"I walked away from Deb's class feeling motivated and inspired. I am shooting, culling, and editing with greater intent and purpose now and am feeling stronger than I was before the class. I was in a good place before I took the class but now I am in a really great place. A place that includes tons of shooting and taking some risks. A place that is mine to own. A place that would not have existed had I not signed up for this class." - Lisa Tullett

Deb Schwedhelm is to me a great inspiration. I love her perspective on things, photography and how to develop oneself and grow as an artist and photographer. This is my second class with Deb and I definitely recommend her classes highly. Both classes inspired me to start the projects I always wanted to photograph but wasn't sure if and how to do it. Deb inspires to see your own photography from a new perspective, to improve your portfolio and the upcoming pictures you'll take. - Sung-Hee Seewald

"Deb is a phenomenal teacher and mentor, gifted & talented in both distinctive abilities..she has a way of guiding you to helping yourself while being there with you all the way..the fog clears, there are more "aha" moments that can be counted...we come in "here" and she helps us get to "there" wherever those places are for each is raw, genuine, real in every way. I've taken lots of photography classes & workshops, but Deb makes it an experience that is absolutely matter individual skill level, one can't help but improve along the the end, you know you have really just begun & you walk away fired up for tomorrow & continuing what is truly a life's journey. It is just so much, much more than photography although that is the focus, without an internal focus first, nothing happens in the photographic art we are seeking. I am recommending Deb's classes to everyone I know & looking forward to pursuing personal tutoring!" - Sandra Reid

"I wasn't sure when I signed up for this class what I would get out of it or if I had even picked the right course for my first Illuminate class, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed at this moment. It was a great experience and the assignments/feedback I received re-established my love for photography. I was able to recognize my voice and reaffirm my style. It was wonderful. Thank you." - Beth Rooney

"Deb’s workshop really makes you think. She pushes you to look inward and to find your own answers within yourself. She helps you to see and makes you realize who you’ve been as an artist all along." - Russy Feldman Tendler

"Deb has the unique ability to articulate style in a succinct, to the point manner. In a way that three or four words feel like a light bulb moment and suddenly your path forward is very clear. If you have doubt, uncertainty or feel a little bit lost this course is an incredible opportunity to move through it." - Marina Locke

"Where to start. This has been the best class I’ve taken thus far. I’m not someone who takes every workshop or purchases workbooks. I always have a fear that I will not get my money’s worth. The amount of inspiration and knowledge you will walk away from is truly priceless. I could not recommend this class enough." - Rebecca Wang

"I started this workshop not really knowing who I was as an artist. I had spent the past year very rarely picking up my camera. When I signed up for the class, I initially signed up for silent, but then decided to change over to active, and I'm so glad I did. This class was amazing. It really opened up my eyes to who I am as an artist. Deb was very thorough in her responses, and I really loved that she provided video feedback in most of the assignments. I learned so much in the past three weeks, but most importantly I have my mojo back! I'm not where I want to be, but I no longer feel lost. If you are interested in this class, don't hesitate to take it. Push yourself even if you are a little nervous, you won't regret it! Do your best with the assignments, and you'll be amazed at what you learn about yourself." - Chrissy Gilliland

"This workshop has reignited my passion for photography! I feel more confident and more joy in my work than I have ever felt. My husband even commented on, how he could feel my joy and passion for photography was back! Deb is an amazing teacher. She gives thoughtful and prompt feedback and pours her soul into this! She is honest and raw and just amazing! I can not thank her enough. Thanks to Deb, I feel brave enough to start pursuing my photography dreams. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!" - Maibritt Olsen

"This is an incredible class. I believe the best one I have taken since I started my photography journey. Deb is so kind, honest, passionate, and raw in this class. She gives great examples and outstanding material to find your true self. If you are feeling lost or in a rut or feel like you're truly not going anywhere in your photography no matter how far you are into it or if you just started. THIS is the workshop to take. It is worth every dollar you spend on it. Deb gives honest feedback and pushes you in other levels you would not expect it. This is definitely a journey and not a destination. I have taken so much from this class and will continue to apply everything that was taught throughout my journey. Please do yourself a favor and wow yourself with something that is worth an eye opener to photographers of all levels. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing class!!" - Karina Pavlides

"This was a great class. I feel that Deb supported our learning and really encouraged us. She gives feedback, which I thought was extremely helpful. She answered our questions and did a good job of meeting our learning needs in class." - Hechler Mariah

