Photography Classes

Digital Photography ClassI love to teach photography and offer a variety of classes both in person and virtually. I enjoy teaching so much that I established my own school, Global Photography School where you can find my classes and classes taught by other instructors around the world.

I'm passionate about sharing knowledge. When it comes to photography I believe that we each have stories to tell. With photography we can share those stories in a visual format that can be understood by anyone regardless of language or cultural barriers. I find this both fascinating and beautiful.

Past Classes

The following is a list of all of past classes which I have taught. Some of these might be taught again. If you are interested in taking any of the classes listed below please contact me to let me know and I can keep you informed when the classes is offered again.

In Person Photography Classes

Don Orkoskey Photography TeacherTeaching in person photography classes is fun and rewarding. I teach in-person classes independently and in partnership with select local organizations including Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Gardens, and Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. I teach classes for all ages and skill levels. I teach dedicated classes for kids, teens, and adults. In the past I've worked and taught at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Children's Hospital of UPMC, Children's Hospital of Cincinnati, the Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Science Center, Westmoreland Museum for American Art and more.

I am fully vaccinated and request that you are as well if you plan to attend any in person photo classes. If you cannot get vaccinated because of a medical condition or are not fully vaccinated because you've yet to be able to please let me know and we can work on either signing you up for a later class, a virtual class or private lessons where we can both maintain good social distance and both wear masks. I take my health and safety and the health and safety of those I teach very serious. I believe in vaccines, for Covid, the Flu, and other preventable diseases and encourage you to do so as well especially if you would like to attend one of my classes.

Why I Teach In Person

You might be curious about why I teach in person. Virtual classes are amazing, don't get me wrong. I love being able to teach to people no matter where they are in the world. That said I really like to teach in person because it's much easier to demonstrate processes and to see how students are doing things in practice. As long as we are all vaccinated and able to meet in person I prefer to teach in person. Seeing all of my student's faces, reading their expressions, knowing if they're understanding or if I need to add additional clarity is important to me. I want to know that my students understand me.

Nature Photography Walk

Nature Photography Walk Students

Students on a Nature Photography Walk in Frick Park point at a bird they're trying to photograph

Every Saturday I lead a nature photography walk in Frick Park starting at 9:30 am near the fountain by the Frick Environmental Center. These are always FREE and are a great opportunity to learn about photography, nature or otherwise. Everyone is welcome to join these walks regardless of skill level, age, or camera equipment. 

The walks we do are through natural environments but are open and welcoming to all people regardless of ability. There are concrete paths lined with flowers and trees, and there is infrastructure for birds and other wildlife that make these walks easy to join even if you need accommodations.

I fully believe that photography is for everyone and that nature photography is a wonderful place to learn and a great teacher as well. If you are still not sure please keep reading.

Why Nature Photography Is For Everyone

Here is why nature photography is for everyone:

  • Nature will never criticize your pictures so you can relax and experiment
  • Nature is patient, while some animals move quickly there are lots of nature scenes that you can take your time photographing
  • Nature is beautiful and you will appriciate it even more if you stop to look more closely at it
  • Nature is a great teacher, light and shadow, color combinations, depth and shapes - nature can teach us so much about how to make better photos
  • Nature forces you to learn how to improve your work by showing you amazing things that you'll want to capture but are not sure how to
  • Nature is abundant, it's all around us, and we can find nature in the tiniest of places from mud puddles and cracks in the pavement to massive national parks
  • Nature is full of stories just waiting to be told and it's easier to tell those stories before opening up and telling our own

For those and a host of other reasons I am certain that nature is the most wonderful place to start to learn photography and that nature photography is for everyone!

Virtual Photography Classes

My Wedding PhotoI prefer in person classes but when that's not possible virtual classes are great in so many other ways. We can't all be together all the time. This is a lesson that was driven home for all of us in 2020. Getting to meet and have some sense of normalcy with tools like Zoom made things a bit more bearable especially in the early and very scary days.

The pandemic was especially hard on my wife. Her parents and most of her family live in Siberia. They are quite literally on the other side of the planet; twelve hours away.

It was so hard to not be able to go visit them. We became very thankful that we had the ability to conduct virtual meetings with them. We had holidays with both of our families, even our wedding was attended virtually by her parents. They even gave a toast thanks to a Bluetooth speaker we hooked up to the phone. Our weekly calls with them didn't erase the distance or the pain of not knowing what would happen but being able to see them and how they were doing helped a great deal.

We even connected with her babushka (grandmother) via WhatsApp thanks to her uncle. I remembers during the Persian Gulf War in the early 90s when CNN talked about how much money it cost per second to talk to reporters in Saudi Arabia via a satellite. I can't tell you how incredible it felt these 30 years later to be video-chatting in real time with zero delay in HD video with the world's cutest Russian grandma for free. Of course she was a little more focused on my lack of speaking Russian but we're working on that.

Virtual Class Listings

Check out the shop page for a listing of virtual classes. They're usually listed several months in advance so if you don't see any listed I might be in the middle of scheduling them or may have too many other classes and photo sessions happening to host one in the near future. If that is the case please contact me and let's talk about what you want to learn. I am always willing to share some information and might be willing to schedule a class on the topic you're looking to learn either as a private lesson or class if I think we can get enough students registered.

Previous Class Topics

Previous class topics have included the following:

  • Introduction to Photography
  • Phone Photography
  • Photoshop & Lightroom - Post Processing Your Photos
  • Macro Photography
  • Large Format Photography
  • Studio Lighting
  • Compact Flash Lighting
  • Posing Models
  • Camera Buying Workshop
  • Photography Storytelling

If any of these classes interest you and you don't see it listed on the Shop page please contact me and we can talk about when I will teach it again or about the prospect of private lessons.

Contact Me

If you're interested in taking a class either virtually or in person please use this form to contact me with any questions or comments. I can't wait to talk to you!

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