Word-of-mouth recommendations is what I rely on to get new projects, clients and students to teach.

Please leave me some feedback so I can get even better.

Thanks for taking the time to do so.

When you do leave the feedback, it might be useful if you also mention which class or what job you hired me to do.

Serena Duffin

I have to start off by saying that I was very surprised that taking an “Introductory to digital photography” course wasn’t as easy as I had thought it was going to be! I feel that my instructor, Peter Phun, revealed to me and my classmates an entirely new visual language! Peter’s amazing technical skill as a photographer, along with his passion and strong enthusiasm for photography, were what drove me to want to excel. I had started this class with very little knowledge.

In fact, my Canon Rebel had never been put into manual mode and I always shot in automatic settings. I had no idea what an f-stop was and I certainly did not want to use it! I felt that Peter challenged me, and the other students, and expected us to work to our potential. He took the time to know us each as an individual, not just another space filling a seat in his class.

Even with my lack of experience when I started his course, I left feeling that I could accomplish much more than I ever thought was possible. I believe that’s what makes him such a great educator and one that will always be the force that pushed me to accomplish what I have today. 

Today I own my own photography business and have done rather well with it. I have been in business for over 3 years now and am now considering opening my own boutique. There are many ups and downs in this business, however, I feel I have succeeded well above what I ever thought I was capable of. This never would have been possible without my first stepping stone, which has laid the foundation for an amazing career and life long passion in photography! Thank you Peter for caring about your class so much and for caring about me! 
Serena Duffin Photography

I moved up from my point-n-shoot camera to a beautiful DSLR this year. I get it home and have no idea what to do with it, so I, like most of you, I set it on “AUTO” and start shooting. But I knew I could do better and get more out of my camera. 

Peter Phun is a professional photographer who used to work at The Press Enterprise. I’m a big fan of his work. When I saw he was having a basic DSLR class for beginners, I jumped on the opportunity. 

I took his one-day basic DSLR class and came away understanding the basics of how my amazing camera works, tips on photographing people, how to use available light, how to shoot things in motion and how to organize my photos once I got home.  

The class consisted of a “classroom” portion held at a coffee house in Riverside, a field portion shot at a motocross track, and a session with a free trial of Lightroom 4, where you learn how to organize and edit photos. Did you ever give any thought as to how you should name and organize photos once you download them? Peter will help you get set up so you can find photos easily.  

Peter is a patient, compassionate teacher who won’t criticize you for not doing basic things you really should have done. Like reading the manual and studying the discs that came with your camera. I didn’t, but he pretended not to notice. He also evaluates your interests and makes specific equipment suggestions. For me, it was a fast aperture 50mm lens. 

Also check out Peter’s blog, where you will get lots of great tips from him and his fellow professionals on technique. Be sure to read the comments from other pros. http://peterphun.com/blo…

I’m looking forward to more basic classes from Peter. I highly recommend him if you are not a professional, but want to do more with that beautiful camera you bought and don’t really know what to do with.—Hilary Cable

I have taken other classes and workshops from Peter, and he’s great. The best thing is no matter how much a novice you are, there are no stupid questions in Peter’s world. He will take the time to answer clearly and thoroughly. He has a lifetime of taking photos behind him so his knowledge runs deep. You can’t go wrong taking workshops from him.—Gordon Lee Johnson
“Peter worked for me as an instructor when I ran the youth programs at a local museum. The first thing that struck me was how creative his assignments were and how much time he put into making sure the kids were engaged and that they understood the principles he was teaching. The students responded and produced some terrific pictures. 

Peter’s generosity is unsurpassed, he has helped me to better understand the web and has tutored me in Word Press. He is teaching a Word Press class at UCR this Spring and I highly recommend it! 

