Testimonials - Athena Carey Photography
  • Testimonials


Lash LaRue (Virginia, USA)

I can recommend Athena’s Mentorship without reservation.

When I began the mentorship, she first made sure that she understood what I wanted; there was no cookie-cutter template to which I had to conform. Once we knew what our goals were (in my case, classic black and white photography), we discussed the type of images that I would submit.

After I began my submissions, she responded, sometimes with written critiques and sometimes with videos. Her comments were detailed and insightful; the videos in particular were a superb “show and tell” about how to edit a photo. Her tutorials have totally changed the way I approach photography. My eye for composition has improved; the way I think about editing has been enriched.

In short, I cannot praise Athena and her tuition highly enough—she is the best.


Dick Tarr 

Athena, I greatly enjoyed my mentorship sessions with you. I appreciated your flexibility in tailoring the lessons in an individual way. Despite our two hectic schedules we were able to correspond and my questions (I had a lot) were answered without a problem. Of course your critiques were the highlights of the sessions. The written ones were thoughtful and complete. The video ones were invaluable as I was able to see exactly what you were doing to make the changes in my photo. Plus, I'll be able to view and study them many more times. I learned a lot, made some progress, took some nice photos and had fun, what more could I ask? I'll be back!


Bill Basta (USA)

Thank you so much for the last four weeks. Not only did I have a good time in this class, but I think I learned more than in any other class (on line or otherwise) so far. I truly appreciate your quick and thorough response to questions and timely critiques. You clearly enjoy teaching and value our time spent in this class as much as we do. I will keep an eye out for your course on long exposure photography. I got my “Big Stopper” ready to go! I would love to be in the inaugural class.


Frank Deland (Massachusetts, USA)

How often have I read or heard regarding advice for learning photographers...Find Your Vision...but what does that mean and how does one do that? Who knew that a course on B+W would help me understand how to get there or at least get on the right road to finding my vision.

Athena seems to take pleasure in going the extra mile (or two) to help her students. She promptly and thoughtfully responds to questions in the Q+A section. She includes several extra teaching videos to go along with her excellent written lessons and video critiques of student photos. She guides us through the areas of composition, the use of tonality and contrast, and the role of color. She does all this while guiding us along to find our own photographic vision. In short, this is a course filled with information taught by a patient, positive teacher and wonderful photographer.


Linda Shorey (Washington State)

I enjoyed Athena's 4-week online course very much. I watched the video critiques she did for each and every student - what a wonderful resource and learning tool! Athena's teaching style is gentle yet thorough, very inspiring, and I was motivated to keep pushing myself to do better.

Thanks so much, Athena!


Hugh Ferguson (Aberdeenshire, UK) www.hcf-photo.com

As a huge fan of Athena's art I was so thrilled to engage with her on her online Black and White Fine Art Photography course. It proved to be everything I had hoped for and I staggered how much I was able to take away from Athena's fantastic material and feedback in four weeks. You can read and watch her feedback to all your fellow course mates to get the maximum from the course. I came away with so many new insights and techniques I can now put into practise. I look forward to any future new courses and workshops Athena!


Nina McKitty (Larchmont, NY) http://www.ninamckittyphotography.smugmug.com/

I recently completed the Black and White Fine Art Photography course presented by Athena Carey. Athena’s presentation of the technical side of production and postproduction processes was complete and easy to follow. I finished the class with precise “how to’s” and an understanding of my abilities.

More importantly, and more difficult to find in a mentor, Athena encouraged me to be true to my aesthetic and to develop it further. She guided me toward adding black and white photography to how I see and capture the world.

Each of the participants was given a video critique weekly. This provided a very detailed explanation of Athena’s thinking and processes. Each participant was able to see all the critiques adding to our individual experiences.

Finally, Athena was very generous in answering questions both directly relating to the subject and those afield. Athena continued to work with my questions until I felt clear. For me, this course was expanding and affirming.

