Student Testimonials

These Classes Were a Life Changer

Shirley Nannini, Chicago

Without exaggeration I can say these classes were a life changer.  I’ve always liked taking pictures but I only knew how to point and shoot.  I decided I want to really learn something about photography.  There was a wide range of ability and interest levels in all of my classes and I think the program really embraced both ends of the spectrum.  (You do have to do your homework though☺)  The instructors were amazing and they all brought something different and invaluable to the table.  Every time I had an instructor I wanted to take the follow up class from that same person because they were so good.  If I wasn’t able to do that I found the next instructor to be just as amazing. The instructors were skilled photographers, excellent teachers and supportive mentors.  I learned so much about the computer and photo editing and this was a real struggle (understatement) for me.  When I started classes I was scared to go the first class and almost didn’t go. I took Photo 1 twice because I felt like the building blocks weren’t cemented in place.  The second time around I felt ready to move on.  Then something happened on the way to the show class, I fell in love and was bitten by the bug.  The ball started rolling down hill and photography has become a business.   This was not my dream or my intention but it happened and it has been one of the most exciting and challenging times in my life.   My words are inadequate but I can tell you with the greatest assurance, TAKE THE CLASSES HERE.

Returning to Photography

Wendy Love, Chicago

I took one photojournalism class in college, back in the days before digital, and worked at a community newspaper for two years as a reporter -- shooting, developing and printing photos to illustrate my own stories to spare the budget(!)  Then I stopped pursuing photography in any serious way for more than 30 years. 

When I signed up for Photo 1 with Richard one year ago, I was feeling nostalgic for those storytelling days, and seeking a creative outlet.  I had been impressed by a friend’s show photos at RS-CPS’s WithInSight Gallery and decided to see what I could learn.  And now my photos are in the Fall show.  More importantly, I know how to use my camera – and my brain! – in an artistic and technically proficient way. 

Over the past 12 months, I’ve learned so much from Richard and the other diverse and talented instructors at RS-CPS.  But the excellent, relevant digital photography instruction is only half the story.  Thanks to the positive attitude and support of everyone in the place, I’ve also gained confidence in my eye and my abilities, learned how to evaluate, print, mount, matte and frame my photos for a show, and bonded with an incredibly supportive group of photographers across many levels of experience.  I’ve been steered to terrific resources for photography supplies and gear, learned some amazing post-production tricks, and gained the inspiration to keep shooting photos wherever I go. 

I highly recommend Richard Stromberg’s Chicago Photography Classes.  You will learn.  You will laugh.  You will love it.  Thank you, Richard!

If you want to learn about photography, TAKE CLASSES HERE

Antonette Favia

When I took my first class at Richard Stromberg’s Chicago Photography Classes (RS-CPC), I didn’t know the first thing about how to hold a camera, let alone how to use one.   I was never once made to feel intimidated.   At RS-CPC I was given the encouragement and the support that I needed to persevere.  It didn’t take too long to realize that I was actually capable of learning the theory and understanding the concepts behind the craft.    At the same time I discovered and began to develop my (previously unbeknownst to me) artistic center. 

The classes at RS-CPC are structured by professionals who know what you need to learn to become a real photographer.  They know which concepts you need to learn, and the order in which you need to learn them in.   The homework was always consistent with the lesson being taught.

I have taken Photo 1, 2, 3, Show Class, Detachable Flash and Lighting and Portraiture.    Each and every one of my teachers at RS-CPC were outstanding in their knowledge, art, and support. 

I have since participated with numerous other photography groups who routinely go out and shoot together.  I have had and continue to have a lot of fun with photography.     I continue to learn by watching and participating with others.    These are all wonderful experiences.  They have also made me realize how beneficial it was for me to have taken photography classes first.   The knowledge that I’ve gained by studying photography at RS-CPC has helped me to understand how the camera and the art all come together.  I strongly believe that you should TAKE THE CLASSES HERE FIRST.   The material that you will learn in the basic photography classes art RS-CPC will become the solid foundation that you can grow your art from.

