"Those who can do, and those who can't teach” (George Bernard Shaw 1903).
I’m a kinesthetic learner and learn from experience, so I knew what I was looking for when I sought out my mentor. I knew I wanted to work with someone who was both passionate and successful at what they did. I interviewed a number of photographers who wanted to teach, but when I met John, I knew I had found a teacher who loved photography.
When you're around someone who loves what they do, their passion is contagious. I look forward to working with John and Staci, his partner in crime, every single week, and I leave higher than a kite every time I walk out their studio door.
I love my one-on-one time with John and the personalized lessons that meet me where I'm at. His broad base of knowledge, both as an awesome creative and a successful businessman, along with his fun and easy personality, inspire me and keep me wanting to learn more and become the best I can be.
John has definitely been blessed both as an amazing photographer and a wonderful teacher… a rare treasure.
I have participated in John’s photo workshop to Death Valley and it was fabulous. John, Staci and Staci’s dad, the van driver and all round #1 helper, made the trip a once in a life time experience. They made sure we were in the right spots at the right time for some wonderful images. The instruction during the shoot and after was terrific. I am also going with John to New Orleans April, 2015. If ever in Chicago stop by John’s studio and see some beautiful images and partake in stimulating conversation. I have also been with John on a night shoot around Chicago. Wonderful city with great opportunities for unique images. I also downloaded John’s books - “Black and White from Snapshots to Great Shots”, “Plug in with NIK”, “Street Photography” and also have his paperback book “Travel and Street Photography from Snapshots to Great Shots.
I guess you could say I am a big fan of this wonderful photographer, teacher and person. You can’t go wrong with a workshop he leads or a book he writes.
I had the pleasure of working with John and Staci in preparation for a long awaited trip to East Africa. We reviewed equipment choices and shot for a few hours together. They were knowledgeable, patient and great teachers. Their advice really helped me get some shots I know I would have missed. When I got back I brought some of my favorites to John for review, critique, processing and printing. I learned even more and I am thrilled with the final product. The experience was so valuable that I immediately signed up for the New York workshop. That was another great experience. It was well organized, reasonably priced, informative and simply a lot of fun. I am on board again for their Death Valley workshop. Can’t wait- Amy Perlman
It was a great step in my photography skills improvement to take private on-line classes with John. We addressed several different items during the classes and found together the best ways to overcome my difficulties. John is not only a great photographer but also a great coach. His experience is very broad and certainly he will give the best you need to get much better clicks.
I was looking for a photography 'tutor' to help me better understand my Nikon camera and photography, in general, when I found John and Staci. They are exactly what I was looking for in a 'tutor.'
Not only have John and Staci helped me become more confident with my camera (understanding the complexities of it), but through my private classes with them, I've become more confident as a photographer overall. Their depth and breadth of experience, paired with their gentle and patient teaching style, have allowed me to experiment and become more creative as a photographer. I like the fact that I can try new things, come back and share my work with John and Staci and they will carefully consider my pictures, so that I can learn from and improve my shots. They are also aware of all the latest technology with regard to cameras, lenses, software, social media, training, etc. which is nice, because it all changes so quickly and I feel confident, in working with John and Staci, that I'm current on the latest photography technology.
The Lightroom training has been an added bonus. I love developing pictures in this program and the training John has provided has enabled me to produce great photos.
What I enjoy most about knowing (and working with) John and Staci, is both their passion for photography, as well as their passion for people. They genuinely enjoy sharing their photography expertise and they do it in such an engaging and kind way. I'm so happy I found them, as they've enhanced my love of photography!
