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Learning to Use Your DSLR

Registration for Winter 2015 classes is now open

Do you want to learn how to create your own beautiful memories?

Do you own an expensive camera but only ever use it in automatic mode?  

Do you envision an image in your mind but can never get your photos to turn out how you want them to?  

If you answered yes to any of these questions then this class is for you!  

This five week hands-on workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Understanding the exposure triangle (shutter speed, aperture, ISO)
  • Understanding white balance
  • Understanding and using histograms
  • Shooting Modes: Manual, AV and TV
  • Using light (natural and flash) and light metering
  • Understanding the rules of composition and how to use them to improve your photographs
  • Tips and Tricks for taking photos in a wide variety of settings and circumstances

The course is 5 weeks long and meets once a week from 7-8:30 pm in my Orleans studio. 

You need to own a DSLR camera and participants are encouraged to purchase a 50 mm lens for their camera (although this is not a requirement). 

The class is for hobbyist photographers only and not for those who own their own photography business or who intend to start one.  

Each participant takes home a  full course manual that will reinforce what you learn in each lesson both during the course AND in years to come as you grow and improve as a photographer.

The workshop is hands-on and there will be homework assigned each week.  I check-in with my students on a daily basis in our private Facebook group to give feedback on your photos and answer questions.  

When you graduate from the class you become a member of a special Graduates group.  I check-in with the group on a daily basis and offer ongoing opportunities for you to continue your learning.  

Refreshments are provided and students / graduates have the opportunity to win a $25 gift certificate for Sara McConnell Photography on a monthly basis.

Class space is limited to ensure an optimal learning environment for all participants.  The cost is $249+HST.


Intermediate Workshops 

Intermediate Workshops are available to graduates of the Learning to Use Your DSLR course.  Workshops are 2-4 hours in length and cover a wide variety of topics:

  • Downtown Photo walk
  • Sunsets & Silhouettes
  • Landscape & Nature Photography (Fall Colours)
  • Photographing babies & children
  • Night Photography (Christmas lights)
  • Artistry and Composition
  • Lightroom



When will the next class be offered?

Registration is now open for Winter 2015 classes.

Is the class offered on weekdays or weekends?

The Learning to Use Your DSLR class is only offered on weekday evenings as my weekends and weekdays are dedicated to photography sessions.  

Can I bring my child with me to the class?

Unfortunately it's not possible to bring babies or children to the course as there is a lot of material to cover in a short amount of time and the studio is not equipped or safe for babiesor children to play in while you are learning.

I want to take an intermediate class or a class on a specific topic related to photography?

Intermediate level workshops are offered to graduates of the Learning to Use Your DSLR class.  Completion of the Learning to Use Your DSLR Class is a requirement to register for other workshops.



"Sara has a great way of presenting this material a variety of ways. The content is accessible to people that aren't savvy or are intimidated by their fabulous DSLR. I was looking for something that would help me get over my own limitations and start using my camera to its full potential. This class and the way Sara creates a learning environment has encouraged me to get off the "green box"


"If you are looking to take better pictures with your DSLR in a fun, hands on environment this class will exceed expectations. I can't believe how much I learned in just 5 weeks! It was exactly what I was looking for and my photography skills have improved tremendously. Sara was an amazing teacher and I cannot recommend her enough!"


"The wealth of knowledge we gained in these five sessions is incredible. I've read may books, blogs and tutorials, nothing compares to what Sara was able to teach in 5 short sessions. I can't thank Sara enough. I've never been very happy with my photos. That has now changed thanks to Sara. I now know where to start when I see a problem and how to fix them quickly so I don't miss the shot. Thanks Sara!"


"Before taking this class I only ever took pictures on Automatic mode, I would bring my camera places but would often come home frustrated because the photos rarely did he moment justice. I also felt that owning a DSLR was a waste because there was not much quality difference between what I was capturing with my new camera and what I could get with my Sony or my iPhone (with the right lighting)... 5 weeks later I have already forgotten what it is like to use "green square mode" (as Sara always put it), I have gained the confidence and the knowledge to look at a situation and know what mode to use on my camera! This has completely transformed my attitude towards photography! I have always wanted to do a 365 day project, but before this class I was afraid that I would take the same picture day after day and that I wouldn't get bored and quit before I had completed it. Now that I have learned so much about composition, perspective, capturing motion, freezing motion, depth of field and so much more, I feel like 365 days worth of pictures would not even be enough photos to express all the ideas I have floating around! Thank you Sara for completely transforming how I will capture the moments of my life!"


"Sara, I just wanted to thank you for the excellent photography course. It truly exceeded my expectations. You really are a natural teacher! I didn't think I'd understand all the concepts and terms so quickly. I found the course very organized and I loved how we built on our knowledge every week. I'm so sad it's over :( The good thing is I'm more motivated than ever to pick up my camera every day and practice everything I've learned! I'm also looking forward to any future courses you might be teaching! Thanks again"


(c) 2014 Sara McConnell Photography