Antonette Favia (
Fall 2012 WithInSight Show

Best Bargain in Town

K.T., Chicago, IL

Looking for a photo class? Look no further. Richard Stromberg's Photo 1 course was the best thing I did with my summer. As an amateur photographer someday hoping to go pro, I've spent the past few years trying to learn my way around my camera. I've bought a shelf's worth of books, purchased and watched DVD tutorials, sat in on free workshops, and taken a course at The New School in New York. And while all of that learning was certainly of value, I'm amazed at how much time and money I could've saved if I'd just gone directly to Richard.

Photo 1 is an 7-week course that covers the foundations of digital photography. You learn the principles of exposure (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, light available), and how to manipulate each to your design. Weekly assignments are given, each revolving around a different theme (motion, depth of field, perspective, etc.) I was amazed at how fun and addictive the assignments became. I learned so much in such a small period of time, that I often found myself shooting well over the allotted number of pictures each week.

My experience as a photo student has run the gamut. I've done the big lecture classes, the small one-on-one teachings, the online courses, and the self-guided readings. None of these compared to Richard Stromberg's Photo Classes. They're the perfect size (less than 20 students), his teaching style is fun and interactive, and you'll be amazed at how much you learn so quickly. It's truly a photography community... open, welcoming, no pretense. Particularly helpful for those of us intimidated by the typical "photo school" attitude. You begin to form a bond with your fellow students, critiquing and championing each other's work. Everyone comes for a different reason: to learn a new camera, to become the family photographer, to chart a new career, to pick up the weekend hobby. Whatever the goal, we all share a common denominator: to take better pictures. And you will.

I titled this review "Best Bargain in Town," and even that may be an understatement. At $400 for an 8-week course that meets twice a week for three hours each... that comes to $8.33 an hour. And the first class is free. I just spent more than that on lunch at Subway. And the receipt doesn't look quite as pretty framed on my wall.

The Most Experienced Photography Teacher in Chicago

David Weinstein, Professional Photographer With Over 40 Years Experience

Richard Stromberg has been teaching photography for five decades. Richard has had in his hands every DSLR and SLR camera manufactured since the 1960's. Richard knows from first hand experience which cameras are good and which cameras are turkeys. Richard's experience goes from 8"x10" View Cameras through to Minox Spy Cameras and on to current DSLR's. Richard has been paid to photograph using cameras made in the 1920's (and older) through today's DSLR's. Richard has been paid as a Professional Photographer in each of the last five decades.

Sometimes Richard is cantankerous, but no one teaching in Chicago has the depth of professional experience or the dedication to his students. A one-man Academy? Not really, his extensive paid and volunteer staff shares his dedication to learning and for the development of his students. You may not have time for his 8-week class but everyone should attend one of his one-day Bootcamp for Digital Cameras, or free Sunday workshops.

Everything You Produce is Your Own

Rebekah Raleigh

Richard is committed to taking his students on a journey. It isn't always easy, but when you learn from Richard, with time, you will find your own vision and voice as a shooter. He won't push you into any particular aesthetic so yes, it takes longer to learn this way. But when you arrive, everything you produce is your own not some cheap imitation of your instructor's work.

One of the Greatest Experiences of My Life

Karen Sheets

I became a student of Richard Stromberg's three years ago, after buying a digital SLR. I knew I loved photography but had no serious experience. I could only use the automatic setting on the camera when I signed up for Richard's Photo I. Three years later, I am exhibiting and selling my work, and printing my own photographs of family and friends. I never imagined this would be possible and I often still find it hard to believe. But that's the kind of teacher Richard is if you have any sort of passion for photography, he will encourage you, prod you, insist you follow rules, and ask the tough questions. What makes Richard's classes even more unique are that he has built a system for students to become lab instructors. If you choose to pursue this track, your learning really takes off as you share your learning experience with others. Richard's approach is unique, inspiring, and highly disciplined, and learning from him has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.