FAQ

Improve Photography LLC
info@improvephotography.com
Office Hours: Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM MDT

General Class Questions

I know the class is self-paced, but when does it actually start?
As soon as you purchase your class, you can start the lessons. There is no official “start date” and no official “end date” for these courses. We want you to go at your own pace and be able to work as fast or as slow as you would like.

You will notice when you signed up for the class that there are specific dates marked as “Instructor Access” dates. These are the days you can contact your instructors with questions about ANY part of the class. During your 30 days of instructor access you are more than welcome to contact us as often as you need for answers to your questions. We want to help you get the most out of your class, and having your questions answered is one of the best ways to do this.

How can I track my progress in the class?
At the bottom of each lesson, there is a button that says “Mark as Completed”. It will automatically place a checkmark on your Class Schedule page so you will remember which lessons you have already completed. But don’t worry – even after you have marked the lesson as complete, you can still go back and access the material at any time. Read this article for an explanation of this button and how it will help you get your class certificate when you have finished all your lessons.

What if I buy the class and then find the lessons are too basic or too advanced for what I need?
We want you to be happy with your class.  We are ALWAYS ALWAYS willing to switch you into another class for free even if you’ve started a different class.  If there isn’t another class that interests you, we are happy to provide a 30-day money-back guarantee on every purchase.

Do I need to do one class every day?
Our classes are self-paced, so you can do as few or as many as you want each day. Don’t have time today? No problem – do two tomorrow. Have a long weekend with nothing to do? Watch 5 videos and really increase your knowledge! We suggest doing the courses one video per day so you can use your extra time to practice the concepts being learned, but it’s really up to you and your schedule.

What if I get behind?
Don’t worry – your class will be available to you online forever, so if you get behind you don’t need to worry that you’ll lose your class information. If you want to put your class off for a week or two, go ahead. But remember – your instructor access is only for the days listed when you purchase.

Will I lose access to the training videos and other lessons after the class ends?
No way!  Many of our students from two years ago still come to the site for a refresher on the things they learned in the class.  What’s more, we are constantly improving the video lessons and adding content to the classes.  Even if we update a class after your session ended, you’ll get the updates.  The only thing you lose at the end of the 30-day class is access to work with your instructor for feedback or photography questions.

I finished Day 1, but I can’t access Day 2!
At the bottom of each lesson, there is a button that says “Mark this as Completed”. Some of our courses require you to push this button to be able to see the content for the next day. It’s a good idea to push this button anyway, though, because this is how you’ll get your completion certificate at the end of the class.

Will this class be offered again in the future?
All our classes are offered monthly, so if you just don’t have time to take the course this month, come back next month and sign up. We’ll still be here.

Photo Reviews

How do I send in pictures for review?
Most of our classes offer photo reviews for students. When you would like a photo review, please go to the “Portfolio Review” section of your class schedule (you can access this from your Dashboard) and follow the instructions given there. An instructor will review your photos and give you feedback and suggestions for improvement.

How long does it take before I get a reply on the photos I sent in? 
It will take a couple days for an instructor to review your photos and provide feedback. This is dependent on how busy the instructors are with other emails, phone calls, skype calls, and teaching. The instructors appreciate your patience in this. However, if it has been more than a week with no reply, please feel free to follow up.

How many pictures should I send in for review?
We love to hear from our students, and we love to see what you’ve been learning and help you improve. You are welcome to send us pictures at any point during the course, and we will be happy to review and critique them. However, please send no more than three photos per review request, and wait for us to get back to you about those photos before submitting another review request. This allows us to give you more detailed feedback and then gives you a chance to improve based on your instructor’s suggestions before sending in more photos for review.

Registration Problems

I think I should have access to my class by now, but it isn’t showing up in my Dashboard.
If you have already purchased a course from us, but you don’t see it in your Dashboard, this could be an indication that your payment didn’t go through. Check your credit card to make sure the payment was not processed. If it was, please email us at info@improvephotography.com and we will investigate it further.

