Leigh Cavalier

Leigh C.

Sonoma, CA
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details



Leigh passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Leigh delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
and Ages 5+

Teaching since:

Hi my name is Leigh, I've been a professional portrait/life documentary photographer since 2000. I specialize in real "in the moment", on location, natural light photography creating visual legacies for private and non profit clients.

I have been teaching photography since 1997 to kids thru adults. My goals are simple, to teach you the tools of your camera to help you solve technical problems and give you the ability to stretch your creativity. And most importantly to teach you how to see photographically so you may find your own unique visual voice.

My strengths are:
Customize lessons for each student based on what they want to learn, simplified explanations, hands on visual exercises to strengthen the way you see and supportive feedback to help you improve. I am really looking forward to helping you understand your camera's tools and helping you to develop your unique photographic voice!

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Jan 2000 - Present
Leigh Cavalier Photography

I've owned and operated my own studio as a freelance photographer for the last 17 years. I originally specialized in wedding photography but in 2009 I turned my attention to portraits and "day in the life" series photography for my clients to help preserve their family's visual legacy. I've shot from birth to death and all moments in between.
I have shared my passion of photography for over 20 years with people from 5 to 95.

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Aug 2008 - Aug 2008
Leigh Cavalier Photography

I was the sole photographer hired by the Minneapolis Police Department to document the day's ceremonies of the 1st anniversary of the 35W Bridge collapse.
The series of images were given as a gift to the survivors and families of the victims of that tragedy in remembrance.

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Jun 2000 - Aug 2008
Sante Fe Workshops
Horse Master/Dressage & Reining
Sep 1982 - Jun 1984
Pacific Horse Center


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency

Photos & Videos

I look forward to helping you find and explore your visual voice!
Sonoma Mission

Hwy 12 Sonoma

Fort Baker

Nor Cal Coast



Salt Lake

Beer Flight
+ 8 more

3 Reviews

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George Jan 1, 2017
Photography · In studio

I've taken two classes from Leigh. Both were held at the Sonoma Community Center.
The first was "beyond auto settings." I had an SLR film camera and was pretty good with it. When I "graduated" to a digital camera I was a bit confused and intimidated by all the buttons, bells, and whistles. I knew it could do what my old SLR could do, but the manual was of little help to me. So I kept it on "auto," which is not what I wanted to do. And then I took the class.
Leigh presented topics in a logical progression. The handouts were helpful. (I still have all my handouts.) One challenge was that each student had a different camera. Leigh took the time to work individually with each student if he/she was having any trouble with the topic at hand.
We had weekly assignments -- use a slow shutter speed, "bracket" your shots -- and we brought them to the next class. (We did need to get a flash drive for this.) Leigh would show each students pictures and we'd critique them.
Gotta say that I took some pretty crappy pictures, but Leigh always offered constructive comments, usually on how this could have been a better shot, as well as what she liked about each shot.
For one class, we went on a "field trip." We met at Sonoma Plaza and fanned out, shooting whatever we wanted. Leigh was available to offer advice as to setting up the shots as well as the technical settings on the cameras.

The second class was "learning to see photographically." This was a bit different and, in my opinion, far more challenging. We were to take the technical knowledge we learned in "beyond auto settings" and apply it to a themed project. Each week we had an assignment and again brought the photos in on a flash drive. Again, good comments by Leigh on our work. And again, I had some pretty crappy shots. As Leigh pointed out how they could be better, I would go and reshoot many of them -- and they were remarkably better the second time!

For both classes, Leigh provided each student with a CD of his/her best shots. Nice touch.

I enjoy Leigh as a person. I admire her photography. (She shared some of her own work with the classes. Nothing egotistical, mind you, just showing us some techniques and explaining the technical aspects of each.) I've gotten to know Leigh outside of class. She's a good person!

I would recommend her to anyone wanting to take a photography class.

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Steve Jan 1, 2017
Photography · In studio

As a novice and not really computer friendly I found the class very informative. Would highly recommend it. Boosted my confidence!

Dave Jan 1, 2017
Photography · In studio

You want a teacher? Get Leigh. She is dedicated, diligent, caring and responsive. Her major strength is to get people involved in their own learning. With Leigh you do stuff, not just hear stuff. Take a course from Leigh and you won't be the same-you'll remember what you learned and will see the world differently.

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