begins August 12th, 2024

Susan Grimes

Foundations of Composition

4 WEEK Small Group Workshop
Discover simple, proven rules of composition that instantly elevate your photos from snapshots to captivating images.

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Week One

Structuring your Frame

As we dive into week one, we’ll start by discussing how to set up and structure the frame, with particular emphasis on the Rule of Thirds, centering, cropping (both in-camera and when editing), and the position and gaze of the subject.

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Week Two

Guiding the Viewer

This week, we’ll discuss how you can use compositional devices such as layering, framing, depth of field, and negative space to draw the viewer's eye and create depth in your photographs.

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Week Three

Compositional Elements

This week, we’ll discuss the use of lines, colors, shapes, patterns, and symmetry in an image to strengthen the composition and assist in visual storytelling.

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Week Four

The Art of Perspective

This final week is all about perspective. You'll learn how your position, lens choice, and even how you hold the camera can have a significant effect on the composition, the light, and the mood.

meet your instructor

Susan Grimes

Susan Grimes is a mom of three who turned her years at home with her children into a time of discovery, experiences, and joys, all skillfully captured in her daily photos. Enjoying the challenge to make images more powerful with light, story, and composition, Susan can be found with her family enjoying everyday adventures or online, passionately teaching composition to her students. With so many sunny days, Susan happily lives in North Carolina with her husband, three kids, and dog Milo.

195 thoughts on “Foundations of Composition”

  1. Elizabeth Hargrave

    I so enjoyed Foundations of Composition with Susan , she was really good at adding little shifts and tid bits that allowed me to not be as overwhelmed. It was so much fun and inspiring

  2. This class is awesome! It really changes the way you read a photo. I really loved and appreciated all of the content giving and how her videos are to the point and easy to process. A must take!

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comments Andrea! I love hearing how it impacted your photography.

  3. I have been waiting to take this course for years and I am so glad I finally did it! Taking this course Full-Participation was essential for me. I didn’t realize what I wasn’t seeing and doing until she showed me on my own photos. Most participants in the class, and Susan herself, photograph their everyday lives with their children, but the course materials show examples from many areas of photography. I was easily able to see how the tools would work in my own genre of photography. The feedback on my nature macro photos was impactful. In addition, Susan’s instruction is thorough and efficient and I really felt she understood and valued our time.

    1. I’m so glad you finally could take the workshop and apply the materials to your beautiful nature images, Erinn! Thank you for your kind words.

  4. What a game-changer! I’m so glad that I took this course as the full study. I’ve self-studied composition before, but the image feedback throughout the course inspired a whole new way of looking at my subjects, settings, light, and everything that goes into my images. Susan gives such thorough and thoughtful feedback. She was very attentive to the mood and stories that I was trying to create/share. I was a little concerned about taking this course during the Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas holidays because of the time commitment. However, it worked out really well! The holiday decorations in my home and our family traditions provided extra opportunities to practice what I was learning. I was also able to ask some great questions on shooting interior/exterior Christmas lights. Bonus!

    1. I’m so glad the timing of the workshop worked out for you Beth! It was a joy to see all your traditions and your furry friends each week.

  5. Susan explains compositional concepts in detail, and her examples are beautiful. It was a delight to go through this workshop! For so many images I knew that I liked their compositions, but to really dive deep and find out why certain compositions are more compelling was so helpful. Photographers of all levels will enjoy this course; there is so much material and it’s very thorough and well-structured. The videos are clear and informative and I was left feeling so inspired to get out and create!

  6. I thought I knew a great deal about composition, but decided to take Susan’s workshop cause I am huge fan of her work and find her imagery so inspiring. However, when I started going through the detailed materials (both, pdf and videos) and reviewed Susan’s thorough explanations for each concept, she made me understand I still had a lot to learn and improve re. composition. It is such an enlightening and amazing course! And definitely one that every photographer, at any skill level, should take! Thanks, Susan!

    1. Thank you Paty! I love hearing that you enjoyed the materials and gained a deeper understanding of composition.

  7. I feel like I’m looking at the world literally through a new lens now. Susan was prompt and detailed in her responses. She was an open book and I enjoyed learning from her!

  8. How much do you need to know about photography in order to profit from this course? Do you have to be able to rock a DSLR, or can you take this course with a phone? And do you need to know about setting your exposure manually?

    1. Hi Ladonna! I think it would be helpful to have at least started learning the basics of a DSLR but it is fine to not be completely proficient with nailing exposure settings. I’m sure you could benefit from most of the material using an iPhone too.

  9. This was hands down my favorite and most useful Click Photo School course. I’ve taken maybe 5 now, mostly full participation and a few study along and this has been really eye opening for me. Susan and our TA Jillian were so thorough in all of their feedback and tailored each person’s feedback to their skill level. I thought the course info was really fantastic but unlike most of the classes which I have found are okay even if you study along, this one is truly one where full participation is very helpful. I found Susan to be very detail oriented and really interested in advancing each student’s photography. She is the most wonderful teacher and I learned so much!

  10. Wow! I can honestly say I didn’t know what I didn’t know about photography until I took this course with Susan Grimes! It felt like so many “secrets” were opened up to me about what makes a photo seem not “quite right” but, more importantly, what makes the good ones catch our eye and keep our attention longer. So much meat in this course on HOW to make your own photos go from ordinary to something special – weekly PDF’s that were filled with insightful information that was easy to read and put to use immediately on the first day of each week, followed up with weekly videos that included beautiful examples and a further deep dive into each topic discussed in the PDF which deepened my learning (and included personal videos by Susan that broke down her own processes for creating her own BEAUTIFUL photos!) There was also EXTRA information included at the end of each week for further understanding and ways to take my photography to the next level. Additionally, throughout the entire process, Susan was there with her team to help me by going through my own photos one at a time and guide me on what I did that worked and what I could do to make each one better – I cannot express how invaluable this part was in helping me see my own photos in a different mindset – she was so patient, detailed, and literally showed me the process on how she edited each of my photos herself to get a better result. It may sound cliche, but this course literally changed the way I see the world around me, and now I don’t just TAKE a photograph, I MAKE a photograph.

    1. Thank you so much Ana for all your enthusiastic comments. It makes me so happy to have such a positive impact on how you “make” your images.

  11. I have put off taking this class for awhile. Composition didn’t feel nearly as important to me as other elements of photography, such as light. I was so wrong! There are so many things that go into making interesting photographs. Life in general is more exciting now that I know these techniques. I feel like I am seeing the world with new eyes as I look for the compositional elements taught in this class. I don’t make money as a photographer so taking this class full participation was a bit of a stretch for me, but I am so glad that I did. Susan and her assistant Jillian are so fantastic! They gave thorough and quick feedback and are masters at their art. I can already see so much growth in my photography, but I am so excited to see what I can create as I continue to practice the things I have learned over the past four weeks!

    1. I agree that composition does make life more exciting! Thank you so much for all your fantastic comments Autumn.

  12. Wow! This class was a complete game changer and really makes you think about how you see the world and how you can compose an image to share your vision. The materials (PDFs, videos) are so incredibly user-friendly and helpful and I know I’ll refer to them repeatedly in the days to come. And the individualized feedback from Susan on our weekly assignments was thorough and thoughtful, and each suggestion she offered helped me to enhance my images without changing my vision. I recommend this course highly and without hesitation to any photographer who wants or needs to look through her lens with fresh eyes. Thank you, Susan ❤️

  13. Christina Tribble

    I hesitated taking this course, because I thought I had a grasp on composition, but I was very wrong! This course is for a photographer at any stage in their photography journey. I have taken many classes on clickin photo school and Susan went over composition techniques that I had not learned before, and the information I did already know, she expanded on the topics and I learned even more. She had an incredible aid, Jillian, who offered cc on many photos and when Susan gave advice she would show how she would crop the photo and add what else would be helpful, and that was like no other teaching I had gotten before. I was able to see instead of just read what I needed to do. I would take this class again, just for the constructive criticism. I always seem to grasp the information when I read it but then forget. The cc helps instill what I just read and then that knowledge stays with me. Their is an abundance of information to learn and it is not basic material of composition. I walked away from this class with a whole new mind set and understanding of composition which is funny how I thought there was nothing new I could learn. Don’t hesitate, sign up, you will not regret it!

