I’ve decided to go out on my own so I’ve terminated my partnership agreement with my good friends at www.cameratraining.ca. Having said that I still highly recommend them for you professional photographers and emerging pros as Michael Willems and Dani Valiquette are two of Ontario’s best photo instructors teaching today.
Of course, now that I’m not associated with anyone I’m free to speak my mind about the state of photographic training in Ontario and I think you should be careful about where you spend your hard-earned money. The very best instruction you can get comes from people who are both professional photographers and great presenters. And, trust me there aren’t too many folks who measure up. What you want to avoid is someplace where the instructors are just sales people and the instruction consists of them reading words off slides for hours on end.
So how do you tell where to go? The easiest way is to ask around but also take some time to check out the websites of any instructor you’re considering. Do they have “rave” quality recommendations from other students? If not, I’d be looking elsewhere. The last place you want to end up is in some overcrowded storage room sitting beside a garbage pail in the back of some store. There are more than a few of this type of experience out there.
The same goes for some of the courses available in community colleges. Even though the might be pretty good, do you want to devote a semester to learning your DSLR? Probably not. And some of these course can be pricey.
But you do get what you pay for! Pro photographers know this to be true. The course I took up in Algonquin Park with Ethan Meleg of Outdoor Photography Canada magazine in October was $800 for three days (but included some meals and accommodation) and was worth every penny.
So what do you get for a few bucks? Well some night school courses are okay. I taught one for the Halton District Catholic School Board for the last few semesters and for $65 for four weeks it was a bargain. If you’re interested in a small group or one-on-one experience don’t hesitate to contact me for details as I can put together a one-night course for you. I can offer you or your small group (less than 10 is preferable) a custom three-hour course on point and shoot or digital single-lens reflex cameras (all makes and models) as well as a more advanced course that goes beyond the basic controls of the individual cameras and looks at the creative side of photography. I’m working on a fabulous workshop right now that will focus on composition and how to use special tools like a tripod and different lenses.
Regardless of which way you go, I promise you that by the end of the workshop you will be a radically better photographer capable of taking radically better images than every before regardless of which camera and how much or how little it cost. Let me know what works for you and let’s have a happy holiday season.