Q + A with Michael Godek

Lightbox Photo Academy, formerly known as Indy Photo Coach, has changed its name and vision. From classes and workshops to business opportunities, the newly designed company has a fresh twist on typical photography schools. Owner Michael Godek speaks more on Lightbox Photo Academy.

Alex Belden: Describe Lightbox Photo Academy in your own words.

Michael Godek: Lightbox Photo Academy is an independent Photography school dedicated to developing the next generation of content creators.  Through classes, workshops, customized training programs, and true-to-life experiences we strive to foster creativity in both individuals and businesses.

AB: What factors initiated your re-branding?

MG: The biggest reason for the rebranding was seeing a shift in the market. Back in 2008 when Indy Photo Coach started, digital cameras were blowing up and everyone was buying one. That lead to the demand for education services to help people use the cameras, and things were going great. But recently there’s been a new shift in the market. Now people are switching to all sorts of image capturing devices and using their photos on such a wider range of platforms, not to mention the market is also flooded…anyone can run a workshop. So we had to adapt and shift the vision for the company offering more unique experiences in more creative fashions. People still want to learn how to use their camera, but we are developing experience based learning and customized business training in order to shift with the market and stay relevant.

AB: What kinds of things do you do in your workshops?

MG: Many of our new workshops are diving more into learning how to be creative and the thought that goes into creating imagery. People don’t realize how influential they are, and can be with their photography, so we want to help them harness that. Once we cover the theory of a concept, we provide exercises to help connect the idea to a practical outcome — a real photo.  We also plan, with our new experience based classes like excursions, and professional shadowing, to provide students with real world opportunities to explore different avenues in photography.

AB: What makes Lightbox Photo Academy unique?

MG: What makes us unique, I think, is our ability to innovate and welcome change.  The education industry as a whole is known for being quite stagnant, so I’m thrilled to have a team that’s open and willing to try new things and push the boundaries of what we do.

AB: What is your personal favorite feature that you offer?

MG: I like it all! (he says laughing) But really, I’m excited for 2 things in particular.  On the consumer side I can’t wait to launch our photo excursions. These are still in development but I think people are going to love an opportunity to be brought to an exotic place and have the assistance to take amazing photos at the same time! On the business side, I’m thrilled to have launched our customized business training. Small businesses and startups often don’t have the resources to hire a photographer, and stock photos get old. We can help empower them to create their own imagery and better develop their brand by producing their own content.

AB: What is the most rewarding part of the work that you do?

MG: To me the most rewarding thing is looking forward to where I want the company to go, and having the freedom to push us in that direction. At the same time, the teacher in me always gets a warm fuzzy feeling anytime I can help someone arrive at the “ohhhh, now I get it” moment.

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