    1. I’m so glad you decided to join the workshop Christina! It is great to know that the visual feedback is so helpful.

  14. Susan was absolutely incredible in guiding us through the material. I received invaluable feedback on not only composition, but also editing. The course materials easily lend themselves to all skill levels from beginner to advanced. Cannot recommend this class enough.

  15. I was a full participant in the March 2022 run of this course with Susan Grimes and it was fantastic. I can honestly say that it’s changed the way I see the world around me and certainly how I think about setting up an image. I had many Aha moments, both through the practice lessons and in watching and reading the materials. Susan is an AMAZING photographer with such a depth of knowledge, experience, and talent. She did an excellent job supplementing the already comprehensive materials and her behind-the-scenes shooting videos are incredibly insightful. I highly recommend this course, regardless of where you are in your photographic journey.

  16. This is an excellent class to help improve your photography skills. There is so much more to learn beyond the rule of thirds. The class includes a wealth of content and Susan is so helpful in breaking it all down, providing examples and answering questions to make it easy to understand. I highly recommend taking this course. I can see the difference in how I compose and edit my photos.

  17. As a graphic designer I kept putting off this class, thinking I already had a good handle on composition. When I found myself in a photography rut this fall, I decided to sign up and it was just the kickstart I needed! Focusing on the fundamental concepts of composition is important for any stage of your photography journey. Whether you are a beginner or pro, everyone can benefit from this class. Highly recommend taking this as a full participation course. Susan’s very focused and specific review of the weekly assignments is some of the best feedback I have received on my images. She breaks it down in a very organized and practical way so that I know exactly what to work on in my next shoot or edit. She also gives a lot of insight into the whole process – so that you not only see a finished image but all of the masterful steps that went into achieving her final vision. This included things like showing the rejected images, sharing what steps she took during a photo outing to change perspectives or better frame the subject, and more. She is engaged in the class and very encouraging. Even if you think you already know all there is to know about composition, you should consider taking this class. I guarantee you will come away with new insights into your work and very practical steps for taking it to the next level. Thank you so much, Susan!

    1. I’m beyond happy you had such a great experience as a full participation student! It was a joy having you as a student.

  18. What a wonderful class! This is one of those courses where you think you have a good grasp on a topic, and then the material just blows you away! There is so much great information in this course to take you to the next level in your photography work, whether you are a beginner or seasoned pro. The course materials are beautiful and organized, and I am feeling motivated and inspired pick up my camera. Highly recommend this fantastic workshop!

  19. Extremely helpful and must take class early in your photography journey (or as a refresher if you are in a rut!). Susan was an amazing, committed instructor who provided detailed, valuable critiques and could answer ANY questions . PDFs and videos were not too long, not too short and images throughout the material were soo inspiring.

    1. Thank you for this review, Kathleen. Your comment about taking this as a refresher or if you are in a rut was the encouragement I needed to sign up and I am so glad that I did! You are so right that Susan’s class is very helpful at any point in your photography journey. I can already see improvement in how I am approaching my images – it was just the kickstart I needed.

  20. This course has been absolutely wonderful. I loved taking concepts I “knew” and really thinking about them so much more deeply and approaching images differently now – either as I’m planning a shot or in post. The course materials and prompts were fantastic – it will be such great reference material later on since there’s such depth covered in the curriculum that you cannot absorb it all in a relatively short amount of time. So much to consider – framing, perspective, lines, color, shapes… In addition, Susan’s thoughtful and thorough feedback during the entire course has really helped me gain a better understanding for the movement in an photograph, and also how to critique my own work so I can better compose an image next time. For anyone who’s on the fence about this class – don’t be. If you’re even thinking that you should take it, then sign up!

    1. Thank you so much for your fantastic feedback Michelle! I’m so glad you enjoyed the workshop.

  21. I needed a reset with my photography and Foundations of Composition was just what I needed. Susan and her alumni team (Jillian and Diana) were wonderful with their reviews and generous in REALLY sharing their knowledge. I always felt their feedback was encouraging whether an image was good or if it needed adjustments to be stronger. Reviews were presented in a written format with screen shots of recommended edits to demonstrate the concept. It was really great to revisit reviews and edits and then apply the new information during my next photography outing. Often their recommended edits led me to an “A-ha! moment” followed by “wow, that really is better” or “I never thought about that.” I know I am shooting with more intention now and I’ve seen a noticeable positive change in my photography. There’s a lot of information to take in, but Susan and her team were very responsive to everyone’s questions. I often found that I learned so much not only from the critiques of my work, but also from reading the reviews of the other participants’ submissions and responses to all of the questions. Susan also provided many invaluable links and extra content to continue our photography studies; I know I’ll be using the course materials for a long time. If you have an opportunity to take this course, take it and be prepared to see the world in a new way!

    1. I’m so happy to read your comments Madeleine! I love being a part of of those wonderful “a-ha” moments!

  22. This course is a must for anyone who wants to improve their photography and is wondering why their photos do not have a wow factor. Susan is such an awesome and involved instructor. Her feedback is so in depth and she carefully comments on every aspect of your photo. Daily practice is encouraged so you can get feedback on all your work, not just end of the week assignments. She includes so much extra information and videos that help supplement all the course work. This course has been so eye opening and I’m so glad I took it Full Participation.

    1. Thank you so much Sidra! It was just wonderful to have you in the class and I’m so happy all the feedback and content were eye opening.

  23. This course from Susan is an essential course in your photography journey. Susan is an attentive and thorough teacher and walks through each step of the curriculum beautifully. Her feedback is well thought out has helped me learn how to critique my own images for composition. The actually course material is well laid out, easy to follow and filled with examples that really help you understand the concept. I was really happy to see that this foundations class covered much more than the general rule of thirds that most people already know. And I am so very happy to see that I can shoot more deliberately now and have already increased my “keepers” when I shoot while needing to take less shots to get there. Also, I loved how down to earth Susan is – she is open and honest about her process and seeing her culling video was probably one of favourite videos of the course because it felt like I was at the shoot with her as she shared her thought process through the shooting. Overall it was just a wonderful class and cannot recommend it highly enough!

    1. I can’t thank you enough for your kind comments Laura! I love hearing that you are already seeing an impact in your images.

  24. How often is your course offered throughout the year? I just returned from maternity leave and I would love to join the next class if it’s not too far away when I have more time to focus.

  25. This course had been recommended to me multiple times as a stepping stone to learning the basics of photography, and it did not disappoint. This course is full of different ways to see the world and helps to compose a single scene in various different ways. There is so much material packed in this course, that I am still going back to this a month after the course ended to read through the pdf-s, look at the videos discussing various images and why the composition helps make the image stronger. I am also able to look at my own images and critique them better with the help of Susan’s critiques at the back of the mind.

    Susan and our TA-s Jillian and Diana, were very prompt with their helpful feedbacks on daily shooting images. Even though due to some personal reasons I had not been able to shoot as much as I would have liked during this course, to get more feedback, I have learnt a lot from the feedback that my other classmates received for their daily images as well as the assignment images.

