Luckily, Oman's parents decided to encourage his early interest in photography...so he is teaching Super Monday this year to encourage other photographers, too!
Growing Up in Photography
This lucky boy had access to a community darkroom as he was growing up in Duluth, Minn. Since his mother was a night nurse, his parents took him to the darkroom to take classes (and to keep him out of the house so his mother could get some sleep!). Those early classes inspired Oman to continue in photography. In fact, his sixth-grade science fair project was on photography, and he served on his high school's yearbook staff as the photo editor.
While in college at Moorhead State University (studying for his Mathematics and Mass Communications degrees), Oman stayed very involved in photography. He photographed for his college newspaper and a local daily newspaper, worked at a photo lab, sold cameras and did portraits of children in a one-hour studio.
After graduating from college, Oman began working for the Fairmont Sentinel newspaper as a photographer. He also began shooting weddings on the weekends. "I soon realized that I was making more money from the weddings on the weekends than from the 40-hour-per-week newspaper business," he remembers.
And while Oman eventually left the newspaper business to pursue portrait and wedding photography, he still considers that time to be one of his big accomplishments. "I love it when people I photographed 20 years ago for the paper find me and tell me they still remember the photos I took of them."
Before establishing The Imagery (his studio) in Minnesota, Oman spent some time perfecting his skills as a portrait and wedding photographer working at several studios in Wisconsin. He even earned a Fuji Award for his wedding work at his very first Wisconsin state convention! Now, though, his specialty is capturing portraits of high school seniors, kids and families.
"I am still a kid myself, and I love learning about people," explains Oman. This new family-focused specialty helps him do just that.
Sharing His Skills (& His Portrait Park)
Oman has an interesting ace up his sleeve when it comes to his portraits. It's his studio's unique backyard portrait park. You'll get to see the portrait park and learn the techniques he uses for outdoor and indoor portraiture in his "Backyard Photo Safari" Super Monday class in Burnsville, Minn., on May 16.
There will be plenty of hands-on opportunities to practice, as several models (of different ages) will be on hand. Plus, you will learn "easy time-savers and neat backgrounds that don't cost an arm or a leg or your first-born."
"It's all about the experience," adds Oman, explaining the purpose of his Super Monday class. "Once you are confident in your ability and your equipment, you no longer have to focus on that aspect...and you can learn about the individual, the client, instead."
Learn more about Oman's class and browse more Super Monday classes in more locations at http://www.ppa.com/education-events/sm_new.php.
Super Monday is an educational program sponsored by PPA every spring and fall. These daylong, interactive workshops are conducted in locations around the country, allowing PPA members to earn merits for sharing their craft and enabling all photographers to learn new skills and develop professional networking contacts.
Read more about Oman here.