• Want to Make Better Photographs?

     
    Your craft matters. No matter how good your camera, no matter how much vision you have. Of course you need vision, but what you do with that camera is how you give your vision its best expression.
     
    Mastering your craft isn't about getting a better camera, it's about becoming a better photographer.
     
    But where do you start? In a world noisy with so many voices, blogs, videos, and endless tips and tricks, how do we do anything but bounce from one shortcut to another? You focus. You go deeper. And whenever possible, you learn from someone who's been where you are.
     
    Master Your Craft is a course designed to get you more comfortable and competent with the tools and concepts of photography, and with that growing comfort to wield those tools with what feels like instinct, thinking more about the photographs you're making than the tools themselves. This is a deeper, more focused step in that direction.
  • I've learned in these weekly lessons more than in any photography course. For me it was a step forward to becoming a better photographer.

    ~ Peter Leinfellner

    This class is the perfect remedy for the winter doldrums. From the thought provoking chapters to the inspiring artist studies, I found myself itching to pick up my camera and experiment in creating better photos. I highly recommend this course!

    ~ Carri Ott Peterson

    This course challenged me to go deeper into the art of photography, to seek out what has heart and meaning. I’ve taken two of David's courses and traveled with him to Italy and Kenya: a great mentor is an invaluable asset!

    ~ Kathy Karn

    I've taken more photography courses than I can count. However, I have never taken one that made you actually "think" more than this course. If you want stretch your imagination and start thinking like a photographer, this is the course for you.
    I can't recommend it highly enough!

    ~ Timothy Palmer

    One of the best series of periodic thought-provoking lessons on the what, why and how of photography—technical and creative aspects. A very useful mix.

    ~ Nancy Johnson

    This course is a thorough and methodical look at what makes our photography stronger, more meaningful and richer. David duChemin masterfully verbalizes the "intangibles" of photography and helps us think beyond the tools and techniques to connect with the soul of our work.

    ~ Yolanda Santiago White

  • The Course

    You can master this craft faster with greater depth and focus, so you can get on with what you really want to be doing: expressing your vision by making stronger photographs.

     

    Master Your Craft is a 16-Lesson course (mostly written content, not video-based) designed to get you thinking differently about your photography, then getting you out of your head and practicing the craft intentionally. Initially offered in 2016 as The Vision Collective, this course has already helped over 8,000 students get further down the path to mastery, making better, more intentional photographs, and finding greater joy and creative freedom.

     

    16 Great Lessons

    Focused lessons to give you new insights into the why and how of making stronger photographs.

     

    00 Introduction

    01 Forget the Rules

    02 Subject & Seduction

    03 Indecent Exposures

    04 Master Your Optics

    05 Present & Receptive

    06 Learning to See The Light

    07 Abstracts & The Poetic

    08 Constrain Your Creativity

    09 Exploration & Expression

    10 Deeper Frames

    11 Getting Dynamic

    12 Mood & Emotion

    13 Study Your Work

    14 Critique & Assessment

    15 Bodies of Work

    16 Focus

     

    16 Powerful Creative Exercises

    We learn by doing not just by reading

     

    Each lesson comes with actionable steps to take you further into your craft. This is not a course that you read but a course that you do and the Your Practice sections in each lesson are your chance to find and explore your own ways of engaging this craft.

     

    16 chances to Go Deeper. Each lesson ends with links to further resources, articles and videos to take your study deeper.

     

     

    Study The Masters

    Learn to make better photographs by studying better photographs

     

    I believe one of the best ways to learn to make more captivating, more compelling, photographs is to study more photographs with those qualities, not just look at them and nod our heads, but to really experience them, to read them, and then to learn from them.

     

    Study the Masters is part of all 16 lessons of Master Your Craft, a chance for you to be introduced to photographers who have made (and many of them are still making) some of the most powerful photographs of our time, and to learn from them.

     

     

    3 Making the Image Videos

    Join me as I talk about the why and the how of 3 of my photographs

     

    In addition to the 16 lessons in Master Your Craft, there are 3 bonus Making The Image videos, created specifically to walk you through one of my photographs and discuss the thinking about the creative process and the craft that went into making them, with the camera in hand as well as in the edit and in post-production.

     

    These videos are like sitting down beside me while I walk through some recent work and talk about what I did and why. While we talk a lot about how we do things in this craft, it is why we do things that is most important, especially as we learn. Perhaps most instructive, I talk about these photographs in context, showing them to you alongside the images it took to get to these, so you can see the junk as well as the final images. Together these 3 bonus videos are almost an hour long.

     

     

    Incredible Bonus Material

    Along with the 16 Master Your Craft lessons you will also get:

     

    • Your Next Ten, a new PDF eBook with 10 Additional mini-lessons to take you even further down the path toward mastery.
       