    I definitely recommend this class for anyone who wants to strengthen his/her images

    1. I’m so glad to hear you are still enjoying and learning from the materials! Thank you so much for your helpful feedback.

  26. This class, hands down, has been the most instrumental in giving me the confidence I need to walk into any situation and find options that I KNOW will make my images sing.

    Leading lines, reflections, foreground, framing…they are everywhere once you know what to look for and this class showed me what to look for. Not only what to look for, but also how to use things like perspective, lens choice, and shapes to maximize them.

    When I practiced the specific tools that were covered each week (highly recommend!) I could then: work through my mistakes, ask Susan questions, get feedback and have those ah-ha moments where things click (pun intended).

    Susan is quick! She gets back to you right away and is honest and thorough. I can’t wait to go back and read her responses to everyone else’s homework because I KNOW there is even more gem advice to be gleaned..

    1. It was great seeing you work through all the concepts with your shoots each week, Nina. I’m so glad all the feedback led you to those “ah-ha” moments!

  27. Christina Zerhusen

    This course is a game changer!!! I’ve taken a handful of classes that were so helpful, but this class really help tie them together. My only regret is that I didn’t take it sooner. Susan’s feedback is specific, tangible, and incredibly quick. The guest moderators that provided feedback in the group were just as encouraging and responsive. Don’t hesitate, it’s such a great course.

  28. I had heard great things about this course, and it did not disappoint! Susan was an excellent instructor. She was always very responsive and gave helpful answers to all of our questions. For our weekly assignments, she provided thoughtful feedback, often suggesting alternative crops and editing techniques to improve the image. Several times, she was able to pinpoint an issue with my image that had been vaguely bothering me and suggest a good way to fix it. In addition to all of that, we had two great TA’s, Jillian and Diana, who provided helpful feedback on our daily practice images.

    Susan’s example photographs were inspiring, and I especially appreciated that she pulled back the curtain, so to speak, and revealed her entire process for creating a strong image. As with the other Click Photo School workshops I’ve taken, this course was well organized and broke a large topic down into manageable, practicable pieces. I’m already getting feedback from friends and family that my photography is improving, and most didn’t know that I was taking this workshop.

    1. I love hearing all your feedback Jamie! It makes me so happy that the class is already impacting your work in a way that others are seeing. Thank you so much!

  29. I cannot recommend this class enough! I have been admiring Susans work for a bit now and wondering how she gets certain shots or how she decided to shoot it that way and this class was so helpful and eye opening! She goes through her process and walks you through everything you need to know to get started with composition. I am so excited to see what I will continue to learn as I think through all the things I learned in this class while taking photos. This will definitely make my art better and just allow me to tell my stories with a unique perspective. Thank you so much Susan for this class and all your feedback! Definitely TAKE THIS COURSE!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Karyssa! It was wonderful having you as a student and I can’t wait to see the impact in your art after this class.

  30. Hi- I’m deciding between the follow along and the full participation. I am wondering when the live discussions will take place. I am a teacher so will be in class during the day…thank you!

  31. I am so glad I took this class, and my only regret it not taking it sooner! Susan is a wonderful instructor, so knowledgable and thorough in her critiques and in answering any questions I had along the way. I learned so much about composition and flow in my images and now see so many more opportunities when I set out to take photos. One of the biggest compliments I received is from my mother-in-law, who didn’t realize I was taking this class, told me, “Nicole, your photos are getting so good! The composition of [this one photo] was amazing!” If you’re debating taking the class, or feel intimated, I would encourage you to take it!

  32. One of the best classes I’ve ever taken. Susan will help you to better organize your shots. I now understand flow and what makes a photo work. After her class I’m better at recognizing certain rules and know why I’m not making good photos. In order to break rules you first have to understand them and Susan is amazing with her composition.

  33. What an amazing class! The PDFs and videos are all fantastic and so full of information – I know I will be revisiting much of the material over and over again. Susan was an incredible instructor. She is so knowledgeable and encouraging and always ready to answer any question someone may have. Her critiques were so thorough and informative and I learned so much just from Susan’s feedback alone. The two assistants, Diana and Jillian, were also great and offered wonderful feedback on daily posts. I can’t say enough about how great this class is! It has given me tools to not only strengthen my work right now, but to help me grow as a photographer for a long time to come.

    1. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words Jessi! I am beyond happy that this workshop was impactful and informative for you. I was honored to have you as a full participation student.

  34. This class was everything I hoped it would be and more! Susan was an exceptional instructor and broke down the information a clear and easy to understand manner. Feedback was always timely and incredibly helpful. I had been eyeing this workshop for quite some time now and I’m so glad to have finally taken it. Most of the time I just got lucky when it came to composing my images. To now know the theory and why behind how to create powerful images using composition. Thank you so much Susan for all you lessons and valuable feedback. Don’t miss the next run of this workshop, I don’t know why I waited so long!

    1. I’m so glad you finally took this workshop too! I really enjoyed seeing your beautiful images every week. Thank you for your feedback!

  35. This course was so helpful – probably the most useful class/breakout I’ve taken. Susan’s feedback was enormously helpful and the pace was challenging but not overwhelming. I will be coming back to the materials again and again. This class is exactly the creativity boost I needed. My only regret is that I did not have as much time as I would have liked to devote to participating. Even so, I learned so much. DEFINITELY take this class if you haven’t taken a composition class before!!!

  36. Angela Zbojniewicz

    I loved this class! I am a newbie so this was my first composition class. Susan is wonderful! She opened my eyes to so many ways I can improve my photos. I really appreciated the way she broke things down. Definitely take this class!!

  37. This class was fun, challenging, and one of the best things I’ve done for myself in a long time! Susan’s PDF’s, videos, critiques, and encouragement were so supportive and inspiring, and I will be forever grateful for the experience of this course. She walked us through her own family outing at an apple orchard, not only showing us her best shots, but ALL of her images! It was so inspiring to be able to see her process from start to finish! The ability to post daily photos and get feedback quickly was super helpful and made me excited about picking up my camera every day. I can enthusiastically encourage everyone — regardless of where they are in their photo journey — to take this class! Thanks Susan!

    1. I am beyond happy to read all your amazing comments Julia! I am so thrilled that all the materials and critiques were so helpful. I’m so glad you were able to join the workshop!

  38. This workshop is a game changer! Susan is such a wonderful instructor, and her critiques of the assignments are detailed, personal, and enlightening. The material is full of so many great examples that really help to solidify the principles, and the lesson plans are well thought out as well. There were also TA’s to provide feedback in the daily shooting forms, and their feedback was also invaluable! I highly recommend this class!

  39. This class was absolutely worth every penny! This was the second course I have taken from Click Photo School and I learned so much and will continue to use all the course materials again and again. This was my first time formally learning about composition and it was so incredibly eye-opening and will have a huge impact on my photography going forward (I hope!!). Susan is a very thorough, kind and informative instructor and the TAs were also incredibly helpful and involved. I highly recommend taking a full participation seat if possible because the personal feedback on your photos and work is really where there is so much growth opportunity in my opinion.

    1. Thank you so much for your fantastic feedback Amy! It makes me extremely happy to have had an impact on your photography.

  40. This is the second class I have taken through Click Photo School and similar to my first one, this was an amazing experience. I so much appreciated the feedback that Susan and the TAs gave on all of our images. I agree with what other commenters have said about being pushed past the basics. The readings were incredibly helpful and paired with the videos were a great way to communicate information. Being able to then take the material, work with it daily and get feedback really improved my skills. I am so glad I took this class and would encourage anyone on the fence to DO IT!