I ordered the wrong class by mistake. What do I do now?
No problem. Simply email us at info@improvephotography.com and let us know what class you ordered and what class you intended to order. We can sort that out in a hurry.

Payment

Why was my credit card declined?
Your credit card could be declined for a number of reasons. The most common problem is an address mis-match between the zip/postal code you entered and the zip/postal code your credit card company has on file.

How do I know your site is safe to enter my credit card?
We are paranoid about website security.  We use the safest servers, industry standard SSL encryption, and the Authorize.net payment Gateway.  In two years of being in business, we have never once had a known security breach in our payment system.  We are a reputable U.S. company based in Idaho.

Alternatively, you’re always welcome to use Paypal if you feel more comfortable that way.

I paid with PayPal, but I don’t have access to my class. What happened?
If you paid with PayPal but you weren’t redirected to the photoclasses.com website after paying, you’ll need to contact us so we can give you access to your class. This is unfortunately a known issue we have with PayPal. Simply email us at info@improvephotography.com. Be prepared with a copy of your payment confirmation as well as your username on photoclasses.com and we will get you taken care of.

I can’t figure out how to pay you. I don’t use PayPal, and it won’t take my credit card. Now what?
If you would like to purchase a class from us using an alternate form of payment, please email us at info@improvephotography.com and we will help you get registered.

Account/Login

I forgot my password.
Having trouble remembering your password? You can reset it by going here and clicking on the link at the bottom of the page that says “Lost Password?”.

When I log in, my Dashboard is empty.
When you log in to your Dashboard, you should see a screen with buttons allowing you to select from the courses you have already purchased. If your Dashboard is empty and you have already purchased a course from us, please email us at info@improvephotography.com. Be prepared with a copy of your payment receipt and your username (NOT your password) and we will get your class added to your Dashboard.

I can’t remember my username. (Username? What username?)
When you paid for your class, you entered a username and password. This is your username/password combination when you try to log in to photoclasses.com. If you don’t remember this username, email us at info@improvephotography.com. Be prepared with the email address you used when you signed up and we will help you recover your username.

It says my username is already in use.
There are two possibilities in this situation: (1) You already created an account using this username. Even if your payment didn’t go through, you still created an account on photoclasses.com and you can log in to try purchasing a class again (Forgot your password? See “I forgot my password” above.) or (2) Someone else is using this username. You’ll need to pick something else.

Videos

Is there a way to download the videos so I can watch them after the class ends?
The videos can’t be downloaded. However, our videos will be available to you online forever, so you don’t need to worry about saving them for later. All you need to do is log in to your account at photoclasses.com and you will have access to all the course videos you have purchased from us, right from your Dashboard.

We hope to be adding this feature in the near future, and when we do, it will be available to you even if you buy the class now and then we add this feature later.  Former students ALWAYS get the upgraded videos when we change a lesson and ALWAYS get upgraded features as we roll them out.  Many of our students from two years ago still periodically look back on the class videos for a refresher.

Can I watch the videos without being online?
Our videos need to be viewed online, but you can view them from your mobile device or your computer – whatever is easiest for you. Simply log in to your account at photoclasses.com and choose the video you would like to watch.

The video keeps stopping and won’t play.
Most of our videos are hosted on YouTube and sometimes there are connection issues with our video player on the website. We have tested all the videos to make sure they play, so please perform the following steps before contacting us with video problems: (1) Refresh the page and try watching the video again. (2) Clear your browser’s cache and try again. (3) Try a different browser. (4) If none of the previous solutions works, the problem could be the speed of your internet connection. In this case, go to the video and before pressing play, put your mouse in the bottom right corner of the video. You will see a YouTube logo come up – click this logo, and try watching the video that way. If you continue to experience trouble with the videos after trying these suggestions, email us at info@improvephotography.com and we will look into the issue.

