What are private photography classes?

Private photography classes customized to your unique needs and interests! These one-to-one lessons are designed specifically with your unique situation and needs in mind.  By the end of this private photography class session you will have created a portfolio of astounding images and will be prepared to confidently shoot on your own, rendering the correct exposure, perspective, composition, lighting conditions, bokeh and color balance to your images every time you go on a shoot.  Additionally, you will have a digital scrapbook that you can reference afterwards.  Whether you are a small business in the Charlotte NC / Greenville SC area trying to save money by producing high-quality photos of your products in-house or a camera enthusiast who wants to create phenomenal images to proudly display on your walls, Forrest’s one-to-one private photo classes / coaching sessions will help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible.  Save money, flatten your learning curve, and take control of your camera while enjoying your customized, needs-based photography classes / lessons!

Workshops include:
Boudoir / Glamour
Night photography
Children / Babies
Developing your creative style
Starting and building your photography business!
…and many more

For questions or to book a reservation for the Customized Mentoring please contact me via email or call (864) 336-3554

If your hectic schedule keeps you from pursuing your passion then enroll in an enjoyable one-on-one / small group photo class session.  These affordable timesavers will provide you with immediate results as well as techniques you can’t find in a book.  Best of all, you can learn photography during the hours which work best for you!  If you need a customized photography workshop tailored to your unique concern, don’t hesitate to get more information from Forrest Briggs Photography and acquire the skills and results you want immediately (click here).


“I’ve taken Forrest’s Intro, Intermediate, and One-on-One Mentoring classes. Every class has been well worth it and no matter which one of the courses you take the knowledge gained far exceeds what one would pay for them. He is not only a great teacher but a good person to know. You’ll quickly realize his passion for this art as you gain better knowledge and ability to take a great photo intentionally rather than accidentally. His passion comes through his teaching and you will learn more from his one class than you ever could by looking at the manual and youtube videos. If your interested in photography, seeing Forrest is a must!”… Leonoard L. Greenville, SC

“Forrest was very knowledgeable & very professional. I received excellent wisdom & advice. Experienced, focused & intelligent! This is the type of help I was hoping to get! Thanks Forrest!”… Andrew K, Los Angeles CA.

“Forrest gave in depth detail about shutter speeds and aerial photography. This helped me prepare for a shoot coming up next week.”… C. Stoltz

Questions Regarding One-to-One Photography Lessons

Who needs one-to-one photography lessons?

Well, you do.  And I do.  And pretty much any photographer who wants to improve their photography game does.

To pre-empt your impending question with another question –  What do athletes like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Michael Phelps and others have in common… they have all had coaches throughout their careers.  The coaches / mentors are providing perpetual tuneups – maintaining the athletes’ strengths while improving their weak areas.

“But I took a class once already”, “But I’m already a professional / I just do this part time”, “Photography is merely just a hobby of mine”, “I have a really nice camera”, so why do I need to attend photography workshops, photography seminars and hire someone for one to one photography lessons?

Well let’s run thru these concerns one at a time:

I took a class once already

Well, how did it go?  Did you learn everything that you needed to know about photography?  Was it the best use of your time?

In a one-to-one photography mentoring session the absorption rate is much quicker than during a classroom setting.  Why?  Because you have the photography coach’s 100% attention; there are few (if any) distractions for either you or the photography teacher; and their is more time allocated to real-world shooting situations, as opposed to abstract theory (I like theory…well, in theory).  As the expression goes “I hear, I forget.  I see, I remember.  I do, I understand”.   At least half (if not the overwhelming majority) of your one-to-one session with a professional photographer should be hands-on.  You should leave a good individual photography lesson with just the slightest bit of information overload, which should leave you asking a few questions.  You should also leave the session eager enough to practice everything you learned on your own, ideally within hours of the lesson (like it or not, recall drops drastically as time progresses).

A one-to-one photography lesson addresses items that can’t be catered to in a group forum.   Individualized lessons are surgically precise and the photography mentor will plan for your unique situation in advance, covering items that are germane only to you.  In an individual setting, no one has to worry about sounding like (or sitting next) to either the attention-seeking brainiac (the class participant who “knows everything”, but still asks a hundred questions), or the person who is lost no matter how basic the concept (“Wait, wait, wait, how do I turn my camera on?”).  After teaching for 10 years, in a variety of forums including an MBA program in Vietnam and undergraduate marketing courses at Georgia State University, I have yet to meet a teacher who does better than ‘target the middle 80%’ of the students”… tragically either the brains, the slower paced learners, or both are inevitably underserved to some degree.

