Named after the Greek goddess of light, THEIA Studios is fast establishing itself as a beacon for those inspired to pursue a career in the photographic arts. Located in an unassuming yet incredible space, THEIA Studios is North Andover’s brick-and-mortar answer to a more universal need for hands-on learning and applied instruction in the imaging arts.
Having devoted more than 25 years to photography in a variety of capacities, including education, co-founder Jodi Feil observes, “It quickly became apparent that to teach photography correctly and to fully engage in the learning experience” a dedicated space, populated by industry experts, had to be created.
Lori Muller, the other half of THEIA’s co-founding team, was eager to share her professional expertise to help create it. “Once Jodi and I started talking about creating a space that would provide learning and professional photographers with the hands-on education they really need, the ball started rolling.”
With respect to learning, Feil and Muller had to contend with the fact that technology is increasingly influential on the digital arts realm. A keen observer of this ever-evolving industry, Feil’s mission became “to produce better photographers by inspiring their creativity and believing in them as artists. We like to say we put the photographer back in photography. That’s not to say we ignore technology— absolutely not—we have all the latest and greatest for our students to use. My goal is for the camera to be to a photographer as the hammer is to a carpenter: a tool. Learn to master it, but understand that the talent comes from within yourself.”
Most dear to Feil and Muller right now is THEIA’s Applied Photography Program. Students in the Applied Program study under the expert guidance of industry authorities over the course of 15 months, across five modules: Foundations, Lighting, Masters Techniques Workshops, Business, and finally, the Portfolio Review.
Led by the industry-leading faculty drawn to THEIA Studios, Feil has set the standard of a minimum of ten years working experience to teach in the Applied Program as well as any other class or workshop offered.
This commitment to their craft is not only evident in their instruction but in how all THEIA’s instructors embrace the philosophy that art really is everywhere and our days are rich with moments that, if considered in the right light, reveal the art that too often goes unnoticed.
“What pleasantly surprised me, Muller stated, is just how many experienced, talented professionals are in the area wanting to share their passion and joy with others! They love our space and our mission!”
Emily Freeman, a recent graduate of the Applied Portrait Program, describes the space as “inviting and able to offer students an amazing opportunity to learn and collaborate with other students.”
Freeman, for one, cannot say enough about the community at THEIA. “The teachers and students I have met during my journey in the Applied Portrait Program have offered me an invaluable experience.”
Although students enroll in the Applied Program as part of their own personal journeys to a creative career, the importance of community on these individual journeys cannot be overstated.
That experience is not lost on Muller, who attests: “Every time I hear one of our students express how much they love this place and all the ways that being at THEIA has contributed to such wonderful personal and professional growth, I feel blessed. One thing I know for sure, if you come to THEIA, your vision of the world will expand in wonderful ways.”