Photo with Madison

Classes are now closed for registration. Individual mentorship is always available or check back soon for the next round of classes.

Teaching teens the skills they need to take better photos while building their confidence so they can enjoy the journey.

Being a teen has never been easy. And the world being turned upside down has brought a new set of challenges for teens. School and extracurriculars have been canceled. Teens have been unable to see their friends or interact with many people outside of their immediate family. Having an adult role model who is not a parent is important for teens. 

My art teacher when I was a teen was Mrs. Quiroz. She was very encouraging, and she took my art seriously. I also saw what life looked like for an artist. Most of all, she taught me how to be open to experimentation, to play, and to enjoy the process. I want to give that kind of support to teen photographers now.


"Since taking this class, my daughter, Mariska, has taken a greater interest in her art and sees things differently. She puts more thought and purpose into her photography. We are excited that she has found this especially in such a gloomy time. This class is great for teens who are serious about learning photography, especially since classes for that age group are hard to find. Mariska really relates to Madison and she looks forward to class. She has improved her photography skills and Photo with Madison has given her the excitement to continue learning." - Jessica Maguire, parent

Teens may choose between one of three classes. The first class is the Smartphone Photography class. This class is great for absolute beginners and younger students.

Next is the Digital Photography I class. Teens may take one after another or jump right into the digital camera class if they prefer. Please note, they must have access to a DSLR or mirrorless camera (please email me if you are unsure if your camera will work).  

After completing Digital Photography I, they are eligible to take Digital Photography II. I ask that students complete Photo I with me before continuing on to Photo II. 

Each class will run once a week for 5 weeks. All classes may not be open for registration at the same time. 

We will meet virtually for one hour each week and cover topics such as:


  • How to work with the tools you have 

  • Camera technique and how to use this creatively

  • How to “see” light and composition

  • What makes a photo successful 

  • How to use your unique viewpoint to tell stories

"I really enjoyed this class! The structure of the class helped me learn how to take better photos and the examples helped me to really grasp the concepts. I would definitely recommend this class to a friend." -Adelaide M., student

Times are tough right now, especially for teens. Art takes us out of the daily grind and into a world where anything is possible. We look to movies, books, music and art to entertain and distract ourselves from the realities of life. Photography is no different. Being creative is a healthy outlet, not only for our fears and concerns, but also for our joy and elation. It takes us out of our present reality and helps us explore and process all emotions. Creativity has guided my life and I have often turned to photography in times of stress, change or uncertainty. 

Making time for creating can be difficult. More so if we are frustrated by our lack of skills and experience. Photography should be fun, not a chore. I seek to be the mentor I wish I had when I was starting out. I wasted so much time running in circles and making the same mistakes over and over again. I was frustrated by my inability to move past these roadblocks. I read so many books and watched endless youtube videos and yet I still had unanswered questions. I’m grateful that I persisted, but I also see another way. Photography doesn’t have to be complicated. I serve as the guide with a flashlight, helping students stay on the path and illuminating the dark corners. 

What will my teen get out of this class?

By the end of each class, students will better understand how to use the tools available to them and how to be creative within those limitations. They will also recognize what makes a good photograph and will have the skills to begin to apply that knowledge to their own pictures. As they complete each class, you will see their knowledge, skills, and confidence grow. 

Imagination is a fantastic antidote to boredom. This will be a safe, inclusive and encouraging environment for students to challenge themselves creatively. Collaboration and discussion among students is encouraged. Upon registration, students will receive an invitation to join a private community group. This group, along with the weekly meeting will give students the opportunity to form friendships and learn from one another. 

By the end of the course, your teen will understand what makes a good photo and will have the foundational skills to continue their photographic journey. 

Alongside the weekly meeting, I will be available for virtual office hours 2 times a week. 

One-on-one mentorship is also available.

Two partial scholarships will be given to BIPOC teens. 



What kind of camera does my child need?

For the digital camera classes, each student will need access to a manual DSLR or mirrorless camera with a lens. If you have any questions about your camera, please email or text me. 

For the smartphone class, all your child will need is their smartphone!


How old does my child need to be?

The digital camera class was designed for students age 14-18. Older students need to have graduated within the last 6 months. We go over a lot of technical information quickly and in my experience, younger students struggle to keep up. If your child is 13 but you think they still might be a good fit, please email me and we can discuss the matter. 

The smartphone class is a great choice for younger students! Students as young as 11 are welcome. 


What is included with the class?

Each student will receive an info packet when they register that includes: a welcome letter and information about how and when we will meet,  how to join the community and how to get in touch if they need help. Students will receive a pdf summary of each class. I will also be available to answer questions or give assistance twice a week during virtual office hours.


What is the attendance and makeup policy?

Attendance is required at every class. Please let me know as soon as possible if you must miss class. I will do one live makeup class per student per session, if notice is given. Students who miss class without notice will receive all written instruction but no live makeup class. 

© 2020 M Somerville Photography