Become an expert smartphone (or camera) photographer

New York City is home to classes of many kinds, including those that specialize in photography. When finding the photography class that fits your skills and needs, it’s important to take a look at what makes each program exciting and unique before making a final decision.

If you’ve just dropped some big bucks on a camera, but have no idea where to start when it comes to using all those settings, JP Teaches Photo is the place for you. They specialize in teaching people how to use their camera and mastering the basics said founder JP Pullos. If you’re an avid photographer and trying to really fine-tune your craft, you may want to look elsewhere.

“We are dedicated to making photography accessible to the entire world through easy-to-understand instruction,” Pullos said.

Pullos and two other photographers lead the courses, helping each person to learn more about the camera and the skill. Pullos has been a professional photographer since 2006, getting his work published in The New York Times, New York Magazine and GQ, to name a few. Since he founded the photography business in 2011, he said they have taught over 25,000 people.

Working alongside Pullos, you’ll find photographers Lydia Billings and Nicole Rosenberg. Billings started learning about photography while in high school, and went on to receive a a degree in Fine Art Photographic Illustration. Much of her work has been published online and some of it has found a home at numerous exhibits and events. Rosenberg also graduated with the same degree as Billings and currently works as a freelance photographer, retoucher, and video editor. She brings in well-known clients like Reebok, Adidas, and Vans with her skills.

While most of the JP Teaches Photo courses are held in-person, here in New York City, they also offer online instructional videos for those who are not local. However, if hands-on learning is more of your style, they offer a number of courses that will meet your beginner needs.

When it comes to starting out, you’ll benefit from their two-part “How Do I Use My Camera?” classes, whose topic is pretty self-explanatory from the title. Other courses will focus on topics like lighting, long exposure, and portraits. There are even options for specifically learning how to use your Nikon DSLR camera or your Canon DSLR camera, adding unique perspectives for both.

Learn photography in a unique way at JP Teaches Photo (Photo: JP Teaches Photo).

Pullos believes learning the tools of your camera do more than just help you take a good photo.

“You’ll spend less time staring at your camera and more time being present to the world around you,” he said. “You’ll be much more able to anticipate those magical moments that happen around you and capture them. If you like taking pictures of people, your mind will be freed up to actually engage with your subject.”

What makes JP Teaches Photo really unique is their option to take a smartphone photography course. These days most of us have a smartphone, but we really only know how to open the camera app and press the button to take a picture. And let’s face it, we’re all out here trying to gain a lot of likes on our Instagram photos. There’s actually more than meets the eye, even when it comes to cellphone photography, and their course will teach you all the tricks and tools.

“Our curriculum is completely unique,” Pullos said. “You’ll learn an intuitive way of using your camera that will not require memorization.  In fact, we believe that memorization gets in the way for most people when they’re learning how their cameras work. In our photography classes, you will learn by doing rather than by memorizing.”

Even more attractive than the actual topics offered, are the prices for the JP Teaches Photo classes. Some of the more comprehensive courses (like the “How Do I Use My Camera?” classes) cost $97. However, a few of the classes (portrait and smartphone photography) are a deal at $47 each. They also offer a range of dates and times for each course, so shouldn’t have trouble finding one to fit your schedule. However, if you’re just crazy busy and can’t make the dates or times offered, their online classes are a steal for $10 each and you can take them whenever you want, wherever you want.

JP Pullos saids the company strives to be unique and teach the art of the craft. Here, you will find entertaining photography classes taught by passionate, knowledgeable and organized instructors. 

“The art of photography is not in those camera buttons and dials; the art of photography is in the composition, the colors, the facial expression, and the moments in time,” he states.

If you’ve been thinking about learning photography and admiring other people’s cool photos on social media, do not waste another minute, and go ahead and sign up for a class before it’s too late!