The picture you see here was taken my Peter. At last a picture I don’t want to destroy. He’s the best!”–Pamela Atkinson

“Peter disproves the old saying, “Those that can – do. Those that can’t – teach.” Not only is he an accomplished photographer in his own right, but he has an amazing talent in conveying concepts and techniques to his students. I had the great pleasure to participate in one of his courses at the UCR extension, and I continue to use his teachings on a regular basis. I look forward to taking more classes from this exceptional teacher”–Jesus Guerrero

“Peter you are truly an amazing and gifted photographer. The way you took time with each of the girls making sure the lighting and angles was right let me know that you knew what you was doing. You gave 110% until the wee hours of the morning and you are greatly appreciated…Thanks bunches!”– Deeveatva Foy

“I wholeheartedly recommend Peter’s photography skills class. I was very pleased to learn the purpose of the tools at hand on the camera. Since this class, automatic settings have been switched off and I have experienced some real wonders of photography as a professional and growing personal interest.” 

“I admire teachers who share their knowledge and experiences, as Peter does often on his Web site. I look forward to a lifetime of building on the principles I’ve learned from Peter!”–Darin A.Schemmer

“Having Peter as a photographer was such a wonderful experience! Just knowing that the artist behind the lens truly cares about the outcome of your pictures is very comforting. I knew throughout the photo shoot that Peter truly cared about me creating great pictures not only for his sake, but for my sake also.”

“I didn’t feel the anxiety of doubt waiting with finger crossed hoping for a great shot because I knew after working with Peter that I would have plenty to chose from. Thanks again Peter for being so patient and making this photo shoot a joyous experience!”–Sherrelle “Malika” Johnson

“Peter’s class was fantastic! I like the way he explains things, and the fact that he is honest and doesn’t hold back when critiquing our photos. It only stings for a second, but I would not have learned what I was doing wrong. There are so many things to remember and it is very overwhelming at first, but with Peter’s guidance it became easier and less frustrating to use my camera.”

“I enjoyed all of our little field trips, and was happy to learn to use my camera in so many different locations, in various types of lighting. I still have so much to learn, and I appreciate that any time I have a question about equipment or techniques, Peter responds with great advice even though the class is over”–Tricia Brown.

“I took a class at RCC to complete my fine art requirement. I have owned a digital SLR for many years and thought it would be a piece of cake since I already knew how to use my camera. So I thought!!! Peter taught me so much more about my camera and how to use it in ways I had never even thought about. More than that Peter taught me the Art of Photography.”

“No not everyone is an Artist, but learning the different types of pictures and when shoot them has given me an insite I would otherwise have never had. Peter is a very hands on teacher he would talk about how to shoot a picture, and show us examples of pictures, and then it was out to shoot.”

“We often went on location and shoot, to me that made the world of difference, being able to shoot a picture and get his feedback while on site was great. I can’t say enough about his class I learned 70-80 percent of what I know from his class.”–Dan Schaefer

“Your class definitely gave me a great foundation and confidence to explore my camera, use it and create great lasting memories capturing the moment. I was dependent on the auto feature of my other camera and now I have some concept of how I could improve the images I take. Your style of teaching is very effective. I appreciate your patience and passion for wanting us to improve our hobbies. I look forward to taking additional classes from you. Thank you!!!”—Tet Castro

“I wanted to give my husband an updated picture of me besides the one from when I was a teenager as a anniversary gift. Peter helped me out and took my portrait. We did different looks, wardrobe changes, and he really captured me which is what I wanted, instead of the typical portraits you see everywhere. Peter made me feel comfortable when in front of the camera and for that I would recommend him highly for capturing great images. Thank you, Peter.”—Gina Famiglietti

For those at any level of photography wanting to learn everything there is to know about the workings of the camera, the tips only professionals with experience accrue, and the creative nuisances that allow one to explore expressing themselves through the lens, I suggest a workshop with Peter Phun.”

“His hands on methods of teaching enable one to try and discover with guidance benefiting anyone wanting to learn something new about taking pictures. The class time passes by before you know it because the energy and passion for the subject matter is evident every second.”