A one to one lesson is a great way to jumpstart your photography business.

As the saying goes “A wise man never knows all, only fools know everything”.

I have enrolled in several one to one photography lessons to keep ahead of the competition.  Long gone are the days where “nice composition” is a viable business model.  These days, composition is just the tip of the iceberg.  A good photographer is a perennial student of the all subjects related to his / her profession, including lighting, post processing, marketing, people skills, posing, wardrobe, thinking on the fly (I detest using a screwdriver as a hammer (or in the photography world, a piece of cardboard as a light source), but its a darn good thing to know when one is in a jam), dealing with clients, the latest technology, web-practices, the legal environment, running a profitable business, improving one’s creative eye, etc.  As a professional, I make sure to allocate a % of revenue each year to education.  This is a non-negotiable.  Why?  Because my competition is also hungry to have the best game in town.  Hiring a photography coach minimizes the countless hours I’d otherwise spend trying to make sense of each of the above.

Additionally, the ROI from a good instructor will eliminate you the countless hours of frustration associated with trial and error and ‘going at it alone’, a photography teacher will enhance your approach to photography and photography thinking as well as save you lots of $$$.   How?  Well, in addition to acting as your guide when considering purchasing photography equipment (s/he will recommend the gear that works best for YOUR unique situation and steer you from the thousands of enticing gimmicky trinkets that are out there).  Moreover, a good photography coach will answer questions you may have even long after your one to one photography learning session.  Finally, a good coach will cater the individual lesson to your specific needs and concerns.  No need to sit for hours in a ‘one size fits all’ lecture where you are learning only a fraction of the material either because you the material is way over your head (and thus you are lost and dont want to hinder the flow of the class because you don’t know how to turn your camera on) or because the material is too elementary for you and you are wishing that you were playing golf instead of dozing off to stuff that you have known for years.

But photography is just a hobby… I don’t want to get ‘that serious’ about it.  Why do I need one-to-one photography mentoring?

Sure, I agree 100%.  For most people, we should keep our hobbies separate from our business, otherwise our leisure activities become business… along with all the headaches of running a business.  Having said that, we all have taken that “once in a lifetime Ansel Adams photo”, only to upload it and realize that what we experienced in person has little bearing as to what our camera produced.  Colors are under-saturated and not as vivid as the real thing; the lighting is off and the camera couldn’t capture the dynamic range of tones that our eyes saw; colors are shifted towards blue or have a nuclear-like amber color cast; the photo lacks sharpness and / or just doesn’t ‘pop’; those darn powerlines are in the way… yet again; the photo is ‘sort of as I saw it but nothing like I experienced it’.  We want our images to be as good as, if not even better than the real thing, otherwise, we’d rely solely our iPhones.

Purchasers of new cameras realize all too quickly that the camera rarely does justice to the image that our eyes saw.  Why?  Well, when we are in a compelling location, our brains are absorbing everything – the lighting, the sounds, the smells, our experiences leading up to this moment, etc.  Our cameras can capture only a fraction of the overall experience.  Moreover, all cameras have technological limitations.  Optics, physics and gadgetry constrain what our cameras are capable of reproducing.  For example, a photo of a grandiose visit can capture only a certain amount of scenery within the frame.  Our eyes on the other hand dynamically move to absorb everything in front of us, adjusting to the differing degrees of brightness, focal points, etc.  Thus its extremely useful to learn the constraints of our camera and how to leverage them to recreate as close as possible what we experienced.

One of the best skills that a photography enthusiast can learn is how to anticipate an event.  Knowing how a scene or event will unfold.  Weddings, babies, families, pets, nature, people, etc. each has its own unique rhythm and degree of predictability.  Understanding how to foresee this is invaluable.

There is a process to capturing an image.  For most professionals, it is more or less automatic, just like tying one’s shoe is for most adults.  But it hasn’t always been.  Remember the challenges of the first several times you tried to tie your shoe.  The task had to be divided into a sequence of smaller actions, some happening simultaneously, some necessarily proceeding others.  Well, creating amazing photographs is a LOT more complicated than tying one’s shoe.

