Master your DSLR Camera – Great beginners class in Old Town

Master your DSLR Crash Course for Beginners

Dates available :  Dec. 20 , 2019 – March, 28, 2020
All classes by reservations only. Reserve for yourself or for a group. Go from zero knowledge in digital photography to beginner basics in a few hours. Master your new Nikon or Canon DSLR complicated functions & learn from a working professional photographer
Meeting Place: Old Town. Meet at Living Room Cafe Time: 1- 6pm
Cost per student – $ 175 – Limited to 4 students max.
Reserved your space by paying with Paypal. Email us on this link:


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Creative Camera Composition Workshop

My  Creative Camera Composition Workshop is a fun and creative photography workshop for beginners. Bring a DSLR or a Point & Shoot.
This is a  4-hour walking photo tour .
Dates : Dec. 20 , 2019 – March 1, 2020 . All workshops by appointment
Workshop Fee : $ 175.00 per person, $ 250 for 2 people, $ 350 for 3 people

Shooting Locations : Sunset Cliffs/ Ocean Beach –
Subject Matter : People, Beach Scenes, Actions
Learn how to shoot fast action and capture motion with your DSLR.
You can capture also fast action with Iphone X

Orientation Location : Meet at Newbreak Cafe at 3 pm

We will be shooting around Beach and Sunset Cliff
Subject Matter : Architecture, Still Life, Urban Scenes

Learn how to use the composition tool to shoot

Learn cool composition techniques with focal lengths and camera angles.
How to shoot cool filter effects with your Iphone
All creative techniques can be used with a Smart Phone like Iphone or any Android Phones. Be sure you have a good camera on your smart phone.

Composition Exercise- Shooting vertical & horizontals subject matter
such as surfers using wide angle or telephoto.

Register here

San Diego Gaslamp Photo Night Photography Workshop

Attend my fun sunset/ night photography workshop in San Diego

Workshop Dates in San Diego : Dec. 22, 2019 – Feb. 22,2020

Workshop Fee : $ 175 per person. $ 200 for 2 people, $ 300 for 3 people
Please reserved by Paypal before attending.
Meeting Place : Caffe Italia, 1704 India St.
What to bring : Any DSLR with short zoom lens, a 50mm 18 or prime lens, and a tripod. Bring a winter coat as it gets cold at night.

Theme of the class: Shooting a travel assignment for an Asian travel magazine. We will shoot pics to depict the lifestyle and nightlife in San Diego.

Creative focus on this night class – Composition techniques such as rule of thirds, leading lines,and frame within a frame is what I would like to see use in everyone of your images. Also shooting high, low,and eye level camera angles. shooting very wide and long focal lengths. We will start shooting around sunset. For the night shooting we will be shooting handheld techniques using high ISO ( 1600 and up )and fast lenses ( 2.8 min aperture ) and also tripod method using ISO 100 and apertures of F11-16 and long exposures ( 30 secs and longer ).

To book this night photo workshop, please send me email to

Nikon D800

Digital Photography Bootcamp for Beginners – Old Town & Sunset Cliffs – A fun class

What is cool about this class:

Learn the basics of photography: lighting, exposure, and composition from a pro photographer. Elle will help you demystify the complicated controls of your digital camera without reading the manual. Learn cool composition techniques with focal lengths  and camera angles. Master shooting color and black and white in overcast weather. Results will amaze you. You will learn how to create creative images in the worst weather conditions.Practice your creative and composition skills with Elle’s unique composition tool. Go home with awesome photos that will amaze your friends on Facebook.

This is a walking and driving photo tour.

Workshop Dates : Oct. 26 – Dec. 18 , 2019. Other dates available by request.
Workshop Fee:  $ 175 for the 5 hour class.
Morning Class : 730am – 1230 pm, Afternoon Class : 2-7 pm
Meeting place: Living Room
All students will learn the Triangle of Exposure.

Shooting locations : Old Town, Sunset Cliffs

Subject Matter: Architecture, Interiors, Macro Photography, Winter Landscape Photography. Technical topics: Mastering the three most popular exposure settings ( Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual ), Color correction techniques using White Balance Settings, and Picture Styles, Exposure Compensation experiment ( effects of over and under exposure ).

What’s included: Hands-on photo instruction with a small group, photo tips book ( PDF files ) Elle’s special composition tool, photo critique

n Digital camera or point and shoot , Winter jacket and hat
comfortable walking shoes, note pad and pen

What’s not included: transportation, optional dinner after the photo tour


action photography

San Diego Surprise Engagement Proposal Photographer

San Diego is the perfect location for a surprise wedding proposal to your girlfriend or boyfriend. For locations, I highly recommend La Jolla Cove or Sunset Cliffs although I have several other great locations in mind. So let me tell you how this works.

  • Call or email us to talk to your proposal expert & photographer
  • We will brainstorm proposal ideas and plans
  • Once we select a date and time, I will send you maps, diagrams and directions for the exact location of your proposal and you will be notified of where our photographer will be hiding out.  
  • If you happened to be in San Diego a day or two for your wedding proposal, you can meet your photographer in secret and do a practice run.

Wedding proposal photo packages

  1. San Diego Photo Tour Proposal – Book the 3-hour photographer tour for yourself and your GF or BF. Tell your soon to be fiancee that you book a photo tour of San Diego so it’s not too suspicious. You propose to her or him at a dramatic beach location at the end of the tour.
  2. Sunset Cliffs Surprise Wedding Proposal – Your photographer will come disguise as a tourist or shoot pictures from a distance. We will shoot the pics and video an hour or two before sunset.
  3. Mt. Soledad Cross Wedding Proposal – This is one of my favorite shooting location for any type of photography and a sunset proposal here is perfect. I have several ideas to plan this surprise proposal.

Costs and what is included in the packages.

