magichappensAbout Project 52 Pro

This is a limited enrollment engagement.

If you are a previous Project 52 Member, click HERE please.

Project 52 PRO edition is something that started as a simple idea and has become an amazing place for learning, teaching and sharing. It fills the gap between becoming a photographer and becoming a professional.

. This is the goal of Project 52 PRO – to teach you about that experience through experience.

This will be the sixth Project 52 PRO group that we have created and they just keep getting better and better. We have had many success stories, incredible photography and made many friends on this journey. You will get a chance to interact with members from all former classes in the exclusive Project 52 Pro Facebook Group. This group may be worth the price of entry alone.

Project 52 grew from a desire to fill an area of growth that is missing for so many photographers.

The original path:
Working as a photographer’s assistant has always been the best way to learn all the little, inside tips and tricks that are not taught in the art and photography schools. The kind of stuff that is learned on the job is invaluable for all photographers.

Those opportunities are lost for many photographers in smaller markets, or currently working jobs that would make assisting full-time nearly impossible.

Project 52 endeavors to fill that void for photographers the world over.


Our “REAL WORLD” approach to assignments means that the photographer gets a comprehensive look into how assignment photography works, and how to bid, produce and bill for them.

Assignment from the year include:

  • Shooting to layouts.
    (Furnished PSD files allow the images to be inserted into the layout to judge the shoot’s effectiveness.)
  • Shooting food, and learning how different food genres work
  • Shooting architecture and interior design
  • Environmental portraiture, with an emphasis on editorial and advertising portraiture
  • Catalog work: Shooting products to show them off… and fitting them to layouts
  • Bidding small, local jobs for fictitious small companies
  • Bidding a large assignment for a fictitious national agency
  • How to find work in your area (yes, there is a real method. Not a secret, but a solid work plan)
  • Shooting a magazine cover (both furnished layout and creative)
  • Conceptual imagery (how to find ideas)
  • … and many more real life challenges commercial and editorial shooters face every day

We have a shooting assignment each week, with a two-week time frame to produce it. There is education on each assignment, and we bring a total 365-degree approach to the work. From bidding and getting the job, sketching and preparing the shoot, to the nuts and bolts of producing it, each assignment is a rich learning experience with LIVE feedback.

We view the images in a live webinar, discussing all aspects of their creation and critique them, and put that recorded video into the private area for continued viewing. Critiques are empowering and focused on having you grow. We do not do “tear down” critiques. (I suggest you never involve yourself in that sort of worthless endeavor.)

BOOK-1 copy-smallThe Workbook Approach

There are two workbooks for the new Project 52.

1. The Business Book:
This is a very large manual designed to be a “continued work” piece for the photographer wishing to go full time as a photographer, or be as professional as possible in their part time work. From worksheets to marketing strategies, the business book has received incredible reviews by those who are using it. It will be delivered in its entirety to you at the beginning of the class.

Business discussions will accompany the workbook, but you will have the opportunity to go at your own pace.

2. The P52 Workbook:
This is new this year. It is a PDF worksheet with lighting ideas, concept ideas, assignment details and a lighting diagram sheet for your files. It will also have all of the assignments in order so you can see in advance what you will need for producing them. Additional resources will be on the web page week by week.

Live webinars:
We use GoToWebinar for our live discussions. These are recorded and placed on Youtube (unlisted) and linked to this site for your continued viewing. You will always have access to these videos, even after the class has ended.

Office Hours
New this year, “Office Hours” are open meetings twice per month for those of you with specific questions about the assignments, or to discuss the business book. There are ample times for connecting with me live for Q&A or help with a particular challenge.

Facebook group
One of the most vibrant, welcoming, and exciting groups on Facebook, the Project 52 Pro group has a very high level of interaction and education. No trolls, no “know it alls”… this group is warm, welcoming and full of wonderful photographers waiting to help you succeed. It is exclusive to Project 52 members and once you are a member, you are in forever.


Subscribe to be kept informed.

This in no way obligates you to take the class. It is only so that I can notify you for the early-bird registration and to keep you informed of all the plans for this unique class.


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Project 52 Pros FAQ's

Project 52 PRO FAQ’s

There have been several questions asked regarding P52, the commitment required, and gear needed. This FAQ should serve as a guide for these questions.

1. Commitment.

It is a year long workshop. You wont find too many of those out there, and the reason is simple. Lots of people want it fast, they want it easy and they want it to be a quick hit. Project 52 PRO is none of those. The goal of this course is to introduce you to more than just the shooting styles and genres of the professional photographer, but to the understandings of what goes into making a photograph to the standards demanded by clients.

Please work with us for the full year. Your work will see rapid improvement by mid year, and by the end of this in AUGUST 2016, you will have a stronger, more professional approach to your work as well as a much better portfolio than you have now.

2. What happens if I miss an assignment?

I understand that real life gets in the way… happens all the time to even the most prepared of us. If you have to miss a class or two, it is fine. We archive each assignment, and video record each critique. You will still be able to be involved in the learning. Just hang in there and find the moments you need to create.

3. Am I qualified to do this workshop, or is it over my head?

If you are familiar with your camera, and understand the basics of shooting (aperture/shutter speed/ISO) you are welcome in. The best thing about Project 52 is you are measured ONLY against you. Your effort and work is what we are looking at, and your starting point can vary widely from others in the workshop. Your personal growth is all that matters… and for that you only have to be willing to do the work.

4. How long do I have to do the assignments?

You have two weeks to do each assignment. We start out with that length, and stay with it for the duration. Workshop Assignments are posted on Tuesday mornings two weeks out from the first critique, and are posted on that day and time for the full year.

5. Are the assignments/critiques archived?

Yes. We use GoToWebinar for our critique sessions, and all of them are posted on YouTube for easy access. The videos are unlisted, so only those with the URL can find them. Additional videos are posted on YouTube and a few on Vimeo – but they are always in the archive, and you have access to the archive for as long as I’m around – plus a year.

6. Do I need any special gear for this workshop?

Camera, wide angle, normal, telephoto lenses. A light source of some kind… and natural light is fine for many assignments – ESPECIALLY if that is your style of working. We will also be working with flash, continuous light and studio strobes as well, but they are not required. A speedlight or single strobe would be beneficial, as well as a medium umbrella and medium softbox.


Two Lights. (Speedlights / Strobes / Continuous Lighting)
Triggers to fire the strobes/speedlights
Modifiers: Softbox, Umbrella (convertible), Grid
Stands… twice as many as lights.
One Boom arm (small for speedlights, bigger for studio strobes)
5-in-One Reflector
Fome Core boards, A-clamps, gaffers tape, a tiny tin of bees wax,
A light meter is highly recommended although not mandatory.

During the workshop we will be crafting a few lights, scrims, boxes and more. It will be an inexpensive way to add to your lighting kit.

Do not worry if you do not have all of this gear at this moment… you can add as you get started. I have a page on the site with links to popular items in the lower budget and higher budget areas. This does NOT have to cost you a fortune, but in order to this kind of work we need some basics.

7. Do I need any special software for this workshop?

You will need a way of working with your files to present them on the critiques. Lightroom or Aperture is fine. So is the native Canon and Nikon conversion software.

For our layout assignments, you will need Photoshop or the open-source freeware GIMP to add the layers needed for the layout/mockups.

As far as PC/Mac – not important as long as you understand the way the computer works. The entire year will be adding specific post processing ideas and tips as well as full tutorials when appropriate.