  41. This was such an amazing course! Would highly recommend taking it to anyone would would like to study composition in depth. Susan is an awesome instructor and a master at what she does. I loved learning from her and seeing all her examples from her own work. This course really gets you excited for trying out everything you’ve learnt in camera. Thank you so much Susan! Also the helper Jillian was a great addition and so helpful with her feedback, thank you!

  42. Hi Susan, is the full participation seats full for this term? I tried to sign in just then, but the link showed error. If so, when is the next run?

    1. Sorry I’m just seeing this Lisa. The full participation seats filled up fast for this last run. I’ll let you know the dates for the next run as soon as I know them.

  43. Susan was such a great instructor for this workshop, I loved her critiques! I use this workshop the most in all my images out of all of them I have taken! I just LOVE it! I love composition and how much of an impact this workshop has made on my work! I highly recommend this to every photographer!

  44. There are two great reasons to take this course. The first is that while you think you may know composition because you’ve heard of the “rule of thirds”, Susan challenges you on a deeper level, asking you to think about how you want to set up your photo before you even take the shot. She reminds you of things you have seen, but haven’t truly noticed, and pushes you to think out of the box. The second reason to take this course, especially as a full participation student, is because Susan is very active and thorough in the Q & A. She gives alternative ideas for your image that you wouldn’t necessarily come to on your own, thus teaching you different ways to view your work in a tangible way.

    1. I love hearing that you gained a deeper level understanding of all the concepts! It was a pleasure having you in the class.

  45. Mary Margaret Spies

    Susan was one of the most exceptional instructors I have encountered. She really went above and beyond answering questions and it was very clear that she really cares about her students’ comprehension and progression. Her critiques were immensely helpful, and everything she recommended was said in a way that was so easy to understand. While I regret not participating at the level of getting to know the TAs, I still got so much out of this class and I have some precious pictures of my daughter that I’ll cherish forever and would’ve never had otherwise. I highly recommend this course! Thank you so much for everything Susan!

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comments Mary! I’m so glad you found all the information and critiques helpful.

  46. My biggest takeaway is taking this full participation was worth every penny. The materials have made me look at my photography in a different way. Opened my eyes to a few things that will change the way I shoot and edit. However, getting Susan’s feedback was my absolute favorite part! Her attention to detail is really appreciated. She does not hesitate to “break the rules” of the assignment to alter a composition in a way that makes it more powerful and meaningful. So grateful!

  47. What an excellent workshop this was! Whilst I already had a knowledge of some of the composition basics, the content and feedback throughout this course gave me a deeper understanding. What I loved most is it taught me to shoot with intention, which is not something I really did previously. The example images and videos were extremely helpful and brought the content to light! Some of the end of week assignments were a good challenge which is what is really needed to grow in skill & understanding. Really enjoyed and would recommend this course to both beginners and those that wish to gain a better understanding of composition. Thanks so much Susan.

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback Jodie! It was wonderful to see how the workshop transformed your shooting.

  48. Teresa Sullivan

    These past few months have been filled with photography: Mastering Manual, Elements of Composition, and today I finished Photoshop for Beginners. I have learned tons in each class, but let me focus here on Susan’s Elements of Composition. The work was challenging and engaging; I appreciated the stretching Susan demanded. Leading lines, layering, perspective and more. The best were the constructive comments throughout the month – they really got me thinking. And now I look through my lens differently. Thank you, Susan, for guiding and encouraging me.

    1. I’m so glad you fit this workshop into your learning journey! It was a pleasure to have you in the class.

  49. This class is well put together; the pdfs and videos include gorgeous example images and clear instruction. Susan and the TAs were present in the forums answering questions and giving feedback. I think this would be a fantastic course for a beginning photographer! However, I felt like I didn’t get as much out of this class as I had hoped. The concepts were all familiar to me. The exercises were basic. I definitely did pick up a few tidbits and things to consider! But I guess I was spoiled by the first course I took through Click Photo School because in comparison I found the personalized critiques in this class to be short and mostly consisting of praise. It’s nice to feel like I’m doing well, but I was hoping to get pushed more and really expand my skills. As a hobbyist, it’s a big investment to take these courses full participation, and candidly I don’t feel like I got my money’s worth. I think this is a great course for beginning photographers, but I feel reluctant to recommend it to anyone already familiar with basic concepts of composition, for whom it will only be a beautifully presented review.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the materials and I’m sorry to hear you didn’t feel that the concepts were challenging enough. I’m always happy to push students beyond the basics of composition when they feel ready, so definitely let your future teachers know your preferences so you can get everything out a class that you want.

  50. This class has taken my photography to the next level. With clear, concise materials and wonderful, thorough feedback from Susan and the assistants, Jillian and Diana, I gained so much practical information about how to transition from a typical snapshot to something that has depth and visual interest. I highly recommend this class to both newer photographers as well as those who have been shooting for a while, it seemed helpful to the full range of skill levels within the session I was a part of. Susan is thoughtful and insightful with her feedback through the course of the week and especially with the weekly assignments. I think the best thing this class did for me was to provide tools for approaching scenes/subjects with more intention and also, importantly, to better analyze and cull photos on the back end to make stronger and faster choices for what I should edit and share.

    1. Thank you so much for all the kind feedback Melissa! I’m thrilled to hear that all the content and feedback has you feeling confident approaching new scenes and shooting with intention.

  51. Oh where to start? I could not have loved this course more! I have always been drawn to strong compositions and I had read many articles etc that had helped me so I was hesitant to do this course but I went in for full participation and could not be more delighted with my choice to do so – I have learnt so much more than I ever imagined – composition will be a life long passion for me now, so much to practice, so much to learn. The feedback on the weekly assignments from Susan was so in-depth, so helpful & so well articulated and explained – I could not have asked for more and yet during the week her alumni students Jillian and Diana were amazing commenting, helping, and giving advice for moving forward with images that you shared. This course would have been great as a study along but seriously it is absolutely incredible as a full participant. I am now creating images with so much more intention and there is so much in this course to practice and master moving forward. It really brought to my attention how a little tweak can make such a huge difference. Although this is called the “FOUNDATIONS of composition” you do learn so much more than the basics and Susan is helpful with encouraging you to take the next step if needs be. I will be forever grateful for this course and I know that no matter where I am now I will have confidence and competence to capture moments with a stronger composition than ever before.

    1. I know you debated whether this course would expand your skills, so I am beyond thrilled you found all the content and critiques so helpful. Your energy and enthusiasm were a wonderful addition to the class!

  52. Susan’s course has changed the way I see the world around me and has helped me become more intentional and purposeful every time I pick up my camera. Before taking the class I was able to sometimes capture the image I had envisioned; This class has helped me to much more consistently be able to create the images I set out to capture because I now have the tools to do so. I find myself looking now for ways to frame my subjects, leading lines, and shapes that will strengthen my images, as well as using negative space when my surroundings might be a bit cluttered. The concepts were laid out in a way that built upon each previous week’s learning, and the assignments were challenging, but within reach. The peer feedback and feedback from Susan and Jillian and Diana was invaluable – I felt excited to post my images each week knowing that I would get input on what worked, what didn’t, and practical ways to make my images better. I’m sad the course is over – I really enjoyed learning these skills and I know that this course really has helped build a great foundation in my photography journey.

    1. I loved watching all your hard work pay off during this course. I’m so glad you enjoyed all the feedback and grateful for your kind words!

  53. Inés A. de Toledo

    This course has been amazing! I have learnt and enjoyed so so much!! The materials are thorough and easy to follow with very interesting assignments. Susan’s feedback is invaluable, detailed, straight forward and so well structured, so if you can take full participation I highly recommend it. I feel in this last month I have grown as as photographer and received so much energy and inspiration to continue my journey. From now on I will see pictures from another perspective and will try other fun angles. Thank you so much!