Unlike most people who take John Batdorff's workshops, I am not a photographer; I'm a high school English teacher. This truly was one of the best lifetime experiences I've had! John's patience, willingness to explain everything, and enthusiasm for what he does made this workshop so wonderful. John taught me the fundamentals of street photography as well as how to process images using Lightroom. As a teacher, it's not very often that I land in a desk as a student. John Batdorff's instruction made me truly relish this role as a student. I went to NOLA as a teacher who wanted to capture some photos to use in her classroom to teach writing and left with so much more--confidence in myself, an appreciation of photography and desire to learn more, and over 600 photographs to inspire the teenagers I teach. Thank you John and Staci!- Kelly Pace
John has a way of making you feel comfortable and unafraid to ask questions. The laid back style of the workshop gives participants the opportunity to work on individual styles and skills. John makes a point of contacting you prior to the workshop so he can tailor his mentoring / teaching to each individual, that is priceless and so much more personal and effective than sitting in a classroom listening to someone lecture. He takes you out and shows you, works with you and helps you become a better photographer. My photography has already benefited from just one day in a workshop with John and I’ve already signed up for another!- Lauri Novak
I had never attended a weeklong photography workshop. I must admit I was a bit hesitant regarding the price for a unknown photo trip to Death Valley. I in the past have shelled out that much money for a pleasure destination trip but I knew what I was getting. From the moment I placed my deposit the communication with Staci the office manager was informative, responsive, and personal. I liked the fact that all planning was taken care of, so many trips I've researched you were the one responsible for lodging and getting yourself to and from the shoot. Once I arrived the first day I knew I had made a great choice. Both John and Staci were warm, welcoming, and easy going. John was a wealth of information and I feel I walked away with many new found skills and great images. John-o their driver always made us feel safe and secure.
I high recommend a workshop with John & Team and look forward to another, my only regret is that he doesn't run more of them!
Susan Genaro NYC
I can't say enough about working on my photography with John and Staci. Their kind guidance has helped me take my pictures to the next level. My confidence in being able to capture the vision that I have in my mind in a digital image has increased tremendously. I highly recommend that anyone looking to move from taking pictures to making photographs should take a class or a workshop with John Batdorff Photography. Not only will you not be sorry, you will be thrilled!- Bob Bloom
We attended the November 2016 Death Valley Workshop. It was excellent, highly recommended for anyone interested in photographing Death Valley.
The trip included wonderful and interesting touring and photography (including the 'super moon'), as well as good fun along the way.
John and his team provided excellent photography help, advice and direction, all based on their many years researching the best sites to go to - and the best times to be there.
We hope to do another Batdorff workshop soon.
All the best, Bob and Donna Wells
I have taken several workshops with John and Staci. All have been well organized, very informative and simply lots of fun. They make sure that each person on the workshop has plenty of personal attention and go out of their way to make workshops memorable. I have also worked with them on processing, printing and my website. I always come away with valuable information, a better work product and enthusiasm to keep shooting.
John is extremely generous with his expertise. His generosity extends beyond the classroom as he answers questions by email. I have learned so much during workshops as the size of the group is small enough to allow for questions and demonstration. His workshops are packed with information, technique, but are also a lot of fun.- Laurie Ferri
I recently attended the NOLA workshop during Jazz Fest. I had a great time and learned a lot. I highly recommend workshops with John and Staci because of their working knowledge of photography and their knowledge of the city. The class size was small enough that you were able to get some personal time the instructors, in order to review what ever issues you may have with photography. I look forward to attending a workshop in New York City and I hope to get some great photos.- Juan Alvarez
I was not disappointed - not only did John show me lots of cool places to shoot, I learned a lot about shooting subjects that do not have eyes.- Tressie Davis
When I signed up to the N Y workshop in September 2014 it was truly an act of faith! Coming from England I knew very little about John Batdorff or the way he worked. In short it was the best photographic experience I have ever had and fun from start to finish. Each day was carefully and thoughtfully planned so no time was wasted. John and his partner were great teachers and very encouraging.My knowledge and confidence through indulging in Street Photography has grown by leaps and bounds. Any amateur who wants to improve his skills and technique will surely find a workshop to set him on his way to better photography.- Gordon Pearce
