Welcome to PhotoTrainer

Real Photography for Real People.

–Tom Upton

“Took this class recently and it was fabulous. It’s the easiest way to understand your camera. I have read websites, taken college classes and nothing ever made sense. There’s nothing like being in a small class where you can ask questions when you’re not “getting it”. The lightbulb went on and it’s made so much sense now. Loved the class. Money well spent.”
– Orlanda Silva
“There were at least five separate times during the class, where I said to myself, wow that alone was worth the money I paid to be here. One thing Tom has done that allows the student to be fully present during the class, is create high quality hand outs that mimic what he is teaching. Tom’s teaching style combines practical facts, deep knowledge and true passion to put together information that is completely accessible to a novice photographer, while also inspiring you to believe in your own ability. I would highly recommend this class.”

– Shannon L
“The DSLR Jumpstart was perfectly utilized. Tom was very patient and even though my camera was not a classic DSLR (I have the Sony Nex 5n, mirrorless), he was prepared specifically for me with a reference sheet and explanations. Besides that I understand better how to use my camera and take better pictures for my food blog. I highly recommend this class.”

– Mark Hassin

Thank you for a very helpful session today. I enjoyed the day and had several things explained that I have been wondering about for quite some time. I am looking forward to putting it all to practice soon. And I am looking forward to some photo walks as well!

–Doug Klein

Jumpstart Your Inner Photographer . . .

With my experience as a commercial photographer and trainer, I can awaken your inner photographer through manual mode. See how the camera really works and how all the really nice controls are there to help you. Let me introduce you to your camera and its charisma and power.


DSLR/M Jumpstart Class

DSLR & Mirrorless Jumpstart class for those who have had enough of “smart” phones and Full Auto Mode.  Learn manual Mode in one day.  With a Pro. (me!)  Read More


Learn Photographic Composition

Great photos do not just happen. Learn the language of camerawork. It is quite simple if you are observant.  We explore the classics: Rule of Thirds, Geometry, Notan and way more.  Read more


Lightroom Training

Learn Lightroom with one of my private Lightroom classes: LR101 or If you have been bad LR911. I can help you get organized, get started and get out of trouble. Person to Person!  Read More


Family Photo Archiving & Organizing

We live in a vast image ocean. This is a search and rescue of your beloved family photos. Many of us are dealing with older B&W prints, small color snapshots, old digital camera files and other photographic evidence of lives lived. Read More


Better iPhone Photos

Finally!  The iPhone has a creative center and so do you. I will personally introduce the two of you; then teach you how to use this camera to create way Better iPhone Photos!  Read more


Still Life

Explore the worlds of objects, light, and arrangement through your camera! Try your hand at this timeless craft yourself with me as your guide.  Read More


Mentorship with a Pro

Personal one-on-one training and mentorships. This level of personal connection with a seasoned pro knows no equal. When you are really ready, you will be in good hands.  Read more



Photos for Small Business!

Are you overwhelmed by the How, What, Why and Where of making great photos for your small business? You are not alone. Join me for an informative and inspiring Zoom class. Read More


Learn Portraiture Lighting

Join an experienced model (included) and me for a day of portrait lighting. This is a workshop for people who want to dramatically improve their portrait photography. Person to Person! Read More


Private Training

2.5 hour Personal one-on-one training session. Tailored to you, when you are really ready for better, This is a great gift for a camera lover in your life. You will be in good hands.  Read more


Learn from a pro!

In my Jumpstart DSLR photo classes, I teach you the way to shoot a DSLR in manual mode. I have personally taught over a thousand people how to do this. Your camera does eight basic things, that I will teach you. After that, all you have to do is practice!

Classes for every level!

In my photo coaching work I bring over thirty years of professional experience for you to learn at your level and get excellent shots. I help beginners with their brand new cameras, I work with avid enthusiasts as a mentor, and consult with professionals, companies and start-ups on targeted problem solving.

Tom, where do I start?