Welcome to PhotoTrainer

Learn with a Pro by your side!

“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

You got your taxes filed early!

Save $100 with our Tax Champ Special Deluxe. Friday the 13th is your Lucky Day after all!

Jumpstart your inner photographer.


Tax Champ Jumpstart Deluxe

Contrary to popular belief this is a lucky day. You got your taxes filed early and now you can save a hundred bucks on my DSLR Jumpstart Deluxe class. Yes it is a Friday-The-Thirteenth before Tax Weekend, and you don’t have to worry! Read more…


EXPLORE Borel Hill at Sunset

This is the next step. This is a yoga-like photography session in a visually stimulating place, a little longer than a yoga class, yet brief enough to fit other things into your day. Read more…


EXPLORE The Dish at Sunset

Ever walk The Dish? With your DSLR? I didn’t think so! Join us on the Peninsula’s most popular hearty walk. The Dish above Stanford offers spectacular views of the bay and the Silicon Valley.. Read more…


Jumpstart Deluxe Class

For those who want it all at once! Come in at 9am and leave at 4pm knowing all about the things in your camera that have been vexing you for days, weeks, months! Manual Mode for once and for all, Amen. Read more …


Photo Composition

Do you want more from your photos, feeling stuck? In my composition course, learn how to make your images strong. Join a me for a small intimate photography intensive. Learn in person, from a Pro; (What a Concept!)  Read more …


EXPLORE: San Jose Municipal Rose Garden

Explore the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden.

Rolling green lawns and colorful showy blooms highlight the San José Municipal Rose Garden. In fact, hardly a day passes when some species is not in full bloom, with more than 3,500 plantings and 189 varieties featured. Read more…


Portraiture Lighting

Portraiture. The Next Level. There is a difference between taking pictures and making photographs. Learn secret portraiture lighting tips, the shapes of the human face, and posing the body. How to get the sparkle-moment with your subject? Read More …


Water Temple Explore

Water Temple Explore. The water temple has it all. It is a fantastic place for portraits. It is great for black and white and sepia camera modes with the Greek columns and there is beautiful landscaping with trees and a reflecting pool. Read more…


Private Training

My signature specialty is personal one-on-one training and mentorships. This level of personal connection with a seasoned pro knows no equal. When you are really ready … Read more …


Lightroom Training

Learn  Adobe Lightroom quickly with one of my private Jumpstart classes. I can also help you get organized if you have run into trouble after starting up on your own. I have a system! Read More …


Gamble Garden Explore

Gamble Garden Explore. The Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing our historic house and garden as an oasis of beauty and tranquility, providing a community resource for horticultural education, inspiration, and enjoyment. Read more…


EXPLORE Hummingbirds!

Explore Hummingbirds at the Baylands

No group of birds is more difficult to capture than hummingbirds. You want your photos of them to be sharp but with wings that beat 200 times per second getting a good shot can be quite a challenge. 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?