Cheryl, when I visited you on Westhampton I was envious of the physical engagement you have as a photographer. It’s beautiful…and you’re so talented. When I saw your studio I felt in that space the way I remember I used to feel when I was directing a play, and when I was working at my jewelry bench. I had a sense of bringing something out that had been inside. Creativity is physical and I can feel that energy in the photographs I took when we walked on the beach that day. And it’s yet still another kind of energy in the videos I took – the sound of the surf, of the water rippling and gurgling in your pool. It was after our visit that I started to think about doing formal photo safaris with you and exploring how I might include the director/actor/designer sides of my life in my writing and get back to that sense of creativity being physical. In the traditional publishing world there has never been a way for me to combine all that I am, all that I have done, creatively into more than words on a page. Exploring photography as a writer, reminds me of dance performances that use spoken words. Writing is painting. Photographs and videos are visual writing. I’ve settled on a camera, a Canon C100, all the better for visual writing.”
After taking photography classes for several years and finally becoming a pretty good photographer, I still lacked confidence, focus and direction. I have taken several photography classes from Cheryl through the online school, Bryan Peterson School of Photography, so decided to give private mentoring with her a try. We started by identifying my photographic strengths and then moved into editing my portfolio. The next step was setting business goals. Cheryl gave me the knowledge and encouragement I needed to finally “go for it”. My photography studio is almost finished and her help in designing it was invaluable. To sum it up, my time and money was well spent and I came away with a sweet friend in Cheryl Machat Dorskind”
I started the mentorship program with Cheryl based on my experience with her ‘Painting Photographs’ online class. The depth of her knowledge, attention to detail, and her willingness to go deep, even in such an introductory class impressed me. It seemed like the kind of person that could guide me on and help focus my photography style as well as making the first steps in exposing it to the world.
Currently, we are 4 months into a 6-month program. From hundreds of nature-related, some good, some less so photographs, my own style starts to emerge. Three portfolios I am really proud of are displayed on my site. The process of getting here was a lot of work, but a tremendous amount of fun.
I researched photographers I admired, still do so almost daily. My eye, while nowhere as sharp as Cheryl’s, started to ‘see’ much better. I understand the meaning and importance of a body of work, of living with it for a while and understanding it. And the beauty of this is, that all the work is something I did. This is not about Cheryl ‘fixing’ files in Photoshop for me. It is about her suggesting, saying when something does not work, and urging me to understand why. It is mentorship in the best possible way.
Less poetic perhaps, but just as important – We had a schedule, we stick to it. When Cheryl committed on timeframes – they were always met. Her responsiveness and dedication, just as I saw in the online class, continued in the mentorship process as well.
I highly recommend this mentorship program.”
~Amy Kanka Valadarsky
It’s difficult to find words to describe my wonderfully exciting relationship with Cheryl Machat Dorskind. I’ve taken several classes at PPSOP and her Hand Painting Photos class always piqued my interest, yet was afraid to sign up, having no prior painting background. Am thrilled I did as it’s led me on a whole new adventure in photography!! The online class was fantastic but at the end of 4 weeks didn’t want to stop learning and was hungry for more. We corresponded by email several times which led to our first phone conversation. Cheryl offers group workshops but luckily my wonderful husband agreed that I should travel to New York for a 1 on 1, 3 day private session.
We bonded with “hello” and the rest is history. From the moment I stepped into her workshop, we hardly came up for air. My intimidation was quickly put at ease as she taught me numerous new skills in an informed, relaxed manner. I learned to print, improve my Photoshop skills and hand color my photos using many different types of pencils and pastels. I was shocked at how beautifully the images came to life.
Returned to Arizona with a beginning portfolio of hand-colored images and 20 pages of notes. There were a few technical issues that were still fuzzy so Cheryl followed up with a phone conversation this morning, quickly clearing up all issues, so I can’t wait to get started!
