Our Instructors

Our experienced and award-winning photography instructors are professionals currently working in the industry. Experienced and in-touch, our instructors bring up-to-date knowledge to every course.

Joel Benard has a BAA in Photography and for the last 30 years has photographed people, still life, locations, and concepts for graphic design firms, advertising agencies, corporations, and stock. He is also very involved producing personal work. In the last 15 years he has taught in the degree photography programs at both Ryerson and Sheridan College as well as the Diploma photography program at Humber College. For over 35 years, first as a student, then as a commercial and art photographer, and now as a teacher, Joel has experienced the revolutionary changes within the medium of photography, specifically the proliferation of the digital photo image as the preferred mode of communication. As a result he is committed to helping his students develop a deeper technical, historical, and conceptual understanding of photography as they explore their relationship to this medium as a means to communicate their vision.


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Rob Davidson has been a commercial photographer in Toronto for over 30 years, and in that time has done almost every kind of photography you can imagine. His largest area of specialty is in food and product photography, both in the studio and on location. He is a huge fan of digital photography, having made the switchover almost 10 years ago and never looking back! Rob uses both Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom on a daily basis, and he is an Adobe Certified Expert in Lightroom. He has also been teaching photography for around 20 years.

The most important thing you should know about me is my excitement and enthusiasm for both photography and teaching. I just love that moment when your eyes light up in excitement at a new idea or way of seeing the world! That to me is what teaching is all about, and I can’t wait to share that moment with you. – Rob Davidson

Davidson Photography
The Epicure in Light
Epicure in Light: Behind the Scenes

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Margaret Diotalevi has studied at Ryerson University and the Art Institute of Indianapolis. She has worked at A Space Gallery, Vis-à-vis Communications Design, and is currently the owner and lead photographer of Avenue Photo. She has taught at Ryerson for the last few years. Her photography has been published in a wide range of ads, magazines, and websites, including Wedding Bells, The Ring, The Wedding Co, A Million Little Details, WedLuxe, and Wedding Society. Recently, Margaret has been a regular presenter at The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and a Bride’s Choice Award winner. She is passionate about photography and graphic design, and is eager to share her knowledge and experience with other photographers.


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Wayne Dunkley is a graduate of Ryerson’s Photography Studies program and also holds a Master of Divinity from the University of Toronto School of Theology, Wycliffe College. Through abstract photography he explores the intersection of the physical and immaterial worlds.

Wayne’s photographs are a view to what is happening within landscapes we do not perceive with sight. His preoccupation is to strip away the distractions that prevent an emotional experience of the moment captured in a photograph. We are super-saturated with smartphone images today. The result is many photographs have a "sameness" to them, and very little distinguishes one from the other. Wayne brings students the challenge of exploring the influences and motivations of why they photograph. In this exploration each student can start to make photographs that are uniquely theirs, shaped by their own experiences and questions. We can do this with smartphones.

Wayne is also a Director of multi-platform projects for computer, mobile and gaming consoles.

Instagram account from his smartphone: @wayne.dunkley

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Iden Ford has been featured and published in all of the major Toronto newspapers as well as articles on lighting for Photoshop User Magazine, Light it Magazine, Dance Ontario, and the cover of Shimmy, a national bellydance magazine in the U.S. Over the past four years he has taught lighting workshops at ProFusion in Toronto, the Canadian Imaging Conference in Niagara Falls, and the Toronto Camera Club. His long list of clients include Guerlain, The Horseshoe Valley Resort, The Reda Troupe with the Egyptian Bellydance company, Shaftesbury Films, New Metric Media, Exco Engineering, and stills work on numerous feature films (Murdoch Mysteries, Letterkenny, Cas & Dylan, The Elgin and Winter Garden Shorts featured at The Toronto International Film Festival), the Ontario Government, and many more.

Iden studied photography at Ryerson and is based in Toronto, is a member of the Cinematographers Guild of Canada, IA667, for stills photography with two Oscar Winners and two Canadian Screen Award Winners to date in his portfolio. When not working on a film set, he specializes in dance, portrait, and commercial photography, and shoots with Canon cameras and lenses, Phase One, as well as Profoto Lighting for studio and location work.


