It’s Time to Master Your Craft

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[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left” font_color=”%23ffffff” bottom_padding=”20px”]In the first and second videos in this series I talked about some of the most significant barriers to mastering our craft, and how to overcome those. In this third video I want to introduce you to Master Your Craft, my new online MentorClass designed to give you a chance to focus and go deeper in your photography.  I also talk about the benefits – the necessity, actually – of breaking things down into small bite-sized pieces, of being intentional, and of focusing on basics and fundamentals, not gimmicks and short-cuts.

When enrollment in Master Your Craft opens in a couple of days (next Tuesday, February 13th) there are some really valuable bonuses for enrolling early, including:

Signed copies of my limited edition book SEVEN.

One-on-one mentoring sessions with me (Skype).

One-hour video tutorial on Mastering the Vision-Driven Workflow in Adobe Lightroom.

These are available exclusively to those who enroll in the first 24 hours, beginning February 13, 2018. I hope you’ll join me!

If, after watching the video, you’ve got questions about this upcoming course, or other things for that matter, you’ve got my ear, I’d love to talk about them. Leave a comment or a question and I’ll choose three of you at random and send you a signed copy of my latest book, The Soul of the Camera, with my thanks!

For the Love of the Photograph,
David duChemin



Do you have any questions about the upcoming Master Your Craft course?



  1. Hello David,

    are there any dependencies? Is it better to Master Your Craft first and then improve your composition with Compelling Frame? Or in reverse order?

    As a tech person, I would say I know how to do anything with my camera/lens, I am even used to read manuals and understand all the options my camera gives me. 🙂 Difficult question for me is WHY and how to find ABOUT what the picture should be. Would it be better form me to wait for the next The Compelling Frame course?

    Anyway, thank you for teaching me to start to thing about WHY and ABOUT more than about gear…

    1. Hi! No, these courses were designed to be taken together, in either order. The Compelling Frame is about composition, Master Your Craft is about more of the creative and practical aspects (but also not the basic, “how do you use your camera” stuff). It certainly puts WHY at the centre of everything. If in doubt I welcome you to enroll and check it out and if it’s not for you, email me within a month and we’ll happily refund you. 🙂

  2. Hello David,

    I took your course sold by Laurent Breillat in Europe. Is this course similar, or is it more complementary ?

    I would just avoid buying twice the same things.

    Best Regards,

    1. Pierre-Bernard – We all have better things to do with our time and money than to buy a course twice! 🙂 No, this is quite different. First of all, it’s mostly text-based: written content, not video. Second, the focus is primarily on taking the knowledge and applying it, so there are a lot of exercise and practical assignments. Also, it is not in French 🙂 Remember, if you enroll and the course is really not for you, just email me within 30 days and I’ll happily give you a refund, so you can always check it out first. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

  3. Hi David,
    Forgot to ask you to compare your new course with your book :”The Visual Tool” which read few months ago.

  4. Since my name means “The Street” and your means “The Way/Path/Road”, it follows that the course is made for me. I will walk to the end of my peaceful street and set out on the road, wandering towards new vistas.

  5. Hello David,

    I apologize in advance if this has already been answered. I’ve been taking photographs only for the past 6 months, and I’m interested in wildlife and landscape. Does this course (which intrigues me) fit the bill? I see you do a lot of wildlife photography on Instagram. My second question is (probably) a stupid one: do you give personal feedback once we register for the course — or is this what the facebook page is for?



    1. Hey Rick. No, this course doesn’t deal specifically with wildlife or landscape. It’s for a broader audience of photographers who want to practice their daily craft (which of course you can do with this course if you do landscape or wildlife photography often, I suppose). So it’s more general in terms of the course practical stuff. No, I don’t give personal feedback. My last course had 1500 enrollments, can you image? I’d still be working through the first 10% of that batch! 🙂 Yes, this is exactly what the Facebook group is for – so I can give feedback and answer questions, and others can chime in an learn from the same questions and answers. Hope this helps!

