Practical Questions & Answers
HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE TEACHING PHOTOGRAPHY?
I have been teaching photography through various Maine adult education programs for the past twelve years. Currently, I am teaching photography online through the Augusta, Topsham & Bath, Freeport and Rockport Community and Adult Education Programs . Also, I have some experience teaching other types of classes at a community college-level.
WHY SHOULD I SIGN-UP FOR YOUR CLASSES?
Through the years, I have had many students in class that have taken classes with other programs, but they had difficulty grasping the material well enough to actually put it in practice. That can be very frustrating and a waste of time and money too. Most people retain what is learned, when they understand how and why something works. That will go a long way to prepare you better for situations when you need to solve a problem. Photography is all about solving problems and mostly about light. Photographers need a strong foundation and I have created a program that is effective and long lasting.
WHAT IS A "LEVEL" AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Levels were created to help students match their goals to the best set of classes. Each individual class is geared towards a particular "Level" of skill and/or knowledge. Each Level contains one or more complementary and/or specialized classes. Each Level is designed to be taken in sequence, much like college courses. If you are not sure which classes or Level would fit you best, I can help you select one.
DO YOU USE ZOOM FOR YOUR OLINE CLASSES?
Yes, all my current web-based classes are offered through the ZOOM platform. You will receive a link to the class when you book it.
IF I MISS A CLASS, CAN I MAKE IT UP?
Typically, each class session is recorded and available to preview within 48 hours. In the event, a class is not recorded, you may attend the same or similar class session with another class group.
I WORK THE EVENING SHIFT AT A LOCAL HOSPITAL, DO YOU OFFER DAY CLASSES?
Yes, I offer day and evening classes on a rotating basis. If you need to make a change at any point, you can contact me and I'll try to reschedule you for something that works better.
ARE YOUR CLASSES LIVE OR PRE-RECORDED?
All my classes are taught Live, but a recording may be available for you to preview after the class at no extra charge.
CAN THE CLASS RECORDINGS BE DOWNLOADED AND VIEWED OFF-LINE?
No, the class recordings cannot be downloaded at this time. There are two reasons: 1) I want to protect all my student's privacy. 2) I want to protect my original content as much as possible.
WHAT TYPES OF BENEFITS AND REWARDS ARE INCLUDED IN THE PLANS?
Each Plan varies, but overall, you can receive discounts on upcoming workshops and classes, exclusive student Blog posts, invite to group field trips, extra video content, free photo contest entry and the list is growing.
IS THERE A DEADLINE FOR A REFUND, IF I HAVE TO CANCEL MY CLASS?
Yes, you will receive a full refund, if you cancel your class at least 24hours in advance. If you do not appear online for a class and I have not been notified prior to the start of the class, no credit will be given. The links to the recording(s), if available for the missing class(es), will be sent to you.
I SIGNED UP FOR A CLASS THAT I THINK IS TOO ADVANCED FOR ME. CAN I CHANGE IT TO ANOTHER LEVEL CLASS INSTEAD?
Yes, you change it, if the class is still in progress. You will receive a credit towards your next class.
DO YOU OFFER PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSES FOR TEENS?
I have had teen-aged private students in the past. At this time, I am not offering that service, but I may in the future. I would be willing to put together a self-study class for parents and teens that are interested. Contact me FMI.
I HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR PROGRAM. WHAT IS THE BEST METHOD TO CONTACT YOU?
For general inquiries, the best method to reach me is by direct email. I check my email often. You can fill out a contact form, if that is more convenient and I will respond ASAP. After you enroll in my classes, there will be other means to communicate privately through the website with me and the other students.
I LEARN BEST HANDS-ON. DO YOU THINK YOUR ONLINE CLASSES WOULD BE A GOOD FIT FOR ME?
Initially, I had some reservations about teaching photography online, but my fears were calmed after my first ZOOM class. The students have adapted so well, and I measure my success with theirs. My classes are a work in progress, and they are constantly evolving to meet the need.
I AM AN EXPERIENCED PHOTOGRAPHER, BUT I NEVER USE FLASH. WHY SHOULD I LEARN LIGHTING?
Photography is all about the light, so why wouldn't you want to learn more about it? I became a better natural light photographer, after I understood light of every type.
HOW DO YOU EVALUATE YOUR STUDENT'S PROGRESS?
I have used pop quizzes in my off-line classes and the students have enjoyed the instant feedback. Also, I give optional homework assignments and I can offer them some feedback after looking at their photos. Going forward, I plan to add a feature to my website that will survey students to evaluate their knowledge base with their interest(s) in photography. From there, they will be more informed and able to hand-pick the classes that would best help them reach their goals.