Photoshop Classes

Will the Photoshop class teach me how to use Lightroom/Aperture/etc?
Our Photoshop courses are designed to teach you how to use Photoshop, and won’t give you any instruction in Lightroom, Aperture, or other photo editing and organizational tools. If you don’t have Photoshop but you’re interested in learning about it, you can download a free trial from the Adobe website to use during the class.

Do you have a Lightroom class?
Yep!

Why doesn’t my Photoshop load the RAW images I take?
Adobe has a policy that annoys photographers like no other: Once a new version of the software is released, they stop providing updates to Camera Raw that allows new photos from new cameras to be opened The only way around this is to (1) update your software to the current version, or (2) convert all of your files to DNG and then open them up in Photoshop.

This is REALLY annoying because it often means that you’re forced to buy new software every time you buy a new camera, but it’s the unfortunate reality.

How do I update my Photoshop software?
To update your Photoshop software, go to Help > Updates and follow the instructions for installing updates.

What version of Photoshop do I need for the Photoshop 1 Class?
We use Photoshop CC to record all of the tutorials for the Photoshop 1 and 2 classes. However, there is little difference between Photoshop versions, so if you have any version of Photoshop dating back to CS3, you’ll be just fine. If you don’t own Photoshop but would like to take the class, download the free trial of Photoshop CC.

Which version of Photoshop Elements do I need for the class?
Our Photoshop Elements course is taught using Photoshop Elements 11. ANY version of Photoshop Elements from Photoshop Elements 6 – current will work just fine. There is very little difference between the versions. The different versions change the look of the software and add some little tools, but all of the versions work basically the same way.

Which Photoshop Class should I take?
If you have Photoshop Elements, the Photoshop Elements class is for you. You can view the course schedule here. If you have the full version of Photoshop, you should sign up for either the Photoshop 1 or Photoshop 2 course. You can view the course schedlue for Photoshop 1 here and the course schedule for Photoshop 2 here.

Please look at the course schedules to help you decide which class you feel fits your needs best. But don’t worry – once you have signed up and started a course, should you feel you need to switch to another level we will be happy to take care of that for you. Simply email us at  info@improvephotography.com and we will get your registration changed.

Gear/Supplies Questions

Do I have to have a certain type of camera?
We have taught students that use virtually every DSLR camera make/model you can possibly imagine, so if you have a DSLR, you don’t need to worry about having the wrong camera for the class. Any DSLR camera that will allow you to do basic exposure adjustments will do just fine. In the videos for the class, we show more than one camera model and can EASILY help you find a hidden setting on your camera if it isn’t clear from the video.

But you certainly don’t need a DSLR to take our classes.  We have students who use bridge cameras, micro 4/3 cameras, mirrorless cameras, and even simple compact point-and-shoot cameras.  Don’t let your camera keep you from learning photography skills.

However, in the event that you take a class and find that your camera doesn’t work for the information you learn, simply email us at info@improvephotography.com and we’ll happily switch you to a more appropriate class for your equipment, or give a refund.

Do I have to own flash gear for the Portrait Lighting class?
The Portrait Lighting class is a class designed to teach you how to use a flash. However, several of our students don’t have a flash when they begin this course and that is just fine. We talk in the class about what equipment you should purchase, and you may find that it is a good idea to wait until you’ve learned a little before you go buy your flash gear.

What version of Photoshop do I need for the Photoshop classes?
For the Photoshop Elements class we recommend using Photoshop Elements 11. For the Photoshop 1 and Photoshop 2 courses we recommend using Photoshop CS 6.  In most cases, older versions of Photoshop will work almost identically to the updated versions, so you really shouldn’t have any trouble using older versions of the software in a class.  As always, if you take the class and then find that your software is just too outdated to follow the tutorials, just let us know via phone or email and we’ll switch you into another class for free or refund your purchase.  We want you to be happy with your class.

Want to learn the software before committing to buy the software?  In this case, we suggest downloading the free 30-day trial of Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS to use during the class.

What kind of gear should I buy?
You can see gear recommendations here.

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