The Photography Starter Kit for Beginners

Lesson 1 of 17

Class Introduction


The Photography Starter Kit for Beginners

Lesson 1 of 17

Class Introduction


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

So what today's class is, this is a short class on photography. And I say short class because I teach a number of classes and I'm trying to get one class that's just got the pinnacle, the most important things that people want to know about when they start getting into photography. Cause you know when you go from your phone or your tablet and you pick up a camera where you have shutter speeds and apertures and you want to take control of yourself, that's what this class is all about, is taking control. But even if you are simply using a phone, there's a lot of things in this class that'll still apply to what you're doing. Because let's face it, composition, that matters no matter what type of camera you're doing. Now, I've been involved in photography, okay, longer than I'd probably like to admit. But I got started when I was 10 years-old. I started taking photo classes when I was in college. One of the things that I quickly learned is that one of the best things about photography is t...

hat no matter what you are interested in, that's what you can be a photographer in. If you're interested in sports photography, you can be a sports photographer. If you like fashion, you can be a fashion photographer. If you like the news, you can be a photo journalist. The other thing that I really was able to kind of articulate just later this year, is that photography for me, it gives me justification to be interested in anything. See normally, if a person was just walking along and they go "Oh, look there's a bug down here. "Hey everybody, there's a bug down here.", you'd seem like a complete idiot. But when you have a camera in your hand and you're down here and you're taking all these pictures, like "What're you doing?". "I'm getting a photo." You're suddenly justified into doing almost anything you want. And so this is a great tool to be interested in everything that you are interested in. So, in this class, we're going to be going through, I think I've broken it down to about 14 different sections. Different little topics, 10 to 15 minutes at a time, cause if you want to be good at photography, ultimately you need to be a good artist. You need to be able to compose and work with light, but there's a lot of technology over here, especially modern days. I mean the cameras are getting more and more complicated all the time. Trust me, I know, I teach classes on all these cameras. The latest camera had over 200 menu items in the camera for turning on, off, or selecting in any one of a dozen different ways. And so it matters, in the long run though, you're just trying to get over that hurdle so that you can get to the artistic side of things. But we got to get through the technical side if you want to get to the artistic. So let's go ahead and get started.

Class Description


  • Understand shutter speed, ISO and aperture and how they work together

  • Utilize depth of field

  • Learn to focus in manual mode

  • Understand different types of lenses and how they work

  • Create stronger images with composition

  • Use light to create mood and emotion

  • Learn about flash photography

  • Get an introduction to the post-processing workflow


Photography techniques, terminology and equipment can seem complicated and intimidating at first. But after a few hours with John Greengo, you’ll have the skills and confidence you need to go out and take amazing photos that you’ll want to print, share and treasure for a lifetime.

Designed specifically for beginner photographers, this course will walk you through the essentials of how to use your DSLR camera and all the key functions. You’ll learn photography tips about everything from shutter speed to aperture, depth of field to ISO. You’ll get a primer on how to compensate for bad lighting and how to compose your shot for maximum effect and better photos.

This class will help you:

  • Learn the most essential functions of your DSLR camera.

  • Gain confidence in putting new features into action.

  • Understand basic photographic terminology including the rule of thirds and the exposure triangle.

  • Get a solid understanding of lighting and composition techniques.

  • Figure out how to position yourself and your subject for optimal results.

  • Learn to take great photos with the DSLR camera you have without extra gear.

  • Feel prepared to move on to more advanced classes.

If you want to take more memorable and inspiring photographs of your travels, your friends and family, and the great outdoors, then this photography starter kit class is for you. By the end of the course, you’ll be ready to take your photography skills to the next level and continue your education with a more advanced photography course.



  • Beginning photographers looking to up their game and understand their camera.

  • People who are finally ready to get out into the field and actually capture the shots they want.

  • Any seasoned photog who wants a refresher (or to fix old habits) from one of the best out there today.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. What's the Best Camera for Beginner Photography

    Learn about the best cameras for beginners including how to decide between a Canon or Nikon, and whether the SLR or DSLR are right for you.

  3. Learn to Change Shutter Speed

    John explains how to change shutter speed and breaks down the terms, the numbers and how to get your exposure time just right.

  4. What Is the Best Sensor for a Digital Camera

    Learn about the best sensors for digital cameras and how they impact a camera’s functionality.

