Bella Vista Photography

Bella Vista Photography

5.0 (3)
Best of 2022
2 hires on
1 employee
22 years in business

About this pro

I am an award winning professional photographer and have been teaching photography for over 15 years. I have trained hundreds of amateur photographers at different skill levels from beginner to advanced. I can help with both the technical and aesthetic aspects of picture making. I enjoy teaching on a wide range of topics, especially nature, travel and creative photography. I can teach on multiple camera systems from Canon and Nikon to many others. I am known for my patience and ability to explain complex topics in such a way that people can understand them.

For more information about me visit my website

I'd love to help you master how to use your camera and become a better photographer.

I take great pride in my student's accomplishments. I love seeing the "ah ha" moment when a student understands for the first time how something really works. Othertimes it's awakening the creativity in someone who had only considered the mechanics of photography before. I enjoy helping others become better photographers, it's my way of paying it forward.

Read more about this pro


Raleigh, NC 27614
Email verified

3 Reviews


  • Gerry Felix

    I’m an old codger, new to photography and Lightroom, so one can imagine the challenge Mary Louise had on her hands. She pulled it off with flying colors. She proved to be expert in helping me understand and apply Lightroom at a very elemental level. She knows her stuff and how’s how to teach. Thanks, ML.

  • Roberta Brownfield

    I took a course on Lightroom Classic. The instructor was very helpful and knowledgeable and taught to my beginner level but also to the more advanced people in the class. I would take another class anytime!

  • Sandra Blake

    -outstanding communication, depth of knowledge, and ability to teach- Mary Louise always takes the extra time to make sure students understand the material. Her warm and friendly demeanor puts students at ease and makes learning truly rewarding and enjoyable.


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

I like to communicate with new students by phone or email before their first lesson to better understand what they are hoping to learn with lessons, what equipment they have and what their skill level is. In addition, I ask them to share with me a few of their images, good and bad. I use this information to assess where they really are skill-wise and what they need to learn, and can tailor lessons accordingly.

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

I have been a professional photographer since 2000. I studied photography at the University of California Berkeley and Santa Cruz extension programs, and the Washington School of Photography in Maryland. I am a frequent speaker and competition judge for photography clubs in the region.

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

Sample Rates:
$75 per hour, 2 hour minimum
2 hours $150 (one person), additional participants $75 (50% off each additional person, up to 3 people)

Lessons can be conducted at our home studio in Raleigh, NC, at your home or office, or at an agreed 3rd party location. If not at our studio, a travel fee of 75 cents per mile plus tolls and parking applies.
Private Lesson Special Offer - Digital Photography Essentials:
3 hours $180, $45 savings (one person), additional participants $90 (50% off each additional person, up to 3 people)
This is our most requested private lesson offering. It covers the most essential topics participants need to know to be start being more effective using their digital camera off automatic/program mode. Practice exercises are offered as homework for participants to do on their own time. For those with limited time, this is a helpful quick start approach.
Discount Packages:
5 hours (~5% savings) $355 (one person), additional participants $175 (~50% off each additional person, up to 3 people)
10 hours (10% savings) $675 (one person), additional participants $335 (~50% off each additional person, up to 3 people)
Discount packages can be split into multiple sessions over the course of a 12 month period. Typical suggested session length is 2 to 3 hours in duration.

What types of students have you worked with?

beginner to advanced, most often adults

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

Beware that a good photographer is not necessarily a good photography teacher.  To be a good teacher you need the ability to explain things in a way that your student will understand them, and that requires adapting your approach to the experience and background of each student.

Lessons offered