I look forward to taking other courses with Athena.


Joe Reusser (California) www.joereusserphotography.com

I want to tell anyone who is considering taking an online black and white class such as Athena Carey's, Take it!  I felt that I needed something to jump-start my creative vision and this class turned out to be just the ticket.

It is all about capturing the image in color, but seeing the image in the tones of Black and White.  Thanks to Athena and her style of instruction, I now have a better understanding of the process of relating color to black and white.  It was a very beneficial class to take as it helped me to grow creatively.  I recommend it.


Diane Imfeld (Ontario, Canada)

I chose to participate in Athena’s Black & White on-class in February 2015. Immediately after reading Athena’s welcome letter, I knew that I had made the right decision. From the very start we were encouraged to ask questions and assured that Athena was there to help.

I appreciated the clarity of her assignments and written critiques. However, to both see and hear via video critiques and edits, using both Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex, proved extremely beneficial to me. Furthermore, other students’ video critiques provided me the opportunity to check some of my images and apply some of Athena’s suggestions.

Athena gifted all students with her obvious concern for our success in creating B& W fine art photography. I feel privileged and fortunate to have had this opportunity to learn from not onlya gifted photographer, but also to be guided by a concerned and dedicated instructor.

Athena not only equipped me with tools and knowledge necessary to produce B&W fine art photography, but also with the ability to see B&W in the color scene before me; skills that will most definitely help me on my photographic and editing journey.

I most certainly would take part in any future on-line classes offered by Athena and encourage her to do so. I highly recommend Athena’s’ classes. I also purchased her 3-part video series “Africa with Athena and recommend it as well. I hope to one day take part in one of her live workshops.

Heartfelt thanks to you, Athena


Howard Gutgesell (Colorado, USA) www.HPGphotographics.com

I just completed the online black and white photography course and thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn't wait to see Athena's critiques of my photos at the end of each week, and I learned from her critiques of the other students photos as well. The video critiques showing post-processing techniques in Photoshop and Silver Efex were an unexpected bonus.


James Margolis (Israel) www.margolisphoto.com 

What a wonderful and motivational four weeks of on-line learning with Athena. She is an educator, artist, and has the ability to criticize without being critical (hope that makes sense). At times, there is a difference between a good photograph and a great photograph. I believe that taking courses with talented individuals like Athena, allows you the opportunity to improve your skills so that you might begin producing those great photographs more consistently. Her advice is spot on, and the suggestions that she makes for one photograph, can in fact be applied to a larger body of work. The only drawback is that now I have to figure out a way to take one of her workshops in person!


Greg Dollyhite (North Carolina, USA) www.facebook.com/gregdollyhitephotography

I recently completed the Black and White Fine Art Photography course, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Athena was always ready to answer any questions that we had. Her video critiques were very helpful. I was able to learn not only from the critiques of my own photos, but also those of other classmates. I feel that I have came away with a new vision for my photography and more knowledge to help me attain my goals.

Thank you, Athena!


Jakob Hartenberger (Germany) www.facebook.com/jakobhphotography

My experiences of the "Coastal Vision" workshop held by Athena Carey and Rohan Reilly. I arrived at Thursday and met them both at the evening. At Friday I was able to join them and we visited some of the locations which we shot then at the workshop at the weekend. For me personally the workshop had began at this moment since I could already ask them a lot of questions. At Friday afternoon the other workshop participants arrived and we started shooting already one day earlier. Which was pretty nice because the workshop schedule was original planed to be on Saturday and Sunday. One day extra for free, yeah Saturday morning we got up early to start shooting at the first location before sunrise. We were driven from location to location in a small bus which was quite comfortable. Through the whole workshop I could ask any question about everything. Athena and Rohan left no secrets and covered every aspect of their vision and workflow to gather these great images. I have learned a lot about how to prepare and capture a image and then process it. Athena told me a lot about her vision and composition, why she puts an object where in the image. I also liked that she gave me a lot of tips about gear and allowed me to try out some of her gear, for example the nice Canon tilt-shift-lens. At some locations I shot right next to Athena or Rohan and they explained me very detailed what they wanted to capture with this shot. At Sunday Rohan showed us his processing workflow and Athena explained us her way which is quite different. She also taught us about "seeing" in black and white. The goodbye was quite sad because everyone was so nice and this weekend was a great experience. Thank you for everything!


