Hello, I’m Ernie Treu. I’m a wife to a professional puppeteer, homeschooling mom of two, co-creator for a ministry company called Wit & Folly Productions, and a lifestyle portrait photographer in the Denver area. (Whew! Just listing all that was exhausting!) Photography is a gift in my life, not just as a business, but even more, to capture the everyday moments in my own home.
I’ve always loved art – visual, musical, written. I got serious about photography in 2001 and started my portrait company the year after. Then, in 2007, life truly began. I became a mom. Suddenly, nothing was about me – not my days (or nights!), not my time, not even photography! I began to look at life through the lens of motherhood. I wanted to capture life – my life – in photographs.
Over the years I’ve found that I can use my camera to focus, see the things that are important, and freeze time! Photographs are a tangible way to remember and share our stories, which makes them one of the most valuable things on the planet!
In a world where nearly everyone has access to a camera, I wanted to help others learn how to document their lives in this way too. My style is photojournalistic in nature. I like the candid, realness of everyday life. Well, maybe not the piles of laundry or dirty dishes, but I guess that’s part of it too!
I began teaching introduction to photography workshops for adults in 2012. About the same time, I began homeschooling my boys. (I got a second one in 2009!) As I researched the curriculum world, I discovered very little in the way of quality art courses for homeschoolers, let alone photography curriculum. Other homeschooling parents that I knew began approaching me about putting some lessons together for their students.
Slowly, I started to write a course for middle and high school aged kids, adapting the workshop material I had written for adults into lessons and shooting assignments. I soon realized that younger kids – elementary aged – also had an appetite for photography. I guess with all the accessible technology out there, even kindergarteners these days can get on board!
In 2013, The Foto Finch was born. I have seen some incredible work by artists much younger than I am. And that makes me excited! Excited because I know that God gives us great gifts, and it’s not limited to age or background. And excited too, because through The Foto Finch, perhaps I can be a part of nurturing those gifts, helping students develop their talents and create captivating works of art!
So, if you have a student who’s excited about photography, I’d be honored if you considered the courses offered here. They are all original; the photographs are all taken through my lens. The material is conversational and easy for students to understand. My hope is that these lessons will be useful for teaching and inspiring artists, no matter how young, to capture what’s important and create art from the world around them.