Photograph, Edit & Capture the Folk School with Cory Marie

Come take a photography class with me, Cory Marie Podielski! This April, I will be teaching Editing Essentials, a class focused on both shooting and post-production. I am excited to share not only my technical knowledge, but also my insider’s knowledge of the campus. I have shot at the Folk School professionally for over a decade, so I can be your guide to the best locations and hidden gems. To see more of my work, and get a quick flare for my style, head over to my website or Instagram.

Before & After #1: Red Barn at Folk School
Turn an underexposed photo into a beautiful photograph.

Bee Keeping at the Folk School
Featured on the 2023 Folk School Catalog

The Folk School campus is a magical place to photograph; there is always a story to tell. Since 2012 I have worked with the Folk School Marketing Department to capture moments at events on campus and in the studios. My work can be found throughout the website and was recently featured on the 2023 and 2023-2024 catalog covers. The pastoral landscapes and gardens, old buildings, and unique crafted architectural features always make for great landscape imagery. In April, the gardens and trails will be full of fresh green, colorful flowers, and new life. If you love to photograph people, there is always something interesting going on at the Folk School in the studios, concerts, dances, demonstrations, and community events.

Folk School Garden, Late Afternoon
The Folk School Garden is an ideal place to capture landscapes, people, and objects. There’s so much to explore.

If you are an experienced photographer who loves field work but stalls when it comes to post-production editing, this is the class for you. My career background is in digital imaging and computer design, so my expertise lies in computer work, where I see many photographers struggle. I am an expert at masking and retouching; as your teacher I can demonstrate the use of these tools to advance your editing skills. 

Before & After #2: Square Dance in Community Room
Dances in the Community Room are hard to capture in low light. Learn shooting and editing strategies for capturing movement.

Before & After #3: The Ladies of Duncan’s Hair Salon
This group shot was taken during a vintage-styled editorial shoot in downtown Murphy at the now defunct Duncan’s Hair Salon. This was the one shot where everyone looked great, so I spent quite a bit of time editing and retouching in both Lightroom and Photoshop. Hair & Makeup by Misty Kelischek.

If you are a beginning photographer, my class will also provide a balanced foundation to get you on your path as a professional or hobbyist. Learn basic composition skills behind the camera and how to choose settings to make your images optimal for editing. We will spend part of the day shooting at the Folk School and around Brasstown. The other part of the day, we will spend in the studio learning all about editing techniques.

Before & After #4: Golden Goddess in Downtown Asheville
Learn to retouch skin, adjust colors, enhance backgrounds without depending on AI.

Since I use my photography in tandem with my design work I have a breadth of knowledge about shooting all types of subject matter. I have experience with portraits and head shots, products, food, events, interiors, architecture, landscapes, and more. I can also help you grow your professional practice through organization, creating backups, ordering prints, and even building a portfolio or utilizing an online gallery delivery service. I understand branding and creating a strong presentation of work. I can help you level up your photography. 

Before & After # 5: Mill House in Autumn
Shooting in RAW gives you great control to bring out your style when editing. 

Upcoming Class with Cory Marie

Editing Essentials

April 14–20, 2024

All Levels

Love shooting, but dread editing? Learn to effectively edit photos and streamline your post-production process. Gain confidence with Lightroom and Photoshop to give your images a professional edge. Explore presets that allow you to edit and experiment with ease. We will split our time between shooting in the field and editing sessions in the studio. Students will need a camera with RAW capability and an external hard drive. Basic computer processing knowledge recommended. An introductory knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite programs and a familiarity with computer interfaces will benefit you in this class.

About Cory Marie Podielski

Cory Marie Podielski is a Detroit-based freelance photographer and designer with over 20 years of professional experience working in fashion and the art world. She lived in the Brasstown area for 6 years, and then Asheville, NC for 7 years after that. WNC and the Folk School are very near and dear to her heart.

She has a B.A. in Fine Art and Global & International Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a creative director in the Los Angeles fashion industry, she developed brand identities and worked on photography advertising campaigns appearing in Teen Vogue and Seventeen Magazine. She shoots for a wide variety of clients including the John C. Campbell Folk School. Cory loves photographing people and telling stories. Her primary focus is editorial, events, and portraiture; she especially loves vintage style, fashion photography, and Appalachian culture.

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