Where do we do the lessons?
I'm in downtown San Jose, but lessons can happen wherever you want. We'll go somewhere that provides some diverse subjects to photograph. These lessons are hands-on and involve taking pictures with your own camera, so we go somewhere suited for picture taking. Lessons in downtown San Jose do not incur any travel fee, other locations are billed by the mile.
When do we do the lesson?
We do them whenever you want, based on your schedule and mine. Send me an email and we'll start to figure out a good time. Normally, we schedule the lessons for a time when the sun is out (unless of course you want a lesson in night photography!).
Can I bring someone else to my lesson?
Absolutely! BUT: These are one-on-one photo lessons, so you can bring someone to use as a photo subject or to keep you company during the lesson, but the lesson is still one-on-one. For anything besides one-on-one, email me about the possibility of setting up a small class.
What do I need to do before the lesson?
You need to tell me exactly what make and model of camera you have, as well as what lenses, flashes and other gear you'll want to use during your lesson. That will give me time to take a peek at the owner's manuals of your cameras and see where all the setting are hiding.
You also need to describe to me your level of ability and what you want to learn during your lesson. I can also send you a quick questionnaire that will help me gauge your level of ability.
Who's giving these lessons?
Scott MacDonald. That's me. I've been a full-time professional photographer since 1999, working mainly for newspapers, now self-employed. My photographic experience covers everything from portraits to sports to news to landscape. And since I'm self-taught, I understand the feeling of being lost when you're just starting out. You can see some of my photos on this page, as well as on my photojournalism portfolio and my wedding portfolio.
What are some sample lessons?
In general, one-on-one photo lessons are aimed at improving your photographic literacy. The goal is for you to understand your own gear and the photographic principles that make it work.
However, one-on-one photo lessons could cover virtually anything. Here's some examples:
- How to take better pictures of your kids
- How to get sharp photos of your kids playing sports
- A crash course in using manual exposure
- How to use off-camera flash
- Techniques for using a flash to make pictures that look like you didn't use a flash
- Better white balance, or, how to keep my subjects faces from turning purple
I can also offer critiques of your existing work, and we can go over how to use programs like Photoshop and Lightroom.
How do I pay?
Payment is made before the lesson happens. Cancellation fees are as follows:
- 48 hours in advance = $15 cancellation fee
- 24 hours in advance = $30
- less than 24 hours in advance = $50
If I have to cancel with you less than 24 hours in advance, you get an hour for free when we reschedule.
What if I can't come to San Jose?
That's fine, I can come to you for a milage fee of 50 cents per mile. In some scenarios, I can also offer lessons by Skype. Contact me if you're interested in that possibility.