and the lights he uses, and talked about the different companies that he worked with like Netflix and Estée Lauder.

    Another masterclass guest speaker was ECC alumni Patrick Record, who is currently a freelance photographer for different outlets such as MTV, VH1, ESPN and Spotify.

    During his masterclass, he spoke to the students about his road as a photographer.

    “[I] just kind of talked about my work and how I got to where I am,” Record said. “I started at El Camino and that was kind of my foundation.”

    Record also showed the students his photojournalism work which was featured in four different newspapers, such as when he covered Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration in 2013 for the Associated Press.

    Although he feels that engaging with students is tougher on Zoom than face-to-face, Record said that there are still some positives to it.

    “I feel like [Zoom] gives them an opportunity to ask more questions because some students that might be a little shy or bashful, and don’t want to ask in front of classmates, might not feel that with Zoom,” Record said.

    One thing that Record hoped for was that the students felt inspiration from his masterclass, he said.

    “I think it always helps to hear somebody’s journey,” Record said. “I was a non-traditional student. When I went to El Camino I was 25 years old.”

    There are more masterclasses planned for the spring semester, Rowan said, and she’s thankful for those who have already taken the time to speak to the photography students.

    “We’re all living and working in such challenging times,” Rowan said. “They’re all giving, out of the kindness of their heart, a desire to facilitate education and to support the students.”

    More to Discover