Marc and Sharon Ullom developed a love of photography at very different points in their lives. Marc’s obsession began at age three, when he snapped his first image with his mom’s 110 Kodak Instamatic camera. Sharon’s love came later in life when, as a college sophomore, her parents gave her a camera… that she had no idea how to use. But, for both of them, looking through that lens changed how they saw others, how they saw the world, and how they saw themselves. Combining their love of photography with a near-obsession for travel, Marc and Sharon now take others on a journey of photographic achievement and self-discovery with one-of-a-kind expeditions from Ullom Photo. These expeditions provide clients a unique opportunity for personal and creative growth.
Between them, Marc and Sharon have nearly 40 years of teaching experience, covering the subjects of photography, digital imaging, and video editing. They have developed curriculum for both Andrews University and the Academy of Art University, and Sharon developed an online “virtual expedition” experience for K-12 students. After earning his MFA in photography, graduating summa cum laude as valedictorian, Marc mentored MFA thesis students, and both he and Sharon have taken photography students all over the world on photography expeditions. Professionally, Marc has enjoyed participating and winning awards in photography exhibitions across the country, while Sharon has savored her four trips to Jordan as a photographer on archaeological digs.
The Ulloms combine their different teaching strengths to offer students and clients an unparalleled experience in photography instruction. Sharon excels at problem-solving—exploring “what ifs,” options, and alternative ways of viewing concepts and technical challenges. Her ability to listen intently helps her to see problems through her client’s perspective and suggest creative and innovative solutions. Marc’s great strength is in uncovering and analyzing the hidden strengths and weaknesses of his clients, enabling them to identify their goals and push through technical and conceptual obstacles. He is dedicated to helping others use the camera to both enhance their photographic abilities as well as deepen their awareness of how they fit into the world.
As much as they love photography, though, Marc and Sharon believe that the key to making truly great pictures is the ability to experience and enjoy life without the lens. In those moments, Sharon often watches DIY shows while dreaming of one day “flipping” a house. The Ullom oven is often busy, with Marc crafting artisan pizzas and breads and Sharon baking her killer pies. When not eating delicious food, they work off the calories by running marathons and riding mountain bikes with their two kids.
Jeff Heaton is a retired art educator who taught for 31 years in Northwest Ohio. Moving to Lawrence, Michigan in 2009 with his wife Theresa, they currently operate their home-based Cheeky Chic-y Studio, creating fiber and paper upcycled art. During his public teaching career Jeff taught middle school and high school students in a variety of media including drawing, painting, design, ceramics, weaving, and photography. Jeff currently enjoys teaching area classes and workshops, and together with Theresa they have displayed and sold artwork in local galleries, art fairs and exhibits.
I’m particularly passionate about cooking, culture, and history. While pursuing an associate degree in hospitality management I was able to demonstrate my cooking talents while I was studying at Lake Michigan College and in charge of creating a menu for an annual scholarship dinner. I was offered an entry level position at Point of the Woods Country Club by a chef instructor and completed a paid internship. Culinary arts led me to the Box Factory and I got involved cooking for the Arts Bash in August of 2016. As a result of my creativity as a volunteer, The Box Factory asked if I would be interested in teaching cooking classes and I am so proud to represent the Culinary Arts and pursue my passion for cooking and teaching home cooks how to step up their game in their own kitchens. After I graduated from the hospitality program in 2011 I reconnected with a friend that got me performing in community theatre and I love it as much as I do teaching.
Robin is a graphic designer by trade and an artist at heart. She wanted to be an artist for as long as she could remember. Her family fostered her interest in art at a very young age keeping her well supplied with crayons, markers and paint. Bedroom and basement walls were among her early “canvases”. Eventually she studied art at Central Michigan University, then received her Commercial Art & Design degree in 1981.
She paints a broad spectrum of subjects – whatever excites her at the moment becomes her next challenge. With Robin’s camera always handy, she attempts to capture the play of light and the nuances of color in something common, natural, or unexpected. Robin enjoys the process of creating a composition, sometimes using several images for one painting. Her graphic design background has influenced her painting style to have an illustrative component with more emphasis on realism, although she incorporates abstract elements to keep it fun. Ultimately, Robin hopes the viewer will share her appreciation for the beauty of these simple moments.
Robin and her husband Rick have lived in southwest Michigan for nearly 39 years and have 3 sons: Tyler, Evan and Dan. Each is pursuing their own interests in the arts, including music, fine art and theatre.
Dan has been a part of Southwestern Michigan’s theatre scene for a number of years, most recently appearing in Chicago (Southwest Michigan College), Next to Normal (Twin City Players) and The Last Five Years (Beckwith Theatre Company). He trained with The Conservatory at Act One Studios in Chicago, where he has performed with such companies as Lifeline, Strawdog, and Chicago Dramatists. The past few years have seen him teaching and directing local productions, sharing the approach and techniques he’s learned through working with Jonathan Berry (Artistic Producer, Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Ted Hoerl (Actor-Director), Mia Park (Actor, yoga instructor) and many other Chicago theatre professionals.