What to expect in this workshop?

This is an intensive class, in which massive amount of materials will be covered.

Photography is an art that one needs to invest time, effort and money. Like every other kind of arts, it takes years of practice to master the skill. However, there are some secrets that can instantly help you change your perspective and you'll learn how to adjust the settlings of your camera to adapt to the situation you're in. For example, how do you find the best light on location to take awesome portraits? How do you photograph moving objects creatively using different shutter speeds? You will be able to see the difference after the workshop, it's life-changing! Moreover, digital cameras allow immediate review of your work, your instructor would be able to critique the photos and give fast feedback, it helps you improve exponentially. 

In the Saturday workshop, we will learn the basic settings of cameras in the San Francisco classroom in the morning. I would also share some secrets that instantly help you take stunning photos, and you'll apply them in the afternoon field trip. We will have lunch together after the workshop, and then we will have the field trip at Embarcadero coastline: Pier 14 and Ferry Building. There we will spend the afternoon together, you'll be able to practice what you have learned in class and shoot with the DSLR & lenses that we provide.

Apart from landscapes, we will be learning how to take portraits of each other using natural light. After this class, I would say, you will be able to "WOW" your friends because you have learnt how to take great photos under any conditions at the best angles, and you will also be able to study light behavior. 


Are there any prerequisites?

  • You should already had some experiences shooting with a point-and-shoot camera, or use its Auto Mode or P Mode to sign up for this class.

  • You will find the class a good fit for you if you are already shooting in semi-auto modes (aperture priority or shutter speed priority mode). However, it's ok if you are not. You should have at least heard of terms like Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO and White Balance to sign up for this class.

  • If you have never used a camera (a point-and-shoot or DSLR camera), please sign up for the Beginner 101 Mini-Workshop, which is designed to prepared someone who is completely new to photography for the Fundamental Photography Class.

  • Price of Beginner 101 Mini-Workshop alone is $75. $30 is waived if you sign up with the Fundamental Workshop at the same time, which is $320 altogether. Please apply the discount code "BUNDLED" when you check out.

How does the mentor help me put all the theories into practice during the field trip?

Many people are not confident to shoot in a DSLR, especially when it comes to the camera's manual mode.


A DSLR looks way more complicated than a point-and-shoot camera.


However, there are only 5 settings that you need to know in any DSLR cameras to start taking great photos that you love. Regardless you are using a Canon, Nikon, Sony camera or whatever brand, you will be able to take correctly exposed photos and fix the settings in the camera if the photos look too dark/bright or yellowish.

Your mentor, Christina, will show you how to master a DSLR camera smoothly by dialing these 5 settings only. You will be provided with our Canon equipment (DSLR cameras and 2 lenses), and of course you are welcome to bring your own!

Christina's classes are interactive and involves great deal of classwork and experiment even before the field trip. During the field trip, she would give you constructive and honest feedback. As a wedding photographer, she was trained to take great photos under any kind of situations, and she would be able to show you how to frame your photos from the eyes of a professional photographer. For example, in a sunny day when there is sheer contrast of the light and dark, forming beautiful shadows of grid lines, then she would tell you how to use your wide angle lens to exaggerate the geometrical lines and lead your audience's perspective to something farther away. However, if it is a cloudy day that there wouldn't be any shadow and contrast, she would tell you to frame your photo in a different perspective--photograph the moving crowds on the busy Embarcadero streets using slow shutter speed and they would just look like ghosts. If the field trip takes place just after rain then she would probably point to the reflection of the city on the puddle and ask you to create an image that tells a story. If there are bikers around she would show you how to "pan" your camera in time along moving subjects and end up getting a sharp subject with a motion-blurred background. 


No teachings in one field trip is exactly the same like the other because we would come across different scenes, lighting, people and stories each time. And that's the beauty of this class--take AWESOME PHOTOS under any kind of conditions and not to be constrained by the environment. After the field trip, if your photos are over or under exposed, or appeared too yellow, or shaky, you will be able to tell exactly what setting is wrong and instantly change the it. This is what Christina wants every attendees to learn. Only a human teacher, an experienced professional photographer like her could help you take stunning photos out of seemingly ordinary locations. Online classes wouldn't be able to help you apply the knowledge instantly on the location.

Where is the class?

Theory: 535 Mission Street, 14th Floor, San Francisco CA 94105

Field Trip: Embarcadero Coastline

What is the itinerary?  

10am-1:00pm @ Classroom 
1:00pm-1:30pm Lunch break

1:30-4:30pm Field trip @ The Embarcadero Coastline (Pier 14 and Ferry Building)

What would I learn?
  1. The only 5 buttons you need to know in a camera, no matter which brand.

  2. The color that matters--the White Balance.

  3. Shade, Daylight, Cloudy, White Balance...they are so hard to remember. Such a pain in the butt to remember the names of the white balance and they don't make any sense. With me, you don't have to remember the names because I would tell you one single way to determine the correct white balance in different occasions. 

  4. Practical knowledge: How to shoot good photos across different occasions? Say in an Italian/ Chinese restaurant?

  5. What do the "numbers" in photography mean: F 3.5-5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 200? Learn the exposure triangles: ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed

  6. Shooting in M Mode

  7. Practical knowledge: is it always good to shoot in the widest aperture in portrait photography?

  8. Practical knowledge: what settings you use in group photos? Single-subject portraits? And couples?

  9. 5 Tips in photo composition and lighting that answer these questions:

    1. How do wedding photographers assess the location and compose​ a breath-taking shot within seconds where there is nothing great around?

    2. What is the best light you use for taking portraits? Group photos?

    3. How do you deal with sunlight?

    4. How to use wide angle lenses? Is it right to put everything you see into the frame?

What is the equipment provided for me during class? 

  1. Canon T5 camera body

  2. Canon 18-55 F3.5-5.6 lens 

  3. Canon 75-300 F4-5.6 lens 

  4. GND filter 

  5. Camera bag for carrying the equipment around

  6. A 8GB SD Card (students can keep it after class)

Where does the field trip take place?
  • The Embarcadero Coastline: Pier 14 and Ferry Building (and on the way to the Embarcadero Coastline, you also get to learn how to shoot creatively in an ordinary location)

Critiques wand feedback will be given immediately by the instructor on site. All the equipment will be collected from learners after the exercise.

How much is the tuition fee?

$275 (including travel fees to field trip locations)

Save $30 when you sign up the Beginner 101 Mini Workshop ($75) together, use discount code BUNDLED when you checkout.

How many attendees in a class? Will I get enough attention?

To ensure each learner receives sufficient attention from the instructor, the class is limited to 5 learners only. The class is personalized upon individual interest and goals. 

What is not included?


Who is the instructor?

Christina Szeto was a first-class honor accounting graduate and worked in the tech industry before she became a full time photographer. She was raised in HongKong and Canada. As a wedding and lifestyle photographer, she is passionately in love with taking precious moments in people's life. She has also taught the course "Understanding Life Through Photography" in one of the top colleges in Hong Kong--the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She aroused students' interest in photography through interactive activities and trained them to see ordinary scenes with new perspectives. 95% of her students have continued to pursue advanced education in photography or have significantly improved their skills that would be useful in their daily lives, or even careers.

She recently moved to the States, bringing in her unique experience, passion and teaching skills that would help people take photos from a better angle.

Her work can be viewed here.

Christina Szeto Photography

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