There are many avenues for photographers and videographers to explore for developing and enhancing skills.  You can choose from web tutorials through a dedicated service, surfing the endless seas of YouTube or paying for classes with known and unknown educators.  I offer a personalized alternative.

When you decide that you wish to develop in general or in a specific area, a Mentor program may be the right route for you.  The Curriculum is built for your specific needs and every program is created via a no cost interview.  Mentor programs have durations of four or eight sessions, with the spacing and timing set to mutual convenience.  You never "miss" a session because we schedule them together.  My preference is always face to face with camera and or computer in hand, but for those not local to York Region, I also deliver mentor programs via the Internet.  All mentor programs are interactive, hands-on and have sessional assignments built to help you achieve your specific goals.  Up to two people may participate together in a single mentor program.  This is very popular in scenarios such as the Lighting and Flash programs.

For larger groups, Training Programs and Workshops are available.  These are always live, and combine lecture, tutorial demonstration and hands-on as the topic requires.  I have done live workshops with as many as 30 attendees and have consistently received excellent reviews.

The Digital Darkroom and Digital Editing Suite are incredible assets to all of us and my programs can and have covered these areas including Lightroom, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro amongst other toolsets.

Fees vary based on duration, level of difficulty, location requirements and number of attendees.  Please contact me at ross@thephotovideoguy.ca for more information.

A bit of background on me.  I have been a photographer with intent for over 40 years with experience in studio and the field on a variety of imaging platforms.  I taught in the Continuing Education Program at Seneca College for over ten years and have been a public speaker to crowds as large as 4,000.  I have studied photography and videography for years and while I do not consider myself a film-maker, I can help you build your own skills in videography.  

Example Mentor Programs

Mentor programs exist primarily in two structures, four session and eight session.  Each session lasts between 60 and 75 minutes.  Sessions are typically face to face but where time and distance become issues, can be done over the Internet using reliable Internet technologies.  The Mentee must have a webcam, an internet connection and a Google Plus account for Internet programs.  A session typically starts with a review of the prior session's homework, followed by a training discussion that usually includes some form of demonstration and application.  A homework assignment for the next session is then provided.  Mentor Programs are available in the following areas, but each program is individually tailored to the requirements of the participant.  Pricing for a four session program starts at $300.  Pricing for an eight session program starts at $450.

Headshot and Portrait Photography

This program includes techniques, equipment guidance, lighting, processing and retouching oriented to single and small group photography.  The participant must own a digital camera with interchangeable lenses.

Maximizing Small Flash

This program goes into the strengths and weaknesses of small flash.  The participant learns where and when to choose between TTL and Manual exposure, making on camera flash look better, getting the flash off camera and the use of a variety of small flash modifiers.  The shooting work is accomplished in the studio with the participant using his or her own camera.  A light and shadow studies model is used as a subject.  The participant must own a digital camera with interchangeable lenses and at least one speed light.

Using Studio Grade Strobes

This program leverages both portable and AC dependent studio strobe systems.  The participant learns about manual flash exposure, using groups of lights and light positioning.  The participant learns the strengths of and shoots with a variety of light shaping tools.  The participant learns the benefit of, and how to use a flash meter and learns to mix ambient and studio flash when in the field.  The participant uses his or her own camera.  A light and shadow studies model is used as a subject, but the participant may involve a live model at his or her choice and resourcing.  The participant must own a digital camera with interchangeable lenses.

How to Pose Individuals and Groups

This 4 session program takes the participant through the process of learning to see the subjects and how to pose them to ensure subject joy with the outcome.  Discussions involve use of light and shadow, enhancing and diminishing features through position, selecting the best position by body type and how to draw strength from the subject.  The participant learns to communicate effectively with the subjects and to direct them in a clear and efficient manner.  The participant also learns how to shoot standing, sitting and reclining subjects as well as what to do with hands and feet.

Lightroom File Management

The participant learns the logic and architecture behind Adobe Lightroom including how to leverage Lightroom's comprehensive digital asset management capability.  Skills are developed to help photographers transition from a manual image storage model to one that is managed by Lightroom.  Keywording, image selection and culling are all covered as part of the program.  The participant must have a current Lightroom perpetual license or subscription.

Lightroom Editing

The participant learns to use Lightroom's comprehensive image editing tools with attention paid to both global and local adjustment capabilities.  A comprehensive workflow is shared with the participant, for adoption or modification to individual needs.  The program includes basic retouching techniques.  In the long program, time is invested in learning the filters section as well as the application of presets and plugins.  The participant must have a current Lightroom perpetual license or subscription.

Retouching In Depth with Photoshop

This program takes the participant through multiple methods for retouching from the Five Minute Retouch to more detailed practices.  The participant works on his or her own images, seeing the effects on real people in the real world.  Techniques include frequency separation, healing, dodge and burn, eye enhancement, teeth enhancement and simple contouring.  Emphasis is always maintained on keeping it real so the retouched subject never looks plastic or fake.  The participant must have a current Photoshop subscription.

Closeup and Macro Photography

This program takes the participant through the theory and practical application of closeup and macro photography.  Static subjects are used for the shooting exercises, but the participant may provide his or her own content if they wish.  Lenses and lens accessories are reviewed.  Lighting techniques including reflectors, ring lighting, and continuous lighting are covered.  The use of small off camera flash is also included as may be necessary when shooting in the field.  Equipment beneficial to a macro working kit is also reviewed.