A student at University of Colorado–Boulder, Vasili of VCK Photos spends his free time honing his craft and capturing life’s memorable moments. With camera in hand and an adventurous spirit, he takes to all subjects with professionalism and enthusiasm, shooting everything from classic portraits and landscapes to concerts, pets, sports, and special events.
An active Denver photographer since 1985, Bart Levy imparts hard-won wisdom to aspiring photographers in upbeat, three- or four-hour workshops. In these workshops, the seasoned shutterbug demystifies DSLR cameras, teaching pupils how to harness ISO speeds, manual settings, and flash settings to produce crisp, memorable images of lens caps. Students also learn how to compose visually striking snapshots and Levy will also demonstrate the differences in digital file formats, so acolytes can upload and share pictures without setting their web browsers on fire.
At Posh, socializing and learning amalgamate with beginner-oriented classes in which students carouse while creating take-home paintings. In the 2- to 2.5-hour classes, local artists lead participants through step-by-step instructions as they create the selected painting, which may be anything from a work inspired by Van Gogh's legendary Starry Night to a depiction of a bouquet or a nighttime cityscape. While pigment slingers design their takes on the selected painting, they're encouraged to socialize, seek help as needed, and if desired, they can purchase beer ($3/bottle), champagne ($5/glass), or a mimosa ($5/glass) for mid-painting tippling. One glass of house wine is included with this Groupon. Brushes, easels, aprons, paint, and canvases are provided for students, providing ample time to perfect drawn-on mustaches and jaunty beret tilts pre-class.
At the tender age of 6, Mark Cafiero received his first camera. Though it was broken and filled with cartoons his father had drawn of Mark and his sisters, that camera sparked an early interest in photography. Since then, that spark has erupted into a full-fledged passion, leading Mark to become a professional photographer who has snapped photos for hundreds of clients, including celebrities and professional athletes. To share his spark with others, Mark founded Chimpsy, an resource that helps photographers of all experience levels calibrate their skills with casual in-person and online classes.
Available in more than 30 cities across the nation, Chimpsy's two-hour crash course features a hands-on shooting session and campfire-style presentation on topics ranging from camera anatomy to photo composition. For home study, online classes help photographers—beginners and aspiring pros alike—get more from their pictures through two-hour video tutorials that cover photo-editing software, shooting tips and techniques, and steps on how to build a photography business. From the comfort of their bedrooms, students can watch these professional photographer-led tutorials live or replay previously recorded sessions. Along with instructional classes, Chimpsy offers shutterbugs a place to submit photos for contests with monthly prizes or for feedback from peers, pros, and sentient picture frames.
Laura Monahan comes from an artistic family, and spent her youth practicing sculpture, oil painting, pottery, and what turned out to be her ultimate passion: photography. Her ability to preserve candid moments has left an indelible impression—she has a published portfolio on three continents and product lines appearing at national retailers such as Hallmark and JCPenney. Laura’s photo shoots always take place outdoors, capturing newborns, older kids, and families in soft, natural lighting and poses that never appear unnatural. Her settings span the country from San Diego’s foamy beaches to Denver’s red-rock sunsets and into the Midwest’s autumn leaves, and she holds mom's night out events all over the country, including in Honolulu, San Diego, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Denver.
Husband-wife team Bill and Kelli Nixon have captured unforgettable moments at hundreds of weddings. Bill, who served for years as a wedding cinematographer, has an excellent eye for lighting, while Kelli is known for her keen sense of timing and framing, making them a powerhouse team when it comes to shooting everything from engagement pics to family portraits to clown college graduation photos. And, in addition to immortalizing special events, the pair also breaks down all the techniques involved with capturing that perfect shot during digital photography workshops for budding photographers.