Photo 2

Jan 2003

I took this class two years ago and I still have nightmares about it. I sleep with the light on now. I learned more about photography from Roma than I have from any other source, but he is a genuine asshole, don't be fooled. He knows what a good picture looks like, I'll give him that, but honestly when I saw his own work for the first time, I almost laughed. I thought it was a joke, it was so horrible. He got where he is today out of sheer charisma and dominance, not because of the quality of his photographs. But back to his teaching - if you cry easily or don't love (Love!) criticism, don't take any course with him, even Photo 1. Walk out after the first day, it's not worth it. There are other, more nurturing, art teachers out there - it depends what you need. A lot of people love Tom Roma, and in every class, he'll always have a few groupies that can't wait to kiss his ass. Also in every class will be the group of kids sitting quietly in the back, glaring at the horrible man. He will tell you that YOU (not your photographs, YOU) are a horrible person, he will rip your work off the walls, he will embarass you in front of the class (and, yes, everyone will surely laugh at you because goddammit, Roma's witty). He's a cool guy in every way, really. But the problem is that he's a big jerk in the classroom and he loves being that way. Good for some, crippling for others. So you be the judge. It's an experience you won't forget.