If we break down the science of portraiture, we need to account for lighting (the power, direction, distance, placement, diffusion, color, etc), pose (direction, placement of hands, angle of shoulders, body position, head tilt, etc), expression (candid-looking and not forced, spontaneously evoking the correct expression from eye position, to smile to facial muscles, etc), location (does the background compliment, compete with, or detract from the subject?  Is it the right background and location for the feel that’s trying to be expressed? To what extent is the background in focus?  What is the story that is subtly told via the periphery?  etc), and we haven’t even touched on the camera’s contribution (settings, lens choice, full frame vs cropped sensor, angle, perspective, etc).  The point is, the more we understand every variable that contributes to a stunning photograph, the more stunning photographs we will create!  What better way, easier, quicker way to decipher the above than with the help of an individualized photography class.

I (or my friend) have an expensive camera, therefore I don’t need one-to-one photography classes or photography coaching.

That’s exactly right!  And I also have a set of Ping golf clubs… and I’m still waiting to be invited to Augusta, GA to play in the Masters.

Fancy gear is great, but rarely (if ever) is that a factor for performance.  Know-how wins 99% of the time over equipment.  Period.  The camera companies prey on two groups – newbies and professionals.  Newbies, because their marketing research shows that new entrants are the most willing to invest in every piece of equipment available in hopes of improving their photography.  Again, if I slice the ball with my set of Kmart clubs, how are Pings going to help my game?  Also, once one starts buying Nikon (Canon, Sony, Fuji, etc), chances are they will continue to buy Nikon (Canon, Sony, Fuji, etc).  There is BIG money in lifelong customer value for the camera manufacturers.  With respect to the Professionals – well, once a photographer reaches a certain level, after years and years of shooting, the only way to create a more compelling image is to invest in a $2500 lens that might make an image 3% better (NOT 97% better).  A horrible ROI from a financial standpoint.  An interesting sidenote – many beginners that I know own nicer gear that I do.  Finally, several renowned professionals (most notably David Hobby… www.strobist.com) shoot with little more than a mid-grade professional camera and one or two lights.

 Hands-on Photography Lessons | Charlotte NC and Greenville SC

So let’s tie this all together.  If you live near Charlotte NC or Greenville SC and are serious about improving your photography immediately, I’d encourage you to take the next step to start creating stunning images.  Photography lessons will enable you to grow your business, regardless of the economic climate; allow you to brand and differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack; empower you to attract higher paying clients; give you the tools to create eye-catching images that others will envy (and thus hire you to create for them).  Some of the different areas that hands-on photography lessons will address:

In-depth critique of your current portfolio, providing a road map for the best ways to improve your unique situation.

The ten most important functions in your camera and how to create amazing images using just a few of them.

Hands-on timesaving tips: how to conduct a 60 minute photo shoot in just fifteen minutes.  Stop wasting your and your clients’ valuable time.

The eight critical elements of composition.

Business advice – how to avoid becoming a dinosaur in this ever-changing industry.  Learn how to effectively market your business, how to effectively do your own SEO to rank high in Google and convert those high rankings to inbound phone calls.  Forrest has an MBA in International Marketing from University of Hawaii, and 3 years of Marketing PhD work at Georgia State University (I understand photography marketing better than most do ;).  I will share with you how I landed big name clients such as Emory Healthcare, Westinghouse, Waste Management and others.

Hands-on portrait photography lessons – Whether dealing with weddings, teens, babies, boudoir or businessmen; hands-on portrait photography lessons will ensure you provide an amazing experience for your client while delivering superior images.  They will love your images so much that you will have them as a repeat client again and again.

Hands-on Photoshop and Lightroom lessons – The more you know, the more compelling your images will be.  After a photography session, I spend less than ten minutes editing an image as I know what settings to use, which ones are unnecessary and how to remedy even the worst of photos. Learn the secrets of my workflow to save time and make your photos pop.  Retouch your photos the way the pros do!

Hands-on studio photography lessons – Whether its product photography, business headshots, working with models or seniors, a good studio experience will allow you to command top dollar for your images.

Hands-on lighting lessons – Photography literally means “recording light”.  You will become a master at lighting with hands-on photography lesson.

In short, you will find your passion more enjoyable and start commanding top dollar to make images like these.

Call (864) 336-3554 now or contact me here for more information!