Dan Hartford

Dan H.

Palo Alto, CA
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details



Dan passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Dan delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
and Ages 14+

Teaching since:
May 2013

3 FOR THE PRICE OF 1 (See Below)

I’m an award winning photographer with great teaching skills who can teach you how to “Escape the Green Box” (get off of the Auto setting) and really use your camera and/or Adobe Lightroom to make and manage beautiful images. These are the highest quality and in depth, lessons taught one-on-one and should not be confused with quickie 2 hour overviews. I don't just tell you to "push that button" or "turn that dial", I teach you how the various camera settings impact your images. I give you the knowledge to fully understand, control and utilize your camera to make beautiful images matching your artistic vision.

I have a very easy going and relaxed teaching style, more like two friends chatting and having fun. But it's all about you and your needs. The first thing that sets me apart is that I listen to you. We then tailor your experience around what you already know, what you want to learn, what your photographic goals are and I cater to your learning style. This has been a winning formula with me for over 400 students spanning 6.5 years of private tutoring in photography, camera use and image editing.

These are private lessons - not a room full of people. My schedule is flexible but I do try to limit it to the hours of 10:00 am to 5:30 pm on all days of the week, however weekend time slots tend to fill up quicker. I've found that lessons of 2 hours each seem to work the best as it allows us to get into some depth each time but not so much at a time that it's overwhelming. If requested, I will do shorter or longer sessions. I have a 2 hr. minimum for the first session so book two back-to-back sessions for the first session. Lessons longer or shorter than 2 hours on weekends can only be confirmed a day or two ahead of time.

If you sign up for lessons, you can bring 1 or 2 guests (family, friends, co-workers, etc.) who can fully participate in the lesson at no charge, In other words, up to 3 for the price of 1. Just let me know in advance.

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Jan 1975 - Present

I have been photographing since the 1980's - yes, much of that was in the film era. That was when cameras where 100% mechanical - no battery or LCD screens. If you moved a dial or pushed a button it mechanically moved levers, gears, springs and ratchets inside the camera to make the changes. The ONLY shooting mode was "Manual" where you set everything.

This is where I learned my skills in photography as in those days if you didn't understand what was going on you couldn't make images.

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Photos & Videos

Drama in Landscape (Canyonlands from Dead Horse Point, Utah)

Portraiture (Peru)

Landscape (Bryce Canyon national Park, UT)


3 Reviews

Write a Review
anu Oct 10, 2017
Photography · In studio

I took basic camera/photography lessons from Dan. He is extremely knowledgeable and detailed in his lessons. Few things I liked about his teaching approach -
* He had prepared a list of topics to introduce/teach based on my specific needs
* He asks good questions, so we actually think about logic and answers
* He is very detailed and approachable, willing to answer any questions

Found his class very useful and would definitely recommend him photography lessons!

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L. T. Jul 16, 2017
Photography · In home

Very knowledgeable about photography and lightroom, learned a lot from lessons.

Bob Dec 17, 2016
Adobe Lightroom · In studio

Although I consider myself an organized person, after 3 months using Lightroom I had complete chaos on my computer. It seemed I had 4 catalogs, Images I knew I had were no where to be found and I seemed to have other images in 3 or more places. It as a mess and I know there must be a better way.

I found Dan on the internet (Yelp and Craigslist), scheduled a 2 hour session with and brought over my laptop. Dan was wonderful. He listened intently to my problems. He asked me about my workflow and things that I never thought of like how many cameras will be taking photos which will all be put in Lightroom. He then mapped out where my images were on my laptop as well as my catalogs (turned out I didn't have 4 I actually had 6 - there were 2 I didn't know about.

He then proposed an image storage file structure and naming pattern, showed me how to merge information to get down to one catalog, get rid of duplicates and add missing images. He walked me through each process several times till I felt comfortable doing the rest on my own at home.

It was so great that i came back 2 more times to get info on keywording, collections and on the 3rd session we went through the magic of the Develop module where we took some ho hum images I took at Yosemite and he showed me with a few slider moves who to make them worthy of hanging in the living room.

Later, when I got stuck he helped me out through email at no charge.

Dan's style is laid back but articulate. He talks in lay terms and works at your pace. I really can't tell you how happy I was with his style and the depth of knowledge he has in the product.


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