I AM INTERESTED IN FILM PHOTOGRAPHY. WHICH CLASS WOULD HELP ME LEARN TO USE MY 35MM CAMERA BETTER?
Short Answer: All of the above. You will learn to use any camera as they all work the same. Digital cameras have a few more bells & whistles. BTW, I still shoot film!
I JUST PURCHASED A NEW COMPACT MIRRORLESS CAMERA AND I DON'T HAVE A CLUE HOW TO USE IT. CAN YOU HELP ME?
Yes, I have the perfect class for you, "Introduction to Digital Photography"
I JUST FINISHED THE TWO CLASSES INCLUDED IN THE INTRODUCTORY LEVEL AND I WANT TO SIGN UP FOR LEVEL I, BUT I AM NOT SURE WHICH CLASS TO ATTEND FIRST. CAN YOU HELP ME CHOOSE?
When you complete the first and/or second class and you're ready to move up to the next level, either class should be fine. The Levels are designed to prepare you for what is coming next. If you feel you are ready, then I wouldn't hesitate. If you aren't sure, I would recommend re-watching the videos from your classes and looking over the handouts again. I am building a self-assessment tool that will help students in the future.
I THINK I DELETED MY ZOOM CLASS LINK ACCIDENTALLY. HOW CAN I RECEIVE A NEW ONE?
Yes, of course! I have built-in some reminders too, so you will always have the information you need to access all your classes, when you need it. In general, I arrive early to class and check attendance. If someone hasn't checked in and we are about to begin, I will send off a quick email again containing the link. If you go to my website, you can access all that information again from your account.
DO YOU OFFER PRIVATE LESSONS?
Yes, I have had many private students including other professional photographers. For those that are new and a little apprehensive about online learning, it's a good way to find out if it's right for you. I'd be happy to discuss it more with you anytime.
I NOTICED THAT YOU TEACH PHOTOGRAPHY THROUGH VARIOUS COMMUNITY AND ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAMS. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN WHAT YOU OFFER?
If you plan to take one or two introductory classes and you aren't interested in the intermediate-advanced classes and bonus content included in the Website Plans, then I could recommend the adult education programs. The content is identical, except that you will only find the more advanced classes here. The Level II-IV classes go beyond what the average hobbyist needs. If at a later date, you would like to come aboard and advance your skills further, then I would love to have you join us.
OTHER THAN TEACHING, ARE YOU OFFERING ANY OTHER TYPES OF PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICES?
Yes, I am still an active photographer, but I have limited my practice to covering smaller weddings and events and servicing my current business clients. Also, I am involved with a few professional photography organizations and a member of several groups.
I NOTICED THAT MOST OF THE CLASSES YOU OFFER COVER THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF PHOTOGRAPHY. DO YOU PLAN ON ADDING ANY OTHER TYPE OF CREATIVE CLASSES IN THE FUTURE?
My current classes are geared toward the more technical aspects of photography and that is intentional on my part. When I was trying to learn photography on my own, I couldn't find the information or the types of classes I needed to fully understand how photography works. I had bits and pieces of it, but I struggled putting it all together for far too long. It was very frustrating for me and it's a wonder that I didn't just give up. When things finally clicked for me, I started sharing what I learned with my photographer friends. That was the start of my photography teaching career. I had previous experience creating curriculums' at the college-level and that is something I enjoy. Lastly, my students have access through the website to the bonus materials specific to their class(es) and/or plans, which includes extra training videos on a wide range of fun & creative topics. Perhaps, as my base program grows and there is more interest and demand for those types of classes, I will start to offer them.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN YOU ACCEPT IN YOUR CLASSES AT ONE TIME?
Typically, I cap attendance for most classes at up to 15 students, but I close registrations at 12 students. The extra three seats are reserved for students that need to make up a class or someone that I invite as a guest. If for some reason the class has less than the normal attendance, it will run as usual. I won't ever cancel a scheduled class unless there are circumstances beyond my control. This does not include workshops and other Live events that are part of the Membership Plans.
MY 3 MONTH PLAN IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE, CAN I EXTEND IT TO THE ANNUAL PLAN?
Yes, you can extend it, and the Annual Plan will be prorated for the extra length of time. Also, the same would be true for a any Plan change that needs to be made.
CAN I REALLY LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY IN JUST A FEW HOURS OR CLASSES?
The answer is YES and NO! Photography takes a lifetime to master, so it's not possible to learn everything from a few classes. With that said, I have created a series of classes that will provide you with a very solid foundation that you can continue to build on. There is no value in attending classes you are not ready for and I don't want you to waste your time or money on them. Knowledge helps to build confidence, which is essential to greater creativity. You can't teach students to be creative, but you can teach them how to create. My classes will get you more confidently headed in the right direction.