What we're about

Are you afraid to take your DSLR camera out of Automatic mode?
Is your camera lying around gathering dust and suffering from neglect?
Do you want to achieve that beautiful, blurry background in your pictures?
Are YouTube tutorials keeping you INSIDE the house instead of OUTSIDE putting skills into practice?

My name is Matt Forero (Instagram: @matt.forero) and I created this group to offer instruction for beginner photographers. I have been a photographer for 16 years and a Santa Monica resident for the last 4. We live in one of our country's most photogenic locations and I want to help build up a community of photographers. I want you to get to know your camera, learn new techniques, get some fresh air and make new friends in the process. All of my workshops center around HANDS-ON exercises.

What you need:
-A digital CAMERA with LENS (must have Shutter, Aperture, Manual modes)
-Comfortable walking shoes
-RSVPs are required for attendance

An Instagram profile is highly recommended for participation. We’ll be sharing our progress via the #LABeginnerPhotography hashtag and networking within the group.

Sample Workshop Topics:
-Beginner Workshop - Learn Exposure and Camera Modes with Hands-on Exercises
-Adobe Lightroom
-Night Photography - Long Exposure
-Portrait Photography
-Additional workshops in the future

Don't have a camera yet? Below are two kit recommendations I have compiled for beginners. The Sony kit is my first choice and includes mirrorless cameras which have many advantages and are generally more cutting edge. The Canon kit is great for those trying to maximize their budget due to a huge second hand market. Canon lenses are very highly regarded and great deals can be found on pre-owned gear. Either one you choose, these cameras have the additional benefit of capturing high quality video for family events, YouTube or even short films.


Many members have asked and I do offer private instruction! Send me a message through Meetup or http://www.mattforero.com with date and number of participants for more information.

Upcoming events (2)

LA Beginner Photography Workshop - Santa Monica Pier - Feb 23

Beginner Photography E-Book Included! The session starts outside Camera Obscura on Ocean Ave, but we will be on the move so please be on time. There are plenty of public garages nearby that are free for 90 minutes and $2 for the next 30 (Parking Structure 6 is the closest). What you need: -A DIGITAL CAMERA with LENS (DSLR, Mirrorless, etc.) -Camera must have aperture, shutter and manual modes (ask me if you're not sure) -A MEMORY CARD (with space on it) and a FULL BATTERY in your camera! -Comfortable shoes (we will be walking) -An Instagram profile -The desire to take control of your camera! Topics: What is exposure? What are aperture, shutter speed and ISO and what do they affect? How do I blur the background of a portrait? What are good settings for landscape/travel photography? Basic Composition Techniques Helpful Camera Settings Photo App Recommendations Q&A An Instagram profile is highly recommended for participation. We’ll be sharing our progress via the #LABeginnerPhotography hashtag and networking within the group.

Long Exposure Night Photography Workshop - Santa Monica

Camera Obscura


Low light photography can be intimidating. Let's talk about how to use ambient and artificial light for long exposure photography at night. Experience level: Beginner/Intermediate I HIGHLY recommend a fundamental knowledge of camera controls and exposure or attending the LA Beginner Photography Workshop prior to attending this class. I will be providing lighting equipment for each exercise. What you need: -Camera with Manual mode (DSLR, Mirrorless, etc.) -A tripod is 100% REQUIRED for this class (recommendation below) -A small flashlight (phone flashlight is fine) -Wider angle lenses are recommended (any range from 16mm to 50mm, zoom or prime is fine) -Knowledge of how to enable your camera's self timer function If you have any questions on what's required, feel free to direct message me. Topics: -How to choose exposure settings at night -Considerations of low light photography -Using artificial light and your imagination Exercises: -Simple long exposure -Light painting (shown above) -Car light trails If you don't have a tripod I highly recommend investing in a quality, stable tripod. Check my kit link below for my go-to tripod recommendation- any cheaper and it's hard to find a stable and reliable one that won't wobble and cause blurry images. It's best to stick to black colors so there are no weird color reflections. This tripod will work with any camera brand. https://kit.com/mattforero/sony-photography-starter-kit

Past events (6)

LA Beginner Photography Workshop - Santa Monica Pier

Camera Obscura


Photos (32)