How It Began


The Digital Photo Academy began with the idea of a nationwide workshop series dedicated to promoting the culture of digital photography. The workshops would be taught by talented and accredited professional photographers who live in the cities where they teach. The classes would be small, and the students would be grouped according to skill level so that nobody would feel bored or intimidated.

To find talented professional photographers to teach in each city, Panasonic hooked up with Richard Rabinowitz and his company R2Rainmaker, who has been working with the world's most accomplished photographers for the last 25 years. A long and rigorous selection process led to signing up 48 accomplished shooters from 20 cities around the country. During intensive meetings and many friendly meals, we hashed out the curriculum for each skill level, developed detailed ideas for outdoor shoots involving students in the advanced workshops, and decided on the equipment required to enhance their skills at post-capture image manipulation. We knew that if we wanted to build long-term photo communities, the tips and techniques had to be helpful to people who owned all different cameras, not only Panasonic models.

On April 23rd, 2007, our instructors traveled to the North American headquarters of Panasonic (in Secaucus, New Jersey) to launch the Digital Photo Academy. The day after the launch, all involved were transported to Harlem Meer, one of the most beautiful areas of New York’s Central Park.

During a four-hour photo-shoot designed to express our collective joy in digital photography, the instructors captured hundreds of beautiful images of flowers, ponds, waterfalls, and the inimitable inhabitants of the Big Apple, all with Panasonic cameras handed out to the instructors - the DSLR LUMIX L1 and the Point-and-Shoot LUMIX TZ3. All of the DPA instructors have brought their L1 and TZ3 cameras back to their cities, to assist in teaching the DPA workshops hands on. But don't worry, you can bring any make or model of digital camera manufacturer to your workshop, as our instructors have knowledge and experience with all different kinds of cameras.

LUMIX L1        TZ3

                        DSLR LUMIX L1                                    Point-and-Shoot LUMIX TZ3

Click the window video below to see a 40-second Quicktime movie of the making of the group portrait of all the instructors and other players of Digital Photo Academy from around the country.

And the final group shot, taken by Central Park Photographer Sara Cedar Miller:

Group Shot

Throughout the DPA site you can also see some wonderful photographs that our instructors took that day, when it all began in Central Park.

Now that the doors of the Digital Photo Academy are open, we look forward to getting to know more about you, and to providing skills and networking opportunities that will enrich your individual enjoyment of photography. We also anticipate taking you on many unique photo-related experiences, in your home town, around the country and beyond. 


The Digital Photo Academy Team

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