5 Tips for Teaching a Photography Class

Decide what you will teach

The first thing you will need to do is decide what you will teach.  I recommend teaching the basics of photography or how to shoot on manual instead of auto.  This is the firs thing that most moms with cameras will want to learn.  Are you stumped creating your lesson plan?  Not to worry.  The Basic Digital Photography Curriculumhas everything you need to help get you started.  It's pre-written for you.  All you have to do is add your studio name and include your photos if you'd like.  It's divided into three sections... the photographer's toolkit, exposure and camera settings. 


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Break the ice and get to know your students

A lot of your students may be eager to show off their new, fancy cameras (especially if your class begins after a holiday). A great way to break the ice and engage your students is to have them do show and tell. Have them show you their camera and have them tell you why they signed up for the class. Be interested in what each student has to say and then share your background. 


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Create an atmosphere of creativity

Is your class on a weekday evening? As you make plans to arrive on time, don’t forget about rush-hour traffic. Once you reach your destination, you’ll want to add some photography touches to the room. Bring your photos in an assortment of sizes. Vary the subjects, places and moods. If you feel especially tech savvy, put together a slideshow and project it onto a blank wall. On the sign in table, leave sample albums/sample images & business cards for students to take home. Collect your student’s names and e-mails so you can keep-in-touch. If you have handouts, make sure they are printed and bound before you get to class. Being prepared will help you feel less stressed as class gets rolling.

Insiders tip: don’t forget to smile and greet your students when they walk in.  

Get students in the seats  

Use a combination of online tools and traditional marketing vehicles to promote and manage your photography class.

  • Groupon and/or Living Social group deal sites are a great way to get your class seen by a lot of potential students. Pay attention to the price/split you get in return for using their audience and confirm the sales terms to know when the student needs to cash in the voucher.
  • Eventbrite.com: this website takes RSVPs online. Eventbrite counts the students as they sign up and limits sales when the class is full.    
  • Flyers: they may seem outdated, but printing flyers gets your event into people’s hands without worrying about spam folders and Google ads. Post flyers in the local library, at the supermarket, coffee shop and local camera shop. 
  • Partner with another business: remember the camera shop owner you met at that networking event last year? Call them up and cross promote. Offer his customers “x”% percent off a photography class with the purchase of a new camera.

Pick the perfect day to schedule a class

When should you have a photography class? Classes for kids should be available after school clubs on weekdays. Watch for holidays and school vacations. Working parents may jump at a nine-to-five photography camp during school vacation.

Adult classes may do best after work on a weeknight or a weekend. Give them enough time to leave work, sit in traffic and grab dinner, for example a Tuesday’s from seven-to-eight o’clock.


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