Richard's Blog

Serious Teaching For People Who Are Serious About Learning Photography

What do we mean by that?

How many times have you heard someone talk about DSLR cameras this way?: "You don't have to do anything." Or, "With this lens, you can just stand there and zoom in and out." And the ever-popular: "Don't worry; you've got auto focus and auto exposure." My Personal favorite; "The Delete Button", could you use a delete button for your life? I'll take two!

That kind of hype sells cameras, but most people soon realize that they might have to knuckle down and do some work if they want to really learn something about how to take good photographs.

That's where we come in. Chicago Photography Classes are for people who are willing to show some patience, take their time and put in the work. Digital photography can be a challenge even for experienced photographers. So if you have little or no experience with photography, well, "this is going to take some time."

And that's OK – because we do take the time. We help you learn from your mistakes and successes, as well as those of your classmates. Our lessons help you understand what you did right and what you could have done better.

Every week we offer a practical lecture, followed by a "shooting" assignment and a Lab assignment. Each of the seven classes starts with a review and discussion of the previous "shooting" assignment and than a lecture and a new assignment.

Each class builds on the lessons of the previous class; as you proceed week by week, your collective experience helps you continue to grow and get better.

Learning is hard work. We don't make it harder by treating our students as inept, or acting indifferent. Our classes are serious because our teachers take learning seriously.

So yeah, we're serious about photography, and we hope you are, too. Just don't confuse serious with somber or boring. Our classes are fun and lively, and our teachers take real pleasure in watching you learn and grow and getting the experience you need to take the only photographs that matter – yours.
Serious learning means:

  • You attend all seven weeks and arrive on time or early for each class.
  • You attend all five computer labs and arrive on time or early and stay to the end of the each session.
  • You make notes of each class in the provided notebook, or your own notebook.
  • You ask questions. If you don't understand the answer, you ask again.
  • You put aside your "perfect gene," and if you make a mistake you learn from it. Ansel Adams said "perfect is the enemy of the good."
  • You pay attention to your classmates to see what you can learn from them.
  • You share what you know with your classmates to see if they can learn from you.
  • You find out what you can learn with your classmates, together.
  • You listen closely to everyone because there is something to learn from everyone.
  • You complete each assignment no matter what, knowing that you will learn something when you do it right or wrong. You don't have to be perfect; you do have to try as best you can.
  • You laugh, at yourself and with others and don't take yourself to seriously.
  • You don't give up or quit. We will support you for as long as it takes, but you may not quit.

Laughter Will Be Heard and Learning Will Occur.