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Larry Frank is a photographer, traveller, writer, presenter, Photoshop instructor, digital retouch artist, motivational speaker, street shooter, and forever a student. He apprenticed at New York’s prestigious studio Robert Crandall Associates, where, at the age of 23, he designed and photographed a cover for TIME magazine (see Larry's article ‘On Producing a TIME Magazine Cover’). He also wrote and produced in the late sixties, what has been called the first music video, for the duo Simon and Garfunkel.
Larry spent 24 years with Nikon Canada as head of their Professional Division, advised, consulted, and instructed photographers ranging from forensic to fashion, managed Nikon’s Olympic and Commonwealth Games projects, pioneered the Nikon School of Photography, and has presented his one-day photo seminar to over 130,000 professionals and photo enthusiasts across Canada. A seasoned presenter and keynote speaker, Larry has authored four instructional CDs on candid, travel, and digital photography; written articles for several photo magazines; and hosted photo expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic, Newfoundland and Labrador, Greenland and Baffin Island, Tierra del Fuego,and Scotland with Adventure Canada plus “Assignment” exercises in Cuba. He is also a member of the Digital Photography Advisory Board at Georgian College.

Check out a gallery of student work – images taken during a field trip in CDFP 404.


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Sean Gallagher is a graduate of the BFA program at Ryerson, a Photoshop user since before there were Layers, and an educator with 13 years of experience teaching adults. Combining hands-on demonstration, a bit of image theory, and an easygoing approach, he makes a sophisticated and powerful application like Photoshop approachable and understandable to even the most “un-technical” learner.

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Jill Glessing has been a teacher, writer, and photographic artist for many years. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally in a range of venues, such as gallery exhibitions, art and literary journals, magazines, and newspapers, and she has had an artist’s residency in Arles, France. Jill is passionate about photography, culture, history, and ideas, and loves engaging students in these interests. Her educational background includes a BFA (Visual Arts/Photography and English), and two MAs (English and Interdisciplinary Studies). Jill also coordinates the annual Chang School Photography Exhibition.

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Henry Gordillo is a New Yorker living in Toronto. A simple statement, it says a lot about how he sees the world – as an urban explorer discovering new frontiers. His photography is the embodiment of this unique perspective. He is currently involved in an intensive printing project for a major retrospective of his work and promotion of his photojournalist travel projects. He brings bleeding edge techniques to his digital classes, having recently successfully completed two workshops with Dan Margulis: Color Correction in Photoshop and Advanced Applied Color Theory.

I photograph to bring my subjects out of shadows and phantasms as lyrical and accurate images lest what has been seen altogether perish. – Henry Gordillo


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Stewart Hood is a career advertising Creative Director with Canadian and multinational agencies. He has worked in just about every client category and in every medium, with top Canadian film directors, producers, cameramen, photographers and designers, and talent. Stewart has won dozens of international awards including Cannes, Clios, One Show, Bilis, Marketing, London, Hollywood (awarded for creative excellence in Art Direction). He has a creative consultancy – stewarthoodcreativeinc. – with clients in the Toronto area and Eastern Ontario.

Stewart currently teaches ‘Photography for Ad Agencies’ CDFP 322 at Ryerson and previously both taught at, and was on the Advisory Boards of, Humber and Loyalist Colleges. Stewart is also a member of the Canadian Outdoor Advertising Hall of Fame.

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Ruth Kaplan is a documentary-based photographer whose work explores a variety of themes including bathers in hot springs and participants in rituals of spirituality. Drawn toward the theatre of social behaviour expressed through physicality, her work describes intimacy within a public sphere. She has received numerous Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council grants, and National Magazine Awards, and has exhibited widely. She holds an MFA in Documentary Media,and a BAA in Photographic Studies. She is currently a photography instructor in Toronto, and is represented by the Stephen Bulger Gallery.


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Andrej Kopac completed his BA in British Columbia. While working on his MA thesis in Art History in Montreal, he began to advance his fine art photography and participated in a number of group shows. After moving to Toronto, he began assisting many of the city’s top photographers. In 2000, Andrej turned away from academia and launched his commercial career. Within one month of showing his first portfolio, Saturday Night flew him to New York for a major feature. Five months later, he was working with the city’s top photo rep and shooting national advertising campaigns. His work has appeared in numerous national magazines and international advertising campaigns as well as in the awards annuals for Applied Arts, Communication Arts, and Graphis magazines. In January 2008, Andrej was named a Hasselblad Master in the Fashion and Beauty category.


