Missy Timko Photography Education: Welcome!

now booking in-person classes for individuals and small groups!

Welcome to Missy Timko Photography Education, also known as Pittsburgh Photo Class! These are individual and small-group workshops for those that own a DSLR and want to learn how to use their camera in semi-auto and manual modes. These are hosted at Missy Timko’s Pittsburgh photography studio located in the Mt. Lebanon neighborhood of Pittsburgh or may take place on-site for corporate training, special events, and group classes.

Private classes are scheduled in a series of two 90-minute classes. Get in touch for details on the class series.

You may schedule a private class for yourself or a class for your own group–PPC does not coordinate your group’s scheduling.

Get in touch for details on classes or register below today!

About Missy

Your instructor is Missy Timko, Pittsburgh portrait photographer at Missy Timko Photography. Missy has been a professional portrait photographer since 2010 and has been teaching photography and art for over 15 years at the high school and university levels. Please see Missy’s credentials, including MSEd and Bachelor’s degrees in fine arts and art education, on LinkedIn.

In-Person Workshops // Private Classes

Most of the classes I teach are private, individual courses for the beginning hobby photographer. You must have a DSLR but do not need any prior knowledge to take a class with me.

What if I have a DSLR but know almost nothing about how to use it?

Classes are individually tailored to the needs of the student(s). Typically we will go over the basics of how photography works, go into detail on your specific areas of interest, and practice together.

Usually, your classes will be entry-level, for people who own a DSLR but need guidance in starting to shoot in manual exposure mode. This class is meant for the beginning photographer but may be customized to your experience level. You may have some experience using your DSLR on auto, but you are not comfortable using manual or semi-manual modes. Some of your photos may be blurry (especially if you have a young child!) and under or overexposed. The only prerequisites are that you own a DSLR and you have at least skimmed the manual–you will need to bring this to class so if you have lost it, download it from your camera manufacturer’s website.

A beginning class might cover the following topics:

  • A tour of your DSLR: What can it do and how do you change the settings?
  • Photography gear: cameras, lenses, and other fun stuff
  • Exposure: ISO, shutter speed, aperture settings
  • Composition & perspective
  • Workflow: software and organizing your photos
  • Printing: get those photos on the wall and in albums!

All photo class participants will receive a bound workbook with information from the presentation and space for notes.

What if I am already somewhat comfortable shooting in manual mode?

We also have more advanced classes for those who are a little more comfortable with manual mode and want more depth and practice in the areas of shooting, editing (Lightroom), and output. The advanced class is the next step for those who are comfortable with adjusting aperture, shutter speed, and ISO on their cameras to consistently get the proper exposure (maybe you took a high school or college photography class, you took the entry-level class, or you are an avid hobbyist). This class will cover the following:

  • Fine-tuning exposure using manual mode.
  • Live shooting with help.
  • Workflow and editing demonstration using Lightroom–some skills may transfer to another editing program, but I highly recommend Lightroom even for very basic editing, organization, and output.
  • Exporting for print and social media.
  • Other custom topics pertaining to gear, including on- and off-camera flash

All classes are customized to your individual experience level. Not sure which class is best for you? Ask Missy.

Where are you located?

Classes take place in Missy Timko's custom studio in Mount Lebanon, Pittsburgh at 20 Cedar Blvd. #208, Pittsburgh, PA 15228. This is 15 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Studio directions are here.


Absolutely! Our intro class series is a great gift for the photography enthusiast and makes the perfect companion when gifting a camera. Click here to purchase your gift certificate with our free custom packaging, ready to gift! Once the recipient receives their gift certificate, they can get in touch to schedule - we offer classes in person (preferred) or over Zoom.

Can I host a class for my friends/moms club/party?

Missy's photography classes are a fun get-together for friends, parties, or trainings. You just need 2-15 friends that are enthusiastic about photography that would like to enroll. Contact Missy for details in enrolling your group and group pricing.

Is there a prerequisite?

The only requirement is that you own a DSLR, and you will need to know how to change the three main settings: aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. All cameras have different menu structures for changing ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, so you should read the how-to section of your own manual before class. Most people want to learn about taking portraits, so we will spend some of the class talking about taking pictures of people and kids. However, we can also cover other types of photography (landscape, sports, etc.).

Ready to register? Contact us or register below!

Please note: Our workshops are not meant for those working as professional photographers or looking to start a business in photography, and topics pertaining to professional photography will not be covered. To express interest in mentoring pertaining to professional photography, including lighting, posing, and business, email Missy.

Corporate Training

We are available to cover special topics for businesses, such as lighting, social media imagery, and how to showcase your business with great photography. We can customize your class toward real estate agents, bloggers, fashionistas, product photography, and more! These classes will cover the basics but will also cover tips and techniques specific to these types of photography.

Recommended Gear

We've compelled a list of some of our favorite gear below. We only promote products we personally use or can recommend without hesitation. Some of the links below are affiliate links.

Camera Bodies, Lenses, Flash

I recommend you start with an entry-level crop-sensor DSLR from Canon, Sony, or Nikon, and add a 50 mm or 35 mm prime lens to expand the versatility of your camera. For about $200-300, you can add a flash or Speedlite to your setup, and then you can do so much with your starter kit! Click the link below to see my top recommendations for your beginner setup.

Mirrorless Cameras

I made the switch to mirrorless in 2020, and I will never look back! Mirrorless cameras are the future of digital photography, and there are now a number of entry-level options in addition to fantastic professional full-frame mirrorless cameras..

I shoot with the incredible Canon R5 camera body with my favorite Canon prime lenses (usually my 50 mm 1.2) for artistic and emotive imagery, but my main "workhorse" lens for children, families, and corporate shoots is my Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L zoom lens. I also use my Canon Rf 70-200mm F2.8 L zoom lens regularly for seniors, branding portraits, and other shoots with no fast-moving toddlers.

Canon now makes a few more affordable mirrorless camera for entry-level photographers, and my current recommendation is the Canon R10. Canon mirrorless cameras use the RF lens mount. You can use a lens convertor if you already have some Canon EF lenses, or you can go for the native lens mount with a Canon RF 50 mm 1.8 lens.

I use the Profoto A1X Air TTL flashes on location and the B10x+ strobes in my studio and am thrilled with Profoto's performance. If I am shooting in low light with just a hint of flash, I use my Canon EL-1 flashes because they outperform Profoto in providing the tiniest touch of light.

Simple Studio Setup

Looking to set up your first studio in your home or commercial space? I worked out of my home for a couple of years when I first moved to Pittsburgh. I consider myself an expert at converting a small space into a workable studio where you can create amazing images!

Missy's Pro Tip: In a small space, you can customize the size of your paper backdrop by sawing it off at the perfect width. When I had a small home studio, I used bike hooks with a backdrop pole to hang my backdrop at the exact size of my wall, maximizing my small space.

Ready to book your classes now? Click here to check our calendar and register for your classes online!

Contact us for more info about photography classes:

Missy Timko Photography | info@missytimko.com | 412-559-3889