Mike’s Photo Class Suggestions and Money-Saving Packages

This page is very useful. After reading it, if you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can discuss your needs.

You’re reading this page because you want my expert opinion about which photography classes to take. (Under certain conditions, I’m also available for private lessons.) As your mentor and an internationally published professional photographer, I know what it takes to become proficient with a digital camera and, more importantly, what’s required to make great images.

Our Workshop Package, called The Core, works like a gift card, except we also give you a big discount because you are purchasing the classes in advance. Use it to take your classes according to your schedule. If you can’t make a class that’s currently scheduled, you can always use your Workshop Package (gift card) for a future class. No problem. You have two years to take the classes. Click here to learn the details.

After taking our four core classes, you’ll possess the skill and confidence to think on your feet. You’ll have a solid foundation to build upon, no matter what what type of subject matter or photography you decide to pursue. The combination of Get to Know Your Camera, Digital Photo Basics, and Complete Exposure will turn mystery into mastery and allow you to make technically excellent photographs, all without using any of the auto or point-and-shoot modes. Of course, a technically proficient image is only half the battle. You’ll also learn how to powerfully compose photographs in our powerful Make Great Pictures, Now! composition course.

Sarah from Naperville, Illinois sums it up perfectly, “For anyone contemplating what combination of classes to take with Mike, consider the Workshop Package #5. For someone like me, who previously used my digital camera on all automatic settings and was fearful of the “unknowns” my camera had to offer (always afraid I might touch some mysterious button by mistake), I find myself now in this wonderful place…feeling totally at ease with my camera and having the time of my life exploring and finding my own personal style.”

Read More Student Testimonials




*ORDER presented is only a guide. Just follow the Class Prerequisites.



Get to Know Your Camera
(Prerequisites: None)
Make Great Pictures, Now!   OR  Digital Photo Basics
(Prerequisites: Get to Know Your Camera)
Digital Photo Basics   OR  Make Great Pictures, Now!
(Prerequisites: Get to Know Your Camera)
Complete Exposure
(Prerequisites: Get to Know Your Camera & Digital Photo Basics)
Hands-on Learning Adventures
(Prerequisites: Get to Know Your Camera or Make Great Pictures Now!)

My classes are powerful, concise, and teach you what you really need to know at that moment. I assume that you’re smart, and I don’t waste your time. I offer a convenient recurring schedule of courses to give you choices to help fit your busy schedule.

In just 10 sessions (over 4 classes), you’ll learn more than a year’s worth of college continuing education classes. Most adults are too busy to take one long 10-week class. So I break it up, only for convenience, not so that you can “shop around” for what’s best for you. That’s because you don’t know enough to make that decision. You see, when choosing classes, people will decide based upon two domains of knowledge: “What you know” and “What you know you don’t know.” However, these domains are not sufficient because there’s another domain that transcends all the others: “What you don’t know you don’t know.” Essentially, if you don’t know what you need, how can you pick what you need? If you truly want to learn photography, let me make your life really easy for you. Purchase the “The Core” Workshop Package. Period. If The Karate Kid was left to his own decisions, he wouldn’t have done most of Mr. Miyagi’s lessons He wouldn’t have painted Mr. Miyagi’s fence. And wouldn’t have become The Karate Kid. Lucky for him, Mr. Miyagi knew better.

“I want you to know that it was quite a learning experience for me in your Photography classes. Like many people, I have been doing travel photography and have taken good pictures. I came to you to learn to take Great Pictures. I learned what makes good picture Great. As they say “The more you know, you find out how little you know.” Overall it was a great experience. I loved your personal email guidance to the questions as they came up.”—Umesh Sharma M.D. of Burr Ridge, Illinois

Other than the savings, there’s a big benefit to the “The Core” Workshop Package. Being in a string of classes over an extended time will build your confidence. You’ll feel a little safer knowing that you’re under my wing and that I’ll be there for you. The immersion will also help weave photography into the fabric of your everyday life. You’ll learn more quickly and more deeply. And you’ll naturally practice more often than if you just took one class or took them à la carte.

Our core 4-class curriculum is the closest thing to quick fix. If you don’t take all of the classes, I will NOT think less of you. But when you do, it shows commitment and passion. And that’s exciting. Passionate people are fun to teach. Rules and homework aren’t burdens. And students who share the same passion can lead to lasting friendships and shooting buddies!

If you truly want to take control of your camera, at a minimum, you’ll need Get to Know Your Camera, Digital Photo Basics, and Complete Exposure.

“Just wanted to take a moment and drop you a line to say ‘Thanks.’ I found your Exposure teaching techniques very useful; You helped me see things in a different light. (Pun intended.) I have read a half dozen books on photography, and none were able to explain the fundamentals of proper exposure like you were. I am happy to say that I’m no longer afraid to use the manual settings on my camera.”—Chris from Lisle, Illinois

The camera is merely the tool of the photographer. However, photography is not about the tool itself, it’s about using the tool to communicate a message, tell a story, or to convey an emotion. This is where the Make Great Pictures, Now! class comes in. It’s a fun and creative class that teaches you how to make great pictures by using a handful of simple rules—the same rules that I use every single day.

Then there’s the essential Digital Photo Basics class, which is just as important as Get to Know Your Camera. Digital Photo Basics addresses many burning topics that every photography needs to know, including an introduction to flash photography, lots of information about lenses, using filters, memory cards, more details on depth of field, the importance of tripods, techniques for making sharp pictures, and much more.

After these classes, you’re taking technically better and well-composed pictures. But, have you ever noticed that your pictures look kind of flat, like duds? Well, if you haven’t, trust me, they are. They ALL are. That’s normal. A digitally-captured image starts out as a dud, and it’s up to you to restore the truth and excitement of your experience, just like images published in calendars, magazines, and books. Do you think those images are “straight from the camera”? No way!

However, you can turn your duds into dramatically better images in just minutes! How? Adobe Photoshop. And I’m available for private lessons to help you master the software and to make your pictures sing! I teach you how to drastically improve your pictures in a very short period of time. Most people are stunned to see how much better their pictures can be. Hey, that rhymed! You also learn the most important piece of information of all: how to use all of the data captured by your camera’s sensor. If you don’t understand what this means, that’s natural because you haven’t learned about exposure and raw files, yet. But when you do, it’ll blow you away and change your photography forever.

And finally, there’s getting hands-on experience in the field under my tutelage with any of my Learning Adventures with Feedback Sessions. Put what you’ve learned into action, enjoy the camaraderie of others, and get important feedback in a follow-up session where you share the pictures you made on the trip.

Conveniently Located

Creative Eye Workshops offers a variety of photography classes in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Illinois (near Naperville, IL). Our address is 6200 Belmont Road, Downers Grove, Illinois 60516. Because we are located off the 63rd Street/Hobson Road exit of I-355 and close to main thoroughfares like Warrenville Road, Ogden Avenue, Belmont Road/Finley Road, 75th Street, Butterfield Road, and Route 53, we are quickly and immediately accessible from nearby towns like Bolingbrook, Lisle, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Oak Brook, Westmont, Woodridge, Plainfield, and Aurora. But, because of our accessibility, students come from all around to take our weekday evening photo courses, including those from Oak Park, La Grange, Orland Park, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, and the city of Chicago. Students have driven from as far as away as Indiana, McHenry County, and Evanston because they know that we offer something better and different.