WDO Photography

WDO Photography

5.0 (1)
1 employee
16 years in business

About this pro

I'm professinal photographer and teacher Don Orkoskey. I lead FREE weekly photo walks through Frick Park every Sat morning. I offer a variety of classes which can be found on my website WDOphoto.com. I teach photography for Phipps Conservatory, at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden and more. I teach everything from phone photography and intro to photography classes through advanced lighting, post processing, and more. Meet me Saturdays at 9:30 by the Frick Environmental Center for a free walk, then sign up for one of my classes. I can't wait to meet you and to help you grow as a photographer!

I love teaching. Knowledge is power and sharing knowledge empowers everyone. I enjoy helping others grown in their understanding of photography which I'm passionate about. Photography is such a fun and meaningful way to tell stories, convey emotion and meaning, and record our lives and our world. I currently teach 10 classes and workshops a quarter. I love teaching and can't wait to meet you in class! 

I often have students take new and different classes and have taught everyone from brand new beginners to working professional photographers. My classes are engaging, informative, lively, and fun. I love photography and I share that love and my understanding of it with you when you take one of my classes. I promise you won't be disappointed and will walk away learning what you came to learn and much more all while having a great time doing so. Sign up today or contact me for more information. I can't wait to talk to you!

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Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Email verified
Phone verified

1 Review


  • Sarah McHammond

    I took intro to digital photography from Don. There was a lot of information but the class was fun and I learned a lot. Then I signed up for a wildlife class and took his cellphone class just for fun to learn a bit more about using my iPhone to take pictures.

Photos & Videos


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

I offer structured group classes and private classes. Even in my group classes my first question is what do you want to learn and what do you already know. It's important to me that you get the most out of our time together. I'm a working professional photographer with over 20 years of wide ranging experience. Even in a structured class I can tweak what we're doing to make sure you get the most out of my classes.  

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

I hold a photography degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (2001) and studied photojournalism at Point Park University while working as a professional freelance photographer. In 2007 I opened my full time photography business, WDO Photography. I have maintained a full schedule of client work and taught a variety of photography classes ever since. Due to the pandemic my list of virtual classes expanded and I've mastered teaching virtually in a fun and interactive way. As of 2021 in-person private leasons and structured classes through a variety of partners are available once more.

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

Pricing on our group classes are dependent on the hours of class time. Private lessons are booked at a rate of $50 per hour. 

How did you get started teaching?

I'm passionate about sharing knowledge. Even as a kid I always wanted to share what I had learned. I began formally teaching at around the same time I started my business. Along with my photography business I had a side business in arts education along with a partner. We taught kids animation, storytelling, and more. We partnered with the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh to produce a show on Maker Culture called the Make Shop Show. We also worked with a variety of other community groups including the Penguins Foundation, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Homeless Children's Education Fund. As part of our work we studied under a few great teachers such as Dr. Alice Wilder and Ernie Dettore who helped us understand the art and science of teaching better. Shortly thereafter I began teaching nature photography classes and was asked to teach a class for a group of new parents who wanted to take better photos of their kids. I find teaching to be very rewarding. 

What types of students have you worked with?

I've worked with young children through the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, people living with learning disabilities and cognitive impairments through groups such as the Warhol Museum and Achieva, and have taught adult learners through my own classes, at senior centers,  and at other cultural institutions such as Phipps, and the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. 

I have adult diagnosed ADHD. As a kid learning was both exciting and frustrating. I struggled because nobody caught that I needed learning to be engaging. It really sucked. I never want to do that to anyone. It's vital to me that I understand how you learn and respond to that with my teaching. I want you to get the most out of your classes and that means teaching to you in the ways you learn. My classes are interactive and engaging. They include visual and auditory learning and of course hands-on learning as well. No matter what type of student you are I promise I will work with you to help you get the most out of our time together.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I recently taught an intro class at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. I always ask my students why they signed up, what they want to learn, and what their preferred learning style is. 

One student told me that she agreed to photograph her cousin's wedding. She has never taken a class, struggles a lot with her camera, and was really not sure where to even start in order to understand how to photograph a wedding. I've photographed weddings for over 20 years. They're very stressful and I would NOT recommend signing up to do one solo without a lot of experience photographing fast moving action. Even then I'd recommend working as a second photographer for a few weddings first. 

She was determined to do it. I didn't want to discourage her, I never discourage my students. So we put together a plan, I offered her some additional advice based on my experience as a wedding photographer, gave her some options for inexpensive lenses that could help her, and helped her understand how to use her flash. 

A few months later she sent me the link to the photos she did of the wedding. She did a truly amazing job. She really made me proud to be her teacher. I was so proud that I asked her if I could share some of the photos on my blog. She got permission from the couple and I wrote a post about the experience.

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

Find someone who's work you like and want to know more about. Make sure your personalities fit. I want my students to be excited to come to class and I want to be excited to teach them. That doesn't mean we've got to connect on every level or end up being best friends but understanding each others lived experiences or relating to each other is helpful especially since photography is about sharing our stories with each other. It makes sense to have a teacher who will understand and care about your story and what you're sharing. 

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

Do I have the time and energy to learn this? Teaching is a lot of fun and it's rewarding but it's a two way street. If you're not excited to learn you won't find the class fun or rewarding. 

What do I want to learn? Do you have a camera that I just don't understand how to use? Do you know how to use your camera but want to improve your artistic skills? Do you really like photography but don't know where to start and get frustrated when you pick up your camera? Knowing what you want to learn and get from a class can be really helpful. 

Lessons offered