    1. I will miss seeing all your magical spots! I’m so pleased you found the full participation worth it. Your enthusiasm was just as inspiring for me!

  54. I took this class in the hopes of it inspiring me to enjoy picking up my camera for fun again. I got that and so much more! No matter where you are in your photography journey, there’s room to play and learn in this class. The PDFs and videos are clear and inspiring, and the image share spaces are great places to get feedback from peers and TAs. Susan’s assignment reviews are incredibly detailed, informative, and encouraging. Such a great class!

    1. I love that you are inspired to pick up your camera and play! I’m so happy that you found the long critiques valuable. It was wonderful having you in the class.

  55. I am just finishing up the full-participation class with Susan and it has been amazing. The course pushed me way out of my comfort zone of how I shoot and opened my eyes to new ways to look at a scene — and the “why’s” behind it. The materials you get are so thorough and I know I will be re-reading them long after the course is over. The personal feedback on pictures by Susan was invaluable too. She took the time to really explain why a picture worked (or didn’t!). The weekly q&a section was always answered promptly and not rushed. If you can swing the full-participation seat, I would highly recommend taking it. The personal feedback on your pictures alone was worth it. It was also fun to interact with the other class members and see how everyone was improving. I am a new photographer and was hesitant in taking this class but it really is perfect for any level (if you’ve mastered manual exposure). I have learned so much that I know will carry with me as I shoot. And I will forever be looking for leading lines now wherever I am :) Thanks for such a great class!

    1. Thank you so much for your extremely kind words Shannon! I’m so happy you found all the feedback helpful and I’ll be looking for all those leading lines in your images!

  56. I recently completed this class full participation, and really enjoyed it. I already miss the class and Susan! The materials were very good and Susan’s feedback was very thorough. She really took the time to give detailed CC, answer questions and give extra info, even giving examples on editing which were so helpful. She managed to address our different needs. It will take some time for me to absorb it all, but I feel like my eyes have been given new vision already. I notice things I didn’t notice before (hurray for no limb chops!) and am inspired to get out of my photography rut, taking shots from new angles and perspectives. Thank you for all your time & encouragement, Susan!

  57. I just finished FOC with Susan Grimes, and I am so glad I took this course. I’m still pretty new, and was a little worried about my work, but Susan, her assistants Annick and Jillian, and the others in my class were so supportive, I came away inspired and determined to keep improving. I’m seeing lines and shapes I would never have noticed before.

    The communication in this class was awesome, CC kind and encouraging, and the materials great. I did full participation, and I’m also glad I went that route. Susan’s comments on the assignments were thorough and detailed. Susan provided CC to our skill level, so this class is great for experienced photographers, along with newer ones like me.

    I’m already plotting my next workshop! Thanks again, Susan.

    1. I know you were worried about your skill level, but I think you did an amazing job in this workshop Barb! I’m so glad you decided to join us. Thank you so much for your kind comments. I really appreciate it!

  58. I just finished taking this class with Susan Grimes. And, WOW what an educational experience this four week class is! There is so much more to composition than ROTs! The pdf each week is loaded with info and examples as well as very detailed videos from several photographers to emphasize the content. The TA’s were both very responsive with their critiques in the small groups which I felt was encouragement to participate and submit work throughout the week. I wish I could have done more practicing during the week to take advantage of this. Thank you Annick and Jillian! Susan was so helpful and thorough in her assignment critiques each week. I really learned to see these composition techniques more easily (framing, leading lines, shapes, perspective, etc) and I can’t wait to use them! I can’t recommend this workshop enough-Susan really puts so much into her class!

    1. Thank you so much Courtney! It was just wonderful to have you in the class and I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  59. I have taken a lot of wonderful classes through CMU but Foundations of Composition has been a game-changer for me. I thought that I knew the basis of composition, but this course completely changed the way I shoot – for personal and clients. Susan is an amazingly talented instructor who gives detailed information and really takes the time to make sure you understand the materials. All of the TAs on this run were so so helpful with their feedback. I am so glad I took this course and was so sad to see it end. If you are on the fence – take it – you won’t be sorry!

    1. I love hearing all your wonderful thoughts on the class, Marie. It is so rewarding to see all the content click for people and you could definitely see the impact in your beautiful images. Thank you so much!

  60. Kellie overholt

    I’ve had a camera in my hands for 18+ years, and walked away from this course inspired, and further educated. After taking Susan’s workshop, I look back at my photos from just a month ago and can already see so much growth in my work. I thought I knew a lot about composition, but I realized that a) I didn’t, and b) this class is so much more than just composition. This was my first full participation workshop, because they are expensive and I have a budget, but I was not disappointed. The feedback you get from several talented and awarded professionals in the full participation is just so invaluable, and I can’t imagine doing the study along now after I’ve done FP. So so worth it! And Susan is amazing. So kind, straight forward and helpful. I learned so much from her and I’m so sad it’s over!

    1. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words Kellie! You already had a great handle on composition, so I am beyond happy that you still learned so much. I was honored to have you as a full participation student.

  61. This was such a wonderful, eye opening course which has left me inspired and keen to put everything I’ve learned into practice. The materials were well presented and well paced, and brought the concepts to life, but the real magic was from Susan Grimes, whose feedback was invaluable. Her critiques were always helpful and supportive, while making suggestions that truly made the image more powerful. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced photographer, I think this is an excellent course. An intensive 4 weeks, and I would recommend taking it at a time that will really allow you to spend time with daily shooting and participating on the forum to really get the most out of it. I’m looking forward to seeing all the concepts start to come together over the next few months.

    1. I’m going to seriously miss seeing your weekly assignments and those gorgeous glimpses of England. Thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback!

  62. I highly recommend this class, especially as a full participant. Just make sure you have the time to devote to shooting daily to get the most out of this class. I think being able to shoot daily and have Susan and her TAs comment on your photos and really focus on composition when shooting will change your photography for the better.

    1. I loved having you in class Amy! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the workshop and full participation. Looking forward to following more of your work on the Daily Project!!

  63. Susan and her team of TA’s offered a brilliant class not only chock full of very useful information, but they offered wonderful critiques that really pushed us all along. The critiques were always supportive, yet also direct in pointing out mistakes if you missed the mark. This is the kind of instruction that makes one improve!!! If you are an experienced photographer, take this class….the image reviews by a very knowledgeable team will find some holes missing in your work that you may not have realized. If you are just beginning…take this class. You will learn some really great foundations to build upon. I absolutely loved the 4 weeks and I am ever appreciative of Susan and all the TA’s in devoting hours of their time and their great wealth of knowledge. I will be doing more workshops with Click Photo School for sure!! I am a Number One Fan!!!

    1. I can’t thank you enough for all your enthusiasm and participation in the class, Mary. I’m so glad all the long critiques were helpful to you! The ClickinMoms community is definitely a great place for learning!

  64. I learnt so much from this workshop! It goes beyond the basic Rule of Thirds and challenges you to take many concepts into consideration when making a single image. Susan is so patient and thorough when responding to questions, she includes photos and plenty of examples to make sure you really understand. She encourages you to shoot daily and to share your images in small groups on the forum for peer critique and the fabulous TAs who really help to much. Her feedback on the weekly assignments is so informative and encouraging. I highly recommend this class!

    1. Faigy, it was just wonderful to have you in the class and I always enjoyed all your questions. Answering questions is my favorite part of the class! Thank you so much for your kind comments!

