Digital Photography Made Simple

Learn to photograph the things you love the most!

Creative Eye Workshops™ offers fun and rewarding photography classes, and private photography lessons in the Chicago area for those who wish to improve their photographic skills.

Our philosophy is to teach you the fundamentals of photography so you can think for yourself. We build your confidence and knowledge so that you can take control of your camera. With no more fuss and worry, you’ll experience greater enjoyment along with a newfound freedom to photograph the things you love most! Ultimately, we give you the tools and guidance to help you discover and express your creative eye.

Grandmother photographing cute baby girl at a park

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It!

  • Mike has identified many of the photographic elements and techniques which have contributed to his own personal success, and has integrated these into the Creative Eye Workshops. This professional insight coupled which his unbridled enthusiasm and passion make these workshops both a rewarding and exhilarating experience.

    Charlie from Darien
  • I have read half dozen books on photography, and none were able to explain the fundamentals of proper exposure like you were. Now I have a much clearer understanding of correct exposure and how to achieve it.

    Chris from Lisle, IL
  • I thoroughly enjoyed your class and look forward to further learning. Your energy and depth of knowledge are inspiring! Thanks for a great experience.

    Nancy from Glen Ellyn
  • With his wonderful sense of humor and comfortable way about him, Mike lightens the classes up whenever needed and makes sure that everyone ‘gets it.’ Mike cares about his students and his concern and follow through with each person is truly impressive.

    Sarah from Naperville

Classes For All Photographers & Subject Matter

Classes For All Skill Levels

We offer a wide range of photography classes, targeted for different levels of photographers. No matter what subject matter you like to photograph, both beginners and advanced photographers can be benefit by improving their technical and artistic aptitude. We provide digital camera classes, courses in photo composition and exposure, Photoshop Elements courses, and landscape and nature photography workshops. We even offer private photography lessons and help you save money with workshop package coupons.

We Focus on Fundamentals

Our photography classes focus on the fundamentals so that you can take your knowledge and apply it to any type of subject matter you’d like, whether that means photographing your children, becoming a great nature photographer, or starting a business in portrait photography. You’ll learn the technical and creative aspects of photography, including many advanced photographic techniques.

If you’re a more advanced photographer, we have instruction in exposure, Adobe Photoshop and landscape and nature photography.

Gain Confidence and Knowledge

Our goal for the beginner photographer is to help the student feel confident and unafraid of her digital camera. We say “her” because the majority of our students are women. If you’re a beginner, start with a course in photographic composition or a digital camera class to learn how to use your DSLR camera, free from the restrictions of the “AUTO” and “point-and-shoot” modes. Learn more about which classes to take first.

Once you’ve completed our basic photography curriculum, you’ll have the confidence and knowledge to apply these fundamentals to whatever subject matter you wish to photograph. If you decide to pursue portrait photography or studio photography, you’ll already have the skills understanding to pick it up more easily. If you take up nature photography or landscape photography, you’ll be ready for that, too, plus we offer several classes and outings designed to make you a much better nature photographer.

Thoughtful and Convenient

Photography is visual and so is learning. That’s why we offer hands-on classes and visual presentations that include insightful graphics and computer animations to show you how things work. Shutter and aperture, flash sync, depth-of-field and field of view, polarizer and split grad filters, the exposure triad of shutter speed/f-stop/ISO, crop factor and focal length, everything is taught in a visual way so you learn with less effort.

With each class, we provide you with a set of comprehensive notes that comprise a virtual repeat of the class. This way, you can re-read the information between sessions or refresh your memory well after taking the course. And, during the class, you’ll often receive supplemental emails containing valuable information to help clarify or summarize the material presented during the previous session(s).

Photography Classes Designed for Busy People

We have thoughtfully planned our curriculum to accommodate busy people, with courses that are targeted and efficient. For example, instead of offering one long course that requires an extended commitment, we break down our curriculum into several short classes to better fit your busy life. Learn which classes are right for you.

Photography Classes Conveniently Located in the Chicago Area

We hold our photography courses in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, one minute from I-355 Tollway (northeast of Naperville), with many class dates to help with your busy schedule. Photographers of all levels travel far and wide to take our classes: From nearby Naperville & Bolingbrook, Aurora & Bolingbrook, Joliet & Plainfield, Oak Brook & Hinsdale, Wheaton and Glen Ellyn, Lisle & Woodridge, Elmhurst & Lombard, and Brookfield & La Grange to as far away as Chicago, Orland Park, Schaumburg, even Barrington, Evanston, Woodstock, Manhattan, and Valparaiso, Indiana. See locations served for driving directions.

Accomplished Photographer and Knowledgeable Instructor

Mike MacDonald-130831-0002-cropped   RI=PERCEPTUAL

Your instructor, coach, and the creator of Creative Eye Workshops™ is Mike MacDonald. Watch this TV interview about Mike’s passion for photography:

Self-taught, Mike started out taking pictures like everyone else. But, eighteen months later, Mike became a nationally published photographer with an article called “Frozen Images” in Outdoor Photographer Magazine. In 2015, Mike photographed, authored, and published his nationally acclaimed coffee table book entitled My Journey into the Wilds of Chicago: A Celebration of Chicagoland’s Startling Natural Wonders. Publishers Weekly wrote, “It is celebratory, soulful, and poetic.” Read full review here.

Mike has a deep and insightful grasp of the technical and creative aspects of photography, but, most importantly, he knows how to teach. The information he presents and the way he presents inspires students to take it to the next level. Enthusiasm and passion are at the heart of Mike’s teaching, and the passion is contagious.

With degrees in mathematics and physics, and careers in scientific computer programming and professional comedy, Mike possesses rare and symbiotic credentials that make him stand out as a photographer and a teacher. For instance, Mike draws upon his unique background to simply explain complicated information, including the creation of custom graphics and animations to help students visualize, imagine, and absorb even the most complex material.