The Meaningful Image

Core Course 2023

7 Month On-line Workshop


Fall 2023

Normal Price $2200

Early Bird Price $1900

Pay a non-refundable, transferable deposit of $400 to hold your place in the workshop. Reservations are not confirmed until a deposit is received.

Participants paying with a deposit will be billed full tuition 75 days prior to the start of the workshop.

If you are on a waiting list, you will not be charged a deposit fee or tuition until space becomes available for you and you confirm your desire to register.

What’s Included

What does it mean to make a great photograph? What does it mean to create personal work? Do you find it a challenge to describe what your photography is about? Does it drive you crazy when people look at your work and see nothing more than just a pretty picture? When you look at your photographs, do you find it hard to understand how one image relates to another?

The Meaningful Image Extended Workshop is a small intimate extended-format workshop designed to help you find and articulate your voice as a photographer. We focus on how to find meaning in our work and the work of others. You will also work on creating cohesive bodies of work and language to talk about the work. We will also have sessions on editing techniques and concepts to develop a consistency of seeing and editing. 

Who is this workshop for? Is this workshop for me? The workshop is set up to be step-by-step. We take it slow and make sure that you get what you need from each session. The intimate nature of the workshop allows for one on one attention as needed. 

The workshop is designed for anyone who wants to find a way to speak about their work and successfully analyze other photographs. If you want to deepen your understanding of how you create and the why and meaning of your work, this workshop is for you. In my experience teaching workshops and classes, I have learned that even when starting with the basics, we realize that we are in the same boat no matter what skill level we think we are at. There is always something new to learn and share.

Why an extended-format workshop?

As a photo educator and mentor, I have been fortunate to be able to work with thousands of students, and they have taught me so much about photography, learning, and life. As the world deals with COVID-19, I wanted to find a way to offer something meaningful and unique that would provide more than just a set of video content.  

The feedback about the format, length of time, and experience made me realize that I wanted to do the same format for 2021. 

In developing this extended-format workshops, I dug into my reviews, comments, and notes from all of my students searching for what to offer. I came across a few common themes.  

  1. It is hard to retain information in densely packed workshops and conferences. It was too much too fast.
  2. Accountability to make work and ongoing support is essential.
  3. Good classes always seem to end sooner than we want.
  4. Based on feedback from prior cohort members the format should be the same.
  5. While there is a lot of content on YouTube, it is sometimes helpful to ask questions.
  6. Online classes with lots of people make it hard to get what you want.

With that feedback as a starting point, I sat down and created two new workshops. I felt it was important to build relationships, community, and have actual human interactions while learning. From my own experiences in classes and workshops, I also know that being able to customize the experience can make a huge difference in how well we learn and develop our skills.   

What other workshop attendees say about the experience

The Meaningful Image Advanced Workshop is not about f-stops or shutter speeds or how to process your images using your favorite image editor, it’s about learning and seeing how to create images that are an extension of your sole, authentic and purposeful.  I really like the extended-format paradigm.  Rather than being fire-hosed with week long intensive learning, the 2+ hours on-line sessions are just the right amount of time to truly absorb what is being communicated.  This format allowed me the time to search, dig deep, and discover at my pace outside of the on-line sessions. Daniel, getting to know the other participants by seeing and learning their work through their eyes and their learning was such a positive experience


After the first homework about the signature elements,  I realized that I don’t know how to read a photograph without being biased.  Over the almost six months course,  Daniel educated me to consciously pay attention to all of the details that convey the message to the viewers and I found the courage to communicate with some professional groups to share my photos.  All of the intellectual, self-reflection, and sense of humor we have had in class is valuable and I am fortunate that took the unique class.


I knew that I had so much more yet to learn beyond the technical aspects of the craft of photography.  The Meaningful Image Workshop has been for me, the highlight of this most unusual year.  Daniel has guided our small group to identify our own signature, style, vision and voice and to recognize those elements in the work of other photographers.  Building upon this foundation, we practiced writing project statements and editing a body of our work with the benefit of the insight, guidance and encouragement of our group.  Creating a meaningful project statement and body of work has been challenging for me but this was exactly what I was looking for.


The Advanced workshopThe Meaningful Image is focused on making and understanding the images we create. Some possible topics include: 


  • Picking the right images
  • Understanding what photography means to you
  • Who you are as a photographer
  • Why one image works and another doesn’t
  • Developing language to talk about your work, your artistic seeing, and projects
  • Learning how to speak about photographs
  • Define and develop actionable steps to sharing your work with others
  • Developing editing, organization techniques, and workflows for consistency of your style and voice. 
  • Reviewing work
  • Making prints
  • Discussions of editions and presentation considerations

    What to Expect

    There is no travel for this workshop to keep everyone safe. You will be able to do the entire workshop from your couch in your PJs if you like.

    The course is limited to no more than six (6) participants. This is so that we can have time to build a community of support, share meaningful work with time to discuss, and have the flexibility to customize the experience as needed.

    We will be meeting online every few weeks for 2-3 hours. Each session will have a theme for the session. These themes will revolve around image organization, shooting assignments, critique, and editing techniques.

    Assignments will be given and reviewed in follow-up sessions. Any assignment will be able to be done safely and easily without requiring you to put yourself at any COVID or health risk.

