$55 for Five-Hour Newbie Photography Boot Camp from So Cal Pixels (Up to $119 Value)

Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel

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$119 54% $64
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In a Nutshell

Five-hour workshop teaches manual DSLR settings before moving onto lighting, posing, composition, and professional processing

The Fine Print

Expires Jul 7th, 2012. Limit 1 per person, may buy 3 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per visit. 14-day cancellation notice or $25 fee may apply. Subject to cancellation or consolidation if minimum students required not reached. Must provide own DSLR or other digital camera. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Photographing a friend requires a keen sense of timing, much like kidnapping Annie Leibovitz to photograph a friend. Hone an artistic skillset with this Groupon.

$55 for a Five-Hour Newbie Photography Boot Camp (Up to $119 Value)

Over the course of the five-hour intro boot camp at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, instructor Chen takes students through Mastering your DSLR and How to Take Better Photos seminars. For the first three hours, he teaches students about the principles of shooting manually, before segueing into photo-improving techniques in lighting, posing, and background selection, as well as efficient postproduction. Mr. Chen builds up to complex subjects, hitting each concept lightly and from different angles to solidify ideas. Though the fast-paced, information-intensive course mainly consists of lecture, presentation, and examples of different approaches, students may use their cameras through some class exercises. Students should bring their own DSLR or point-and-shoot digital cameras.

So Cal Pixels

The bride stood under the photographer’s lights, resplendent in her wedding gown, as her family looked on from a distance. As she and her photographer, M. Chen, prepared for the shoot, she was handed a package—a prewedding gift from her soon-to-be husband. When she lifted the lid, she immediately burst into tears. Inside laid a photo of a great dane puppy—the dog she’d always wanted, which her husband planned to give her on their wedding day. As she ran to hug her mother, Mr. Chen ran after, shooting image after image, capturing the exact moment she fell into her mother’s arms. These quick reflexes have been honed through his nearly 30 years as a sports photographer and professional fly swatter, and he draws on photojournalistic techniques to compose a traditional portrait or snap once-in-a-lifetime, candid moments.

Regardless of specific approaches, he consistently draws from the landscape style of Ansel Adams and the dramatic lighting techniques of Monte Zucker. His work as a photojournalist and private portrait photographer has earned him more than 300 publications in the glossy pages of New York Daily News, Popular Photography, ESPN Magazine, and Professional Photographers of America magazine. When not snapping on-location engagement shoots, family portraits, or boudoir sessions, he passes on his technique through traveling photography seminars, hands-on workshops, and by gently tapping the heads of his students. Though formerly designed only for professional-level photographers, these classes instill confidence and camera basics in beginners. As he frequently finds new class examples and takes feedback from his students, Mr. Chen frequently fine-tunes the curriculum after each seminar.

Cameras and photo essentials for those who prefer looking at life through a lens