  65. To me, this workshop was just fantastic. Everything about it was great: from materials (beautiful, accessible, varied, meaty) and assignments (challenging, meaningful) to class participation (lively, supportive) and picture sharing (inspiring, though-provoking). I think this workshop would benefit a very wide range of photographers, from someone pretty early in their journey to people with quite a bit of experience. Then there is Susan Grimes, as head instructor. Her level of organization and commitment to this workshop was pretty amazing, and her weekly critiques were just sublime in their balance between encouragement and instruction. Always happy to offer suggestions, tips, and bonus materials, and helpful and thoughtful in feedback and responses, to a degree that was just… fantastic. Alongside Susan there was also a team of wonderful TA’s that poured their heart into this as well.

    Overall: if you are looking for inspiration and growth in your compositional skills, look no further. This workshop is the real deal.

    1. Wow, I am beyond happy to read all your amazing comments Henrik! I am so thrilled that all the materials and critiques were so helpful. I keep adding more and more examples every run and I’m glad to hear it is worth it. This was such a fantastic group of students and I enjoyed seeing all your participation and images. Thanks again!!

  66. This class has really been game-changing for me. I knew, in theory, most of the compositional rules that were covered but this course takes you beyond the knowledge and it really helps you apply and fully understand them. I hesitated about taking the course full participation due to the cost but I don’t regret it in the least. It was worth it and then some.

    Susan is such a wonderful instructor, very quick to respond to questions with very detailed answers filled with example images. Her critiques are gentle but thorough. Also, her vidoes and her why behind each image are incredibly helpful and inspiring.

    1. Love your comments Alexis, because I think the listed concepts probably all seem so easy at first glance, but I love opening people’s eyes to the nuances and deeper understanding behind it all. I am so happy that you walked away with a better understanding as to “why”, so that you can be more creative. Thank you so much for all your kind words. It was just wonderful to have you in the class.

  67. I was so excited to join Susan’s workshop last November as I had followed her on Instagram for a while. Her style of teaching is very straightforward, practical and dynamic. She replied all different kinds of questions on a timely manner and her feedback for critique photos always make magics.This workshop is definitely a valuable experience of my lifetime.

  68. I really enjoyed the workshop. The materials were great and easy to understand. I loved how Susan would follow up with links to different explanations of what we were learning. The homework assignments were challenging and the feedback from Susan was very helpful.

    1. Thank you so much Veronica! I put a lot of effort into adding extra info and being thoughtful on your critiques and it means a lot to me to hear that it is helpful to you!

  69. I loved this course! Susan’s lesson taught me how to slow down and stop to think about composing photograph. I feel like this course gave me the missing link in my early photography journey.
    The lessons were well thought out and the videos are extremely helpful. The daily commentary on photographs by the TAs was so, so helpful. The end of week critiques were so helpful.
    I’m so happy I took this course!

  70. If you’re looking for a course that will inspire and challenge you, take Foundations of Composition with Susan Grimes. This course pushed me to see things differently, from discovering shapes and perspectives where I never saw them before, to finding ways to take ordinary scenes and make them visually engaging. While I was familiar with many of the composition principles, I discovered there’s soooo much more to them. Susan and her helpers will give you detailed feedback to guide and push you, making it relevant to you whether you’re a seasoned photographer or you’re just getting started. If you’re on the fence about whether to take this course full participation or not, I’d say this is a course where it can really make a difference. I feel like I grew the most from the daily/weekly practice and the thoughtful critiques of my images. Don’t miss this one!

    1. I’ve been just as inspired by this class as you Ann! It is a joy to see how much impact this class can have on all levels of students. Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback!

  71. I can’t say enough good things about taking this course with Susan Grimes. She has such an incredibly strong eye for composition within images and I feel I could learn from her endlessly. she gives and gives and gives to her students and she has given me an abundance of useful feedback. Taking this course has absolutely strengthened my images so much more. I can’t recommend this course enough.

    1. Thank you so much for your extremely kind words Krystil! All your hard work will definitely pay off and I’m so happy you found all the feedback helpful!

  72. This course is amazing! I have been so inspired by Susan’s work and I was pleased to learn that she is not only an incredible photographer but a wonderful teacher as well. Taking this course as a full-participation student has been crucial for me to continually push myself and I feel that I have learned new things every day through the forum feedback. I have learned so many things from this course that I now keep in mind when I am shooting and editing which make me question, “Is this image composition-ally strong? Could it be stronger?” I am excited to continue learning and being inspired by the new friends I have made in this course.

  73. This was a wonderful course! It was the first time I did a full participation and I’m so glad I did. It kept me accountable for practicing the material we learned every single day. And I was able to get reviews and suggestions on all photos I posted. The material Susan provides is so helpful and I plan to continue to go over and over it! Susan gave such detailed reviews and answered every question I had. I feel my work is so much stronger now that I really understand the fundamentals of what makes a great photo when it comes to composition. Excellent course.

    1. It was wonderful to have you in the class Liz! I am so happy you gained so much from it and honored to be a part of your journey!

  74. This class was incredible…if you’re not sure if you should do it, you definitely should! The materials are great and the content is game changing – I never knew there were so many triangles, circles and lines in the world! Susan and the TAs have me rethinking how I even approach taking photos. But, most importantly, Susan Grimes is an incredible instructor. She is devoted, responsive, helpful and goes above and beyond to make sure students are getting the most out of the class. She responds quickly to posts and always gives participants something to think about. I would take any class taught by Susan.

  75. This is hands down the best single thing I’ve done for my photography. Susan Grimes and the TAs are phenomenal. The feedback you get as a full student is invaluable to help you distill your intent for the viewer, making your photography more compelling and stand out from taking snapshots. You could take composition courses anywhere, but the ClickinMoms community, the instructors, the TAs, and peer feedback make this particular course exceptional. Everyone pours their heart into it. Sign up as a full student and commit to shooting every day!

    1. It was such a pleasure to have you in the class Melodie! In fact, I couldn’t have asked for a better first run class. Thank you so much for your feedback! Teaching this workshop has been such a wonderful experience.

  76. Everyone excels at different aspects of photography and Susan Grimes is amazing at composition. I always try to learn from people who are the best at what they do and this class was exactly what I hoped it would be. She shared her knowledge and insight in a very easy and understandable way. I also feel that while I grasped the basics during the past month there is still tons of material to go back and review so I think it will continue helping me improve and grow as a photographer for a long time. The material is simple enough for a beginner but there is also enough detail and information that someone with more photography knowledge would learn a lot as well. This class helped me more than any other class/breakout I have done so far and I feel so lucky to have taken it!

    1. Thank you so much Carolyn for your amazing feedback! I am really glad you found the workshop so valuable. It was wonderful having you in the class and I can already see all your hard work paying off.

  77. Danielle McNeely

    This class was such a blast! I knew the basics of composition but really wanted to get a better understanding of all the different concepts. I pushed myself to shoot daily and practice the concepts from each week, while building on the previous weeks and, I feel like it made such a huge difference. Kristy gave such detailed feedback on our weekly assignments and was always quick to answer and questions we had. I learned so many new ways I could strengthen my images – there is a ton of information in the PDFs and videos. I know I’ll be referring back to these materials! Thank you so much Kristy :)

  78. Katharine Saunders

    This is one of the best classes I have taken here at CM. The material is presented in a concise but thorough way and the instructors are fabulous. Kristy was the lead instructor during the run I took the workshop and she was quick with thoughtful feedback and answers to questions. Daily shooting is recommended and that is really the best way to get the most out of this class. Beginners shouldn’t be intimidated and even those who have been shooting for a while will find good information here. Can’t recommend this workshop enough!

