Student

Michael Witcher “I went to another college to start. But for Photography, SMC is where it’s at. I think it’s considered one of the top dozen schools in the world.”

“Ok, please, please! Use that poseur shot of me. It’s gotta be a classic, and my brother will be hugely amused,” says Michael Witcher, prankster, photographer, and twin of Lauren Witcher, who’s now at the Rhode Island School of Design after graduating from SMC. So, the photo above is the first intentionally goofy shot to ever appear in an SMC schedule. But goofball antics aside, photography is very serious business at SMC.

“In our program you get to learn from people like Larry Jones, the department chair, who was a combat photographer in Vietnam. He’s a very supportive guy, and for the short amount of time he has, he teaches an incredible number of classes. But the whole department helps you build an extremely solid foundation—in the classical sense—of photography, which prepares you for whatever field you want to go into. Though they’re mainly oriented towards the commercial,” adds Michael, “they’re not limited to traditional forms. The digital classes are also very strong, and quite extensive.”

Michael, an accomplished musician, has a particular niche market in mind for himself in the world of imagery. “I play the steel guitar—the dobro—and it’s my dream to tie my music in with photography. You know—taking pictures of musicians to promote albums or promos or anything in music,” he says. And as for advice about how to max out your time at SMC, Michael says, “Go in with an open mind, be patient, apply your time wisely, and work with the instructors to learn their style of teaching. If they’re offering five minutes to talk after class, be aggressive. Use those minutes for your own benefit.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.