Next Meetup

Burrowing Owls & Matlacha Day Trip & Workshop
$239 Join Southwest Florida Professional Photographer Joe Fitzpatrick for a great day of photography instruction. Your photo subjects on this all day photography workshop will be the Florida Burrowing Owl and the colorful town of Matlacha. Your day long adventure will begin when you board our van at the Understand Photography Learning Center & Studio. During our drive to our morning shooting locations, Joe will share interesting facts and insights about the area and the wildlife we will be photographing as well as the best techniques to capture memorable images. The morning's session will focus on the Florida Burrowing Owl. The owls, a "species of special concern", are protected by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission. Joe will instruct you on how to photograph these unique birds without disturbing them as they nest and care for their young. You will learn what exposure modes work best and how to use them, how to use your flash to control the light, how to isolate the owls from busy backgrounds, composing you shots for maximum impact, and more. Because it is important not to stress the owls, especially while they are nesting, this workshop is strictly limited to five participants. Mid-day we will break for lunch. Bring your own or join Joe at a local restaurant. Following lunch we will photograph the fun and colorful town of Matlacha. Have fun, improve your photographic skills and return home with memorable images. 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. Stuff You Want to Know Where will we meet? We'll meet at Understand Photography Studio at 7:45 a.m. to leave promptly at 8:00 a.m. If you are located in Fort Myers, let us know and we'll make arrangements to pick you up at a location on our way. When will we return? We'll return back to Understand Photography Studio about 5 p.m. Please don't make any immediate plans after in case we run late due to traffic. How will we get around? We will be taking a van to travel to our shooting locations. We will be walking for much of the afternoon as we explore Matlacha. What about lunch? You can join Joe at a local restaurant or pack your lunch if you prefer. Cost of lunch is not included in trip. What will we be photographing? The morning will be spent photographing the burrowing owls. The afternoon will encompass a variety of subjects; landscapes, historic buildings and local color. What skill level is required? This photo adventure is geared to photographers of all skill levels. We strongly suggest that you take our beginning Shoot in Manual course if you are not familiar with the basics of exposure: shutter speed, aperture and ISO. What will I learn during the Photo Adventure? At every step of your Photo Adventure Joe will be at your side, sharing his techniques. 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. 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. DSLR camera or advanced compact (bridge camera). Ideally, lenses to provide the equivalent coverage of full frame lenses from 24mm to 300mm or longer. For “crop” DSLRs this means lenses in the range of 17mm to 200mm or longer. A lens with close focusing ability so you can fill your frame with a flower is useful. A speedlight will be useful at times. A circular polarizer if you own one. Tripod Remote shutter release. Useful, but your cameras timer will suffice in a pinch. Memory cards, bring them all! Batteries, you will need spares. Sunscreen What to wear: Wear comfortable clothing that you can sit or kneel in. The owl's habitat is open fields so you will be in the sun.

Understand Photography Studio

2383 Linwood Ave #302 · Naples, FL


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

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!

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 or call us (239) 263-7001.

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

Check out our website:

Click HERE (!) 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!

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