  79. This workshop is amazing, and a must take for every photographer. Although I have been photographing for some years now, I needed to really understand composition more. I have been using ROT all the time, however there is so much more to composition. Lisa is amazing in explaining to find lines, triangles, patterns, and incorporate them in photography to your advantage; making your images stronger. Lisa explains when square images work, and why. How to crop an image intentionally, and again explaining why. When a center composition works…and why. You see a pattern here? Yes, you will find out the whys in this workshop. And trust me, it will make so much sense and you will see lines, patterns, triangles all the time after this workshop.

    Lisa was always present in the class and answered every question we had. The Alumni team was amazing with their feedback as well. The only regret I have is that I should have taken this workshop several years ago. So, if you are serious learning more about composition to make your images stronger, I highly suggest that you sign up for the next run of Foundations of Composition.

  80. I had always hesitated taking this class because I thought I already knew the basics of composition. No, no, no…I was so wrong. This class really should be named Composition is Absolutely Foundational. Lisa’s wonderful instruction and feedback helped me connect the dots and begin to internalize what makes a solid photograph. I can’t believe the number of Aha moments I had during these four weeks. So, if you are like me and are on the fence about this class, just do it. I’m so glad I did and I know you will be, too.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Susan! I loved having you in class and I looked forward to your assignments every week! <3 I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the workshop so much – you did wonderfully and I'm thrilled to hear you're feeling so confident in composition now!

  81. Foundations of Composition is a must take class. Lisa is incredibly thoughtful and a great (and present) resource. I find myself thinking about composition even when I do not have a camera in hand! I am leaving this course much better equipped than when I started, and have noticed a tremendous difference in my images since completing this class.

  82. Foundations of Composition was one of those classes that will completely change your photography. As a matter of fact, I think it should be one of the first classes that any newbie should take. But it’s not just the class itself…. the instructor, Lisa Benemelis, and her talented AHs were so helpful with their feedback and showed genuine enthusiasm throughout the four weeks. I recommend taking it Full Participation as the instructor and AH feedback is very helpful in grasping some of the more detailed concepts.

  83. I just finished this amazing course, and I am so sad that it’s over! The lessons have made me so much more aware of what is in my frame and what elements help to create a strong image. I find myself thinking about composition now even when I’m not shooting. Lisa’s feedback was very detailed, clear and thoughtful. Daily shooting is encouraged in the class, and alumni helpers provided helpful feedback on our daily photo shares which really motivated me to practice as much as I could. This course has helped me to become a better photographer and leaves me inspired to keep shooting and growing!

  84. This was a great course and a must for any budding or experienced photographer. Lisa explains the concepts very well and gives really detailed and helpful feedback on the assignments. You begin to look for what you learned everywhere and attempt to become a more conscious photographer. The TAs were very helpful and provided extra critique during the daily share threads. Take it as full participation; the feedback is invaluable!

    1. I just finished this amazing course, and I am so sad that it’s over! The lessons have made me so much more aware of what is in my frame and what elements help to create a strong image. I find myself thinking about composition now even when I’m not shooting. Lisa’s feedback was very detailed, clear and thoughtful. Daily shooting is encouraged in the class, and alumni helpers provided helpful feedback on our daily photo shares which really motivated me to practice as much as I could. This course has helped me to become a better photographer and leaves me inspired to keep shooting and growing!

  85. This workshop was exactly what I needed to help me with the many questions I had regarding composition. The workshop provided simple, straightforward and easy to follow teaching presented attractively in both pdf and video format. Lisa was very hands on providing advice and help in the FP forums, plus there was additional helpful tips and advice provided by the TA’s who were also very hands on throughout the course. I find myself looking for shapes and lines everywhere now and can see loads of previously missed opportunities which I am ready for now! As well as learning from the course materials, I found the student assignments and feedback invaluable. Also loved the TA / AH’s weekly assignment contributions which likewise helped to cement the week’s teaching. I am so chuffed to have this excellent composition teaching material to review when needed. The workshop material is truly a valuable addition to any photographer’s library and money well spent. Thank you CM.

  86. I can’t say enough good things about FOC. This is the course that woke me up to observing life around me in a whole new way. I found myself finding “attractive” moments that previously I would have missed. And I started to learn the secrets that change snapshots into “real” photographs. I’m not your typical CM member-my children are young adults and I don’t have little ones to take pictures of, yet I was amazed at the things I found to photograph when I started to learn what creates an attractive composition. I started carrying my camera with me & found opportunities everywhere-even on crazy busy days. I committed to shooting daily & made myself submit my efforts even if my best for that day felt like something I wasn’t proud of. There was really a lot of information shared & the interaction with classmates was really beneficial as well! The daily feedback (for my work as well as my classmates) was amazing & I learned so much (even from my duds!). And now I’m getting the full benefit of the pixels my camera advertised-my crops are much less drastic-LOL! I would HIGHLY recommend full participation if you can do it. I personally finished the class with Lisa Benemelis & I can’t emphasize how generous she was with her time & how skilled she was at critiquing everyone in such a kind way. She gave me the perfect challenge of ideas to move forward without ever feeling beaten down. I know the other instructors (Allison McSorley & Kristy Dooley are also as kind & committed to the learning.) They together create an atmosphere that is also fun-for an entire month. If you want to learn how to “see” more creatively when you look through your viewfinder, take this class! It’s been a gift to me that keeps on giving!

  87. This class was such a wonderful, wonderful experience! I not only learned a lot, but also felt so inspired during the four weeks that the course ran! What I found most valuable was the tremendous amount of thoughtful and detailed feedback that I received from the instructors, TAs, alumni helpers and fellow classmates. And not just on the end-of-the-week assignment, but on the (invaluable) daily shooting shares as well as the mid-week check-in shares. The fabulous quality and amount of feedback that you will receive in this class really warrants full participation – I promise that you will not regret it! The constant feedback and interaction with instructors, TAs, alumni helpers and classmates gives this class such depth. You should not hesitate – sign up now!

  88. Great class and highly recommend taking it as Full Participation. The direct feedback from experienced photographers is invaluable. Sometimes you know something is not right, but you can’t put your finger on it. That’s where their knowledge comes to play and will help you to start shooting more mindfully. This is a daily shooting class. I don’t think you would grow as much if you didn’t shoot every day. Even if you don’t have a good day, still post something and learn from your mistakes. The feedback is thoughtful and detailed, not intimidating. The instructor, TAs and AHs all post their images for examples of the assignment, which helps you get an idea of what you need to be thinking about. You are free to ask them any questions about anything you’re struggling with. Everyone is at a different level, so to get the feedback that pertains to you is so helpful. The class is a little time consuming because you do shoot daily and have the PDF to read, but it’s worth it. I would say to give yourself about 2-3 hrs a day if you do FP. You will want to post your images and read the CC for others to learn new things. There is no doubt that you will improve by taking this workshop!

  89. I loved this class! I am a newbie to photography and have lots to learn. This class was a wonderful place to start learning what makes a photograph visually appealing and a stronger image. The feedback was excellent and very specific to your photo. My photos have improved greatly by the end of the 4 weeks. I liked that this class offered daily critiques because it encouraged me to practice every day. The TAs were awesome as well as the AH who critiqued your daily work. I loved seeing other people’s photos to learn from their critiques too. I would recommend this class for sure!

  90. I just finished this course, and I am so sorry to see it end! This was my first workshop with CM and I am so glad that I took FOC. Lisa and all the TA’s were great to work with. I learned so much from all of them, in such a comfortable atmosphere! The critiques were honest and informative. Daily shooting was encouraged, but not required. I am so glad that I did shoot everyday. I really think that it helped my progress through this course. I already find self taking pictures differently than I used to. I see leading lines and triangles everywhere now!! I highly recommend this!!

