Has your older child expressed interest in photography? Then this
beginner class offered by Collette Storkel of Collette Photography
might be a good fit. It is easy to just snap a photo, but to create
a beautiful image you need an understanding of your camera, balance
and light. And in this comprehensive course, Ms. Storkel covers
all of this and much more.
The course is an all inclusive, beginner photography course. The
materials included are the course textbook, test book and answer
key, a grey card, exposure journal and a 2-in-1 reflector/diffuser.
This is a self-taught course that can be done at any pace. There
are 15 lessons in the course which begins with photography fundamentals,
then moves onto light, composition, portraiture, motion, landscape
The lessons are easy to read, and have many color photos and illustrations.
There is a written test for each lesson which is self-given but
is closed book. It is not required to send in the tests or results;
they are simply a way to see if the student has grasped the materials
in the lesson. It is recommended though, that the student not
progress to the next lesson unless they have scored 90% or higher.
At the end of each chapter there are photography assignments. These
are very appropriate to the lessons and truly expand what is being
taught. For example in the chapter on portraits, the assignments
include taking a photograph of someone in motion, another photo
taken in a studio setting and another with a 3:1 lighting ratio.
All of the assignments are explained in detail in the lesson and
do cause the student to practice what they are being taught in
the textbook. Beginning in lesson eight, it is required that some
of the completed photo assignments be mailed to Ms. Storkel. Students
will send in an 8x10 or 8x12 print of the assignment. This varies
from 2 to 6 images per lesson. Along with the photos, the student
is also required to write an accompanying essay that describes
the camera settings used and the style of the photo. This entire
course takes 30 weeks to complete if done at the suggested pace
of one lesson every two weeks. At the end of the course your student
will know how to choose the correct lens, freeze motion, take
photos in macro and black and white settings, and much more.
In my family I have an interest in photography so I was the one
who took the entire course. I learned so much! The book moved along
at a comfortable pace and I found the example photos and illustrations
very helpful. They were appropriate and not offensive, as some
photography books can be. The text was written in an engaging style
and the test booklet was beneficial in helping me understand the
The most important and helpful part of the course was the send-in
assignments. Ms. Storkel reviews the images that are sent in and
then critiques and send them back to the student with her comments.
This invaluable evaluation and the tips that she sent back were
most helpful for me as a photographer. She was encouraging in her
critique, yet saw the many places where the images could be improved
upon and gave helpful suggestions. Also as part of the course, the
student joins a private online forum, where Ms. Storkel gives advice
and holds occasional photo contests. This is a great resource where
students can interact and ask photography questions. I took the
full 30 weeks to finish the class. This was an excellent pace
and gave me enough time to do the photo assignments.
The cost of $495 for the entire course is reasonable, especially
when you think of the materials included, plus the one-on-one tutorial
type of interaction the course offers. There is the extra cost
of developing the images and the postage for the send in assignments.
It is also helpful for the student, while taking the course, to
have access to an SLR camera. There is no age limit for this course
but I would suggest this for the high school/college age students
who are interested in learning more about photography.
In taking this course, I really improved my photography skills
as I learned about the many features on my camera and how to shoot
in all the different modes. I really enjoyed learning about more
advanced photography, light and composition. I benefited from the
relationship with the teacher and the advice and helpful tips she
gave. I highly recommend this photography course for anyone who
wants to learn more about taking great pictures.