What people are saying

Thank you for your dedication, your expertise, your vision and all your loving prodding to help us become better than we are. You are fantastic!

—Larry Schmitz


We all know that in a perfect world we would read our camera manuals before we start taking pictures, but we never do. In Sharon’s class, we actually read our camera manuals to glean useful info that will make our photos more consciously conceived and better. Sharon is experienced with all levels of students, and her manner is that of a good guide, both reassuring and provocative, practical, pragmatic and creative. I was surprised by how much I learned in a brief few weeks, and I look forward to using my camera with increasing ease. I now like my tripod, another benefit of being a student of Sharon’s. In each class, we went out photographing for a portion of the class, using our tripods and taking complex shots under her tutelage. Sharon is a generous teacher, eager to see that one’s camera-handling skills improve measurably. I now feel that my camera is just one of many tools that I can employ in the service of my artistic vision. It’s interesting to see the world through different types of lenses. Thanks again for being such a great teacher.

—Margot VoohriesThompson, Artist


I will always remember you and your wonderful class that changed my life for the better. I actually sold a picture at a local café. I was wondering if you would have advice/direction for a new college graduate from OSU looking for full time photography work? He has been a family friend for some time … My dream for him is to be as influential and talented as you.

—Almira Ko


Sharon O’Keefe is one of the best teachers I have been blessed to have in my life. Anyone who knows Sharon can tell you she carries a special spark that ignites and inspires her students. It’s not often one finds such a knowledgeable teacher, with an utter excitement and love of an art, who at the same time is so incredibly passionate and eloquent about teaching it to others. I am very lucky to have her influence in my life and my pursuits in photography.

—Ben Z. Mund


The diversity of places to you took us to photograph provided great learning experiences, and we enjoyed the personal contact with all the local people you’ve befriended. We would probably not have gone to this area on our own and would have missed a great experience had it not been for you and this workshop. We very much appreciated the one-on-one instruction you provided throughout the workshop. We were so pleased to be included in this workshop and are grateful for the experiences and the memories. We are hooked!

—Ruth and John Mepham


The Palouse workshop was a great experience for several reasons. I was reminded again that photography works best when it is the point of the day rather than a quick documentation of a social or traveling visit. The patience required for the best photographs means you can’t snap off a few frames and move on—you encouraged us to keep digging and often the best shots where 30–60 minutes into a site. As always, I found working with you helped me grow as a photographer. There was a nice balance between letting me explore a site on my own and your over-the-shoulder coaching. A subtle question or prompt always nudged me to discover a new way to look at a subject. I’m a better photographer today due to the trip. I also met some nice people and enjoyed the camaraderie of our group and your friends from the area.

—Rick Sadle, co-owner Salvadore Molly’s


My workshop experience in the Palouse, with photography instructor Sharon Lavier O’Keefe, was for me a once in a lifetime experience. I say this because of the unique landscape of endless rolling hills blanketed in the vibrant green of spring wheat, getting to spend time with folks in their workshops, barns and homes, and being able to explore quaint old towns which offered one photographic opportunity after another. Sharing all this with our instructor who’s not only enthusiastic for life, people and nature—but for photography and sharing her knowledge and excitement with you through her eyes to help you create your own vision. All this worked together to form an unforgettable experience that could only happen in the Palouse with Sharon as the workshop instructor.

—Pamela Gardner





Northwest Center for Photography, 1028 SE Water Avenue, Suite 50, Portland, OR 97214, Tel: 503-384-2783, E-mail: info@nwcenterforphotography.com

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