CCE Instructor Profile: Exploring photography’s creative process with Adam Leitzel ’20

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Friday, September 30th, 2022

Do you love photography and want to learn more about its various forms? This fall, PCA&D is offering a variety of classes taught by our very own Adam Leitzel. Art Support: Product Photography Workshop will be held on Saturdays starting October 15 and Intergenerational Studio: Ages 14-Adult – Analogue Photography runs on Saturdays starting October 8. Adam is a graduate of PCA&D and we’re so excited to have him back on campus.

Leitzel, a photographer based in Lancaster, graduated from PCA&D in 2020 with a BFA in Photography & Video. His work has been featured online by AINT-BAD, and he’s participated in group shows with Humble Arts Foundation and The Curated Fridge. His work tends to take a documentary approach. He currently works for SAKS Fifth Avenue.

Can you tell us a little about your interest in photography and classes this fall?

Adam Leitzel: I am really drawn to photography because I think I am a very nostalgic person. My memory almost works photographically. When I look at an old photo I’ve made, it unlocks that memory and I can start to feel what it was like at that time, the smell, sounds and the events that were taking place. My classes this fall are a black and white film class and a product photography workshop. These two modes of shooting feel like opposites in my mind but they are both tools in the photographers’ tool belt that help them convey emotion, story, and ideas. Both classes are working to help make students more developed visual communicators.

What are you most excited about for these classes?

AL: I’m excited to see what the students come up with in these classes. Once they’re provided with the tools for making, people find creative solutions that I’ve never thought about, allowing them to make really unique work.

What are some of the most important takeaways that prospective students should know about your classes?

AL: What I’m looking for students to take away from these classes is to have a greater understanding of photographic practices, but more importantly to me is that they learn how to think creatively and express themselves.

What is your creative process and what will be your approach to teaching these courses?

AL: My creative process is usually just going with my gut feeling. I shoot and collect a lot of images and when I feel like a project is forming I look at the types of images I’m making and see if there are any repeated patterns. I then make rules for myself and plan shoots and try to push myself to make images that don’t fall within those patterns. I’m hoping to allow students to take photography and apply it to their lives. Everyone is unique and comes from varied backgrounds. So I hope that they embrace their diversity and make images that are truly them and highlight and celebrate how different they are.

What do you think is the benefit of having an intergenerational class?

AL: Having an intergenerational class is very interesting. You have people of all ages coming together and kind of being on the same level of experience. It’s something that can be very humbling, especially as you get older. I think students of all ages will have knowledge and wisdom to exchange.

What do you do for fun when you’re not teaching/working?

AL: I like to read a lot and hang out with my friends and travel or have fun themed parties. I’m very excited for fall. I’m already planning an Oktoberfest-style party and we usually have Halloween double features on Fridays in October.