  6. I have read most of Michael Freeman books. I have also read Bryan Peterson books on Exposure,Shutter speed,close-up photography. I am of of your student in Compelling Frame .
    Question: is it worth for me to enroll in your Master your Craft. Why? What will be the fees for me?

    1. Hi Pierre – Thanks for the question. This course contains a lot of information but unlike most books, including Michael Freeman’s (for whom I have a great deal of respect) this course is about PRACTICE. It’s about what we do with all that knowledge. So the most valuable part of the course is the exercises in it, as well as new perspectives that are not as much about how we do things, but why. There is a list of the lessons on the website: – and with your 10% alumni discount (that email will come on Monday with the discount code) the course is, I think, $224 (USD). As for differences between The Compelling Frame and Master Your Craft: The Compelling Frame is specifically about composition and is mostly video-driven. Master Your Craft is about creativity and craft and is mostly text-based. If you are undecided, I welcome you to enroll and if it’s not for you, just ask me within 30 days and I’ll happily refund you.

      1. Hi David,
        Forgot to ask you to compare your course with “The visual Toolbox” which I read few months ago.

  7. Hi David, … I liked listening to you, a second time; first time was yesterday!
    I’ll be back to you, hearing more of what you have to say, as soon as I have “digested my ne Nikon D750
    I also liked you decrying the many voices rising from”photomasterland”.
    That, reminds me of Italian politics:
    I’m an EuroCanadian, born nella Bella Italia. Please keep hopping along !!!

  8. Hi David

    I have thoroughly enjoyed The Compelling Frame and have most definitely learned a lot from the Course so I am interested in the Master your Craft Course. Is there somewhere to see the contents of the course before it is released so that I can be prepared to sign up if its right for me.

    I already feel quite confident with shooting manual and understand the uses of various apertures and shutter speeds so I would just like to understand more about the content of the upcoming course.

  9. I’m still working through TCF and the quality of the course makes me confident in purchasing this one too. I only found David’s work about a year ago, but all of his books and teaching have changed the orientation of my work for the better, and now I’m looking forward to starting Master Your Craft! Thanks for the inspiration and education!

  10. I use Capture One as my primary post-processing software. In my experience, your materials, e.g., TCF, are not generally focused on post-processing. However, when used, the post-processing is primarily with Lightroom. As a Capture One user, should I be concerned about investing in Master Your Craft?

    1. I would say no, David. There’s nothing in this course that is related to post-production except the bonus for those that enrol in the first 24 hours in which case there’s a one-hour video about mastering Adobe Lightroom, but truthfully it’s not about Lightroom so much as about why I make the decisions that I do in post. It’s about my vision-driven workflow not about Lightroom per se. The principles should all carry over no matter what you’re using in terms of tools. The rest of the course doesn’t touch on post-production. Thanks for asking, David.

      1. Thank you, David. I’ve purchased many of your materials over the years and have thoroughly appreciated that your focus is consistently on the craft, not post-processing per se. However, I just wanted to make sure.

  11. Hi David.
    I really need to go through TCF at least one more time and work on getting all that stuff inside my head. I was fine until you recommended that I buy Guy Tal’s book and read it and that just threw me a curved ball right out of left field. Guy sort of changed the way that I think about everything and challenged me so much that my world is still rocking. I probably need to read his book again as well as study “The Soul of the Camera” so things are almost starting to “Overload” my Old Brain. I guess that nothing worthwhile ever came easy or without some serious dedication so I best get on with it and get organised. Thank You for the Opportunities.

    1. That’s awesome, Allen! No need to overload the brain. I’ll be around when you’re ready. So glad Guy’s book struck a chord with you, he’s one of the good guys.

    1. Hi Carol! No we won’t be taking Paypal, but you won’t have to sign up for Stripe, just put in your CC information and Stripe processes it securely under the hood.

  12. Hi David

    Struggling to compartmentalise this and TCF in my head. I don’t know how they fit in with each other and where they overlap. If they both can be done in conjunction or not.

    Any comments on that will be helpful.