“After serving as a model for students to practice on, I have to say I know his secret to staying thin as he completely immerses himself in to the work, making for a lively and easily understandable learning atmosphere. If you are contemplating taking a photography class I strongly recommend choosing time with Peter. You would not regret the investment of time spent.”—Mary Caroline Pope

“Of all the photography classes I have taken, I have to say that Peter is the only professor who works with students hand by hand in the field and well as in in the lab. I enjoyed taking his class, because I learned how to work with digital cameras, since I was very much used to work with film.”

“I have to emphasize I learned a lot: from camera settings, to photoshop, and overall how to be creative without spending a lot of money.

He definitely knows his stuff, and he is always on top about new upcoming photo/technology. I definitely feel very comfortable now with working with digital. Thanks Peter for the patient you had with me in the class 🙂 “–Carolina Castro

“I have learned more from taking Peter’s photography classes than I have from taking previous one’s. No one has ever taught me what my camera’s settings are for, other than the technical part.”

“I have been able to take wonderful photographs and getting more creative. My love for photography and inspiration have all woken up. If I havent mentioned it before, thanks Peter!”—Erika Garcia Cisneros

“I really enjoyed the class Peter. While I don’t have an SLR, I leaned all about the additional things I can do manually with a point-and-shoot. You are easy to understand and don’t speak above my capabilities. I also now know all about cataloging my photos… wow, that is great! Peter, thanks so much.”—Laura Leonard Pearson Densmore

“Peter is truly a phenomenal photographer. I know quite a few photographers out there but I must say that Peter is one of the most artistic and talented that I have ever met.”

“His photos for the Lunar Festival in Riverside was just breathtaking. Somehow he managed to make simple objects look so beautiful and vibrant. My family and I are looking forward to having Peter do a photoshoot for us in another month or so. Besides his incredible abilities in Photography….his creative blogs are truly must read.”—Grace Luu

Peter Phun is not only a photographer to hire for you next shoot but also a great mentor to learn from. He always go over and beyond to get that perfect shot and he is very creative, not just a point and shoot photographer.”

“Peter is truly a master of his art. He instantly makes you feel comfortable and is very easy to work with. Definitely worth your while!”—

Hadia Habibi–creative director Al Nar Bellydance Ensemble

 “A couple years ago I had the great fortune of enrolling in a digital photography course Peter taught at Riverside Community College. I was just starting my own freelance photography business and took the class to improve the basic skills I already had.”

“His instruction was invaluable, he was patient, informative and entertaining – he made sure the class had lots of ‘hands-on’ teachable sessions so everyone could get the most out of the course. What I found especially rewarding was his willingness to challenge everyone in the class at their level. With a wide range of skills in his class he made sure to push everyone accordingly. We don’t all fall into a cookie-cutter mold and he recognized this and taught his class understanding that everyone has slightly different needs or skill sets.”

“I enjoyed my time learning from Peter and highly recommend him as a photo instructor.”—Patrick O’Neil

Peter responds instantly to requests and works within tight deadlines with very high quality work. He has an an eye for light hitting the subject and overall composition. I would highly recommend him for any photography work.”–Susan Marie

26 thoughts on “Testimonials”

  1. Peter is a delight to work with. He made me feel comfortable with the tool I am not confident of using. He was right there to answer any concerns or questions I had. He was detailed and provided examples that was easy to understand. And lastly, he made our workshop fun! I like working with Peter. I am looking forward for another workshop in the near future. 🙂

  2. I took Peter’s Small Flash Lighting workshop in order to learn how to properly light people in my photography as well as prepare for a grandchild on the way. I really appreciated his guidance on which lighting equipment to purchase before the class. I also appreciated that the workshop was a small group which allowed all of us to get the attention we needed. Peter was attentive and offered assistance anytime I needed it and answered all of my questions. The models who were available for us that day were amazing! All in wonderful costumes! It was a very fun afternoon and I learned a lot. I can’t wait for the next workshop!

