West Coast School 2024 – 5 Day Class Registration & Summaries

University of San Diego

2024 Instructor and Class Summaries – See Below


5998 Alcala Park

San Diego, CA. 92110























Dates:  June 9 – 14, 2024

If you wish to pay on a monthly basis,  you must call the PPC office to register for payment plan – 661-429-3640 Ext 1

2024 Course Information


Hard Light, Soft Light, Window Light, Strobe Light – BLACK AND WHITE DONE RIGHT with Pete Rezac

You love black and white portraits, but something just seems to be missing. Are the props, right? Are the subjects, right? Is the environment, right? Well, it could be that

all of those are right, but you still aren’t getting the results you want. Well, it could be your lighting is missing the character and personality that helps make black and white

portraiture sing!  I can help you secure the confidence to make your black and white portraiture sing  showing you how to use LIGHT!  Be it soft, hard, natural, or electronic! Lighting skill

never goes out of style, and there are so many styles than one to use! I’ll show you how to block and tackle light to make any subject it illuminates sing – especially in

black and white (works for color too!). Additionally, if there is interest from the class – I will dive into the differences of using all this light if you choose to use film. I love using analog photography and helping

others who may be interested in offering the experience to clients as well.  Light doesn’t care what light sensitive material it’s hitting, so be it silicon or silver I’ll

help you get the results your after, and if you know me we’ll have a TON OF FUN doing it!


Magic Marketing: Captivate and Connect with Your Brand with Chris Wooley

Are you ready to unlock the secrets of  marketing and connect with your audience in a whole new way? Join us for an exciting and interactive workshop designed specifically for photographers.

We’ll explore the world of marketing, unveiling innovative strategies and techniques to effectively promote your photography business. From building strong partnerships to leveraging the potential of online advertising, you’ll gain valuable insights to elevate your brand and expand your reach.

But that’s not all!  You’ll discover the power of personal branding and learn how to craft a visual identity that resonates with your target audience.

Get ready for a week filled with practical tips, creative inspiration, and hands-on exercises that will take your marketing game to the next level. We will guide you every step of the way, ensuring you have a blast while learning essential skills. Get ready to captivate, connect, and conquer!


AI & Portrait Photography – Leveraging Technology to see more portraits – with Scott Detweiler

We will start with the art history that photographers never seemed to learn, as we tend to focus on the technical and not what makes a great image.  We then work into lighting and will shoot briefly one of the afternoons.  From then on it is a deep dive into AI, advanced Photoshop composition, and also some copyright, as I sue a lot of companies for using my images.

I am also the QA director at stability.ai, so I can speak on this AI topic at a level no one else in our industry can. I will also be covering ChatGPT and other large language models, and how we can leverage all of these tools to sell more, from our advertising, social media, and most importantly portraits of our clients.
The goal is that each person in the class should be able to complete a FANTASTIC image from the brief shoot we have earlier in the week by the time we are done (including amazing skin).  I am talking about something worthy of a wall art commission, not another image in a book.  It should be amazing!  Note, that this is an intermediate Photoshop class and people should know the basics and have a machine they can use comfortably.  I have a video series on youtube for those that need a refresher.


Macro Photography and Floral Compositing with Karen Nakamura and Sharon Lobel

Sharon will teach you her flower & insect macro techniques and Karen will teach you how to incorporate your images into floral compositing.

We will be shooting natural flowers on campus & in the classroom.  Then you’ll take your floral image to design a beautiful piece of art with unique backgrounds & techniques using Photoshop.

You will have hands on instruction from start to finish!  And, You’ll walk away from WCS with a frame-able piece of art for your wall!   Join the duo Sharon & Karen for a fun packed week!


Photoshop – Zero to Sixty in a Week with Michael Collins

Level – Beginner to Intermediate

In today’s photographic world, you need to do some Photoshop work on your images to stand out and to compete.  Michael will take you on a whirlwind tour of the program showing the basics and intermediate skills and maybe even some advanced things you can do in Photoshop.  He will show you shortcuts to save time, how to use the various tools in Photoshop and make you confident and comfortable with the program in a week.  

We will make our own brushes, actions and do things you didn’t think you could do with your computer.  He will blow your mind with how easy Photoshop really is once you get out of your own way.  You will know enough at the end of the week to be able to stand out from the crowd.  A fun time will be had by all!

Equipment Requirements:

Computer or laptop loaded with the latest version of Photoshop CC prior to the start of class.  Updating using the school’s wi-fi does not work well.  To make the class less frustrating – a Wacom tablet (preferred) or mouse. A laptop thumbpad doesn’t work well when selecting and painting.  Images will be provided for working with, so that we are all on the same page.


Portrait Essentials – Lighting and Posing with Tim Meyer

Ratios, pixels, chimping, metering, soft lights, hard lights, posing, lighting patterns … it can all be so confusing and overwhelming. Every consumer can set their camera on auto exposure, auto focus and TTL flash. To compete in today’s photographic marketplace, professional photographers must be able to create a style and craftsmanship that the average consumer cannot duplicate. 

This class will focus on the fundamentals of quality lighting and posing, emphasizing the basic elements of studio and outdoor portraiture. It is designed with the beginner in mind, or those photographers who need to refresh their essential skills. 

With style as a consideration, and in a hands-on environment, Tim Meyer will illustrate how your choice of light shaping tools, metering, ratios, facial and body analysis, and posing work together to produce dynamic results and consistently high-quality images.

This experience will provide an opportunity for you to consider, and develop, a professional level of portrait lighting and posing skills. Tim will show you how to work in-studio and outdoors with basic to creative lighting equipment and natural

light. This class provides the opportunity for learning the posing and lighting techniques that are the backbone of any successful, professional portrait or wedding studio.


Fine Art Masterpiece Portraits – Creation to Competition with Michelle Pennings

Embark on a creative journey where Michelle will share her unique and innovative approach to transforming everyday items into captivating masterpieces. Have you ever looked at a trash bag or a magazine and envisioned it as part of a stunning dress? Or imagined repurposing a purse into a striking top or turning shoes into a one-ofa-kind necklace? In this class, Michelle will guide you on how to see the hidden potential in ordinary objects and demonstrate how to use staple, wrap, and tape techniques to create something truly extraordinary. Michelle’s creative process is all about pushing boundaries, exploring unconventional materials, and reimagining their purpose. Through her expert guidance, you will learn to harness the power of lighting to create dramatic effects and evoke emotions in your photographs. Delve into the art of posing, discovering how body language and composition can transform a simple object into a captivating subject. She will also share her winning photoshop techniques to take your images to the next level. This class is designed for photographers of all levels, whether you’re a beginner looking to discover new techniques or an experienced photographer seeking to expand your artistic horizons. Michelle will be sharing her insights, tips, and tricks and by the end of this course, you will have the ability to transform the ordinary into extraordinary works of art through the lens of your camera. Get ready to unleash your creativity, as we dive into the world of fine art photography and embark on an unforgettable artistic journey. 

Let’s staple, wrap, and tape our way to amazing photographs together! 


We thank our Platinum and Water Sponsor BAY PHOTO




West Coast School - 5 Day Registration

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5 Day classes start at $1,320 including housing.