RRC photography instructor’s tours inspire
Meghan Kjartanson, CONTRIBUTOR
For those lacking inspiration or motivation, a photography tour a Red River College instructor offers may help.
Some people may relate to Rodney S. Braun, a professional photography instructor, who said he felt washed out, drained and uninspired two summers ago.
“I just felt burnt out,” Braun said. “I asked myself, what would I love to photograph? So I decided to create a dream trip for myself, to inspire myself and fall back in love with photography again.”
Braun said he picked out iconic locations he always wanted to photograph. The first year, Braun and a friend drove 24 hours south, photographing their way through Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.
Upon returning to Winnipeg, he started “Rodney S. Braun Photo Adventure Tours,” so he could share this experience with fellow photographers.
Kj Rocan, a 2016 RRC professional photography graduate, participated two of Braun’s tours. Rocan said she was able to apply the skills she learned in class during Rodney’s tours.
She said she returned from the trip feeling like she had an edge over classmates who did not participate in the tour.
“It’s the experience that changes your life and changes your view,” Rocan said. “That is what is invaluable.”
Braun agrees. Participants take thousands of pictures during the trip, giving them an immersed and hands-on experience. However, Braun credits a lot of the extra learning to participants being self-motivated throughout the eight-day tour.
“There is nothing that inspires you more than being in some of the most beautiful places around,” Braun said.
His favorite part of the trip is seeing how excited participants get about photography, which helps foster a tight-knit and open community that supports each other, he said.
“It was really neat to see our students come out of it with mentors that they could call if they needed help once they return to Winnipeg,” Brain said.
However, local wedding photographer Tony Donovan said he has two issues with this style of tour-based workshops.
Typically, travel based tours do not go over the business side of professional photography, he said, since he thinks strong business sense and communication skills lead to achieving success as a professional photographer.
Also, students learn someone else’s style as opposed to discovering and refining their own, he said. Donovan struggled with this when he was first starting out in the business, forcing him to change mentors.
“Now that I have a more refined style, these workshops could assist me with getting out of creative stagnancy, learning new techniques to augment my own tool kit and reignite the passion for the art,” Donovan said.
Donovan tells new photographers to take business courses while learning camera basics online or while working under an established photographer.
Braun customizes the tours depending on the level of experience of the participants, ranging from basic camera skills to taking participants to the right spot at the right time.
Anyone interested in photography can go on one of his tours. RRC students and staff get a 10 per cent discount.
He is currently getting ready to announce this year’s upcoming tours, which can be found on his Facebook page.