    • Copies of my eBooks: A Deeper Frame, The Vision-Driven Photographer, The Visual Imagination, and Master the Craft, now available only to students of this course.
       
    • Making The Print, an outstanding eBook by Martin Bailey about printing your work.
       
    • 3 Making The Image Videos
       
    • 2 AMA Sessions. As you take the course you'll be able to ask me questions, which I'll answer twice by videos posted in the course.
       
    • One year's free membership in The Vision-Driven, David's exclusive mentoring community, available only to MentorClass and MentorSeries students. This community is a one-of-a-kind place filled with wonderful, honest, and respectful people who want to learn and focus on photographs, not endless talks about gear.
       
    • 10% off future MentorSeries classes, like The Compelling Frame, my course on composition and visual language.

     

     

     

    Available Now & Always Yours

    From the moment you enroll, all the material is available to you on a private site that works beautifully on all platforms. It's super simple to navigate and work through the lessons, and because the course itself is self-paced, you can do it on your own time and never feel either rushed or held back. So start now, or start in a month. Or do the course three times in one caffeine-fueled week. Totally up to you.

     

     The content is always yours. If you're even relatively comfortable with focusing and exposing your camera, you've already got all you need to get the most from this course; it's designed to be as free from the technical and as focused on the visual and the creative as possible.

     

    There are a lot of ways to learn photography out there, but none of them are like this. Master Your Craft was built for one purpose—to help you learn your craft in a focused way, to go deeper on things that matter and stay clear of the things that don't. This course will make you more comfortable, more competent, and more confident with your camera than you've ever been.

     

  • What Photographers Are Saying
     

    "Every photographer who is serious about their art should complete this course. It will stimulate you to move to the next level and to think about where you are going with your work. Highly recommend." ~ Geraldine Lefoe
     

    "I can not say enough good things about this course or the man behind it. David brought me back to the roots of what being a photographer is truly about. For me his voice is a guiding light in a chaotic storm, every time I read something he wrote I am reminded of the inner artist that I have lost touch with. If you are just starting out or have been a photographer for ten years - this course will help you. For me it was like photography meditation, it re-inspired me and reminded me why I picked up the lens in the first place. Take this course."

     

    ~ Ashleigh Sayer-Frederick

    "If you have ever experienced the mild discomfort of being pushed out of your comfort zone for your own good only to be followed by a series of internal clicks when all the pieces fall into place, that is how Master your Craft has made me feel. This course made me realize how much more I yet have to learn in photography and at the same time gave me with the tools and knowledge to do so. I will go back to this course again and again. There are so few resources that touch both the practical as well as the mental aspects of photography in such a clear and entertaining way."

     

    ~ Dominique Karg

    “In Master Your Craft, David challenges and guides us to get our head out of the rules and numbers and gives us the tools and the permission to express ourselves. His words and exercises remind us to look (and look again) and question everything in the quest to find our own vision. I can think of no better guidance to have on this photographic adventure than David’s words and insight.”

     

    ~ Alev Dubaraci

     

     

    Whoever said, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, has never followed David duChemin; as someone who has photographed for over 50 years I can always find new ideas and inspiration from David. His new online course, Master Your Craft, is written with such in-depth understanding and passion, full of meaningful and challenging assignments to get others making better photographs. This is truly a course for everyone; David’s teaching changes photographers.
     

    ~ Dave Benson

    "I have been an amateur photographer for 20 years. I have never taken a course or instruction that has been as compelling as this one. David combines insightful observations, humour, and exposure to the "masters" with a passion for vision driven intentional work that I have yet to find anywhere else. I cannot recommend this course enough. His encouragement for a cohesive body of work has changed how I view my craft. If you commit to every lesson this course will forever alter your view of photography. This is a rare body of work. A gift for your creative soul."
     

    ~ Ian Enright

    "I had a wonderful creative writing professor ask me once, “What are you trying to say? Say that!” This course is David’s voice saying the same...and then adding “let me help you.” With the help of Master Your Craft, I am contemplating, lesson after lesson, the “why” of my photography work...and, as a result, my work is improving...my work is coming into focus.
     
    Each lesson in this course stands on its own and yet effortlessly builds upon the last, is insightful and challenging. Many of the lessons forced me to step out of my box and try something I might not have otherwise tried, they’ve given me a broader visual scope and a new creative language.”
     
    ~ Kris Ryan
  • Some Really Good Questions

    And some honest answers.

    Q: Is this course for me?

     

    A: Probably. Of course I was going to say that, right? But I wouldn't have worked so hard on this and tested it with thousands of students if I didn't believe in the power of focused, intentional study, to learn this craft. If you can focus and expose your camera with a basic level of competency then the concepts and exercises in Master Your Craft will challenge you and put you on a path to making stronger photographs.