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Julie Saggers is an internationally published fine art photographer. Since 2003, she has been running two successful portrait studios: Julie Saggers Fine Art Photography (headshots, engagements, weddings, and events) and Bambinos Fine Art Photography (pregnancy, birth, infant, baby, child, and family). Julie is a graduate from Dawson College (Creative Arts & Photography) in Montreal and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Ryerson University. She is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and passion for photography with a new generation of image makers through teaching and mentoring, and she is also active in the arts community. With 19 years of experience, (nine years of education plus ten years of professional experience), she is as passionate about photography as ever before–it is her breath and her joy. Julie refuses to be categorized and lives to capture all of life and all that inspires her, in a nostalgic and honest way.


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Paul Schillinger is a lifelong photographer, printer and ardent student of both. Over the years, his love of photography and fine printing has led him through careers in photo-lithography, rotary drum scanning, digital image manipulation, retouching, commercial printing, and fine art inkjet printing. He opened his commercial printing company in Toronto before Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom were invented and used regularly. Since that time, he and his company have invested in and grown with the finest available digital imaging tools, software, and equipment in order to satisfy a clientele which has consisted of high-profile advertisers, artists, photographers, and publishers of fine books, catalogues, photography journals, and many of Toronto’s finest magazines.

Over the last few years, I have been approached by a growing number of photographers who, after investing countless hours of intense work toward perfecting their images, come to an impasse and fail, through lack of knowledge, at the last and most important step – the realization of their work in print. My desire to help these photographers move through this impasse and show them how to successfully convey their emotional and aesthetic connections with an image in print has become a driving force. Success or failure of an image is decided at this stage and often by this stage. Photographers who are in urgent need of help to learn what must be done to obtain the best possible result with the highest degree of quality in print will find help in this workshop. – Paul Schillinger


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Sam Sciarrino is a Master Photographer and owner of Horvath Photography located in Toronto. He is known internationally for his unique approaches to wedding and portrait photography. A second generation professional photographer for over 30 years, Sam holds his Master of Photographic Arts from Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC), and a Master/Craftsman of Photographic Arts from Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Triple Master of Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), Sam has also been named as a Nikon Ambassador and Album Epoca Ambassador.

Creativity, technical knowledge, and keen attention to his clients’ individual tastes have resulted in a solid reputation of creating work of exceptional artistic quality. Sam has won numerous awards and accolades for his work with WPPI, PPA, PPOC, and Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP), including 2010 Traditional Wedding Photographer of the Year, 2011 Contemporary Wedding Photographer of the Year, 2013 Portrait Photographer of the Year, and Best Overall 16x20 at SWPP. Sam also received First Place Photojournalism WPPI 2014 and Best in Class Bridal Portrait in Canada 2015 PPOC. Sam has been featured in numerous leading photography magazines such as Rangefinder, Professional Photographer, Studio Photography, Photo Imaging, Photo Pro, PPOC Magazine, and Image Maker in the UK. With his vast knowledge of technique and composition, Sam is also a respected lecturer on the worldwide pro photography circuit.

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Struan is a ‘people’ specialist, whose vivid, compelling beauty and fashion advertising photographs are the result of a highly refined sense of style, impeccable lighting, and technically flawless shooting. Struan’s photographs have been exhibited at various galleries, the most recent being in Paris at the prestigious PARIS PHOTO exhibition at Le Carrousel du Louvre. Struan has numerous awards to his credit: Clios for his U.S. advertising work; ‘Studio Magazine’ awards; ‘National Hasselblad’ (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) awards; and (Gold and Silver) awards in the National CAPIC Awards Show. He is in Kodak’s exclusive ‘Vision in View’ video series that toured North America, and is the first and only fashion photographer to be placed in the permanent collection of the National Archives of Canada. Struan’s images have been published in countless magazines around the world from JCA International (Japan); Jardin des Modes, Photo, and Figaro; (Paris); Cosmopolitan, Redbook, InStyle, American Photo, PDN, Playboy, and LA Style (USA); to Color Foto (Germany); Applied Arts, Studio Magazine, Flare, Chatelaine, and Photo Life (Canada); to Creative Advertising (England); and covers for both Creative Source (Canada) and Art Director’s Index to Photographers (Europe), in addition to his roster of eminent celebrities from John Candy and Wayne Gretzky to Nelson Mandela and Karen Kain.


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