Dear Mike,

A few weeks ago I attended your workshop in Los Angeles.

I am 87 years old and have been a Nikon shooter for over 70 years. More importantly, I have been a student of photography for this entire period and have attended hundreds of classes and read endless articles on photography. My goal has always been to become a better shooter and to reach beyond normalcy for breathtaking shots.

There i no doubt in my mind that you are the best teacher I have ever had and that your sharing of your skills in the world of photography will enhance the lives of any student who takes any of your classes, tours or workshops.

Gratefully yours,

Cliff Getz


I’ve read three books and the pdf manual for Lightroom3 and worked with the software since May 24, 2011. I’ve used Photoshop7 and Elements 8 and 9 and other software programs Topaz, Photomatix etc. So this retired professor is not a beginner.

Well, to summarize, I learned more about Lightroom 3 in one day from Mike Hagen than I ever imagined that I would. I attended the Florida workshop to say hello to Mike because I’m still appreciating my ANPAT11 experience with him. It turns out that Lightroom is so much more than I or any of the attendees realized. It was Mike’s careful planning of the syllabus and outline, his user centered questions approach and his amazing leadership in teaching us the application of and appreciation for the Lightroom software that met the promise as advertised.

The one-day workshop was advertised as awesome. But it was AWESOME! If you get a chance sign up for this workshop and you will be as happy as I am about Lightroom and Mike Hagen.

Mr. Buick


Hi Mike:

I sure enjoyed the Lightroom class in Ft. Lauderdale. You are such a gifted teacher. I walked away with a working understanding of the program and have been practicing to retain the knowledge.


C. Binsbachar



I know you get hundreds of e-mails and can’t possibly respond but I did want to sincerely say thanks. I had no idea I would get so much out of the three workshops I attended (Lightshop, flashes, & D300s). I’ve been a serious photgrapher since my dad brought me back my first Nikon F-something in about 1968, I was 15 and in Jr. High School, but those were my first worshops, ever. What I really learned was how much I didn’t know. My favorite tip, and honestly changed the way I shoot, was to use the AF button on the back of the camera instead of the half-way down shutter button. Amazing!

I’m sure we will cross paths in the future, I intend to take the same workshops or others because I think I forgot more than I remember and would also like to take a few of the Nikonian photo-trips.




Hello Mike!

Thank you for 2 days of wonderful workshops! I came back from them immediately wanting to know more. You really made the material easy to understand and I’m not as overwhelmed as I was before.




These newsletters are fabulous. I learn so much from them and from rereading the earlier ones. I ordered the RRS Versa Tripod! Thank you, again — your input that helped me to make that decision and for all your superb advice.

I can’t wait for some NYC workshops on lighting and the SB-700. I took the Nikon D80/90/7000 workshop with Steve Simon in June in NY and it was great.

I know you’re out there on the West Coast, but your help is felt very much here in New York.

All the best.



Mike –

You are very good … not only at photography but organizing and sharing your knowledge. I was so impressed with both Lightroom and you that I am inclined to tell everyone, so I commented in the workshop forum too. Thank you, Mike. I value our friendship.

~ Patrick “doc”


The past two day classes was some of the best instruction I have ever received. I appreciate the technique, thought and structure of the classes as much as the content. I came away a bit overwhelmed in the best possible way and feeling like I could learn to use this material (in time).

To say it was a great experience would understate the impact and quality of the presentation. It is clear why Mike is head of the academy for Nikonian instruction. I came away from these classes enabled with the power to seek and use critical configurations and equipment to help me enjoy photography to a greater degree. Thanks to Mike for taking the time to prepare and present complex material in a thoughtful and interesting manner.

Many thanks. Looking forward to future classes.

Best wishes.

Chris Vardas


Mike: It’s been a while, but I just want to make sure that I thank you one last time! My photography has improved so much since attending your workshop in Boston. I have so much more confidence and it has improved every aspect of my work.

Thanks again and every time I set up my small strobes,

Leah Haraden

Hi Mike,

Have been a Capture NX user from the fist version… and I have read the other author’s books and watched their videos, both good products. But this week I picked up your book on “After the Shoot”.. Fantastic!! I picked up on some great new stuff and even with stuff that I already knew, like “Preference settings”, you did a much better job at explaining “why and how” these things work. Page 72 for example.. I already had those settings, but now I know why Perceptual intent works best for me.

I seldom get excited over “how to” manuals.. but your book is written superbly. I’m a big promoter of Capture NX to my fellow Nikon shooters & students. I only wish our base would grow so we can continue to get better updates, plug-ins, etc. I will be recommending your book to all my contacts.




Thanks Mike. I cant tell you how much we enjoyed that shoot.



Hi Mike,

Just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed the workshop. It was an action-packed four days with a lot of learning, some great photos and a chance to meet some very nice photographers. My wife, too, enjoyed her long weekend. We both must have been tired as we slept almost 11 hours our first night in Vancouver.

The food at the lodge was terrific! I really appreciate your high energy level and willingness to answer any question. As you probably guessed we are seriously considering the next Africa trip. Of course there a few things we must think about but at this point I would say that we are very interested.