  3. I recently took Peter Phun’s Introductory to Digital Photography and Introduction to Lightroom, both courses offered through Riverside Art Museum. I’d had my Canon Rebel for 2 years and had rarely even tried to take it out of auto mode. Peter was knowledgeable, patient, and took the time to offer one on one guidance to those in the class. The RAM class offered 3 “Fun” Projects which allowed the students to learn about their camera in manual mode and also apply unique perspective with elements like silhouettes and panning. The Lightroom sessions guided the students to better understand how to use the software to improve our photos. Peter is an excellent photographer who did everything possible to impart his knowledge to all of us in his class. I learned so much in the classes and hope to continue to improve and use Manual Mode to give me the photos I want! Thanks, Peter!

    1. Dara, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience in those 2 classes with my website visitors. It really makes me try each and every time to improve as a teacher. Much appreciated and a heartfelt thank you!

  4. Peter, thank you so much for meeting me a few days before the workshop to make sure my speedlites’ set up was ready! It was awesome having you there when shooting the models as I learned how to try different things to make the lighting work for me in varied situations. Great workshop!

  5. Thank you Peter Phun for the small group lighting workshop Part 2.
    This class has really opened my eyes to more possibilities with future portrait sessions. This type of lighting with external flashes, and reflectors makes portraits more dramatic in my opinion.
    Most of my prior shoots were with the external flash on my camera hot shoe, which is very limited with the control and direction of light. It is very nice to have the lighting options available now, and I feel more encouraged to use this equipment too.
    I do love to get out of my comfort zone, and take my photography to different levels. I look forward to practicing more, and getting some of this lighting techniques down.

    Just a suggestion, I think having one model with a group of photographers would allow for more interaction with the teacher and model. Everyone could take turns shooting the model and get your direct assistance and review for any corrections needed. A demonstration in the beginning is great,but I feel direct attention is needed immediately from the teacher during the shoot.

    Thank you again Peter, I look forward to attending more lighting classes.

    John Moya

    1. Thank you John for the suggestion but I have to point out the reason I have a ratio of 1 photographer to 1 model is so students can take charge of the situation as if you are working in the field in real life. Throughout the workshop, I was constantly making the rounds and checking in on every student to see if they were having issues and I was making suggestions then. If I made every student photograph the same model, I wouldn’t need as many models and it would be less work for me. The problem is, you the student, wouldn’t have the variety of looks which often can inspire and motivate you to shoot.

  6. I attended Peter’s Speedlite Workshop on October 31, 2015. I had previously used my speedlite off camera, but there were so many things I still didn’t understand. Peter started his workshop with a lecture on speedlites and lighting in general, which was very informative. We spent the majority of our time photographing four awesome models. During that time Peter offered individual help to each student. I loved his way of teaching!! He was full of energy, yet offered advice as if we were old friends!!! Great workshop… can’t wait for the next one!!!
    Terry Turcotte

  7. I had been struggling for so long to understand my Canon Speedlites. I took Peter’s small lighting class and was amazed at how much I learned in so short a time. He is infinitely patient, and helped me understand my equipment and camera menus. The models were fabulous and the class went too quickly. I look forward to the next one.

  8. Hello,

    My name is Rodrigo Luna and Iv’e always been interested in learning photography. I recently had a one on one 3 hour photography lesson with Peter Phun. I have to say that it was very informative and clear. I particularly liked the way he explained the relation between aperture, shutter speed and ISO. He also covered a lot of the basic functions of my camera. things I didn’t know I could use to better control it in manual mode. He went over some of the editing software and lighting as well. I can honestly say that the information obtained from this lesson will get me started in the right direction. I can’t wait to start shooting. Thank you Peter Phun.

  9. I would suggest if you want to increase your skills with portrait work, take one of Peter’s classes. Having shot Red Carpets and Event coverage left my skills weak in this area. I learned a lot in the two day workshop, and had the opportunity to shoot the models there in multiple situations, with Peter there guiding us on technique and posing. I got some great images from the classes and intend on taking the class again when offered. You always learn new stuff and better yourself in this type of environment.
    If you want to make some great portraits then get in one of Peter’s classes.
    Jim Cady

  10. Taking a class that Peter teaches is a totally worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally. He combines his years of photography experience, along with a vast knowledge of applicable computer software and hardware, to give students a full-range of lessons, from website building, photography to even graphic design. His experience in the field, working for the newspaper give him that “street cred” vibe that really made the classes that I have taken fun. He is also very patient, and leads his classes according to the pace of the room. I would highly recommend Peter as a photographer, and as a teacher.

