About Alain and Natalie Briot

Natalie and I both hold University teaching degrees.  We actually studied how to teach far before we ever thought of organizing and teaching photography workshops and seminars.  Natalie was trained as a Secondary School art teacher while I was trained as a University Humanities teacher.  Together, we have over 15 years of experience teaching at the Public School and at the University level.

One of the most important things we learned during our teaching studies is that to improve student education it is necessary to first improve teacher education.  Both Natalie and I studied at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and we were both fortunate to have excellent University professors as teachers. Natalie holds a Bachelor's Degree in teaching while I continued all the way to a PhD in Humanities with a focus on Photography as visual communication.

Teaching cannot be improvised. It has to follow a plan and consist of steps, exercises, lessons, detailed syllabus', the ability to develop good teacher-student relations and more. Above all, good teachers must be able to reflect on their teaching and be able to instigate a strong sense of self esteem in their students.  They must also know their subject well and be daily practitioners of what they teach.

About Alain Briot
I have been studying and practicing art since I was very young, first with my parents, then in grade school because art and music were a significant part of the curriculum when I was in grade school in France, with 4 hours of teaching on this subject alone minimum each week.  And finally by specific art studies in a private school in Paris (The Atelier D'Enfer in Paris), followed by formal studies at the Academie des Beaux Arts also in Paris.

At the Beaux Arts I studied painting and drawing. I also studied light, composition, tonality control, balance and many other concepts that have traditionally been part of a formal visual arts education.  My teachers were professional painters and artists, and I studied and practiced art all day long, 5 days a week.  Today, I find myself referring to this education and to the concepts I learned at the Beaux Arts on a daily basis.  In fact, I find that one of the things that differentiates my work and the work of other photographers is my Beaux Arts education, an education that has given a solid foundation to my work, a foundation that I build on today using the latest tools and technology.

After the Beaux Arts I studied photography at the American Center in Paris, because at that time some of the finest photography teachers, both from France, the United States and other countries, taught and exhibited their work there.  I studied lighting, composition, field work, studio work and darkroom work at the American Center. 

Afterwards, I applied this knowledge by photographing extensively throughout the world and more recently in the United States with currently a focus on the Southwest.  During that time, as well as before and after, I studied the work, life, philosophy and approach of many photographers whose work I admired, with the goal of becoming as good as they were.

Today I continue my personal photography work by photographing extensively year-round with the goal of creating fine art images that express my personal vision.  I also write extensively about the artistic aspects of photography. My writings are published on my web site and on numerous other web sites, on CD's and DVD's as well as in print.  My most recent print publication is my new book "Mastering Landscape Photography" which is distributed by O'Reilly.  To this day I have published over 100 essays and articles and my work has been translated in over 10 different languages.

Overall, my personal art and photography studies took a very long time.  I started studying photography in Paris in 1980 and I did not create images that were fully satisfying to me until around 1996 when I started doing photography full time.  I realize that I had the luxury of time, and I also realize that most people cannot devote 15 to 20 years to learn what I know.  To remedy this problem I designed a workshop and seminar program whose goal is to share the extent of my knowledge in a practical and time-saving manner.  I also designed a line of CD and DVD tutorials whose goal is identical to that of my workshop program but without the need to travel. Finally, I also offer 1 on 1 consulting for students who prefer a personalized and fully interactive approach.

Copyright © Alain Briot, 2016