Learn Photography - Classes and Coaching

Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts


Professional photographer Dorene Sykes teaches photography classes in partnership with Cape Conservatory, as described below. See the instructor's bio and what Dorene's students are saying about her classes.


Class Schedule

All classes are offered by Cape Conservatory and held at their 60 Highfield Drive campus in Falmouth. Directions are here .

Register online with Cape Conservatory or by phone the Conservatory at 508-540-0611.

Cape Cod Photography ClassesCape Cod photography class student Basic Photography

    Next class in Fall 2018 - dates TBD
    Saturdays from 9 to 11:30 AM
    $134.00 / 6 weeks

Intermediate Photography

     April 7 to May 19, 2018 (no class April 21)
     Saturdays from 9 to 11:30 AM
     $134.00 / 6 weeks


 Basic Photography class

Do you have an advanced digital camera that you can use on automatic mode only? Would you like to increase the number of "keepers" by taking control of your camera?

  Cape Cod Photography Class - Basics The focus of this six-week class will be on understanding essential digital camera functions. Students will learn how aperture, shutter, and ISO work together to achieve proper exposure and desired artistic results. Topics include lighting, depth of field, motion, perspective, and composition. During the final class, students will mat their favorite photograph, a skill use for gifts, entering camera club competitions, and exhibiting photographs. Through fun and informative lectures, demonstrations, handouts, assignments, and supportive photo critiques, students will gain confidence to move beyond automatic mode and take control of trickier situations.

Prerequisite: This class is for adults with minimal to no photography experience. A digital camera with full manual control is required: a dial on top that includes the letters P, S(or Tv), A(or Av), and M. Students should bring their camera, manual, and 4-5 photos to the first class (prints or laptop/iPad). The class is limited to 12 students.

Intermediate Photography class

 So you have enough knowledge to take your camera off "automatic" mode. And you're composing and shooting better pictures. But now you'd like to get to the next level.

Cape Cod Photography Class - Intermediate This six-week course will help you strengthen your creative and technical skills across a variety of genres. Seeing creatively, composing artistically, and taking control of light - the paintbrush of photography - will be the core focus.

Interactive lecture format classes will focus on the art of seeing creatively, black & white photography, portraiture, and scenic photography. Two classes will be actual photo shoots. The first shoot will take place at a waterside location in Falmouth. The second photo shoot will be held in the classroom where students will learn how to pose, light, and shoot flattering portraits. Classes include photo critiques, handouts and weekly assignments.

We'll also delve into technical nuts and bolts: advanced camera features, using built-in and external flash more effectively, and tips on working with digital files and printing. After six weeks, you will be taking WOW photographs more often.                                                               

Prerequisite: A digital camera with full manual control. A camera with the ability to change lenses will help students get the most from this class. Completion of the instructor's Basic Photography class, or a basic knowledge of how to control exposure, depth of field, and motion using aperture and shutter priority modes. While NOT required, an external flash with a head that swivels left to right (not just tilts up and down) will be helpful. Students should bring their camera, manual, and 4-5 photos to the first class. 

The class is limited to 12 students.


What Dorene's students are saying...

Cape Cod Photography classCape Cod Photography class


I thoroughly enjoyed your intermediate photography class. I have taken many classes and your teaching style was by far the most effective. I came into class with a good knowledge base and you expanded it considerably. Plus you’re a really nice person, too. - Angelo D., Mashpee

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I'm glad I decided to sign up for your class. The last three classes combined gave me the "ah-HA!" moment I have been looking for for years. - Barry G., Hatchville

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I had a great time learning about my camera and how to achieve results I can be proud of. Each week I was excited to attend and looked forward to gaining more knowledge.
Thank you so much Dorene, I loved both of your classes.
- Dorothy G., Wareham

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Thank-you for such an outstanding class. As a newbie to the world of D-SLR cameras, taking your class was the best thing I could have done. I knew a little about shutter speed and aperture prior to class, but I truly feel like I’m armed with some great core info that will prove invaluable! Trying to learn all this on my own, would have taken many months. Your passion for photography is contagious and I hope to take a class with you again in the not too distant future. - Jim F., Plymouth

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I think you are doing a wonderful job! I have taken two other introductory courses, neither of which provided the practical, technical information which is so important, nor in such a helpful way as you do. - Kathy R., West Falmouth

[Two years after completing Basic and Intermediate classes, Kathy R. advises: "I am proud that two of my photographs were accepted into the Falmouth Juried Photography show. I remain grateful to you for your excellent help. I have sung your praises to many and urged them to take your classes."]

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I went into this class feeling I knew how to take photos. Was I surprised to learn what my mistakes were. I recommend this to anyone new to photography, or even as a refresher. And lots of fun, too! - Joe C., Marstons Mills

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I was excited after completing the 6 week course - I now understand concepts that never made sense before. I feel I have the tools to take my skills to the next level. I also appreciated that Dorene's mix of teaching not only the technical aspects of photography,
but also training your eye artistically. Thank you! - Stephanie H., Orleans


I learned more about photography in Dorene Sykes' six week class than I thought possible. The professional presentation of the materials coupled with the attitude and humor Dorene brought to her class melted away years of anxiety that I had about starting a career in photography.  I feel energized, enthused and empowered. And I can state honestly and without hesitation that I cannot wait for the next class to begin!"  Julie F., Harwich

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Before taking Dorene's Basic and Intermediate classes, I would read and re-read the manuals, and it just wouldn't make any sense.  After hearing Dorene explain things it all clicked!  Now it seems so simple!  She really brought it all together. - Cindy D., East Falmouth

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Before your class I tried to learn about photography. I took a deep breath and thought I was going to be over my head. Right from the beginning of your class everything started to make sense. I've learned much more than I could have ever imagined. You helped me improve my skills dramatically and made me think about capturing images in such a different way. You answered all questions, and all photo critiques were positive, professional and helpful. I would enroll in classes instructed by you without hesitation. Thank you for the outstanding class and help! - Marcelo M., Falmouth

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Thank you Dorene for a wonderful 6 weeks! Your simple approach to complex terms and processes really helped me to "pull it all together!" I am so excited to practice what I learned and to take your intermediate class to continue on my path. The matted photo at the end of class was a great way to build our confidence and "show off" what we learned! - Lisa B., Sandwich

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I REALLY enjoyed every class. Thanks for the really good organization and enthusiasm you put into teaching the basics.
It's been a thrill for me to finally learn the things I should have known a long time ago. - Karen H., North Falmouth

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