Anyway, THANKS again.

John Davis


Mike, Thank you so much for such a wonderful class! I learned so much and you explained everything so well. I certainly feel more confident with my lighting skills now that I have learned more about the TTL system. Also, I bought your book and it explains TTL better than
anything I’ve read so far. You must be very proud of it!

Thanks again and perhaps we will cross paths again someday,

Leah H


This was my first photography workshop and you all helped to make it a great experience. I had a wonderful time and learned more than I probably even realize yet. Special thanks, of course, go to Mike for his patience in working with this rank amateur and her – gasp! – Canon camera!

Have a great fall, everyone, and I hope to see you again sometime!

Linda Pritchard



I took your i-TTL workshop yesterday and really enjoy it. I can’t believe how much I learned (and how much there is to know) about my SB-600.

I plan to contact you about your shooting workshops since my friends and I are interested in taking a vacation/workshop and want to know more about the skill level needed to get the most out of the experience without causes frustration for others.

Hope to see you again soon.


David Einhorn


Dear Mike,

I just wanted to send you a note thanking you for your efforts last Saturday. I have been on the road and under the weather while having to present all at the same time. One simply could not tell other than by your own admission that you had a challenge.

I have been an educator for 34 years serving in elementary, middle and high schools. I have taught college courses and taken many. I have been in multiple leadership positions in education. In addition, I spent 27 years in the US Army both as an enlisted man and as an officer who was responsible for training in many of my assignments.

All of this is meant to be a simple precursor for my comments. I would hire you today to teach. Your ability to blend needs of beginners to very experienced photographers was seamless and extraordinary. I left knowing so much more than when I arrived and furthermore I left with a commitment to take picture everyday. I am one of those who has played at it for several years and most likely has more money then brains as I have many tools but limited understanding in their use. I took a big step forward on my journey during my time at the workshop.

I can’t believe that I had left my LCD panel at a bright setting. No wonder I was struggling. That insight in and of itself is already helping me. I also have learned how important it is to be sure that you have cleaned your lens face when shooting. We have a black box for
theater in our school and I have begun to play with the stroboscopic lesson. It is amazing how many spots show up when one has forgotten to clean a lens before shooting. Thanks for all your efforts and patience. I wish you a great trip in Africa and look forward to my next Nikonian experience with you.


Fred M.



I attended your D300 workshop Thursday. Although I am disappointed with so many of my photos, I am not at all disappointed with your workshop. I learned more that day than in the last year of reading books and trying to learn on my own. Your class opened a whole new world, and I am very excited about it.

Thanks so much! I can’t wait to see you again next year for the advanced class, and maybe someday, a trip to Africa.

Jerry Shanker


Hi Mike,

I really enjoyed the class today – so much useful information . I am typing up my notes while I still remember what was said.

Pat Porter


Hi Mike,

This is Susie Bird, one of the participants in your class yesterday. Wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your class and how I’m really glad I signed up. I hesitated at first because I wasn’t sure from the class description if it was for totally clueless beginners like me, or more advanced students.

Anyway, I now feel as though I understand enough so I can go out there and practice, while before, I couldn’t even understand the stupid manual (or how to get the stroboscopic setting to shut off). It was the best money I’ve spent in a while. You’re a great teacher–patience, humor, and technical knowledge. Hope to cross paths again someday.




I attended the two workshops on Thursday and Friday in Washington DC and am very grateful to you for a most instructive two day session. I am eager to apply the settings, changes, tools and techniques you showed us.

I left Rockville and went to Baltimore Friday after our workshop to visit my son and grandson. Early Saturday morning I attended my grandson’s soccer match and for the first time ever shot a sports event, which I had never done before. I got successful results applying the “C” setting, the “CH” setting and tracking the subject. Without the benefit of your workshop I would not have been able to do it.

Thanks again for a well-spent two days. You did an outstanding job. I look forward to more Nikonians Academy workshops and perhaps a photo tour.

Rik Hansen


Hi Mike,

I just wanted to drop you a line while the two classes I took with you this weekend are fresh in my mind. Both as a person who regularly does presentations and a someone who has taken many seminars on a variety of topics, I can say you are a superlative teacher. You maintained a remarkable level of energy and patience, despite having a cold. You were completely present and enthusiastic, despite having taught the class umpteen times. And I was especially impressed with your ability to work with students of all levels and interests. It is obvious how passionate you are about photography, gear generally and Nikons in particular.

Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and humor with us here on the least coast.




That was a very useful & informative seminar & I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their skills with their camera.

Thanks for a great class.

Diane Bennett


Hey Guys,

This post is really long over due. I attended the Mastering Your D90 Workshop on 10/17/2010 in NJ. Anyway, this was the best thing I could of done for my photographic development. The course was jammed packed with info and was hands on from start to finish. This course gave me a solid foundation which to build upon.

The course information was great but what really made the course was the instructor Mike Hagen. He was a incredible teacher. His passion was photography was contagious. The entire class was totally engaged. I would recommend this course to anyone new to the Nikon D90 or D80. I would not hesitate to take another Nikonian Academy class and especially if it was taught by Mike Hagen.


