About Our Founder - Cheryl Ritzel
I’ve always loved photographs, especially the old, faded photos of my parents, grandparents, and ancestors. Every photo is a story; some with stories lost to time. Who was this person? What was just outside the frame? When presented with a photo we often recall details and events that preceded the photo, or what happened afterwards. Memories are sparked and come alive.
I got my first Polaroid camera when I was seven. Although my one year old sister quickly became my favorite subject to photograph, I took pictures of everything from toys to trees as well as other family members. I took that camera to parades, to Disneyland in California, to the beach, and to parties. The photos are faded, but I still have them.
One of my earliest experiences with "real" photography was with my father, a professional photographer. When I was around nine years old, he brought me to Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, Georgia and we hiked off trail around and up the mountain. He let me use a very expensive Nikon FE film camera with manual focus; I was so excited and felt like a real photographer! On our way up a small incline, I slipped on a wet rock and came crashing down, camera and all. Fortunately, I was not hurt and the camera and lens both survived (but with some scarring). A few years later, my father gave the Nikon FE to me when he upgraded to some newer gear. I still have that camera, and the photographs from that day - random photos of rocks weathered with erosion, small leaves among even smaller mosses, and rivulets of water coming down the granite hillside - will always hold fond memories.
Why Choose FocusEd Camera?
Photos are part memory, part art, and part documentary, but now they are also part experience and part communication. We spend more time now than ever before, examining photos that give us glimpses of other’s lives, watching and experiencing their moments – images that in the past would not have been shared as globally as they are today. We are in the midst of a technological, media-based revolution and photography is at the epicenter. Photos are no longer relegated to the dusty shoe box. They are exchanged, reacted to, commented on, "liked" or shared, and seen instantly by others anywhere in the world to the tune of nearly 3.8 billion photos a day (or 45,000 a second)! So now, as people are interacting with the world in a new way, we are constantly looking for opportunities to capture the “moment.” Along with this new awareness comes an increased desire for better photography – closer shots, crisp focus, better lighting, more pixels.
That’s where FocusEd Camera can help you. I want to help you capture those “better” photos. I have always loved photography and I want to make sure you love it too! I am a certified educator with over 28 years of teaching and training experience. I have spent more than nine years teaching photography and journalism and another six of those years teaching entrepreneurship and marketing. I have a passion for teaching and for photography. Attend one of my workshops and I will help you figure out your “why.” Why are you taking photos? What’s your goal, your purpose? With this information I will help you save money by finding the right camera set up and gear for your needs. Then I will help train you to use it properly to get the images you desire. With newfound confidence you will be more inspired than ever before! If you already have a camera and know "why" you are taking photos, then there are more advanced workshops to help you hone your craft. And… if you are already an artist and take exceptional photos, there are workshops to help you learn how to start, operate, and market a photography business (or any business).