    The editing techniques will cover basic workflows through advanced techniques. There will also be opportunities for you to share what and how you approach editing your images.


    What you’ll need

    Each class session will be online via Zoom. Most sessions will be recorded so that you can watch them again as needed. You will need to have access to a computer, tablet, or phone that can use Zoom. You will need Internet access to attend the sessions.

    This class will cover editing in a variety of tools focusing initially on Lightroom and Photoshop. We will look at other tools and software programs, but they are not required for the workshop.

    You will need to be able to produce digital images (digital camera or scans of film) for shooting assignments, editing assignments, and critiquing images.

    Come with an open, upbeat attitude. We want to make an inclusive and supportive community of photographers, so being respectful, supportive, and engaging is important.


    We treat each other with mutual respect.

    We do not engage in disruptive or unsafe behavior that disturbs others, threatening others physically, or engaging in verbal harassment.

    We don’t act unreasonably or interfering with others’ use of the facilities (online or in-person) or class time.

    When providing feedback, we provide honest, open dialogs about our work and the work of others in a respectful manner.

    Silly Dog Studios does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran.

    Silly Dog Studios values and celebrates the diverse backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and perspectives of people in our community. Encouraging and protecting diversity creates an environment that promotes freedom of thought and shared learning.

    Anyone who violates these guidelines will be removed from a workshop, course, or program. No refunds will be given. 


    Common Questions

    What do I need to bring?

    Each workshop has a different set of needs. Once you register, you will be sent a detailed handout about the workshop or event. The booklet contains details about the workshop content, locations, directions to the studio and complete workshop schedule. It also includes a list of required materials and optional materials.

    However, for most workshops, participants need to bring their computers. Digital cameras are required for on-location or shooting workshops. The studio equipment (printers, scanners, etc.) is available for participant use during each workshop. While we run Macs in our studio, workshops are mostly Adobe-centric or universal software centric, so Windows-based PC users should have few concerns about compatibility. I also worked for several years at Microsoft and have lots of Windows experience.

    We use a variety of media. If you want to print on alternate substrates, please bring your preferred media.

    For online workshops, you only need access to the Internet and a working device to connect to the session via the provided link.

    Is there some way to reduce my financial risk if I can't make it for some reason?

    I understand that things happen, and you can read our refund policy below or in our Terms of Service. I highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for your workshop. Having that in your back pocket can reduce your risk and put your mind at ease. Travelex is a good company, as are many other options.

    All payments made are non-refundable. Funds paid are transferable if you cancel more than 60 days before the start of your workshop. Daniel J Gregory Photography reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by 45 days before the workshop begins.

    Silly Dog Studios dba/Daniel J Gregory Photography is not responsible for cancellations due to medical or travel emergencies. Participants are still responsible for any losses regarding flights, travel, lodging or other undefined expense. Again, please consider travel insurance to remove any worries you might have. We recommend you purchase travel insurance through Travelex.

    If Silly Dog Studios dba/Daniel J Gregory Photography must cancel a workshop, all fees and deposits are refunded in full or transferred to another workshop.

    What about COVID-19 and vaccination requirements?

    For in-person workshops, we require that attendees be vaccinated. If you fail to produce your vaccination status, you will forfeit your spot in the workshop, and no refund will be provided.

    What is your payment and refund policy?

    For most in-person workshops, payments are due in full at the time of registration. Our approach is that your payment for the program is a commitment to participate, just as it is our commitment to provide the best experience possible. It is a commitment on both our parts. So, the short answer is we don’t provide refunds on workshops, classes and courses.

    If you need to cancel your reservation with more than 60 days notice, funds paid are transferable to a future workshop space permitting. With less than 60 days until the workshop, there are no refunds or transfers. There are no refunds or transfers for any reason once the event, class or workshop date has begun. We highly suggest that you get trip insurance to reduce your risk.

    Do I need to bring my own computer?

    Yes, you will need to bring a computer. We don't have computers for you to use. If computers are not required for the workshop, we will let you know in advance.

    For smaller workshops or online sessions, many of our attendees prefer just to take notes the old fashion way.

    Are there any prerequisites for attending a workshop?

    For almost all of the workshops there are no prerequisites. In the event a workshop does require some advanced or prior knowledge it will be specifically called out on the workshop registration page. If you are ever concerned about the specific topics or technical requirements for a workshop, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to answer any of your questions so that you can feel great about your decision to sign up.

    Do you offer any discounts?

    Some workshops do offer an early-bird rate.  The early bird rate, when offered, will be automatically calculated in the price. The rate is available for workshops with early-bird pricing until four weeks before the workshop start date.

    I also offer a discount for alums and referrals. If you want an alum or referral discount, please get in touch with me before registering for your discount code.

    Alum discounts may not be used for any online class or workshops except for the Meaningful Image full-length course.

    Can I be put on a waitlist?

    Absolutely. Life happens and we want to make sure that we can get you in a workshop if at all possible. If the workshop is full, we will take down your name and contact you if a spot becomes available.

    Do you offer payment plans?

    Some workshops do have a non-refundable, transferable deposit, but unless noted, a workshop payment is due in full at the time of registration. We do understand that sometimes it makes sense to be able to pay for the cost of a  workshop over time. If you want to discuss that as an option, please contact us and we can figure out something that will work for you to be able to attend the workshop.