The Photo Mentor

Rated as one of the Best Photography Classes in Baltimore by CBS Baltimore!

For Additional Information And To Register For Our Classes and Tours, Register on the Registration Page, email or Call 301 340-2259

Call or Email for the Next Photo Mentor Class Sessions!


Discover The Seven Simple Steps To Better Photos

Let This Pro Show You How To Improve Your Pictures In Just Minutes

Have you ever wondered why it is that two people, standing side-by-side, even with the same cameras, can each take a photo of the same subject? One takes a dramatic, emotionally-charged image, while the other’s are completely forgettable.

As a Professional Photographer I create compelling images that showcase my clients’ products, services and concepts.

My name is Stu Estler and for 25 years I’ve been able to make my living being paid to take photographs. My clients come back to me again and again, and won’t even think of going to someone else. Sometimes I get to do such amazing things, I just stop, and think “People PAY ME to do this!”

It wasn’t always that way.

For years, I dutifully carried my little 110 camera around wherever I went and took pictures of everything, but never wound up with anything more than amazingly boring, sometimes-in-focus snap shots.

I knew I could take better pictures, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t have a mentor, someone to look over my shoulder and guide me.

I spent years and thousands of dollars learning the secrets of taking beautiful, professional style photos, and I’ve been able to turn what started as a hobby into a lifestyle that many people only dream of.

Along the way, many of my clients have asked me for advice on how to take better photos.

I’ve finally taken all of the skills, tips and tricks I’ve learned and put them together into simple, easy to understand courses that anyone can use to show you how to take pictures like a pro.

Think about it. Your photos are the most powerful way to keep those cherished memories, special times, and captivating pictures of your life. They allow you to go back to those wonderful moments over and over again.

Simply put, your photos let you relive the best times and memories of your life.

I experience the feelings of pride and pleasure that come from taking great photos every day. My goal is to show you the skills and techniques that allow you to enjoy those same feelings.


Now! Three great Redesigned Classes guaranteed to have you taking better photos quickly and easily. AND, two All-New Advanced Class to Take your Photography Beyond Your Present Way of Seeing!

- Classes Taught In An Email Format Convenient to You! –

Many people, like you have a burning desire to improve their photo skills and want to take my classes. Yet they find that taking time to come to a class every week is just too difficult to squeeze into their busy schedules. Others live so far away that it’s inconvenient or impossible to attend a class.

Rather than your coming to meet in a classroom once a week for an hour – plus travel time – I’ve created a format where you’ll conveniently receive each weekly class session by email. You’ll submit your assignments, I’ll critique them and share your samples and my comments with the class – so everyone benefits – all by email.

The weekly lessons will be the same information as they would be with the in-person class meetings, with the same content and the same examples. Since you receive them by email, you can review the material as often as you want, and at your own pace, on your schedule. You’ll be able to refer back to anything you want to clarify, any time you want. And I’ll be available via email to answer all your questions.


Classes Beginning Regularly. Call or Email for the current schedule

The tuition for each 4-week class is just $199. Call Stu Estler at 301 340-2259 or register on the registration page to register now!

I. Seeing Through the Lens – Beginning Your Photographic Journey

Digital Photography has opened up a whole new world of possibilities to millions who previously believed that photography was something complicated and difficult. Many people like you now you realize that there’s a big difference between simply owning a camera and developing the skills to take a great photo.

You Are Absolutely Right! Making great pictures isn’t about the camera – it’s about what’s inside you. Imagine being on your next vacation or family gathering, and taking the pictures that everyone wants to see, pictures with emotion and energy, and realizing that it all began right here with this class!

This first class in your series shows you the difference between simply pointing the camera and pressing the button and realizing how to compose your photo for the best pictures, and how to make the most of that magical quality – light.

Along the way, you’ll discover how to:

  • Learn the keys to composition and lighting, to make your photos come alive.
  • De-mystify all of those settings and controls, to learn to consistently take the kinds of photos you really want.
  • Discover how to make all of those automatic settings do what you want them to.


II. Mastering Your Digital Camera

With the consistent advances in digital camera technology, the line is fast becoming blurred between SLRs, Advanced Digitals – Super Zooms: even the more elaborate Point & Shoots allow you to do much more than just “point” and “shoot”.

