In the modern age of Instagram and Snapchat, the art of photography is ever-changing. World-famous photographer Michael Collopy '76 spoke to students in Serra's summer photography class on July 11, giving them a modern spin on his favorite activity.
The class is taught by Serra's Assistant Director of Advancement Jonathan Allen '01. "Our photography class is meant to introduce students to the art of photography, focusing on angles and lighting, as well the technical aspects of phone cameras and software," he noted. "It was an honor to host Michael Collopy in class on Wednesday. He is a world-class photographer who has reached the top of his profession."
Collopy has gained worldwide recognition for his commissioned portraits of hundreds of public figures. His portfolio includes a vast array of portraits of world leaders and entertainers, including Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, George Clooney, the Dalai Lama, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, seven U.S. presidents, Frank Sinatra, Bono, the Rolling Stones, Maya Angelou and many more. His stunning photographs have been published in numerous books, magazines and newspapers.
During the class on Wednesday, Collopy shared the following tips with students: Always look for reflective light and don't shoot into the sun. What are the two best times of day to take photos? Early morning and late afternoon. He also cautioned them to use photography wisely, as posting any image on social media can be tracked by future employers.
"You want your photos to show something that have a lot of purpose and meaning," said Collopy, who recently returned from the Mexican border. His harrowing images of the children there are simply heart-wrenching.
"You always have to have respect and dignity for the people you are photographing," Collopy added. "As a photographer, you can shine a light on certain subjects you're concerned about."
"Michael's presentation was outstanding," Allen said. "He mixed suggestions for photography techniques with an education on the humanitarian crisis at our southern border. More than just an example of a great photographer, Michael is a role model to all of us as a great human being."