What we're about

Welcome to Understand Photography, Southwest Florida’s only established, hands-on, professionally-led photography school! We've spawned lots of competitors that come and go, and everyone keeps coming back to us. Contact us at info@understandphotography.com

Professional photographer Peggy Farren started this training center in 2009, when she saw the need for hands-on and simplified photography training. Photography is "in" right now! The training opportunities are overwhelming! We strive to make our training as simple as possible. Please read the reviews of our many happy customers/students!

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Peggy screens and specially trains each teacher. Our instructors have technical knowledge and also real world experience. You won't find any teachers who just picked up a camera last year here! It's a bit painful to see beginners teaching and giving bad advice to new photographers. One group told their students that they take 5000 pictures at a wedding! This is not the norm and no experienced photographer would ever steer you this way!

If your goal is professional photography, learn from pros who have successfully been in business for at least five years. You don't want to burn out by working long hours for little money! If you are a nature photographer, learn from photographers who have spent some time out in the field. You want to know what the best spots are at each time of year, when and where to find the wildlife or flora you want to photograph and what to be prepared for to create incredible images!

Each instructor is given tips and techniques on improving their teaching skills. We've kept our five star rating with Meetup for over seven years and we want that to continue!

Email Peggy Farren at info@understandphotography.com or call us (239) 263-7001.

We provide learning opportunities and social events for photographers from beginners to professionals.

Check out our website: http://www.UnderstandPhotography.com

Click HERE (http://www.photographynaples.com/pages/Private_Lessons_and_Photo_Excursions!) for a description of our 1/2 day and full day photography excursions. Are you interested in Nature? Birds? HDR? Night photography? Learn while doing with a pro photographer at your side!

Check out our online forum, in-house photography workshops, courses and classes. Photographers come from all over world to attend our events.

Our friendly group comprises of beginners to professional photographers. We have nature events, model shoots and classes for every level of experience. We try to offer at least one free event each month.

Bring your camera and manual to each meetup!

Upcoming events (5+)

Old Naples Photo Tour and the Pier

The fountain at Fleischmann Courtyard

$79.00

Learn a little bit about Naples and its history while learning about photography and getting great pictures! We'll walk through Old Naples 3rd Street area and end up on the beach for sunset photos. Again, there will be a lesson on creating fabulous sunset images! Only $79 for a three hour tour. Please no walk-ons. If you do walk on and we have room, it's $100 cash. Sign up here at least one hour before the tour for the regular price of $79.00. Bring: Camera and lenses that you are comfortable carrying for a couple hours. All levels of photographers will enjoy this, including cell phone photographers! Tripod - this is REALLY NECESSARY for the sunset images. If you have ND or CPL filters, bring them for the sunset pictures. Sunset: 7:44 pm Park either in the Pier parking or behind Tommy Bahama's. Pier parking costs $ but if you are parked there, you can leave your tripod in the car and run and get it for sunset. It's on 12th Ave S across from Palm Cottage. Please carefully read the refund policy! If the tour is canceled, you will receive a full refund. If not, you can send someone else in your place. However, there are no refunds nor transfers to another tour within 7 days of the tour. Please register as soon as possible. We need a minimum of two participants. This tour is limited to paid participants. We want to keep the group small so that it's a fun and intimate setting.

Four Weeks to Proficiency in Photography Interactive Online ON SALE!