     

     

    Q: Can this really be learned?

    A: Yes, it can. But one of the reasons some people spend so long dabbling in photography and seeing no progress is that they don't focus. They're all over the place. Tips and tricks do not a craftsman (or craftswoman) make. The worst thing about the unfocused tips and tricks culture of photography is that it appeals to the need to save time, to take shortcuts but ends up wasting so much time. If you want a real shortcut, learn your craft.

     

     

    Q: Will this be practical and actually improve my photography?

    A: I promise. Is it a complete course? Not at all. There's no such thing. It's a manageable 16 lessons - cut down from 26 which is what the Vision Collective was when it was offered for the first time. Will you master the craft overnight? No. But you'll get on the path to mastery instead of spinning in circles.

     

     

    Q: What if I’m not really advanced? What if I'm not really a "techy"?

    A: Great! I'm not either. This course is about learning new skills, and gaining new perspectives. If you were already there (wherever there is) you wouldn't need to learn. Don't mistake knowing your craft with being a techy; if I were a betting man I'd say most of the photographers you really love don't consider themselves techy people.

     

     

    Q: How will the course be structured?

    A: You'll log in to the site with login credentials you create when you enroll. The moment you enroll all course content will be available to you. All lessons, creative exercises, and all downloads. Boom! Right there for you. It's a self-paced course so you go as fast or as slow as you like. Repeat lessons as much as you like. Once you're in, you're in.

     

     

    Q: Will I miss anything if I go on vacation? Will it always be mine?

    A: I don't like fine print and I don't like sneaky tactics. When you enroll, the course is yours and is accessible 24/7. And all the course components are downloadable. Going on a vacation? I'll be here when you get back. Send me a postcard!

     

     

    Q: How do I pay? Are there options? Is it secure?

    A: I want to make this as easy as possible as I can for you. Payment is by Stripe, one of the most globally trusted payment gateways. Stripe is secure and gives us access to none of your personal information.

     

     

    Q: Enrollment's only open for one week? Really? When will you offer this again?

    A: Honestly, yes. But if you really want in on this, there's a good chance I'll offer it again. I just don't know when, though it will be at least a year from now and not at this price. If you want to do it in the next ten to twelve months, now is the chance. Remember if you can't start it for a month or two, or even eight months from now, that's OK. Enroll now while you can, and start when it works for you.

     

     

    Q: Do I have time for this?

    A: Again, only you can answer that. Any craft rewards those who put in the time. But I won't tell you when that time has to be. Master Your Craft is entirely self-paced, so take a couple months if you want. Need more time? Take a year or two! There's usually much less to be gained by rushing than we hope, so go as slow as you need to.

     

     

    Q: How is this different from The Vision Collective or The Compelling Frame?
     

    A: This course is a re-working of The Vision Collective. If you did the Vision Collective you'll probably want to skip this. The Compelling Frame was designed to go hand in hand with Master Your Craft and will compliment it beautifully. The Compelling Frame is a course specifically about composition and visual design, Master Your Craft is more about the process and the practice of camera-craft and creativity.

     

     

    Q: What about The Vision-Driven Mentor Community?

     

    A: Yes, if you enroll in Master Your Craft you will be invited to The Vision-Driven, my closed Facebook group, for one free year. Because Master Your Craft is about focus, that invitation will come to you two months after you enroll in the course to avoid distracting or overwhelming you right away, and to encourage you to begin focusing first on the course, and your own path toward mastery, not on the community. The 2 months will go by quickly, I promise.

     

     

    Q: Can I access the course on my iPhone or iPad?

    A: That's just crazy talk. Of course you can!

     

     

    Q: And you say there's a Money-Back Guarantee?

    A: There is. I stand behind what I've created for you. If you do the course for 30 days, and don't feel it can help you make stronger photographs, we'll be happy to give you a refund.

     

  • 100% Risk Free

     

    I believe in this course. We've extensively tested it, and sought feedback for a year before offering it to you, and I know that it can change the way you make photographs. Still, if it doesn't help you make stronger photographs, talk to me within 30 days and I'll be happy to refund you. No hassle. No weird refund-shaming.

     

    Need Help? Have questions? We've got your back!

     

    If I or my team can answer questions or help you with the enrollment,

    please get in touch. We're here for you.

     

  • Your Mentor

    I'm David duChemin. With over 30 years experience making photographs, I'm fired up about making photographs that are more than just sharp and well exposed. I want to help you make photographs that light a spark in people, that communicate clearly, that captivate imaginations and grab the attention and hearts of the people who will see them. As an international workshop leader and author of eight best-selling books in over a dozen languages, it's been my honour to teach students this incredible craft on all seven continents. Want a course where the instructor just mails it in? This isn't that. I care way too much about this craft, and you, to give anything less than everything.