Frequently Asked Questions

What are your COVID-19 practices?

This is all dependent on when we get the "ok" from our health experts and elected officials.  I hope to resume offering in-person, outdoor classes in April of 2021.  The first offerings will be private 1-on-1 classes practicing social distance, while maximizing the dedicated learning and skill-building time.  Private classes are short format, so our biological need for a restroom might not be present during class time.  

What will I learn during a Patrick Aalto Photography class?

The class skill level ranges from beginner photographer to intermediate, and I truly mean beginner.  I have had people opening the box to their new camera at the beginning of class.  All classes are dedicated to learning skills for creating better images outside, in natural light.  The 1-on-1 classes are shorter in length and hone in on specific skills like ISO, White Balance, Shutter Speed, etc.  The group classes last a little longer.  Beginner is a four-hour lesson that touches on all subjects regarding exposure, as well as some composition.  Also offered are classes covering more specialized skills like landscape, macro, fall colors. 



Can I join a class with only a smart-phone, and is it worth it when my phone can do everything for me?

Yes, your smart-phone is welcome in this class.  There is one consideration, though; you will get more out of every class and lesson if you are able to manually control your camera settings.  That said, there are always composition techniques to learn and practice.  Our phones are very, very advanced, but they will never replace the artful minds-eye that great photographers possess.  Our phones, and cameras for that matter, can take fine pictures, but it is most often up to us to override the auto settings and take control in order to create the image that we envision.  There is always something to learn and to do so in a community of fellow photographers adds to the value of a class with me.    

How much experience does Patrick Aalto have with photography and teaching?

Patrick has been creating photographic images of nature since 1999.  He has shot thousands of rolls of film before switching to digital in 2005.  He has traveled to photograph everything from Caribou in Alaska to snakes in Ecuador, and so much in between.  In that time he developed a way of distilling the essential 'needs' of photography into easy-to-understand information.  He has been perfecting the craft of photography instruction since 2007 when he began teaching the subject professionally.  He has taught at a boarding school in Idaho and Costa Rica, then with REI Outdoor Programs in Portland Oregon and has volunteered to lead photo workshops for various non-profits.