Please register here: http://onlinephotoworkshops.com/course/four-weeks-to-proficiency-in-photography/ Once you purchase an online course, you own it for life (for the life of my business, which hopefully, is a long time!). This is an interactive class with tons of support. It’s not like the online classes you’ve taken before with a person just talking at you. Peggy is right there with you so you can ask immediate questions and get immediate answers during class time. Then you can ask questions anytime and get answers within a few hours the rest of the time. Instructor Peggy Farren really simplifies and shows you STEP by STEP how to use your camera. She has a great way of explaining the technical aspects of photography so that even right brain creatives can understand it. We have LOTS of pictures of the cameras and where to find the settings, and also lots of photographs to show you the effects you can achieve. Week One: Shoot in Manual – We’ll get you shooting in the Manual setting in just two hours. This has been our most popular workshop since the start of Understand Photography Training Center. You won’t believe how simple exposure is! You’ll have a surge of confidence after this first class. Week Two: Composition – The Most Important Class you’ll take to Improve Your Photography! Everyone thinks they understand the Rule of Thirds but we find that they really don’t. Learn where your eye naturally goes and how to use leading lines, power points, negative space, color and more to make a more pleasing image. In this workshop, you’ll learn why you are not winning competitions with your images – it’s almost always a composition issue! We teach some basic posing in this class as well. Posing just means you are helping someone look their best. It shouldn’t be grueling or stiff. Learn the simple techniques to make your subjects look great! Week Three: Lighting Essentials - Do you love natural light? So do we! Learn how to take great pictures in natural light. Open shade, add dimension, use reflectors, additive and subtractive light.However, natural light is not practical at all times. Learn to use your flash to create natural looking light when needed. The principles are the same for both pop up flash that comes with your camera and a speedlight. You’ll also learn how to take a speedlight off your camera in the easiest way. Flash can be complicated. We simplify it. Week Four: The Technical Class - Don’t worry! You’ll be ready for this workshop! Metering Modes, White Balance, Drive Modes, Focal point, focus modes and more! We do our best to make the technical stuff easy to understand! The format of each week is this: Day One: A two-hour video. Meet me at your computer at the designated time for each workshop. You can type questions as we go along. If you miss it, you can continue to ask questions in our private Facebook group. Peggy will monitor it often. Day 2, 3, 4: You’ll receive a daily exercise, to seal the information into your brain. It should take 30 minutes or less each day.Day 5: Quiz. Let’s make sure you are really understanding what you’ve learned this week.The next two days are for fun and practice! This will be repeated each week with a different lesson. All classes, assignments, and quizzes will be recorded and available to you on the membership site to watch or review anytime you like, forever (or for the life of my business! LOL!). ~ Peggy Farren, Founder and Instructor, Professional Photographer; in business since 2001. (Check out my site at www.naplesportraits.com) Please register here: http://onlinephotoworkshops.com/course/four-weeks-to-proficiency-in-photography/

4 Day St Augustine Photo Adventure

Sleep Inn Motel

$849.00

Limited to just 5 Photographers SOLD OUT. Please email [masked] to be placed on the waiting list. These images and much more are yours to capture on Understand Photography’s Bastions, Birds and Buildings Photo Adventure of St. Augustine, FL. Have fun, improve your photographic skills and return home with memorable images. Experienced workshop leader and mentor Joe Fitzpatrick will guide you to his favorite locations at the time of day when the light is right. At each location Joe will share his techniques, enabling you to overcome exposure, lighting and compositional challenges. With his guidance you will learn to control the complex features of your camera. Joe’s easy to understand style of instruction will help you to become the photographer you long to be. This trip is limited to five participants so that everyone will receive personal attention. The cost of the photo exploration includes expert, personal instruction by Joe, accommodations (dbl occupancy), continental breakfasts, admission to all venues, parking fees, and applicable taxes. Lunches, dinners and transportation are not included. If you prefer not to share a room, single accommodations are available for a surcharge of ?. Place your deposit now to ensure your spot. To register call or email [masked] or (239)[masked] St. Augustine Photo Adventure – Stuff You Want to Know Where will we be staying? Our base of operations will be the Sleep Inn Hotel, 601 Anastasia Blvd., Saint Augustine, FL, 32080, minutes from our shooting locations. The Sleep Inn was recently renovated and is a clean, updated hotel. How will we get around? You will be expected to provide your own transportation to St Augustine. We will take the Understand Photography minivan between shooting locations while in St Augustine. What will we be photographing? This Photo Adventure encompasses all types of subjects. You will capture sunrises, the historic architecture of St. Augustine, an ancient Spanish Fortress, and an unrivaled array of wild nesting birds in their natural habitat. What skill level is required? This photo adventure is geared to photographers of all skill levels. Our proven 5 to 1 photographer/mentor ratio allows every adventurer from beginner to advanced to proceed at their own pace. We strongly suggest that you take The Four Weeks to Proficiency in Photography course (online or hands-on) if you are not comfortable shooting in the manual setting. Check out the calendar to see when it's offered next. Beginners will enjoy this workshop, but you'll get so much more out of it with the strong foundation you'll receive by taking our Four Weeks course first. What will I learn during the Photo Adventure? At every step of your Photo Adventure Joe will be at your side, sharing his techniques. Our ratio of a maximum of 5 photographers per leader assures that you will receive personal attention and allow you to learn at your own pace. We will cover: • Which of your camera’s exposure modes is preferred for each shooting condition. • Which metering mode works best for each subject. • Using the histogram to improve your exposures. • How to take advantage of your camera’s various auto focus modes. • Fill flash techniques. • Composition. • Filters. • Advanced techniques tailored to your level of knowledge. What equipment should I bring? This Photo Adventure encompasses a wide range of subject matter from very large (the sweep of a beach at sunrise) to very small (a butterfly alighting on a flower). There is a strong emphasis on bird photography. Light sources will range from sun to street lamps. We suggest: • DSLR camera or advanced compact. • Ideally, lenses to provide the equivalent coverage of full frame lenses from 24mm to 300mm. • For “crop” DSLRs this means lenses in the range of 17mm to 200mm. • A circular polarizer if you own one. • Flash. • Better Beamer if you own one. • Tripod. • Remote shutter release. Useful, but your camera’s timer will suffice in a pinch. • Memory cards, bring them all! • Batteries, you will need spares! • Chargers for everything. • Laptop if you have one. For equipment questions email Joe at [masked]. To register call or email Peggy at [masked] or (239)[masked] Include your phone number and email when registering. We need a minimum of three attendees to make this happen so please register early. Please do not make plane reservations until we give you the go ahead.

