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Amy Johnson

amy johnsonAmy’s start in professional photography came by taking pictures of her friends' dogs at conformation shows, and quickly grew to outpace both her interest in showing her own dog and the capabilities of film. She was quick to make the move to digital, starting with Canon’s first digital SLR, the D30. Since a typical day of shooting can generate well over 2000 images, Ben wrote custom software to manage the images and to help people find and order their own pictures. Combining that with a strong creative flair, Amy offers a wide variety of unique products beyond simple prints that make her a desirable addition to the venues she visits.

 Amy is the official show photographer for many of the premier agility events in the United States, including the AKC National Agility Championships, AKC Agility Invitational, USDAA Cynosport World Games, and NADAC Championships, as well as numerous local trials, regional events, and breed national specialties.  She has photographed a wide variety of dog sports, including agility, obedience, rally, and conformation.  She also recently discovered the joys (and frustrations) of birding and enjoys the challenge of photographing birds and other wildlife.  

Amy merges her passion for photography with a strong background in education, which includes a MA in Education and five years of experience in the classroom teaching middle and high school math.  

Amy and her husband, Ben, have lived in northern Minnesota since 2000. They have two boys, Micah (age 13-1/2) and Cameron (age 12), and two dogs, Zorah (Yellow Lab mix) and Costner (Great Dane).  The name of the business, GreatDanePhotos, is a reflection of Amy and Ben's love for this particular breed.

Amy chooses Canon equipment, using the 1DX and 400mm f/2.8L as her primary agility gear.  For birds and wildlife, she prefers the 7D Mark 2 and a Sigma 150-600mm.  One of the topics of the class will be the ins-and-outs of selecting the right gear for the right subject. 

Amy’s business can be found online at

www.greatdanephotos.com

Amy shares her wildlife photos online at

https://www.flickr.com/photos/raspberryridgehouse/

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Amy's Current and Upcoming Courses

Current and Upcoming classes

Student Testimonials

FE600 - Shoot the Dog

Amy is Ah-mazing. This is the only class I've done that I have looked at every homework assignment and critique on every thread and worked through the lectures on my own. I'm a suspicious person by nature so have to see the big picture of how something will turn out before I'll trust to try it out with my own dogs, this was a little different in that regard, but I trusted that figuring out the skills labs were going to lead to improvements and they did. My black blob dog is looking great. While I'd been eyeing up the class for a while it was a last minute decision to register ont he last day and I'm so glad I did, it has entered into the top 4 classes I've done.             


I've been using an SLR for many years starting with film then moving to digital. While I used aperture priority a lot with film, I just used the auto settings when I went digital. My sister is a professional photographer and she several times gave me lessons on manual but it didn't "click". Your lessons did "click"! I have shot some beautiful photos in manual mode. Still not confident to use manual in must have situations but that will come with practice.                


I've been using an SLR for many years starting with film then moving to digital. While I used aperture priority a lot with film, I just used the auto settings when I went digital. My sister is a professional photographer and she several times gave me lessons on manual but it didn't "click". Your lessons did "click"! I have shot some beautiful photos in manual mode. Still not confident to use manual in must have situations but that will come with practice.            


This was a great class! I have read the occasional book and tried to learn how to use my new camera but could never make it from theoretical knowledge to actual practical knowledge. It meant all of my pictures were constantly taken on "running man" with the occasional "flower" setting. Now I am being brave enough to actual try that pesky "M" and actually have photographs that turn out! I know the areas that are still weak and this class has given me the plan in knowing how to fix them going forward. - Laura W               


This class is exactly what I needed! I had put off buying a digital SLR camera because it all seemed so overwhelming to learn. The class sign up information includes great information on which camera and lens give the best option for dog pictures. I bought one of the set ups she suggested and have been so happy with it. She even gives good tips on how to buy used equipment to make things more budget friendly. During the class Amy explains the basics of digital photography with very practical labs that teach you the skills you need. Learning those skills as they specifically apply to dog photography is invaluable! Amy is very kind and constructive in her comments. She pushes you to be better, but gives you the confidence to be able to do it. After six weeks, I am so comfortable with my camera and operate it on full manual settings. The quality of my photographs has increased dramatically over the course of the class. I can't wait to take the next class! Dana N.