Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got ques­tions, we’ve got answers.


Can I can­cel or resched­ule a course?

You may can­cel your reg­is­tra­tion and receive a full refund so long as your ini­tial­ly-sched­uled course is no less than four weeks from the date of the request.

You may resched­ule your enroll­ment once, no less than sev­en days from the date of your ini­tial­ly-sched­ule course.

Can some­one else attend in my absence?

Yes. If you’re unable to attend for any rea­son, you’re wel­come to have some­one else par­tic­i­pate in your place so long as you pro­vide us with ade­quate notice by email.

Where are your work­shops located?

The loca­tion of our class­room-free pho­tog­ra­phy cours­es changes through­out the year, with the most up-to-date meet­ing place indi­cat­ed on every course descrip­tion page. After reg­is­ter­ing for a class, you will receive an email con­firm­ing the meet­ing point. Some­times, to ensure a bet­ter learn­ing expe­ri­ence for our stu­dents, we may alter the meet­ing spot after you have reg­is­tered. If this hap­pens, we will pro­vide notice of at least 48 hours; the new loca­tion will be with­in 500 m of a sub­way sta­tion in or near the city centre.

What hap­pens if there’s severe weath­er fore­cast for my class?

Since most of our work­shops have an out­door com­po­nent, we mon­i­tor the weath­er fore­cast in prepa­ra­tion for each class. If we deter­mine that severe weath­er will adverse­ly affect the learn­ing expe­ri­ence, we may can­cel the work­shop with a notice of at least 12 hours. If we can­cel a work­shop due to inclement weath­er, we will offer all enrolled stu­dents the option to resched­ule to a future date.

Do you offer pri­vate lessons or per­son­al­ized training?

Yes. We offer pri­vate pho­tog­ra­phy lessons for 1 to 3 indi­vid­u­als. Pri­vate lessons may fol­low our stan­dard group pho­tog­ra­phy work­shop cur­ricu­lum, or they may be cus­tomized to your needs. Please vis­it the pri­vate pho­tog­ra­phy work­shop page and use the con­tact form to con­nect with us.

How long are your courses?

Our cours­es have a planned dura­tion of 3 hours with 4 to 6 stu­dents in atten­dance. Depend­ing on the num­ber of stu­dents reg­is­tered, we may com­plete the course in 2 or 2.5 hours. With few­er stu­dents in atten­dance, the qual­i­ty of the course and amount of time allo­cat­ed for stu­dent ques­tions remains unchanged.

Who are your instruc­tors and what are their credentials?

Our sole instruc­tor and dear leader is Paul Kou­nine. He designed this web­site, cre­at­ed the prac­ti­cal guide to pho­tog­ra­phy, teach­es every work­shop, and wrote this FAQ in third-person.

Paul start­ed teach­ing pho­tog­ra­phy in 2017. Since then, he’s devel­oped a keen under­stand­ing and mean­ing­ful solu­tions for the every­day strug­gles faced by novice pho­tog­ra­phers. His expe­ri­ence has fos­tered a nerdy and excel­lent famil­iar­i­ty with the quirks of dif­fer­ent cam­era sys­tems. 

Per­haps more impor­tant­ly, Paul has been an avid pho­tog­ra­ph­er since pur­chas­ing his first dig­i­tal cam­era in 2004. In 2007, he enrolled in Ryer­son University’s film stud­ies pro­gram, where he con­cen­trat­ed on cinematography—which is like pho­tog­ra­phy but faster—and for which he earned the extreme­ly rare and per­pet­u­al­ly cov­et­ed BFA degree. Unfor­tu­nate­ly for Paul, but for­tu­nate­ly for you, his grand ambi­tions didn’t tran­spire into a ful­fill­ing show busi­ness career. In 2012, he formed Pavel Kou­nine Pho­tog­ra­phy to start doc­u­ment­ing wed­dings. Paul prides him­self on being one of the few authen­tic doc­u­men­tary wed­ding photographer’s in Toron­to. 

