Digital Photo Academy

Learn How To Use Your Digital Camera

Jerry Downs

Jerry Downs

320339_10151127668700073_1899435871_n Jerry Downs is a photographer and writer who lives just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. His work has been featured in books, magazines and museums around the world. He has given talks and led seminars on a wide range of subjects, including photography, visual literacy and optical illusions. His first book, THE PRESENT-Finding Myself in the Middle of NowHere, is a book of self-discovery that is illustrated with images taken over a 40 period, on the road, in the American West. You can download it here for free:

Jerry’s recently released book, WHY YOU WERE BORN, is about remembering the wonder of being a child, why it was important to forget and how great it is to remember. You can read the introduction and see some of the more than 100 images included in the book, here:

To quote Jerry about his remarkably diverse career, “Being a photographer has exposed me to hundreds of places around the world and allowed me to visit the personal worlds of thousands of individuals. Each has taught me how to be a better photographer. And, more importantly, each has taught me something about myself. I’ve learned that the way I see the world is a reflection of how I see myself.

My job has been to find different ways to look at things. Which has taught me that there are a lot of ways to look at things! This perspective has helped me see that life is extremely malleable and open to an infinite number of interpretations. When I remember that I am making up my picture of the world from my own lines of thought, life itself becomes a creative act. When I remember that life is full of wonder, wonderful pictures are everywhere.

Ultimately, I consider a photograph to be a success when I’m no longer in the picture. It’s my wish for the viewer to find themselves there.”

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jerry downs golden gate with clouds
jerry downs golden gate with bubble
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jerry downs bicycle spokes with red car
jerry downs mural with man in blue cap
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Call Digital Photo Academy at 1 877 372 2231. Lots of people seem to hang up if our welcome recording comes on instead of a live voice, but we promise to return your message within a day or two if you leave one with your name and number.  It would be even better if you included your e mail address as well as the date and city of the class you are considering.  If leaving a voice mail message is not your thing, please email us at or

Comments to “Jerry Downs”

  1. Great site. Very informative. Learned a lot. Great teaching.
    Thank you very much.

  2. I loved it, the teacher is awesome and very knowledgeable.

  3. Great class. Well worth it.

  4. Great class. Very worthwhile.

  5. Jerry Downs was an excellent teacher and great fun.

  6. Jerry!

    Thank you so much for a great lesson! I’ll be back to the DeYoung as soon as I’m done with all my travels! I feel much more ready to practice on holiday!! That photo is crazy! It’s like he was paid to stand there!

    • Here’s one from yesterday…

  7. Thank you Richard for setting us up with Jerry, it was a great lesson. I will be sharing photos with you and Jerry soon.

  8. Thanks again for a great experience

  9. Jerry and Peter.
    Wonderful. Love it. Thanks for sharing pictures. You both were awesome. Enjoyed every minute of it.
    Take care.

  10. Jerry, thank you for all of the creative insights and exercises as well. So great to experience these instructors and learn so much in such little time. Richard, I am absolutely thankful I was able to find your courses and can’t tell you how much I appreciate your hospitality and kindness. I am extremely likely to book again for more discovery courses..will keep you posted!

  11. Jerry’s workshop was excellent.

    I had some technical problems with my camera so I didn’t get as many great photos as I would have liked and had to leave early for work.

    I’d like to take another class with Jerry. He was very cool.

  12. Jerry Downs offers a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding the fundamental mechanics of taking digital photos; how to use your camera effectively.

    However, Jerry is a gift to anyone seeking to learn why and how to take a photograph that reflects what you see with your own eye sight.

    The mentoring environment Jerry provides instills confidence and results.

    I highly recommend this work shop and Jerry Downs.

    Your photos will reflect your soul through the lens – an invaluable experience that will last a life time.

  13. Jerry Downs is an excellent instructor. Not only did Jerry show us how to sharpen & improve our photography skills he taught us how to think outside the box & take creative photographs while having fun.

    Jerry is passionate about photography & it comes across to his students.

    I had an excellent experience and I was able to take numerous photographs while walking through very colorful neighborhoods.

    I enjoyed meeting & spending time with the other students who were inspiring to take photographs with.

    I would definitely recommend instructor Jerry Downs to my friends & his photography walks to anyone who enjoys photography.

    Digital Photo Academy has classes in other cities as well & is a first rate company.

  14. Fun class! Definitely worth the money and time. My partner and I learned to view the world around us differently and we got really good photography fundamentals to build on. Jerry was helpful and super kind! I just recommend that you be familiar with your camera before you get there (know how to change the ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed). In fact I’d recommend googling it before you get there cause every camera is different and I spent a long time trying to figure mine out instead of taking pictures. But otherwise a really lovely afternoon spent in downtown S

  15. “I was able to tailor the class to be exactly what I needed to learn. Jerry is great to work with.”


  16. “We had a private session with Jerry which was very informative. Our session was at the De Young Museum which was a perfect location for experimentation. Jerry not only showed us new technical skills, but taught us a new way of looking at the world. Thanks Jerry!”

    -Isabella S.

  17. “The class was awesome. I loved it.”

    -Yining Liu

  18. “The meeting place and the subject of the Golden bridge made for an outstanding experience.”


  19. “What an awesome experience! Jerry Downs is a great photographer, but above all a great person! I had so much fun! Jerry is letting you be the photographer and then he explains and guides you on capturing the perfect moment! Highly recommend!”


  20. “I learned a lot and will no longer rely on my automatic settings. Thanks to Jerry and Richard for being awesome!”


  21. It went well.

    -Peter Lee

  22. I had a great time – thanks Jerry!

  23. “Hi Richard,

    I hope this finds you well! Dad and I had a wonderful time during our session with Jerry.



  24. “Hi Richard, I just thought I would let you know that I have enjoyed our class very much. Jerry was very good. Let me know next time you have another photo class in San Francisco.”


  25. “Hi Jerry,
    Thank you, and thank you for the memorable and meaningful tour. I enjoyed it a great deal and learned a lot about photography, about seeing, and about interacting with the world. You conveyed your artistic vision as well as your personal philosophy.

    I also want to way that I love all the photos below, but am blown away by the one with the man in the blue plaid shirt, because I had not seen you take that one and did not see that color palette at all. It is a reminder that while we were all on the same trip, we were all seeing something different and there is so much more one can see than is immediately apparent. Wow, what an eye you have.

    Best regards,”

    -Debra (“Chicago”)

  26. “Jerry! Thanks so much for an amazing day of pointing, shooting and reimaging. It was a great group, and a true pleasure meeting everyone. I would do it again in a heartbeat :-)”

    -Adrienne Fisher

  27. “Thanks Jerry. My expectation, was to find practical “how to” skills, however, I gained much more! I left with a “philosophy” of photography, which frees me up to explore visual opportunities that creates art.
    Thanks Again,”

    -Jim Green


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