Today, anyone with a camera phone can click and get an image. But to take a really good photo, you must understand the artistic and technological sides of photography. Devorie Zutler has spent the last 12 years teaching women and girls how to do just that. Zutler’s students are both aspiring professionals and hobbyists. Until now, she taught classes in Lakewood, Monsey and Brooklyn. After watching her daughter take an online class at home, she realized how much more she could do, and how many more people she could reach, by teaching remotely. After Pesach, she will be offering several online photography classes via Zoom: Photography Workshop, Photoshop and Digital Photo Organization.
Zutler divides her photography workshop into artistic and technological sections. The artistic guidelines explain different ways to set up your shots, and can help you take better photos with any camera, including the one on your phone. In the technological part of the class, Zutler teaches students how to get off a camera’s automatic mode by explaining key terms such as exposure, focus and depth of field. Students learn how to use camera settings to achieve different photographic looks. Zutler gives each student a loose-leaf binder with detailed lesson plans, in which each concept is clearly explained, along with photos for a visual demonstration. Now that each class is online, it will be recorded so you have access in case you miss a class, or want to review.
Zutler is adding two bonus classes. In a review Q&A session, you can ask anything you are not clear about. At the end of the workshop in June, Zutler will do a photo shoot with students, at a location to be determined, where she will explain as she’s doing it, and then pair up students to practice doing their own photo shoots, with her help.
The Photoshop class, which will be taught by another highly experienced teacher, will be interactive. Students will see what the teacher is doing on her screen, and she will have access to the screens of all the students so she can guide them.
Zutler was the kid who always had a camera and loved taking photos; she taught herself, as her interest in photography grew. “When I went into photography 20 years ago, there were no classes available in the frum world, so I had no choice but to read books and magazines—whatever I could get my hands on, and later researched whatever photography topics I wanted to learn on the internet,” said Zutler. “That’s why, when the opportunity later came about for me to teach photography, I felt it was really important to give women and girls the ability to follow their passion in a frum environment.”
Photography was a hobby that became a career. One summer at a bungalow colony, someone who had heard about her love of photography asked her to take photos of her children. Word spread rapidly and she started doing photoshoots at bungalow colonies as a business. After several years, someone asked her to give a workshop for women who had sick children, and needed a night out. More women began asking her for a class, and she transitioned exclusively to teaching. “Since I taught myself, I know what works and what doesn’t,” said Zutler. “I use my experience to teach others.”