While the basic techniques you’ve learned in your first class can be used with any camera, an entirely new set of potentials opens up when you learn how to use your camera to its full potential, to create exactly the kind of photos you intend.

In your next class in The Photo Mentor series, you:

  • Learn how to take your camera off  “the green” setting and put you in control
  • Discover how to use apertures and shutter speeds to do much more than just get you the right exposure.
  • Create energy and excitement in your photos with the right light and composition.


III. Develop Your Creative Vision

(Prerequisite: Seeing Through the Lens, Mastering Your Digital Camera, or an equivalent experience level)

Now that you’ve mastered your camera, explore the techniques to create incredible photos that you’ll be proud to display and share.

  • Discover how the right design elements in your pictures capture the imagination of your viewers.
  • Fine-tune your compositions to evoke an extreme emotional response to your photos.
  • Explore the nuances light plays in creating just the right mood in your shots.


IV.  Expanding Your Vision – Creating Your Personal Style

(Prerequisite: Seeing Through the Lens, Mastering Your Digital Camera, and Develop Your Creative Vision or an equivalent experience level)

This is the class that guides you and your photography to the next level. Thanks to the skills and techniques you’ve acquired, you’re able to see your world in a whole new way. It’s time to put your personal mark on your photos – create images that are uniquely you!

You consult individually with your instructor to develop your photography in the direction you see yourself moving and progressing.


V.  Show Me a Story – Master The Photo Essay

(Prerequisite: Seeing Through the Lens, Mastering Your Digital Camera, Develop Your Creative Vision, and Creating Your Personal Style or an equivalent experience level)

Ultimately photography is a means of visual comminicatoin. We create photographs to share our thoughts, ideas and emotions with our viewers.

Developing the skills to make a good photograph is the start – a very important step – to being ablre to convey our message. But editing and arranging our images into a logical, meaningful portfolio or photo essay is the true skill of an accomplished photographer.

In this class you build on the skills you’ve learned on both “how” and “why” to take a photograph and put it all together to tell YOUR story.


VI. Coming in 2015 – A Sense of Place

Prerequisite: Seeing Through the Lens, Mastering Your Digital Camera, Develop Your Creative Vision, and Creating Your Personal Style or an equivalent experience level)

You’ve mastered the functions of your camera. You’re instinctively seeing the effect of light on the world around you – even without your camera in hand. You can’t help yourself from mentally framing “a shot” with everything you look at.

Now it’s time to step through the frame of camera, light and composition and explore you subjects from an emotional perspective.

Learn to communicate the “feel” you have for that special image, and discover new ways of looking for yourself!


Register For Classes Today:

Call:  Stu Estler 301 340-2259



Each class contains four weekly sessions, and each new session will be delivered on Tuesday morning. Your assignments from the previous week’s class will also be due Tuesday morning, and I’ll have them all critiqued by Friday of that week. (The assignments for week four will actually be due on the fifth Tuesday, and critiqued by that Friday.)

The tuition for each 4-week class is just $199. Call Stu Estler at 301 340-2259 or register on the registration page to register now!



Upcoming Specialty Classes and Workshops:

Kids & Parents – the Digital Darkroom $99, 3 hours

– A companion to the Kids & Parents Photo Walk (not required) We’ll show you what to do with those great photos once they’re in the camera.

Architecture and Interior Photography $199, 4 hours

– Specially Designed for individuals who use photography in their business, like architects, realtors, builders, remodelers and interior decorators/designers, who enjoy the versatility and economy of photographing their own projects but want to see better results. Appropriate for anyone with an interrest in architectural and interior photography.

Additional hands-on workshops and individual instruction are available.

Coming Soon: The Photo Mentor Webinar Series

We’re introducing a series of one- to four-session webinars on the photography topics people like you ask about most. Stay tuned for more details, and if there’s a special topic that you’d like us to cover, as always, email us with our ideas!

Also available – “How To” classes and personal instruction specfic to your make and model camera. Since the little details vary between each model, we’ll look at getting the most from your particular camera.


Don’t quite see what you need? I’m also available for a limited number of private, personal or group instruction sessions. Call or email and tell us what you’re looking for.


New classes and workshops are being added continually. As always , the best way to find out about the latest updates is to Subscribe to our Newsbreif.


For Additional Information And To Register For Our Classes and Tours, register on the registration page, email or Call 301 340-2259


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