Michelle Marlin (South Africa)

To anyone considering participating in Athena Carey’s four-week online Black and White FineArt photography course, all I can say is don’t hesitate. I learned such a lot from her and the weeks just flew by. I was attracted to the course primarily because of the ethereal beauty of Athena’s captivating photographs, so I was very pleased to see that several of her images were used to illustrate the lessons. I found her to be an excellent teacher - her style of instruction is clear and easy to understand. She went way beyond what I expected, taking much time and effort to provide additional material in the form of background information and supplementary videos. Her video critiques of our assignments were truly the most fantastic learning opportunities, providing solid advice and generous, caring encouragement every step of the way. I particularly appreciated how she challenged her students to find and give voice to their own individual perspectives.Although I was completely new to this genre of photography, I can honestly say that I have walked away from the course with a much better understanding of shooting for B&W. As an unexpected bonus, it also helped me to slow down and become a more conscious and deliberate photographer. Highly recommended!


Venelina Tzontcheva (Switzerland) http://www.venelina.me

The journey in the world of photography is long and wonderful, having Athena as instructor in part of this journey is an extremely rewarding experience - her invaluable feedback and constructive guidance helped me to grow creatively. I was impressed with her generosity and devotion to her students. Thank you Athena!  I really appreciated learning with you and was impressed with your ability to transmit your knowledge, to guide as well as with your generosity!!!


Lisa Melamed (United States)

Athena  is a true professional who is generous with her information and teaching. My most favorite class taken with PPSOP was with her:   Black and White Fine Art Photography

Not only did Athena go the extra mile and create videos for us explaining how we could take our images to the next level, but her gentle and kind approach was encouraging and helped build confidence .

I would not hesitate to take another class or consider an on site workshop with her. Thank you Athena!


Bonny Wright (Maryland, USA) www.silversparkphoto.com

I recently finished the Black and White Fine Art Photography class with Athena, and thoroughly enjoyed it. She covers a wide variety of info in four short weeks - refreshes tips on composition, examines the role of color theory and its importance to B&W, and discusses post-processing as it applies to the images you submit - love those valuable critiques! Lots of tips for better photos of all kinds along the way, with the knowledge and the expertise to show you why her suggestions will make dramatic improvements in your photography. I have done a number of online photography courses since I only recently picked up a camera again after many years away from it, and had much to catch up on - Athena's class was by far one of the most valuable. For those who already have some comfort level with their camera, basic composition, and some familiarity with post-processing, she will enrich your understanding of each of these areas, and will help you draw out the emotions you hope to convey with your photography. I hope to take another class with her soon - there is so much more to learn about B&W photography!


Nelly Taubman (Sydney, Australia)

Athena is a great teacher. She is very attentive and her critiques are so detailed. I did the four weeks online course with her through BPSOP. I thoroughly enjoyed it. She pushes us to do more and her visual skills are so amazing. She pointed out the little things that I overlook. She also made us so welcome in her class. I would definitely recommend her courses to anyone who is interested to connect themselves with their photography journey. I am so looking forward to her second course.


Peter Hingle (Montana, USA) www.centralmontanaphotography.com

Just completed Black and White Fine Art with Athena and will readily sign up for a new course when she offers one. Much rather do a Photowalk where I can ask a 100 questions and she can't escape me but this was a very good learning experience. To get the most out of this particular course I would advise students brush up on their Photoshop skills, be somewhat experienced in Silver Efex or Tonality Pro, read her lesson plans twice, watch all the videos not just your own, and have time to get out and make photographs. Don't drag out old ones. She reads all that metadata stuff so she knows what you are doing. Thank you Athena, it was fun.