Cheryl is truly interested in my work, will continue to inspire and someone I will reach out to again and again in the future. I highly recommend working with Cheryl to anyone interested in taking their photography to a higher level. I truly was not ready for our session to end but know I’ve made a friend and mentor for life.”
I took several online photography courses from Cheryl in the past, so when I found myself stuck on where to go next with my photo art, I turned to Cheryl for her one-on-one FAME course.
Her experience as both an art professor and an accomplished artist/author was exactly what I needed to help me focus in a professional direction. She critiqued dozens of my images and recognized an emerging style. Organizing and creating “collections” from that style was another important component in the course. Since I had no professional experience at this, Cheryl continued to critique and guide me in identifying the best images for my collections, along with recommending the type of galleries and art shows that would most likely find the collections acceptable. I had so many questions, and Cheryl answered them every step of the way—right down to the appropriate printing of my images.
I was disappointed to see the course end, but I always know that Cheryl’s expert mentoring is only an email away if I have any future questions. I would highly recommend Cheryl’s FAME course to any photographer looking to take his or her images to a more professional level.
“It has been a great experience working with Cheryl. She was able to talk to me and get to know me on the phone and she made creating a portfolio simple and efficient. I highly recommend working with Cheryl as I found her help extremely necessary and useful! Thanks, Cheryl! “
~Marisa Kurtz (former high school student)
Before we started our official work, Cheryl asked me to submit over a hundred images for her review. What she found were many decent and some good images which cried out for organization. I did not have a clear focus.
She had also asked me to journal some thoughts about what I experience in photography. I had taken many workshops, and many classes, but I did not yet have a “style” or something that was recognizably my work. That has all changed.
She talked to me about what my favorite images were, and why. She custom designed my assignments to build on my strengths. She pointed out my strengths, which I had not clearly seen. She introduced me to photographers that I could clearly learn from, those whose work would resonate with me. There has been a lot of personal interior work which I think partially came about as a result of Cheryl’s perceptive assignments.
Cheryl’s guidance has given me confidence in my work. I see the difference in the images that I produced before working with Cheryl, and after. Cheryl is determined that you be the photographer you want to be. She encourages you in your vision. I think that is the most valuable lesson I have learned from her.”
Cheryl was the perfect mentor— thoughtful, insightful, and mindful of my opportunities for growth. She carefully crafted a curriculum especially for me, ensuring that my skills greatly improved and my passion for photography thrived. I would highly recommend Cheryl to anyone eager to learn more about photography.”
Cheryl taught me how to improve both the processing and the presentation of my photographs. Her instruction was both aesthetic and technical: how to see possibilities with more fertility, and how to execute a plan more smoothly. I currently use what she taught me every time I sit down to the computer… my learning was eased by her manner of teaching.
Cheryl is patient and soft-spoken, so she sets her students at ease. Furthermore, she is careful both in what she says and in how she says it, so her words are clear and precise. Cheryl is the very model of what a teacher should be. My only regret was that the one-2-one mentoring class did not last longer.”
Cheryl Dorskind worked with me about a year ago to sift through my portfolio and decide which photos best represented my work and who I am as a photographer. Cheryl’s critical (in a really positive and kind way) eye and words have been invaluable to me. She clearly gave each and every one of my photographs much thought (both portrait and landscape) and took her time in writing evaluations and communicating with me verbally.
She was clear in her thoughts about how my websites should be organized and helped me above and beyond my expectations. In addition to being a top-notch photographer and coming to the project with excellent credentials, Cheryl is an easy person to work with, extremely organized, and fun to talk to. I highly recommend her.”
Cheryl Machat Dorskind’s mentoring programs will help develop your talents for visual expression, communication, and presentation. Each mentoring client’s “course” is individualized to best meet YOUR goals, aspirations, and schedule.
As a seasoned photographer with a high-end clientele for over thirty years, a professor, a 3x author, a marketing expert, master photo instructor, a speaker, and a NY Times critically acclaimed artist — well, Cheryl is the perfect mentor.