  • A consultation with your proposal expert/photographer Elle Gamboa who will help you with your proposal idea. Elle will handle all the logistics of your proposal plan including a Plan B.
  • Your photographer Elle will be available for 1-3 hours to help capture the build up and the proposal moment. You will also received a private portrait session after you pop the question.

Action photography & composition techniques workshop

Dates Available: October 26-  Dec.28, 2019 . Starts at 2 pm
Workshop Fee: $ 175 per student
Shooting Locations: Balboa Park, Ocean Beach

Meeting location :  Entrance of Museum of Photographic Arts ( MOPA )

What to bring : DSLR, short zoom lens, long telephoto lens ( 200 mm ), external flash, A point and shoot with a long telephoto lens is also okay to bring.

Topics covered :

Focusing methods, manual & prefocusing, composition method using negative/positive space principle, shooting with low shutter speed versus fast shutter speed, shooting JPEGs versus RAW files, using flash to stop action, shooting high and low ISO, how to select lenses.

Subject Matter : Wildlife, surfers, runners,

In-depth Photography Instruction: Learn how to take photos like a pro! Topics include understanding light, exposure control, camera settings, lens choices, composition, and utilizing Speedlites.


Register for action photography workshop

action photography

Customized photo tours of San Diego

Photograph beautiful San Diego County from the best points of view in a private guided tour with your photo instructor & experienced photo tour guide Elle Gamboa. Enjoy choice vistas of our iconic Ocean Beach Pier, check out the amazing ocean vistas at La Jolla Cove, hike the Cuyamaca Peak Loops Trail, enjoy the many scenic wonders of Balboa park , walk across the Spruce St. foot bridee and explore San Diego’s finest beaches — all in one day!

Since I first arriving in San Diego in the late 80s, I’ve spent virtually all my time exploring the beautiful surrounding terrain from North County to Chula Vista with an emphasis on the La Jolla beach area where I currently reside.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove – photo by Elle

These sessions are designed for out of town visitors, foreign tourists or photographers who are less interested in instruction, and more in finding certain hard to reach locations that lie off the beaten path. I will customize a route based on your interests, and daily/seasonal conditions.


These photo excursions last six hours, and cost $600. Extended sessions (+$100/hr) and multi-day tours can be arranged on an individual basis.

  • $100 fee for each additional attendee.

Required gear:

None! You don’t have to be a photographer to take the tour, but you’ll probably get more out of it if you bring your camera. I highly recommend you bring a tripod if you want to shoot night photography

Need more info ? Email me dates you are available to attend.

Gift Certificates of Photography for your colleague, a loved one or a friend.

Gift Certificates Available Now.

Half-day photo safari certificates are now available FOR SALE. These beginner DSLR workshops are 4 hours long and can be taken in the afternoon or in the evening  ( night photo class ).They’re also available for Photoshop for Beginners or Lightroom Basics workshops as well.

Here are a few ideas for a photography class to give to your loved one.

4-Hour Basic Digital Camera Basics for Beginners
4-Hour Photoshop/Lightroom Workshop for Beginners
4-Hour Night Photography Photo Tour of San Diego
4-Hour Iphone/Android Photo Tour in Balboa Park

Cost of gift certificates are only $ 175. Valid for 90 day use. Buy now.
Valerie La Jolla Cove Pelicans


Lightroom 4/5 Workshops for Beginners

Dates available:  March 17 – May 18, 2019

All Lightroom workshop are one-on-one training with your photo instructor.

Locations: La Jolla, Mission Hills
Hours : Morning, afternoon, or evenings
Workshop Fee: 5 hours for $ 175 only , Full day workshop is $ 250
( includes free 2 hr webinar )

Lightroom is the hottest editing tool in photography. Learn from a pro.

Topics covered will include suggested program preferences, the various revised and new modules and panels and what they do, assorted tools and presets, templates,working in programs with plug-ins such as Silver Efex Pro (for black-and-white conversions), Color Efex Pro (for special effects), Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro (for processing HDR images), and Photoshop (for other tasks – stitching and content aware fill, among others).

We begin with an introductory overview of Adobe Lightroom 4.0, which describes the database components, catalog files, previews files, the metadata structure, and the steps for setting up application preferences specific to your personal digital photography workflow requirements.

The Lightroom 4 or 5 Dashboard

Topics include digital camera setup, choosing appropriate file formats for image capture, efficiently downloading images from camera or hard drive, sorting, rating, editing, global tone and color correction, critical local corrections, input and output sharpening, presenting slideshows, and printing photographic images using Adobe Lightroom 5.0 from start to finish. Our experts emphasizes using Adobe Lightroom to its fullest potential by generating time-saving keywords and metadata searches, presets, and templates.

Once images are organized and processed, participants learn how to produce slideshows and web galleries within Lightroom 4.0. We also study slide presentations and look at ways to integrate Adobe Photoshop or Elements for further image processing if desired. Elle will share his recommendations and strategies for making clear decisions based on how Lightroom benefits each participant’s personal approach and digital photography workflow needs.

Under our guidance, participants come to see why Adobe Lightroom 5.0 puts deliberate focus on the word “speed”.  Learning this program allows photographers to spend less time in front of their computers and more time behind their cameras.

La Jolla Cove Photo Walk

Enjoy a private 3-hour walking photo tour of La Jolla Cove & Children’s Pools with a local travel photographer & photo journalist. Learn the basics of photography from a pro shooter & traveller. Get the best vacation photos & portraits with your photo instructor Elle Gamboa.

Available Dates : July 4 – August 18, 2019
Cost of the photo tour : $125 per person, $200 for 2 people.
What to bring: Nikon or Canon DSLR or any brand camera, long telephoto lens, standard stock zoom lens.

To book this photo walk, contact me at