we all should learn photography!

(my humble opinion as someone with a lifelong passion for the craft. haha!)

Photography has been an integral part of humanity for well over 150 years now, and in the age of smartphones, mirrorless cameras, and user friendly post-processing tools photography is an accessible skillset everyone can and should try. Why you might ask? Well because the value of photography is broad ranging. We use photographs to preserve lasting memories from our personal lives, create art, evoke emotions, document socially importing events and places, use in scientific application and for much more.

Whether you're a beginner looking to grasp the basics, an enthusiast aiming to refine your craft, or a professional looking to level up their business, enrolling in a photography class or workshop can be the perfect avenue to hone your skills. But with so many options available, how do you find the best class to suit your needs? This guide explores the steps to finding the perfect photography class near you, ensuring you receive quality instruction and get the most value out of your experience.

1. Research Your Options

Start by researching "photography classes near me" and you should find a slew of options available in your area. You can use online search engines like Google or Bing, community bulletin boards and webpages, or social media groups to find classes offered by local photography schools, community centers, or independent instructors. Look for classes that align with your skill level, interests, and schedule. Actually dig deeper past the class description itself and look for the instructor's qualifications.

2. Assess Instructor Qualifications

The instructor plays a crucial role in your learning experience, so it's essential to ensure they are qualified and competent. Look for instructors who have relevant experience, certifications, or accolades in photography. A good practice is to read reviews or testimonials from previous students to gauge the instructor's teaching style and effectiveness. Unsure, don't hesitate to ask questions. In my experience, the best instructor are approachable and will be happy to answer questions upfront about the classes

3. Prepare for the Class

Once you've selected a photography class, take the time to prepare. Familiarize yourself with your camera equipment and any additional gear required for the class. Review basic photography concepts such as composition, exposure, and lighting to ensure you have a solid foundation before the first session. Additionally, clarify any prerequisites, expectations, or material checklists set by the instructor to make the most of your learning experience.

A group of 9 tripods with cameras attached all siting in a park with a trail going back with green grass and trees.

4. Engage During the Class

During the photography class, actively engage with the material and participate in hands-on activities and assignments. Don't hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification during the class from the instructor if you're unsure about any concepts or techniques. Most of my classes and presentations I prefer for the experience to be an interactive open conversation, so if you take a class from me don't be shy. Often times if you have a questions or unclear then you're not the only student wondering the same thing. Take advantage of feedback sessions to receive constructive criticism and improve your skills. Remember, the more time you invest in the class, the more you'll gain from the experience.

5. Practice and Apply What You've Learned

Learning photography is a continuous journey that extends beyond the confines of the classroom. I've been doing this for nearly 25 years, taught hundreds of classes, and set in on more than I could possibly remember. After all of that I am always learning something new and trying to improve my skills. Take the lessons and techniques you've learned during the class and apply them in real-world settings. Experiment with different subjects, lighting conditions, and compositions to further develop your skills. Don't be afraid to make mistakes—each shot is an opportunity to learn and grow as a photographer. Make sure to practice at times when the pressure is low and "getting the shot" is not necessary, so when you're under pressure and having to work quickly to "get the shot" you won't be fumbling with settings.

6. Make friends and network

I've made many friends myself by both teaching and participating in classes and workshops. I've also seen other relationships from amongst my students that continue to this day. Obviously you have one thing in common right off the bat.

Be sure to check out my educational services and events coming up! Or check out other useful blog posts below...

Girl in red orange jacket stands profile view holding a Canon DSLR with short telephoto lens pointing to the right.
Boy in blue lays in grass resting a camera with flash on his chest to photography his own feet.
Profile view of scruffy faced man holding a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR and telephoto L glass Canon lens pointing the the left