Best/Cheapest Photography training in Southern California
July 25, 2008 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Best value for the money Photography training in Southern California?

My wife is a photographer who has done a dozen weddings, some babys, family, engagement, and party shoots. She is looking to learn more about photography, from f stops and aperature settings, to spot light/stobe placement, to photoshop skills and how to get more clientele. The works, start to finish. The NY school of photography kit she bought is boring, tape lectures and reading. She is looking for hands on training. One photographer in Houston charges $1500 for a one day tranining session, and something like this also looks interesting: I would image the LA area has plenty of other "hands on training" sessions that are either more robust, or less expensive. Please give me the names of programs/instructors you have personally used, or resources to find such a program, thanks!
posted by samuel1613 to Education (5 answers total)
If you can swing it--it should be more affordable than the Houston guy, but I haven't checked prices lately--it sounds like a week/end workshop at Santa Fe Workshops might be what you want. Also through Santa Fe, there are photographers who do workshops in SoCal, but I think it is mostly nature/landscape in nature.

You want best value for the money but it lso seems you want quickest. Because I would recommend a couple of semester long courses at your local community college. These often have the best photographic facilities and teachers, since Big College Art Programs tend to not know what to do with photography (except Arizona, New Mexico, and a select handful of others).
posted by beelzbubba at 1:14 PM on July 25, 2008

Sports Shooter Academy is one.
posted by girlmightlive at 1:49 PM on July 25, 2008

She could join a camera club like this one, but it wouldn't be a very intensive learning experience, more of an ongoing improvement course.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:23 PM on July 25, 2008

The photographers from The Image is Found run periodical workshops called "Shoot Shop. The cost is $950 for a SoCal resident.
posted by shesbookish at 2:47 PM on July 25, 2008

The best photography training in Southern California is at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. Unlike other college photography programs which teach photography as an art, Brooks specializes in commercially oriented photography. They have a very good portrait and wedding program. It is a very expensive program, and the administration has gotten some bad press lately, but the faculty and the facilities are outstanding. Brooks also does weekend workshops:

For education in photography at a lower price point, I'd really recommend Cypress College (it's a community college in Orange County). They offer diverse classes in photography, and have faculty that have plenty of industry experience. For a community college, they have a great variety of equipment that is very accessible to students. Your local community college probably has a similar program, but Cypress really has their act together and is serious about preparing students for careers in the business world of photography. They even offer a class called Careers in Photography, where they bring in professionals to talk to the class about their part in the industry. Very unique offering. Classes start in august, and you can't beat the price for classes at a California community college.

There is a Wedding/Portrait Photography industry trade show in Vegas every year, and they offer a lot of workshops that are included in the admission. The classes cover everything from camera technique, to lighting, photoshop and the business of photography. It would be a great opportunity for your wife to identify what she wants to learn more about and assess how her knowlege stacks up against her peers. The prices are very reasonable: WPPI

For learning at home, WPPI sends out a free monthy magazine which is an excellent publication considering it's free. There are lots of advertisments in there, but there are plenty of articles about photography, written for people in the wedding and portrait industry. Sign up for a subscription: Rangefinder

I once heard a very successful photographer describe the industry as a place where you can have two of the following three things, but never all three at the same time: Cheap, Done Well, Done Quickly. My experience is that photographic education is true to this as well.

Good luck! The work that you put into your photography education directly effects what you get out of it.
posted by mintymike at 3:38 PM on July 25, 2008

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