Four Weeks to Proficiency in Photography: Hands-On Course

Understand Photography Studio

$297.00

Do you REALLY understand exposure and how to shoot in the manual setting? How to win at photography competitions – as a frequent judge, Peggy will reveal the most common disqualification reasons and how you can overcome them. Does using flash intimidate you? It’s not as tough as you think! Are you about to take an exotic trip and want to be sure you come home with awe-inspiring pictures? Are your technical insecurities keeping you from earning a good living in photography? Avoid feeling overwhelmed by learning what is vital to know to produce great images consistently. …. and much, much more! We’ll help you put together a clear plan of action to get a solid photography education. The Four Weeks to Proficiency in Photography is designed to give you a solid photography education in just four short weeks. Week One: Shoot in Manual and Understand Exposure – We’ll get you shooting in the Manual setting in just two hours. This has been our most popular workshop since the start of Understand Photography Training Center. Two and a half hour class. Week Two: Composition – The Most Important Class you’ll take to Improve Your Photography! Everyone thinks they understand the Rule of Thirds but we find that they really don’t. Learn where your eye naturally goes and how to use leading lines, power points, negative space, color and more to make a more pleasing image. In this workshop, you’ll learn why you are not winning competitions with your images – it’s almost always a composition issue! THREE hour class. Week Three: Lighting Essentials – Learn to see the light. Work with natural light. Work in Open Shade. Learn to use your flash to create natural looking light when needed. The principles are the same for both pop up flash that comes with your camera and a speedlight. Flash can be complicated. We simplify it. THREE hour class. Week Four: The Technical Class: Don’t worry! You’ll be ready for this workshop! Metering Modes, White Balance, Drive Modes, Focal point, focus modes and more! We do our best to make the technical stuff easy to understand! Two and a half hour class. Classes are held at Understand Photography Studio. We designed the course with all the necessary things you need to know, and skipped a lot of the extras. We want you to gain confidence in shooting in manual and really understanding exposure and the basics. With a solid foundation, you’ll be taking fabulous photographs in just a few short weeks! Once you have a strong foundation, EVERYTHING else will come so easily for you! I've watched so many photographers struggle for years, just because they never got a good understanding of the important basics. You can do this! We work really hard to keep thing simple!! ~Peggy Farren Founder and Instructor Professional Photographer (Check out my site at www.naplesportraits.com) In business since 2001. Please note we offer this as an online class as well. Many students choose to do both the hands on and online course. You'll receive a substantial discount on the online class if you choose to do this. Just let us know. http://understandphotography.com/shop/four-weeks-to-proficiency-in-photography/

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