I was really happy to feature a cover story in my first issue of PMA magazine since becoming publisher on what two of our most brilliant industry members, Mark Comon of Paul’s Photo and Mike Woodland of Dan’s Camera City, are doing with their incredibly successful photo classes. Their remarkable skills and vision in this area are what led us to get Mark and Mike to develop PMA Academy, which gives all PMA members the tools and resources they need to run these fantastic photo classes themselves.
Mark is about to take this to a new level. Friday, Nov. 16, will be the grand opening of his newest venture, Creative Photo Academy. Adjacent to Paul’s Photo, the new facility features two state-of-the-art classrooms where photographers can learn in a traditional classroom environment with how-to instruction or participate in hands-on workshops, where they learn by doing. The classrooms also serve as a product and portrait studio for teaching experience, as well as for the use of local professional photographers.
The Creative Photo Academy Gallery will showcase the talents of local photographers, Academy students and the community through monthly photographic exhibits. The Gallery currently features the work of the El Camino College Photography Dept. and the amazing images of David FitzSimmons and his Curious Critters.
Mark says the Creative Photo Academy is a life-long dream. He has built the facility as a place for photographers of all age, skill and interest levels to gather, share and grow in the photographic arts. The Academy offers classes in how to use your camera, creative photographic techniques plus computer editing, enhancements and digital printing. Academy students will be able to participate in Photo Walks to scenic South Bay locations, Photo Bus Tours to Southern California’s photogenic venues and Photo Adventures to National Parks and other fantastic photographic destinations.
“Much of what I’m doing is available to other photo retailers through PMA Academy. I want to help people raise the bar in terms of what they do with classes,” Mark says. “You can take what you learn through PMA Academy and go as far as you want with it — and if anyone needs help, I am always willing to assist them.”