With that said, words are cheap, but the proof is undeniable—Paul’s qual­i­fi­ca­tion is his pho­tog­ra­phy: 

    He took every pho­to­graph on this website

    Check out his wed­ding photography

How many par­tic­i­pants can attend a pri­vate pho­tog­ra­phy lesson?

It varies. 3- and 4‑hour pri­vate pho­tog­ra­phy lessons can have up to three par­tic­i­pants; 2‑hour lessons may have up to two par­tic­i­pants. Pri­vate lessons are a great way to ensure that your pri­vate group receives your instructor’s full and uncom­pro­mis­ing attention.

What will I be capa­ble of after your training?

The page describ­ing each course con­tains a detailed syl­labus. In gen­er­al, after tak­ing the four pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops for begin­ners (work­shops 101 to 104), you should be capa­ble of mak­ing a man­u­al­ly exposed pic­ture using your camera’s built-in expo­sure meter, and set­ting it to take advan­tage of the unique aes­thet­ic char­ac­ter­is­tics con­trolled by the lens, aper­ture, and shutter. 

Can I par­tic­i­pate in a work­shop if I don’t have a camera?

Sure, we won’t stop you. How­ev­er, our pho­tog­ra­phy class­es are designed to teach the the­o­ret­i­cal prin­ci­ples togeth­er with their prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion through struc­tured exer­cis­es. By not bring­ing a cam­era (or rent­ing one of our cam­era kits), you’ll miss out on the valu­able expe­ri­ence of our prac­ti­cal exercises.

I have a com­pact/­point-and-shoot cam­era, can I par­tic­i­pate in a workshop?

Our cours­es are designed for cam­eras that allow users some degree of man­u­al con­trol. Although some com­pact cam­eras fea­ture man­u­al and semi-man­u­al modes, many do not. Please check the suit­abil­i­ty of your cam­era by con­firm­ing it has the fol­low­ing shoot­ing modes: Pro­gram, Aper­ture Pri­or­i­ty, Shut­ter Pri­or­i­ty, and Man­u­al. If you’re unsure or don’t know where to check, please con­tact us, and we’ll help you fig­ure it out.

For what ages are your pho­tog­ra­phy lessons suitable?

There are no age restric­tions for par­tic­i­pat­ing in our pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops. How­ev­er, please exer­cise com­mon sense and know your lim­its (for exam­ple this mate­r­i­al is too dense for tod­dlers, and the out­door por­tion may present a chal­lenge for some super-centenarians). 

Can I rent a cam­era for the dura­tion of a course?

Cam­era kit rentals are tem­porar­i­ly unavail­able for group work­shops due to the ongo­ing pandemic. 

Yes. We offer a lim­it­ed num­ber of cam­era kits (cam­era, lens, mem­o­ry card, and bat­tery) for rent for the dura­tion of a group work­shop. You may reserve a cam­era kit rental dur­ing the group work­shop reg­is­tra­tion and check­out process.

How many par­tic­i­pants are in each class?

Our group pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops are lim­it­ed to a max­i­mum of 6 par­tic­i­pants, mak­ing them the small­est pho­to class­es in Toronto.

Is there a min­i­mum attendance?

Our group pho­tog­ra­phy lessons are lim­it­ed to a min­i­mum of 2 par­tic­i­pants. We reserve the right to can­cel and resched­ule cours­es that do not meet this min­i­mum enrolment.

I have a film cam­era; are your pho­tog­ra­phy cours­es right for me?

Maybe. The gen­er­al prin­ci­ples of pho­tog­ra­phy remain unchanged whether you’re shoot­ing film or dig­i­tal. Nev­er­the­less, our pro­gram is bet­ter suit­ed for par­tic­i­pants with dig­i­tal cam­eras because they per­mit imme­di­ate analy­sis of the result­ing pictures.

A pho­tog­ra­ph­er inter­est­ed in film will derive ben­e­fit from the the­o­ret­i­cal prin­ci­ples we teach. How­ev­er, it will be dif­fi­cult to fol­low along with the prac­ti­cal exer­cis­es that demon­strate those prin­ci­ples, as you won’t be able to ana­lyze your results until after devel­op­ing and scanning/printing the photos.