  5. How to Set ISO

    Learn how to set ISO so you can be sure to get the right amount of light for your image.

  6. Understand Types of Camera Lenses

    Learn about the different types of camera lenses you can add to your photography kit. Dive into focal length, maximum aperture, and how they affect the capabilities of your lens.

  7. How to Adjust Aperture

    Get the scoop on how to adjust aperture and how it impacts the amount of light coming through your lens.

  8. How Does Aperture Control Depth of Field

    Discover more about aperture and depth of field so you can control how much of your image is in focus.

  9. Choosing Manual or Auto Focus

    Get tips on how to stay in focus every time and whether you should use manual or auto focus.

  10. The Metering System Camera

    Measuring the amount of light hitting your subject can be tricky. Learn about the metering system camera to ensure you get an accurate read.

  11. Exposure Modes

    Most cameras offer both automatic and manual exposure modes. John explains how choosing manual will allow you greater control over your settings whether you use shorter or long exposure.

  12. The Best Camera Settings

    Here’s a rundown of some of the best camera settings to know, from file types to drive mode to white balance.

  13. An Introduction to Adobe Lightroom Workflow

    Get a quick lesson on downloading, organizing, post production, developing and more so you can optimize your Adobe Lightroom workflow.

  14. Understanding Light and Shadow

    When it comes to understanding light and shadow, you’ll need to know your lighting conditions and direction, size, intensity and color and how each one will affect your image.

  15. Know When to Use Flash

    John explains some of the complexities of flash photography and when to use flash.

  16. Basic Composition for Photography

    Learn basic composition, including where to place your subject in the frame to create the best photo possible.

  17. Elements of Design

    John goes over some of the key design elements that will bring your photos to a higher artistic level.


Kanoelani Patenaude

I am a pro photographer in my dreams, where I know the in's and out's of my camera; however, reality proved differently, as real life would tell you, I was a deer caught in headlights just looking at my new 7D Mark II. I am a photographer enthusiast without the skills, but a lot of love for the moments one, or the profession/hobby of it can capture. I mostly shoot my husband, friends, and community surfers in the lineup, and of course, my children, who rarely sit still. Thus, I switched from Nikon to Canon, venturing on the 7D Mark II for the grand reviews of how stellar of camera it is for action shots (surfing, and kids, this was a no brainer). That said, and overwhelmed with the way beyond my skill set, but noted desire and aspiration to grow, I made the purchase, and sought help rather quickly as I wanted to feel confident with what I was utilizing to capture the best memories possible. I came into this John's courses knowing the "on/off" button, and "auto" shoot mode. I came out of the course feeling like the pro in my dreams, and ready to shoot manual. John's teaching style is on point, and his detailed visuals are a huge plus. My first shots post this photography kit course, I thought were great for my first educated shoot, and shockingly, I even received and email from one of the sponsors of the surfers I captured, asking if they could use my image for their sites and publications. Not bad for a newbie. Though, my intent was never a business purpose, I did not know if I should charge a small fee, or give it for free. I don't mind free as it's not my business, yet I don't want to ruin it for any professional photographers in town doing the same thing that are charging. Perhaps another course to help me with that. I highly recommend courses by John Greengo! Thank you so much, John!


I'm not sure my first review posted. But I LOVE this class! John Greengo is a great, engaging teacher who is really adept at representing the concepts visually and excellent at explaining them verbally. I love how he goes through examples with photographs he has taken. Even though I only have a Nikon Coolpix digital camera, it does have Manual, Shutter priority, and Aperture priority modes. Through his class I've gotten a really good sense of how to balance ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. It's a great overview for me especially since I am new to photography, I can play around with some of these settings, and I have a greater understanding of what I might need in a higher level camera in the future. Money well spend! (For $29, this is an absolute steal). John Greengo is an awesome teacher and I hope to take more of his classes in the future!

Megan Wagner

John is extremely articulate and is a great teacher with lots of visual aids and metaphors to help understand photography. I have been doing photography for a few years now and this class was a tremendous help in boosting my knowledge and refreshing my memory in multiple aspects of photography. The graphics that John uses are helpful and he even goes through images and asks which settings would be best to use and will go through the why. He makes things easy to understand and is very clear about the information he provides. I am so glad I took this course and I would highly recommend it even to an experienced photographer. Thank you John Greengo!