Last week, Lauren Bacho and I decided to check out the Old Worthington Chocolate Walk in Columbus. The walk was put on by the Old Worthington Partnership and took us through more than 15 businesses in the town's historic business district. 

I always find it helpful to go to open houses like this and look around to find interesting people and story ideas. Lauren and I walked through many interesting stores, like Igloo LetterpressGraeter’s Ice Cream and The Candle Lab

But of the most interesting businesses we found was the Party Studio, a painting studio that guides customers through the creative process.

As soon as we walked in, manager Kelly Gurich and artist Tamie Rietenbach greeted us warmly and invited us to hang around as they prepped one of their group painting sessions.

The moment the class got underway, I knew that this was unlike any art class I'd seen before. Painters are invited to bring their own wine, and Rietenbach was lively and cracking jokes the whole time. She even showed the class her painting “workout” by swinging her canvas over her head to dry it.

Rietenbach encouraged her students to make mistakes and deviate from the painting on the board. I was able to find a cool angle behind Rietenbach’s easel and shoot wide with the class in the background. When covering events, I find the best pictures are the ones made with an obvious focal point along with a contributing background that gives the audience a sense of where the event took place.

Tamie Rietenbach leads her paint-along class at the pARTy studio in Worthington, Ohio on February 9, 2017. (MATT STARKEY|FOR THE POST)

The biggest thing I got out of covering the Chocolate Walk was that you always have to keep your eyes open as a photographer and as a journalist. You never know when a story is going to change course on you — you have to be flexible and prepared for any situation that could arise.  

@mattstarkey26

ms864315@ohio.edu

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