  11. “My tutoring session yesterday with Peter was more than I could have asked for.

    Not only did he unravel and resolve multiple problems with my disorganized LR folders and files,
    he worked with me, clarifying other issues I had with iPhoto.

    In addition, he created a document that I could use as reference in my home environment. I found his professional help invaluable, and well worth the drive from San Diego to Riverside and back.”

  12. Just completed the 6 week Lightroom 4 class offered by Peter at the Riverside Art Museum.

    This was time well spent and a valuable addition to my photographic education. Peter not only taught us about Adobe’s Lightroom 4 but also about photography, composition, Flash and in general how to become better at what we like to do.

    Coupled with the weekly instructions on Lightroom were opportunities to take some photos and then apply the tools in Lightroom into the photos we took.

    This was much more than just a class on how to use some great photography software, it was a class on how to become a better photographer. Each week i walked away with enough new knowledge to pay for the entire 6 week class.

    I believe that any class Peter offers will far exceed your expectations. Thanks Peter — Great Job!

  13. Excellent assistance with post production with Lightroom on MacBook!
    He quickly calibrated his instruction to my idiosyncratic levels of comprehension and experience.
    Some of his suggestions were ridiculously simply–which illustrates his mastery and mental agility with both Mac and Lightroom!

  14. I took Peter Phun’s lighting with a strob photo class, a one-day, 8-hour session packed with critical information, tips, techniques and individual tutoring, using five models for practice. As a freelance journalist for magazines and newspapers, I always take my camera on interviews. What I learned in class will upgrade my photos ten-fold, elevating a standard mug shot to a professionally lighted portrait, with only one strobe, maybe a reflector. I learned to work with light, both ambient and electronic and I expect my photos will improve the overall package I present to editors. An excellent workshop.
    –Bill Marchese/ Palm Springs

  15. I took Peter’s Small Flash Lighting Class on September 1st and it was a really great experiece. I learned a lot from this class and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves photography. Peter is very knowledgeable about this subject. He shares his expertise and equipments to his students generously. Peter remained very calm and patient during our class considering that we had a big group. He is an excellent photographer and a teacher. I will definitely attend more of his future workshops.

  16. I’ve known Peter for years as a former newspaper colleague and was quite impressed with his work as a photojournalist. I didn’t realize, however, the extent of his artistry until I stumbled across his photography blog.

    Seeing how Peter makes light work for him prompted me to enroll in his Small Flash Workshop. It was an amazing hands-on experience taught by a master photographer who truly knows how get the most out of a subject and scene.

    I’d recommend this workshop to any aspiring professional or amateur photographer who wants to bring his or her own work to a much higher level.

    I’m sure I’ll take it again as a refresher class in the future.

  17. If you really want to learn about Flash Photography, you will want to attend one of Peter’s Flash Photography Workshops. The workshop is filled with lecture, learning, hands-on, and fun. You experiment with various set-ups of your Flash in order to achieve the right exposure. We spend the entire workshop photographing so we’re able to correct any errors we’re making in regards to how to angle the flash, or where to place your flash to get the results you want. The models are very photographic and nice to work with. The photographers range in experience which is nice because we may learn something from another photographer based on their experience. If you’re new to Flash Photography, Peter’s knowledge puts you at ease and makes learning a great experience. I’ve attended two of Peter’s workshops and look forward to the next one.

  18. I took the Basic DSLR class with Peter Phun, if you haven’t seen his website before, this is a link with an unbelievable photo on it animal lovers. The class was so complete for a one day workshop! And we worked. We received so much good information, presented in an understandable way, complete with monitor illustration on his power mac (or whatever he calls his giant laptop-sorry, not an apple girl, me) and additional large monitor. We all were able to familiarize ourselves with our own cameras, with his assistance. Who knew what a histogram was, or “where” it is (my Nikon’s) is a little trickier to set to find, but now we do. And we learned it is a tool not necessarily an absolute! We practiced and learned about using available light and how we can adjust our settings for either certain effects or lighting problems…without having to spend $$$$ for “accessories”.

