DSLR Workshops By Okello Dunkley

DSLR Workshops By Okello Dunkley

1 employee
16 years in business

About this pro

I created a photography class that’s easy to understand, doesn’t overwhelm, but gives just enough info to give you an understanding and the confidence to take your camera off Auto Mode!
I started photographing weddings in 1998, but after teaching a wedding couple how to use their DSLR camera before their honeymoon in 2007, I realized teaching is my passion. To date, I've taught over 10,000 students in over 70 cities in 34 states and a few countries!

I love the excitement people have after class as they tell me they’re going to practice, practice, practice! I also love when people show me photos they've taken and say they would've never been able to before my class. I've also had students tell me that they haven't switched back to Auto Mode after the class. Instead, they've kept it in Manual Mode and now it makes sense!

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Chicago, IL 60603
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I've honed my class "Take Your Camera Off Auto Mode!" over the first 5 years of teaching it starting in 2007. It simplifies DSLR photography and has taught over 10,000 students that anyone can shoot in Manual Mode just like the professionals. I would recommend all of my students take this as a first step.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

My dad was a photographer so I literally grew up in a photography darkroom. I started photographing weddings in 1998 and then started teaching in 2007. I have no formal training as a teacher so I just learned how to listen to and read my students as to what made sense and what didn't and that's how I built my class to where it is today.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

My 3-hour workshop "Take You Camera Off Program Mode!" is $99. I tell everyone at any level to take this workshop. In the past, people would tell me they know x, y, and z and they want to do a private lesson and I’ll say, "ok let’s go…" But then I start explaining something more advanced and they say, “wait, what’s that?” So my first class will either teach you what you don’t know or take a lot of photography concepts and tie them all together.

How did you get started teaching?

A wedding couple asked me if I could show them how to use their fancy DSLR before their honeymoon in 2007 and it was at that moment I realized I needed to be doing this more! I stopped booking weddings and starting teaching full time in 2012.

What types of students have you worked with?

From people that have literally just opened their camera box for the first time in class to people that had been shooting weddings professionally. I hope their clients didn't know!

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Not a photography event, but I'm also a stand up comedian that hosted comedy shows in Vienna, Austria until 2022. In 2019, I found a funny comedian in the UK online and flew him to Vienna to perform. In 2020, I saw that he was on Britain's Got Talent and even got the Golden Buzzer for his performance!

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Find one that is willing to answer a lot of questions and teach you the principles of photography. You don't want someone to tell you how to take a photo of a flower. You want someone that is going to tell you what each setting does and let you decide how you want to take your own photo of the flower.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Are you really ready to learn how to take a photo? Photography isn't hard, but it's also not easy so it will take a little work to get yourself over the hump and to the point where you are comfortable in a room with terrible lighting. Walking into a dark room and not freaking out doesn't come from taking a class, but from practicing after a class to the point where it becomes very predictable and boring because your camera will do the same thing every single time unless it's broken. Side-note: in over 10,000 students I've only seen two broken cameras!

Lessons offered