I have worked with John very closely to help me get up to speed in sharpening my level of understanding and discipline with both (1) technical aspects of capturing the best photographs, and (2) getting my arms around the more formal business side of photography. John is an exceptional individual whose skills are very diverse. His technical side is terrific, as he is so very helpful in camera/exposure matters, and his creative eye is outstanding. He has a very disciplined approach to how he conducts his business, and his training in matters related to that has been extremely practical and helpful. And if that is not enough, he makes things very fun and complements all of the above with his partner Staci, who is also very bright, and a real pleasure to work and spend time with. 5 Stars out of 5.- Carl Jacobson
What I liked most about John’s workshop was the relaxed, yet informative learning environment that he has created. John made a special effort to know our work beforehand and set about to make sure that he had one on one time with each of us. For that reason alone I would recommend one of his workshops. www.nataliearmstrongphotography.com- Natalie Armstrong
I have been on two workshops with John Batdorff Photography (New Orleans and NYC) and have already signed up for a third. I can't say enough about the experience of working with John and Staci. Unlike other photo workshops I have been on, when you are out shooting with John and Staci you don't feel like you are just tagging along while they just shoot what they want. Instead, they make an effort to ensure that YOU are getting great shots. I especially like that John doesn't try to impose a particular style on your photography as some instructors do, but instead makes an effort to find out what you like to shoot (people, architecture etc) and how (black & White, HDR) and then encourages you to see those shots and not be afraid to take them. Even though the workshops are small and you always feel like John and Staci are accessible, John makes sure to work with you one-on-one for some part of each day to work on your particular portfolio. And, although it is evident he is highly skilled at his craft, it always feels like a collaborative effort when you work with him. I have come away from each of our individual sessions with new skills and observations and I know my photos are the stronger for it.
On a logistics note, everything is as they say it will be when you sign up. Each of the workshops I have attended have been very well-organized (without feeling over-scheduled) and it was clear that, even in places that were not their hometown, John and Staci had scoped out great photo opportunities (and great food) in advance so we all felt like we were "in the know."
And lastly, on a personal note, John and Staci are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. They are down-to-earth, roll-with the punches sort of folks who are just fun to be around. I can promise you won't regret spending an afternoon, an evening, or longer with them! I can't wait until our next adventure together!!!
I attended the Chicago Photowalk/Workshop in October, 2014. The experience was terrific. A great combination of shooting locations with some excellent advice thrown in. There was no pressure and everyone felt welcome. I would highly recommend John and his workshops.- John Davis
I have attended three of Johns workshops and have not been disappointed. John and Staci very personable people and goe out of their way to deliver the support your needs. I woul highly recommend any of Johns work shop and plan to take more in the future.- David J. Archibald
John and Staci were exceptional! Really enjoyed their workshop in Chicago. As soon as I met them, I felt like I had known them for years. They both went above and beyond to make sure you were getting everything you wanted out of the workshop, addressing questions, reviewing shots, and giving pointers. I can't wait to do another workshop with them!
I HIGHLY recommend John Batdorff to photographers at all levels. I consider myself a serious amateur and signed up for John’s individual one-on-one mentoring program. John far exceeded my expectations. Because of John, I am much happier with my images, both with the subject matter and how the images ultimately turned out.
John helped me significantly improve every aspect of my photography: what to shoot, how to shoot, where to shoot, post processing in Lightroom (color and black and white) and how to make the best use of my equipment.
John was instrumental in helping me set up a personal photography website. Not only did he give me excellent advice, he connected me to a web design firm that designed a site that has received numerous compliments.
I have also gone out with John on a few night photo excursions. After my website was in place, I realized that most of my night photographs were from the excursions with John.
If that is not enough, John has written a number of excellent photography books, especially on street photography and black and white photography. The books are very well written, practical and easy to understand, and cover everything from equipment selection to post processing.
John is extremely talented, both in the field and in the digital darkroom. He is also a very nice person and very encouraging. He is a pleasure to work with.
I have taken many one day photography classes and John Batdorff's Day and Night workshops are the best. They are the ideal combination of instruction and interesting photo settings. The extremely low student to teacher ratio really facilitates learning and allows photographers at all levels to gain new knowledge. I highly recommend them.- Tom Dolan