    Then after a lunch break we went to a motocross track nearby (didn’t know these things existed right near downtown) to take some action photos, which in turn gave us lots LOTS of practice in setting to PAN as well as STOP ACTION! and the beauty of it all, with digital and a long life battery in the camera, we could take plenty of shots until we got it right! or close enough.
    We returned to our original “classroom” and reviewed what we did and Peter explained the advantages of Lightroom for organizing and/or sorting our images in preparation for photo editing!

    LOVED IT! If you are in the Riverside area, [one of our students came from Indio (well she is in Riverside County…though it is a bit of a drive)]..and are interested in learning about your camera or some aspect of photography, check out his site, and email him – He always answers, even technical questions. Read his bio if you don’t know about his professional career of photojournalist…. He is Riverside’s best of the best in photography and photo educator!

    and no I didn’t get paid to post this!

  19. Wow! Peter is a true seasoned professional! If you spend any length of time with Peter in one of his courses, you can’t help but pick up a few golden nuggets. To gleam some of the precious morsels from his insight and vision are worth the price of admittance! My future clients will definitely benefit from what Peter has taught me. I look forward to the opportunity to take another course from Peter, it will only make me a better artist and photographer. Thanks again Peter!

  20. Having received a new camera for Christmas, I attended Peter’s workshop, Basic Digital SLR,on January 8 and 15, and I am glad I did! Even with some background in photography, I was overwhelmed and confused trying to learn all the features of my new camera, and my owner’s manual was not a lot of help.

    During the two three-hour sessions, Peter demonstrated the buttons and settings of our cameras and explained how to adjust the aperture and shutter speed. He covered such topics as depth of field, proper exposure, lighting and flash photography. This was a good refresher for me. Lastly, he touched on storage options and retrieval of photos, and suggested online resources for purchasing photography equipment and accessories.

    Without this class, I would still be shooting on the auto setting of my new camera. His class is a must for anyone with a new camera or those thinking of buying a new camera. Peter is knowledgeable about all makes and models of camera equipment as well as both Macintosh and PC platforms for downloading pictures.

  21. Hi Peter
    I love the way you teach, students needs to realize that you are teaching them your techniques and tricks instead of going by the book. You are also saving them money by not making they buy those expensive photography books. I don’t understand why RCC would not add more digital photography classes (our technology is nothing but digital) right!
    Thank you very much for taking your time setting up your studio in the classroom. Students should appreciate that!

  22. Peter is an exceptional craftsman whose expertise in his art is only surpassed by his passion for it. I recommend his class to anyone wanting to learn anything about photography.

    That being said, I agree with Armando in regards to the “night shoot” example, and not limiting those kinds of opportunities based on the class’s availability as a whole.

    Secondly, another idea that might be pretty cool (but may not be logistically possible), would be to have student critiques of each others work online or anonymously. Maybe through a forum or something. (A forum for anonymous “question asking” might be good for the shyer students as well)

    Thirdly, I recommend pushing RCC to add more digital photography courses to its curriculum ;-).

    And lastly, when can I expect the check for my “paid endorsement?” 😀

  23. Pixels in Pete’s world is a good thing to get in a photographers e-mail. I have read some of the e-mails but some I have just glanced through. Regardless of how I go through them I have gotten some great ideas and/or refreshments of past course work. Thank you Pete and may you continue helping students.


  24. I learned a great deal in this short course. I wish it had been longer. I would suggest, as I did on the evaluation, that a syllabus be provided that tells us what we’ll cover at each session. I think that would be better than the list of items to be covered that was provided.

    I think it is a great teaching tool to go on location and shoot and then get critiques.

    You are extremely knowledgable and patient.

    Thanks for everything.


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Photo tips from a creative Southern California photographer