Learning Photography on Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Dorene Sykes taught basic and intermediate level photography classes from 2008 through 2017 at Cape Conservatory in Falmouth. She also coached photography students privately. While no longer teaching, she continues to give back to the community by judging juried art shows and camera club competitions in Massachusetts.

Listed below are ways in which photographers residing on Cape Cod - from beginners through advanced - can build their photography skills.


Camera Clubs

Dorene highly recommends joining a camera club - a great way to learn, progress and share your love of photography with kindred spirits! Most clubs meet twice each month and feature guest lecturers, optional competitions, and photography outings.

Clubs on or near Cape Cod - all members of the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) - are listed below. 

For a list of all NECCC member clubs in New England, click here.


Photography Classes - Cape Cod

The Cape Cod Art Center regularly offers photography classes, workshops, photo tours on Cape Cod, and one-on-one mentoring year round. The Center also offers experienced photographers the opportunity to become recognized as Juried Artist Members which involves submitting a portfolio of photographs for judging. Master Artist recognition is possible after five years after completing requirements that include acceptance into national juried shows, and receiving awards in at least two. (Dorene has been recognized as a Master Artist since 2014.)

Photography classes are also offered from time to time at the Falmouth Art Center.

Photography Classes - online

Creative Live provides excellent online training videos by experts on all sorts of topics for beginners through experienced photographers. Many classes are accessible for free at certain days/times. Substantial discounts are also regularly offered. So it's worthwhile to sign up for emails to receive notifications. Or you may simply purchase specific classes at anytime, for access online or on your device at anytime, in perpetuity.

LinkedIn Learning (previously lynda.com) is another source of high quality online training taught by nationally recognized photographers. Many courses are quite extensive. Unlimited access fees are by the month ($29.99 as of this writing) with the first month free, or by the year ($19.99 per month for 12 months). 

Also, don't forget about free training provided by your camera manufacturer or editing software creator, such as training for Adobe's Lightroom or Photoshop.


iPhone Photography School - online

It is said that the best camera is the one you have with you. These days, that would be a smartphone! 

If you have an Apple iPhone, any model, Dorene highly recommends signing up for the excellent iPhone Photo Academy online course offered at the iPhone Photography School. Not only will you discover hidden camera features you never knew existed, you can also learn (or review) fundamental photography skills that apply whether you're using an iPhone or a big camera. And you can learn at your own pace. Here's a 35-minute inspirational video by the owner/instructor that shows and explains what you can achieve. (Warning: The web page and video are a tad verbose and marketing oriented, but still worth checking out.) There are also free tutorials on this site.

While a smartphone won't give you the full control and quality that is possible with a larger D-SLR camera, such as creating very large prints or shooting under challenging lighting conditions, iPhones (especially the later models) will enable you to get great artistic results.

Camera Conferences in Massachusetts

Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020, NECCC hosts a highly educational 3-day conference every year in July in western Massachusetts. Taught by local to nationally recognized photography educators, it takes place on the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst. Click here for more information.

The Cape Cod Art Center has hosted a 2-day Click! conference in Hyannis for the past few years in autumn. See the Center's home page for information on the next conference - usually posted about 4 months in advance.