    1. Hey Arshdeep – For sure! The Compelling Frame was (is) very specifically about composition and visual language whereas Master Your Craft is about other elements – like making decisions about underexposing in order to darken shadows and saturate colours, or ways to abstract a subject, or ways to choose and use different focal lengths, or how to create deeper or more dynamic frames, among others. There’s a list of the lesson subjects on the website, but if you think of TCF as a course about composition, and this one about the more craft-oriented decisions (how do I use the gear and the possibilities gear and technique creates to make stronger images?) then I think that should clarify things. I designed them to dovetail with each other. Does that make sense? Happy to keep hashing this through with you! 🙂

      1. Thanks David. I’ll have a think about it over the next day or two. I probably won’t get to studying it until later this year but also wouldn’t mind getting it at the introductory price. I’m still waiting for the email for TCF students with 10% off. Hope it arrives well in time to have a go at getting the early bird freebies. On another note, is Amex being accepted? From what I recall last time for TCF I ended up the seventh person because the first time I had an issue with my Amex. Thanks.

        1. Hi Arshdeep. You’ll be getting an email on Monday (the course enrollment opens Tuesday) with a reminder about the course, and details about how to redeem your 10% alumni discount (it’s just a code, but that’s in the email). As for Stripe, I believe I am correct in saying that yes, it will process Amex. I’ll ask about that and if it doesn’t then I’ll let you know personally.

  13. Hi David

    I am still in the process of going through The Compelling Frame (and enjoying it). In addition, I’m not convinced that this course would be worth $225 or so at this time. Perhaps after a year I will have a change of heart. Meantime, many thanks.

  14. Dear David,
    I’ll trade in my lens for this course and really looking forward to it.
    I hope, my fingers are fast enough to be one of the first 5 ones 🙂
    Cheers Michael

  15. I’m excited to be part of your class! I’ve taken a lot of “short-cuts” the past few yeas since I’ve started photography and now I know that I’m no better off than I started. It’s time for me to do the work and I’m glad I heard your voice through all the noise. I appreciate your teaching attitude and am looking forward to learning!

    1. Oh man, the shortcuts! Me too! I’d love to have you in this course, Caleb. Of course you’ll do the course on your own but I hope you’ll be active in the Vision-Driven Community when that invitation gets sent to you!

  16. Unfortunately I will not be able to join you in person but look forward to joining you via the internet.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed your courses tat I have seen earlier and look forward to this one.
    Keep it up

  17. I’m looking forward to this course. This is what I’ve been looking for.

  18. Hi david
    I am really enjoying your direct and descriptive lessons from last years the compelling frame. It’s been a crazy year and I have not had nearly enough time with the course. I can’t remember if the course is a continued access ( I realize the Facebook may not be)? I am very excited to hear about your next stage of lessons. I am allowing myself permission to make this year a ‘get close to what I love – photography- year’. The beginning of many more. Thanks for being ‘focused on your craft’ to help
    Me become more focused on mine.

    1. Hi Kim – yes, all my courses will be full continuous access. Take your time, there’s enough pressure and rush out there! I’m thrilled to hear you’re enjoying The Compelling Frame.

  19. Hi David, Almost a year ago I completed an 8 week online ‘Beginners’ course in photography, which was aimed at learning how to go from Auto to Manual mode for DSLR. It covered Light, the Exposure Triangle, Composition etc. at an intro level. Since then I’ve been doing my own study of sorts (which has been getting noisy, like you say). So, now I feel like I’m at a stage that is between ‘beginner’ and ‘I want to open a photography business’ – not a beginner but not advanced lol. I’m excited about this course, but want to make sure it’s suitable for where I’m ‘at’ now. Thank you!

    1. Hi Tania – It sounds like you’re at exactly the right stage for this course. Master Your Craft is not a “learn to use your camera” course, it’s designed instead to give you a chance to focus on other things. I hate to use the word “advanced” because it’s not, but it’s the more creative stuff, the visual language stuff. Take a look at – the full list of lessons is there. If you think this course might be for you, then enroll and if you find it’s not then just shoot me an email within 30 days and I’ll refund you. 🙂

      1. Thanks so much David, really appreciate it! I think it sounds like just what I need for my next step and to really put pieces of the puzzle together ?

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