  91. I cannot praise this workshop and its instructors enough. Foundations of Composition (FOC) is a game changing course. What’s wonderful about it is that it really isn’t just a beginner “100 Level” course. I’ve taken many CM workshops (I’ve just hit double-digits to give you some perspective), all full-participation; And this is truly the best or one of the best I have ever taken. The instructors and course structure are the strengths of this workshop. Emma Wood was our lead instructor this run (February 2014) and I cannot praise her enough. Emma is an all-around lovely lady with amazing talent she generously uses to inspire students in the course. The materials do a deep-dive into composition on all levels and the course structure is such that you are shooting, critiquing others, and actively participating every day for a full month. It was basically a composition bootcamp. I now find myself selecting my crop overlay tool in Lightroom, but switching it off immediately because my photos are perfectly composed–no cropping needed! The other instructors/TAs our run were Lisa Benemelis and Allison McSorley. These ladies, their feedback, and support were simply amazing. I cannot endorse this workshop enough and think it really is a “MUST TAKE” for photographers at all levels.

  92. What an eye opening class! The instructors & TAs were exceptional in giving very detailed critiques and answering all questions and the material was abundant (not overwhelming but very thorough). I’m trying to incorporate what I learned when I shoot now and I see myself looking for leading lines, diagonals and repetitive shapes. I don’t shoot a lot of portraits but instead shoot landscapes, nature and animals and this class has really helped me when framing my subjects. All of my classmates were also very helpful in critiquing and giving feedback which really made the class that much more interesting. I hated it when the class ended but we have formed a Facebook group and a bunch of us are still communicating and taking pictures. You won’t be sorry at all if you take this class and it is worth every penny!

  93. I completed the first run of this workshop and before signing up I was a little unsure if I would gain anything from this course, having already covered some basic composition in other classes, how silly of me – I couldn’t have been more wrong! I LOVED this course and gained so much from it, I see things everywhere now that I didn’t see before and learnt so much. Even though I was incredibly time poor with the lead up to heading away for the Christmas holidays, I loved every minute of this workshop. Allison, Lisa and Emma were so amazing in their detailed feedback and at times edited images to show you what they were thinking. I needed this course and didn’t even realise how much! The first run was so much fun, we had a fantastic group of ladies, but I think it was the commitment from Allison, Lisa and Emma that really made this workshop hum. I would not hesitate to suggest this workshop, you will love it!

  94. What a great workshop this was! I’m sad that it had to end! I typically spend a fair amount of time reading workshop reviews and viewing alumni picture shares before signing up for a workshop. Since this was the first run I didn’t have that option but knew with these instructors that I wouldn’t be disappointed! Allison, Lisa and Emma did a fabulous job and I never would have known it was a first run! The material was well organized, clear and filled with images that not only demonstrated the concepts being covered but inspired me to pick up my camera! The feedback was thorough and honest. I learned so much from reading through the critiques of my images and those of my wonderful classmates. Daily shooting made such a difference. I found that some concepts seemed easy to understand when reading but proved to be a bit more difficult with a camera in my hands! There’s so much more to composition than leading lines and rule of thirds-who knew! :) I highly recommend this class!

  95. Favorite class to date! Wow. What a fun month we’ve just had …

    I went into this class thinking I knew what we would be covering, only we would cover it in more detail. How wrong I was! What I ‘knew’ barely scratched the surface. What an eye opening, thought provoking and FUN class.

    Allison, Lisa and Emma, have put so much into this workshop and all three made themselves available to us daily to answer questions and provide thorough feedback. Quite a task, given how active our group was … we may have been a little chatty. :giggle

    Course materials were thorough, with just enough information, and accompanying images, to cement the concepts discussed. This is not a heavy reading class at all, and with daily shooting strongly suggested, I appreciated that. I was able to read the weekly PDFs quickly, and pick up my camera to get started. The PDFs may have been brief, and to the point, but they ALWAYS had me reaching for my camera as soon as I was done … so I found the materials brief (around 20 pages on average), to the point, and inspiring.

    The feedback from instructors was very considered, detailed and specific. All three would take the time to ‘draw’ on our images, or pull them into Photoshop and make some adjustments, to highlight successes and to demonstrate how we could improve upon, and strengthen, a composition.

    I am now seeing things very differently … as others have already mentioned, I am seeing shapes, leading lines and framing opportunities everywhere – and driving my family bonkers in the process. :giggle I have also grown to like some perspectives that I would never have tried before … I realise that I’ve been a straight up ‘eye level’ shooter until taking this class.

    Thank you so much to Allison, Lisa and Emma for such a wonderful workshop – and to my fabulous classmates too. :lv: I look forward to continuing with putting these concepts into practice and making deliberate composition decisions before I press the shutter. Amazing class and a wonderful way to finish up my first year at CM. Highly recommend this class – you will NOT be disappointed!

  96. I just finished the first run of this course. I have had so much fun this month being challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone into a place where I feel much more confident about my images. The instructors were fabulous and so encouraging. I felt the material was extremely accessible to someone who is still in the beginning stages of their photography journey and the course was set up to gain feedback extensively along the way. The course involves daily shooting and practice, which was so helpful! I could not have grown as much without that element and the awesome feedback from the amazing instructors and all my peers in the FP group. It really is such an awesome course!

  97. I thoroughly enjoyed this class. It was quite a lot of work and I saw a commensurate amount of growth, not only in my own photography but in all my FP classmates’ as well. Even though I’d read many books on composition and studied other photographers’ work, the instruction and guidance from Allison and the TA’s as well as their carefully chosen assignments really helped me focus on composing a pleasing image right in the camera and gave excellent suggestions on how to further give them impact during post processing. It’s a solid foundations class that will be of use to the newest photographer or someone who has been comfortable with their camera for a long time. The critiques were well thought out and you can tell each teacher spent several minutes looking at each image before giving feedback. I know this will continue to help me improve my photography even after the class ends, as I continue to internalize and have opportunities to practice each of the techniques that were presented. I see shapes and lines where I could not visualize them before. Take this class if you need to learn to be more deliberate about what’s in your frame before you click the shutter. Also, Allison is just the sweetest – a most encouraging mentor with a great heart and it shines through in every word.

  98. I just had the pleasure of completing the first run of Foundations of Composition!! What a stimulating, challenging and game-changing experience!! The material was thorough, multi layered and creatively empowering!! Allison hit the ground running as this rounds leading instructor and, along with Emma and Lisa, offered detailed, thoughtful, specific feedback daily! This past month I’ve felt inspired, pushed out of my comfort zone and have literally been seeing shapes, leading lines and framing opportunities everywhere!!! I feel so much more confident in my ability to understand what makes an image compelling! Run and sign up for round 2!!!!! <3

  99. It was such such such a pleasure to take this class! I can’t even express how much I have learned and how much it has helped me grow. To be honest, I was a little nervous to take a “first run” course. I was worried the material might have been rushed or the course would need tweaking. But because CMU (generally) and the instructors (specifically) have such stellar reputations and amazing talent, I took (what I thought) was a risk and signed up. I am SO SO SO glad I did!! The materials were so detailed and contained such great examples that really helped to cement the concepts. The feedback was so detailed and instructive. I learned so much from reading what the instructors wrote on my assignments and also from the feedback left on everyone else’s assignments. There was truly a wealth of information in there!! Allison, Emma and Lisa were also so quick to answer questions on the Q&A threads and in our daily share threads. I’m amazed at how much knowledge they were willing to share and that they all found the time – especially given how active the forum was!!! I think anyone beginning their journey would greatly benefit from this class and even more seasoned photographers too. There was a lot to learn – much much more than rule of thirds!!

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