Ellyn Norris

Digital Photography

Digital Photography Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Ellyn Norris

Be patient—with yourself and with others. Ellyn Norris , Digital Photography Instructor , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I believe I was always meant to be a creative professional, just by my very nature. I discovered photography at age nine and it became a vocation.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

A sincere, passionate, and approachable attitude, along with professionalism and proven skills, are key to helping creative people succeed. I try to portray those qualities—with my clients as well as my students.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I recently revised a Fundamentals class. The fun, yet challenging part was creating a meaningful photography learning experience for non-photo majors. I envisioned the course as not only teaching the fundamentals, but also showing students how photography intersects with their future roles. I’m very happy to see them creating great images and effectively applying them to real-life projects.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Perspective. See the big picture. And be patient—with yourself and with others.

Anything else you’d like to share?

For visual assignments, I give students video feedback. I can be specific in my critique, and the positive tone of my voice helps build their skills and confidence.