Did you just get a new camera but can't figure out how to get the most out of it?

Do you look at other people's photographs and wonder how you can create the same breathtaking photos?

Are you ready to take your photography to the next level by going professional?

Private one-on-one photography lessons in Lake Tahoe are your answer to this and more!

Whether you’re a visitor to Lake Tahoe hoping to learn some techniques to create great photos of your trip, or a resident desiring some long-term professional photography instruction, these photography lessons will help you reach your goals.

"John is so, so knowledgeable about the ins and outs of photography and cameras. He breaks it down so that the beginner (me) understands what he was explaining." - Tina, Reno



Perfect for residents of the greater Reno/Tahoe area, you can save money on long-term creative development with a subscription-based plan, just like school tuition. There are two levels of tuition.


Five total hours of private instruction each month.

• Four hours of in-person photography lessons in the classroom or field (2 x 2-hour lessons).
• One hour of photo review either online or in the classroom.
$220 each month until you cancel (a la carte value $340).
Enroll as an Aspiring Pro


Three total hours of private instruction each month.

• Two hours of in-person photography lessons in the classroom or field (1 x 2-hour lesson).
• One hour of photo review either online or in the classroom.
$115 each month until you cancel (a la carte value $200).
Enroll as an Enthusiast

How it works:

When you enroll in the school and make your first payment, you'll receive an email with scheduling links. Use the links to schedule your allotted private lessons for that month. You'll be automatically billed the next month, and receive a reminder email for your subscription to schedule your monthly lessons.

This will repeat every month until you cancel, and you can cancel at any time - even after the first lesson. Any unused lessons during one month will roll over to the following month, but cannot be refunded when you cancel.

Additional lessons each month are also available at a discounted rate.

In-person lessons will take place in the classroom & outdoors in South Lake Tahoe, but students also have the option of meeting at a location of their choice in the Reno/Tahoe area with a small travel fee.

For the photo reviews, have a selection of photos that you want to go over and we'll critique them together, either via teleconference or in the classroom.

"I did several online classes but it's hard to find many good options for individual and hands-on instruction, especially right now. I found John through his website and am more impressed with his knowledge and instruction in each session we have. He bases each lesson on what I want and need to learn to get me to the next level and makes the lessons fun too. I leave with things I can work on in between as well. I am super excited to be learning so much and excited for my progress to come in photography." - Tracy, Reno


$140; $110 for returning students

For residents and visitors who just want a short primer to boost your skills in one area of photography, schedule a two-hour photography lesson.

The lesson will start with a short classroom discussion, followed by a photo walk through a meadow and creek next to the classroom.

Alternatively, you may choose the “Field Lesson” option when scheduling and we can meet at a location of your choice.

You pick what you want to learn about during the scheduling survey! Some options include:

• Basic camera familiarization
• Exposure modes (get out of AUTO)
• Stronger compositions
• Visual storytelling
• Post-processing

A $50 deposit is due at booking.

“Highly recommend! I learned more in two hours than I had through countless hours online and reading through photography books. John has a great teaching style, creating a relaxed and fun environment.“
-Ian, Reno

Gift certificates also available in $100 and $200 denominations, to be applied to any lesson(s).


Group photography classes are trying to accommodate all students' knowledge, proficiency, and goals. As an instructor, it's nearly impossible to teach to that, and as a student, it's nearly impossible to learn from that.

So some aspiring photographers look to YouTube videos. The problem with that is, as we say, you don't know what you don't know. How do you know where to start and which path to follow?

Private photography lessons take care of both of these concerns.

Each lesson is tailored to your own proficiency, photographic tastes, and goals. You'll show me where you're starting and where you want to go, then I'll show you the way.

You'll have a professional photographer with real-world experience in the industry providing you with instant feedback throughout. You can't get that from group classes or pre-recorded videos.

It will only take you one class to see the immense value of private photography instruction!


987 Edgewood Cir. Ste H, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

(530) 318-3302

The classroom is along a path with quick access to a natural conservation area with wildlife, streams & ponds, historic ranch remains, and beach access. But I can also come to you if you have a different location in mind.



Location - Can we meet somewhere like Emerald Bay so I can learn how to get some iconic Tahoe photos from a local?
We sure can! There is a small travel surcharge to meet anywhere other than my classroom location, but I do realize that visitors sometimes want to do lessons in the "postcard" spots. Please note that, especially in recent years, tourism spikes have overcrowded these places, trails, and parking, making lessons difficult - and sometimes there is no parking at all.

Equipment - Do I need a "real" camera for these lessons?
Absolutely not! You don't need a real camera to learn about photography or take great photos. Many professional photographers use only their phones, and so can you. I'm happy to provide iPhone photography classes if that's all you want to carry with you.

Syllabus - Is there a structured syllabus for the School Enrollment?
There is not, and that's one of the biggest advantages of these lessons. They're all tailored to where you are as a photographer and where you want to go. We'll discuss that in the beginning and build out lesson plans specific to you. With that said, there is an order of topics that I like to teach, using the building-block approach. For example, I prefer not to teach all about composition and storytelling until the student has a solid understanding of the technical side first.



I’m a landscape photographer of 20 years turned documentary & travel photographer. I’ve been published in New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, London Daily Telegraph, Tahoe Quarterly, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Nevada Magazine, to name a few, and have been a featured guest on a popular worldwide photography podcast. I’m currently an Associate Photographer at Photographers Without Borders and have worked with numerous nonprofits around the world.

I have had the opportunity to teach in a number of capacities in the past fifteen years. As an Air Force combat veteran, I taught new pilots how to fly fighter jets, and later helicopters as a civilian. These days I’m teaching photography to everyone from children around the world to retirees in my hometown. I have always enjoyed helping others pursue and develop their passions, and am looking forward to helping you as well!

-John Peltier

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