Curious Soul Photo School

Curious Soul Photo School

5.0 (15)
10 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee
6 years in business

About this pro

My Goal is to help you take your photos from like to LOVE. This is a mindful photography approach that invites you to slow down and really see the world around you through the lens. All classes are in person so you recieve individual attention and coaching. I create a custom learning path for you so you can progress in a step by step fashion rather than jumping from one class to another, then to youtube, then to a book. 

 About your instructor: Suzanne Merritt is a master level photography instructor with a studio at the Boston Center for the Arts. She has led workshops on beauty, photography, and creativity in Asia, Europe and the United States for the past 25 years. 

She was the founder of the Polaroid Creativity Lab and in 2016 opened The Curious Soul Photo School in Boston MA.

She is the organizer of the Take Better Pictures Meetup group with 2500 members and has led over 350 photography classes and tours in Boston and Beyond. 

Suzanne provides step by step instructions as well as handouts so you can practice the techniques you learn again after class. 

Suzanne has a masters degree in Aesthetic Education which uniquely qualifies her to offer instruction of elements design and beauty in photography. She is also a published author of the award winning book, Flow-tography:The Curious Soul’s Guide to Intuitive Photography. 

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Credentials

Boston, MA 02116
Email verified
Phone verified

15 Reviews

5.0

  • Terry Rochford

    Suzanne is an excellent photography coach who can gently push you outside your comfort zone to explore new areas of photography and improve your creativity and skill set even if you are already an experienced shooter. She is also great at teaching newer photographers to move beyond automatic mode and take control of their cameras and settings. I have taken a number of Suzanne's group classes during the past year and a half and have definitely improved as a result. She scouts out excellent shooting locations and begins each class by reviewing the principles and techniques that will be needed to succeed in that session. During the class she also makes a point of spending one-on-one time with each person and reviews their work afterwards. If you want to improve your photography skills, I can highly recommend Suzanne.

  • Nicholas Bullard

    Suzanne is a true teacher - not just an excellent photographer and artist, but also an educator who takes care in outlining theories and frameworks clearly to help a learner grasp new concepts and adopt practical skills. Her methodology and perspective was a perfect match for my interests, but more broadly I appreciated the care, intention, and organization she brought to our lesson. Would recommend to anyone seeking to move their photography in a mindful, aesthetics-driven direction.

  • Henry Gessau

    Suzanne will gladly help you to learn your camera and the basics of photography. She is very good at that. But Suzanne's teaching methods really shine when going beyond the basics. She covers visual elements and composition. Her techniques apply to many types of photography: landscape, street, abstract, macro, architecture, etc. I have learned so much and my photography has improved dramatically. The group classes include outings in the Boston area and these are fantastic! They are extremely well organized and helped me see Boston from a new (photographic) perspective. I have tried photography classes and photo walks led by several other organizations and companies, and Curious Soul Photo School is by far the best.

  • Peg OConnor

    Suzanne totally exceeded my expectations! She got me so excited to start using my new camera. I liked that we spent about the first half hour on theory - what elements comprise a good photo and then the rest of the lesson time taking pictures concentrating on those elements. Thanks to Suzanne I am now more than just a point and click photographer.


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FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

At our first meeting I take a look at 20 of your photos to assess your current level of skill. Then I ask you to show me examples of the type of images you would love to be taking. From there we identify the gaps in experience and knowledge between where you are and where you want to be. These typically fall into three areas. 1. Camera Use 2. Creative Seeing 3. Being Present. I then design a learning path for you to build on what you know and explore new areas of learning.


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

I was a corporate trainer at Polaroid. I have a masters degree in Aesthetic Education. I have led hundreds of photography workshops around the world. I am not just a photographer that now teaches, I am a professional instructor who understands how to make complex concepts clear and accessable for beginner and intermediate students.

I have 30 years of teaching expereince, more than most instructors you will find. So I have deep and broad knowledge of what matters most. I teach technical basics, and focus more on teaching how to see and be connected to what you photograph. This is something you can not learn from a youtube video;)


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

I have three levels of session pricing. Typically a new student will meet with me for the first one hour session and together we will determine if it is a good fit. I love teaching and enjoy finding our more about the students specific interests and needs. Then I can customize the session just for them. 

1. Tution is $85. per hour.

2. Series of three 90 minute sessions $380.

3. Master level  includes 14 hours of one on one instruction, customized assignments and critiques. The series typically runs for 3 months. The tuition is $1,190.00 Detials can be found on my website www.curioussoulphotos.com 


How did you get started teaching?

I worked at Polaroid for 15 years in various roles. For the last 6 years I was the founder of the Creativity Lab. I began leading workshops all over the world to help scientists challenge asumptions and see the world with fresh eyes. Because of this, I know how to set learning goals, and build step by step understanding of complex topics like f stops and shutter speeds. 

I like to teach and since I have a masters degree in Aesthetic Education, I know how to really help people understand the design principles of composition, color, light, texture etc. that make a photo successful. I offer handouts and field guides so you can take what you learn with you where ever you go. 


What types of students have you worked with?

I work with individuals who are passionate about photography. They may be self taught up to this point and discover they are not making progress.Or they may have tried learning at one point and now have forgotten much of what they learned.

Some of my private students are semi retired life long learners who now have the time to get more serious about photography and want to rediscover their creative self. Since this is a mindful approach, it is also a way of being and seeing the world with more appreciation and grattitude. 

I am focused on with people who want to take better photos for the joy of it, not to win contests or get more likes. They might like to print or share their photos with family and friends. 

Many are interested in travel photography so when they go on the trip of a life time, or a weekend in Maine, they capture images that express the beauty of the expereince. 


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

One of my favorite teaching moments happened I reailzed the photos of some of my students had become better than mine. I just love it when people out grow my classes and go off on their own. The classes are about their photos, not mine.

Some instructors focus on getting students to take pictures like they do. I want students to find their own voice and express their creativity in their own way. 


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

With so many instructor to choose from, it can be overwelming to know who to work with. If I were going to select an instructor here is what I would do.

1. Look at the website and see if I like their sample photos and their general philosophy. This tells you alot about their depth of knowledge they can draw from to work with you.

2. Read testimonials and see what others valued about the experince.

3. Go old school and chat on the phone rather than just email. Then you can get an idea of their personality, sense of humor, and ability to communicate clearly. Have 2 or three questions ready and just have a conversation. You can always say at the end of the call you are talking to several people. You don't need to commit during the call. 


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

What would make you feel deeper satsifaction with your photography? 

What have you tried to learn so far?

Are you interested in photography as a form of creative self expression? 

What type of camera do you use now?  


Lessons offered