Kym Browne (Australia) www.flickr.com/photos/crue_alive/

The first time I saw Athena's photos on her webpage I thought, "WOW, I've got to get into this class." I've always loved Black & White photography, but never really thought of doing a class. I saw Athena's intro video, and said to myself, "yep I'll do it."

From the 1st lesson critique, you get this warm feeling of being welcome from Athena. If you ask a question , Athena gets back to you quickly. And she always shows us the best way to get the result, in her well spoken voice which is warm and confident.

Plus I found her sympathetic side when in week three, Australia lost one of our best young cricket players. His passing shocked the nation, and Athena was there passing on her condolences to us on one of photos I sent of the subject.

 For anyone looking at joining Athena's class - SIGN UP.


Doreen Weekley  (White Plains, NY USA)

I want to encourage anyone considering taking a class or workshop with Athena to just do it, they will not regret it. Between composition, bringing emotion and post processing, to name a few, it is hard to say which aspect was may favorite. It is not only improving my BW shots but also my color work. It was obvious right away that Athena's teaching comes from the heart and a sincere desire to bring each students work to a better place. Her critiques were incredibly valuable both written and video. I think my jaw dropped on a couple of them when she demonstrated her recommended changes and the impact they had on the final image. I hope to be available to take another class or workshop with her in the near future.


Alicia Grimes (Houston Texas)

What can I say about how much I have learned from Athena. I really appreciate all of the personal attention from being so far away. She really takes the time to improve your images. I am in her debt.


Tony Gouge (South Carolina, USA) www.apgougephotography.com

Participating in the Outer Banks Workshop with Athena was a pleasure. I had admired her exquisite work for a while and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take this class with her. Athena emphasizes ‘serenity’ and ‘balance’ in her photography, and she is the epitome of both. She has a fun-loving and delightful personality that makes her a great teacher and easy to learn from. But she’s very thoughtful with her comments and discussions and thought-provoking with her mentoring and critiques. Whether she’s coaching during a shoot, or speaking in a classroom setting, her passion for photography is obvious. I came away from the weekend having learned an incredible amount and an even bigger fan of hers than before.


Missie Smith (North Carolina, USA) www.missiesmith.com

It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or a beginner, attending one of Athena Carey’s workshops should be on your list! My first workshop with Athena was on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. An iconic location filled with rich history and fascinating places to shoot. During the workshop I learned that it’s often the small things, that we may overlook, that are the difference between an ordinary snapshot and a work of art. The class was very hands on and her teaching style is professional, yet easy going. She is always willing to take the time to explain her thought process when approaching an image. This is one of the things that really made me stop and think about how I approached my images. This inspired me to take a second look, and evaluate my subjects with a whole new perspective, thus sparking a new creativity in my work. Classes are kept small, so that everyone has time to work, ask questions and receive valuable feedback. If you are considering a photography workshop, this is one you don’t want to miss!


Sherri Eisenhuth (Pennsylvania, USA) www.sherrieisenhuth.com

All you need to do to realize Athena's artistic talent and technical proficiency is to look at her images. She's got it! Although our time with Athena in OBX was brief, it was enough to discover her other gifts as well. She is an a amazing teacher and mentor, in addition to being a truly genuine person. Not only would Athena answer your questions, but would always tell you the why in her answers. I loved that. The why is how you truly understand and learn, not just mimic. As she would also point out, she does not want you to be a clone of her, but rather wants you to expand on your own creativity and discover your own artistic vision. As a bonus, it's just a real treat to be around Athena, she is down to earth and fun - jump in and find out for yourself!


