For over 10 years I’ve been mentoring a select group of individuals. Their progress has been thrilling to watch. It’s been a true privilege to be a part of their growth. July 7 their first Group Exhibit will be unveiled at the Maine Media Workshops. (link)

The members have produced a Group Blurb book to accompany the exhibit. The book includes images and statements from all 24 artists currently featured in the Group Exhibit.

You can preview and purchase the book here.

See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.

Find out more about my workshops here.

Find individual member’s websites and Blurb books by clicking More.

Read more

For over 10 years I’ve been mentoring a select group of individuals. Their progress has been thrilling to watch. It’s been a true privilege to be a part of their growth. July 7 their first Group Exhibit will be unveiled at the Maine Media Workshops. (link)

Robert Eckhardt has been a member for 1 year. Here are his insights.

Alumni Insight

(NSS) It seemed innocent enough at the time. I was attending my first
workshop with John Paul, who repeatedly urged everyone to reconsider
(i.e., break) entrenched habits, thinking, and ways of seeing. At one
point, expanding upon the list “rules” we might choose to violate,
John Paul suggested that we take our cameras off our tripods and
intentionally move them as we pressed the shutter. I found this idea
rather provocative, tried a few shots, and, after reviewing my handful
of failures, quickly abandoned the effort. But when I got home I
couldn’t get the idea out of my head. For some reason, I took this
particular idea as a personal challenge, a puzzle to be solved.
Eventually, after weeks of trial and error, I solved the puzzle, and
the resulting photographs became the series I now call “motion |
pictures”. That series has become the primary focus of my current
photographic work.

About a year later, while discussing some “motion | picture” images, I
confessed that I found photographing trees almost irresistible and
felt that I should make a greater effort to broaden my horizons. John
Paul challenged me to find ways to photograph subjects that I thought
were impossible with this technique. And I have (stay tuned). Then he
said, “But don’t stop photographing trees.” And I haven’t.

See more of Robert’s work here.

See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.

Find out more about my workshops here.

Read more

For over 10 years I’ve been mentoring a select group of individuals. Their progress has been thrilling to watch. It’s been a true privilege to be a part of their growth. July 7 their first Group Exhibit will be unveiled at the Maine Media Workshops. (link)

Paul Tornaquindici has been a member for the past 4 years. Here are a few important things he learned from other members and his work.
Alumni Insights

John Paul Caponigro was the first photographer I showed- on a Russian science vessel in Antarctica- my landscape work to for review. It was at his studio in Maine- during a workshop- that I first summoned the courage to show my work to members of the Next Step group. And it has been together with the Next Step family that I have learned what truly matters to me in my photography. The lessons are important ones-
A. Know who you are and what you like to photograph. Stay on the path! Not trying to be like, or imitate others work or ways- but to have a genuine understanding of what you are passionate about and photograph that.

B. It is okay not to photograph! It is okay to cancel the contract with yourself that you have to take photographs. As I only photograph a few times a year there is an obligation to always be photographing and to strive to get a great photograph- to not take pictures somewhere is almost unthinkable. But part of being a photographer, I learned, was knowing when to put the camera away.

Next Step has given me a place of privilege to learn, grow and share the remarkable experiences of photography.

Artists’s Statement

I love going to an unfamiliar place, seeing it for the first time, looking and listening intently and photographing what and how I feel in that place.

In an workshop John Paul Caponigro said, “This is the most important thing I will say all week- don’t miss it. Notice when the energy is in the photographs being shown it gets quiet in the room. When there is little energy in the photographs we have to create it.“

I want to quiet the room. Take your breath away and leave you still- and listening- where the only sound you hear are the notes from a song of praise. Those are the photographs I am waiting, listening and looking for. I trust what has so moved my heart will resonate in yours.

Paul Tornaquindici – Notes of Praise

Notes of Praise is a much anticipated collection of Paul Tornaquindici’s serene, meditative landscape photographs. From the majestic glaciers of Antarctica to the mountain dunes of Namibia he explores the grand vistas with sensitivity. Seen through Tornaquindici’s eye they are transformed into scenes of wonder and worship. The images selected in Notes of Praise are a testimony to his love of creation and his appreciation for its beauty.

Find the book Notes of Praise here.

See more of Paul’s work here.

See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.

Find out more about my workshops here.

Read more

For over 10 years I’ve been mentoring a select group of individuals. Their progress has been thrilling to watch. It’s been a true privilege to be a part of their growth. July 7 their first Group Exhibit will be unveiled at the Maine Media Workshops. (link)

Justin Hartford has been a member for the past 2 years. Here are a few important things he learned from other members and his work.

Alumni Insights

1)    Kathy Beal taught me to respect, ask permission, and thank the land that I am photographing. Keeping this practice helps to bring a sensitivity to my work that otherwise would not be there.
2)    At the first Next Step summit I attended in Utah, many of the attendees suggested I work with self-portraiture. This suggestion has helped guide me down a path that I otherwise might have been scared to go.
3)    Shooting along side many different Next Steppers has shown me different ways to approach photography and to see my subject.

Artist’s Statement

Proserpina is a Greek Goddess whose name means “to emerge”. She is synonymous with springtime when she emerged from her six months of residing in hell. This series is about how we as humans so often stay in our own caves not letting the real us be seen so that we can be accepted by society. It can be comforting to stay hidden away and not be judged. It can also create an inner hell to keep who we really are deeply hidden away for fear of judgment.
See more of Justin’s work here.

See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.

Find out more about my workshops here.

Read more

John Paul Caponigro’s Next Step Alumni Group

For over 10 years I’ve been mentoring a select group of individuals. Their progress has been thrilling to watch. It’s been a true privilege to be a part of their growth. July 7 their first Group Exhibit will be unveiled at the Maine Media Workshops. (link)

Barbara has been a member for 4 years. Here’s one important thing she learned and her work.

Alumni Insights

The most important thing I learned from my participation in John Paul Caponigro’s Next Step Alumni Group, other than the privilege we have to be able to partake of John’s artistic career as well as his insight and directive in our creative expression, is that we can become a part of a living organism rather than a Group organization.

Participation in the apparent difficulties that we ourselves go through as well as the success stories and journeys of others can become a personal experience to each one of us. We can see the fact that we belong to a group as a whole (one) rather than individually. We can get involved seeing the Group as a living organism rather than an organization with the assurance that what takes place when we meet, is far beyond those undeniable reasons to attend a workshop.

Artist’s Statement

My work is an anthology of what could be called “eternal moments”; images captured as an expression of my identification with Life in the form of Nature as an integral part of my Essence and Being.  I could also define it as occasions when I am at One with nature and the conscious distinctions between the self and the observed fade away. I believe one must move beyond the dualistic concept of “an artist and his work” in order to create and experience art in its essential timeless expression.

This expression is the resultant flow from an interminable encounter with Life.  Through this interaction, my life as a seeker has given way to the profound inner confirmation that art and artist are One. Therefore it has become an indescribable joy to experience the world as an observer while being inspired to transcribe spiritual truth into visual imagery.

See more of Barbara’s work here.

See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.

Find Barbara’s Next Step Blurb book here.

Find out more about my workshops here.

Read more


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