Erik Fishman



I do love your Newsletters. You have my admiration and respect. Many thanks for the encouragement.

Carl Schwarz



I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the two day workshp Thursday and Friday. It certainly has opened my eyes, especially to the world of focusing.

Again had a great time. I would love to come on a trip with you shooting bears in salmon season up there in the great northwest.

Take care,




I enjoyed your wireless lash presentation yesterday. After a few years of not really understanding the capabilities of my Nikon SB-800, I can now say I have at least some understanding of what it will do! A lot of great information presented and lots to think about and review. I have a great basis to build on.

As you indicated, the best way to reinforce is to shoot, shoot, shoot. I look forward to doing just that.

Thank you,

Andy Kaufman



I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the workshop yesterday. I was amazed at how much I still didn’t know about the D300s, even after reading, studying and working with it for the past year. Just the first hour alone was worth more than the cost of the course. I will likely contact you in the near future for some consulting work (one-on-one stuff) and look forward to attending your courses in the future.

Frank Cohen


Mike –

We finished up two intense days about the great camera. I really learned a lot, end enjoyed the ride. Mainly because you are good on the platform.

I will come back for more and am really looking forward to a lighting workshop for sure. Will sign up when you get that schedule up. Thanks again for the great two days of work.

Joe Swick


Hello Mike,

Thanks so much for the great workshop in Florida! Not only are you a super photographer but you are a great teacher. Thanks also for allowing me to join you for dinner. It was a pleasure getting to know you.

Thanks much,

Richard Patrick


Just wanted to say THANKS for the newsletter. I look forward to it each month. There is so much clearly explained and useful information. It is a great resource for photographers at all levels.



Hi Mike,

I wanted to thank you for the great workshop on the D300S. Two days after the workshop I went over all the notes from the class. I programmed my camera’s setting and menus. Then today, quite by chance, as I pulled up to my hangar I heard the unmistakable sound of radial engines. I opened the trunk, quickly set my camera and got some great shots of “Aluminum Overcast” the EAA perfectly restored WWII B-17 bomber as it passed within 50 yards of where I was standing.

What a thrill is was to manipulate the D300S like it was an “extension of my arm” instead of struggling to adjust the settings.

Be sure to leave some flying time during one of your next visits to the LA area.

‘Til next time,

Bern Heimos


Hi Mike,

I really enjoyed the class on Sunday. I learned so much & it was really great. I felt that my investment was returned in the first 2 hours. Thank you. I hope you had a safe trip home.

Thanks again & looking forward to your next seminar.

T. Nathan Terry


Hi Mike,

First off your Speedlight class was awesome! Never having understood flash photography, I never used it. Now I feel that I can get a fairly good flash shot. And, if I continue to “shoot one shot a day” I’ll be getting great shots.

Thanks Mike,

Leon Carrere


Hello Mike

It was a real pleasure meeting you and taking your classes. I learned more about photography in 2 days then in the last 2 years. You are a really good instructor and you made using my D3 much much easier. Because of you I decided to become a professional photographer, and I will do whatever it takes to achieve my goal. I would like to ask you to be my mentor and my guide in my quest to become a pro. I love wildlife and nature photography, travel and portraits. I have an exotic animal practice in LA, where I see a lot of exotic animals that I get to take pictures of every day. Next time you come down to teach a course I will take to one of my clients house to take picture of tigers.

Best regards

Attila Molnar, DVM
Diplomate, ABVP


Mike Hagen’s all‑day Nikonian class on using the D700 and the three versions of the D3 is the best $224 I spent since I bought the D700. My only regret is that I didn’t sign up for it when I bought the camera two years ago, as it would have saved me hours of frustration trying to decipher the inadequate Nikon manual and spared me countless bad photographs while helping me take many more good ones. Though I own at least three after‑market manuals—none of them is terrible, each has its virtues—they are no substitute for having an experienced photographer
thoroughly familiar with the camera take you through its operations and features. Mike’s treatment of the complex and complicated autofocusing options alone made the course worth its money. But equally valuable were his discussions of the metering system, white balance, the shooting modes, and how most effectively to set the camera up for several kinds of fairly common shooting situations. One thing especially commendable was how Mike parsed the information: there was more than enough to meet the demands of value‑for‑the‑dollar and thoroughness, yet not so much as to leave you feeling overloaded (if you’ve ever taken a Photoshop course you’ll know what I’m talking about here). The class numbered, I believe, sixteen persons and included a couple of near‑beginners, several experienced amateurs and semi‑pros, and a few professionals. I can testify that everyone shared my evaluation of the experience. In sum, it was both educational and fun. Speaking as someone with long experience teaching at the university level, I am happy to recommend any course Mike teaches without reservation and with the highest enthusiasm.

— Paul Seydor



The seminar was tremendous. As a long-time Canon user, it was extremely helpful. I appreciate very much your patience throughout the day. My only regret is I could not have done the CLS class the day before.

Thanks again.


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