Rachael Smith (New Zealand) www.raheraphotography.com

I took one of Athena's  photography courses to complement a correspondence course I was studying. Athena's course was great; I met other photography enthusiasts and learnt a lot about the aspects of photography that we covered through the detailed study notes, group discussions and critiquing. I have kept in contact with Athena and occasionally contact her for opinions and guidance. I think of Athena as a mentor and greatly respect the critique, advice and inspiration I get from her and her photography.

I'm looking forward to one of her photo walks coming to New Zealand so we can work together again.

copyright Rahera Photography Ltd 2013

Trevor Cole (Ireland) www.coleimages.com

The photo course organised and led jointly by Athena Carey and Rohan Reilly was located in Cahersiveen, a small town in a scenically diverse area of Kerry. The course focused on the highly indented coastline with its estuaries, beaches and differentiated geology. There were also visits to ancient monuments and inland lakes. Both Athena and Rohan specialise in longer exposure monochromal photography and it is this which set the course apart and gave it a flavour of its own. Their passion for photography was reflected in their selection of key locations and devotion of time to ensure success in composition and tonal contrasts. I personally enjoyed the repartit and even more so, the knowledge imparted. They took advantage of the best light in good weather and used time effectively to ensure enthusiasm and most importantly, results. As a result of this course I now enjoy seeking minimalism and focusing on effective long exposure black and white photography. An additional skill to any photographer who wants to ensure diversity and quality at a high level. To be recommended unreservedly.


Fiona Parker (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

I took a six session basic photography course with Athena Carey. The course was well planned and covered many topics. Athena is a great teacher - she explained the many different aspects of good photography in easily understandable terms. She is very encouraging and made learning fun! I thoroughly enjoyed the course and would highly recommend her, no matter what your level of photography skill.


Ashley Kydd (Ireland) www.kyddimages.com

Athena's workshop In Kerry (with Rohan) was outstanding. She used her knowledge of the area to produce fantastic shooting locations which were varied and demanding at the same time. They certainly could not be found on a casual visit. Athena's technical knowledge is up there with the best but most importantly she found it easy to convey this knowledge to those of us on the workshop. The advice and pointers she imparted have changed the way I approach my photography forever. I can highly recommend participating in any of her workshops or phototours if you ever get the opportunity.


Colleen MacDonald (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

I have done a five week  photography course with Athena. Her notes are very clear and easy to follow, class assignments interesting and manageable for a beginner.

Athena is very calm and shows much patience during the classes, explaining everything as many times as you need to understand.

I happily recommend her and her course to anyone interested in furthering their interest in photography.


Britta Lustig (Denmark) www.expatrelocations.com

I attended a beginning photography course  with Athena. I was very pleased with the structured approach. Athena's workshop was well prepared and her calm approach in explaining made it very easy to understand. I was quite sad that I didn’t get the opportunity to continue with her next course. There is absolutely no doubt that Athena knows her stuff and that I would recommend her workshop to others.


Greig Houghton (Ireland)  www.ghoughton.com

Having just returned from the Coastal Visions workshop I can start to appreciate the work that goes into organising such a workshop. The workshop was meticulously planned to ensure we were capturing the best of each location in terms of light and tidal tides with both days flowing smoothly from location to location with minimal lost travel time between locations. Athena and Rohan were always on hand to guide the group towards the best compositions, providing hands on help to those who needed it and bursts of expert knowledge, tips and inspiration to the more advanced members of the group. Shooting dawn to dusk, I returned home having captured the best of the Kerry landscapes with some of my favourite photos to date.


Lotte Petersen (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

I took a basic photography course with Athena, to learn about my Nikon camera. The course was well prepared and we were given assignments from one lesson to the next to make us start thinking about how we take photos. Athena is extremely patient and very good at explaining the written information. The assignments also taught me how to “play” with the camera while taking photos. Even though it is a few years back, I still use the things we learned about taking photos. I would have loved to take the next course!

I can strongly recommend joining Athena’s workshops or courses!

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