"The class was not really what I expected from a technical standpoint because we didn’t take a lot of new photos and when they were critiqued it focused more onboard style and what kind of message you wanted to convey in your photos. There was a lot of emotional support for the ups and downs of being a creative person and steps you can take to keep yourself on track and bring joy into your work. I hadn’t been shooting got very long, but Deb made me feel like there was a place for me in the class with those who were skilled professionals. While I feel like maybe I could have waited a year or two to take the class to truly take advantage of her website and portfolio reviews, I feel like I have a better understanding of my style and where my strengths lie. This will be helpful as I continue my photography journey and hopefully make it into something profitable and special. I now don’t expect perfection and realize I will take a lot of bad photos before I really feel comfortable in my work. It’s nice to know that those who are career photographers experience the same fears and don’t always follow all the technical rules. Deb made it clear that you should photograph what makes your heart sing and keep persisting." - Julie Bishop

"This class was deeper than I thought. It makes you find the why on your photos, it is inspiring and strong. Deb takes you to each step to find your true authentic self. I really loved it, it exceeded my expectations."- Pily Flores

"I found Deb to be an inspirational and thorough teacher. She was quick to respond to any questions and her answers were detailed and insightful. I found the class helped me to look at my own path and question my journey as well as encouraging me to take the steps i need to take to keep moving forward. I would love to thank Deb for all her help and effort she clearly puts in." - Skye Torossian

"This course really helped me solidify my style of work and what I'm truly drawn to. Deb was able to give wonderfully useful advice that I will carry with me through the rest of my photography journey." - Monica Hart

"Deb made me think. I had to really reevaluate my purpose--my why--so I feel like I had an awakening. I was doing documentary style and loved doing maternity---but when she asked my why--what do I REALLY want to do? I realized that I wanted to do a more fine arts photography---creative portraits. Now I feel that I have to start over in a positive way to fulfill my artist's soul. Thank you Deb!!!" - Amy Bremenstuhl

"I love taking classes from instructors whose work I admire, but is completely different than my own, which is why I took Deb's class. I'm a big fan of the opportunity to have critiques for seeing how images can be interpreted and strengthened, but these critiques were so thoughtful that they seemed to really go deeper than any I've had done before. I love how Deb leads us throughout the course, but then really used each of our own work to teach us, so it almost seemed like we were learning in person or through a mentorship rather than a packaged course." - Crystal Mercredi

“Deb seems to have a great knowledge and genuine love for photography and it shows! It was awesome to hear about her journey to artistry throughout the three weeks and see what inspires her. She is a very encouraging and positive teacher.” - Erin Gray

"I went into Deb's course burned-out and apathetic towards photography. It had completely lost its luster for me and I desperately wanted it back. I got it, and then some.  Deb is a phenomenal instructor- truly inspiring. She helped to open my eyes that have been essentially closed for years." - Jessica Murphy

"Embracing Your Inner Artist is a great class for anyone during any step on their creative journey. This class gets you to dig deeper into the why you are shooting what you are shooting and the way you approach your photography." - Meghan Nesom

"Embracing Your Inner Artist was exactly what I needed. I've been in a year long creative rut, just totally burnt out and needed something to pull me back my roots. I had heard really good things about the Illuminate classes so I gave one a try. Deb is so full of knowledge and really relatable. The feedback she gave was especially helpful to get me to push my boundaries. I've taken courses with other organizations before, but never had an instructor give such careful and personalized responses to assignments. This class forced me to take a very introspective look at who I am as an artist and helped rekindle the love I have for making art. I would recommend for any photographer to take this class, no matter how far into your journey you are." - Beth Gathright

"As a photo enthusiast with no immediate plans to submit my work or become a professional, I was hesitant to enroll in a class with established photographers. At the encouragement of a friend who has taken Illuminate classes, I enrolled and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Deb Schwedhelm is a wonderful, knowledgeable and encouraging instructor for photographers of all levels of experience. She engages with her students, using her own examples of success and failure to explore the creative process. From my experience. I am inspired to continue on my photographic journey and plan to enroll in future Illuminate classes." - Valerie Smaller

“Deb's class was so inspiring. I felt like the information gave me the tools to connect with my inner creative self. My eyes were opened to the fact that photography for me isn't just about a business, it is a creative release and brings me joy.” - Jennifer Fritz

“I am at the very start of my photography journey and was hesitating taking the class, even as a silent student. Having completed the class, I still think that I would get much more out of it if I were a more established photographer. But this is not to say that i regret taking it now. I learnt so much about the composition, editing and experiences of fellow students that I have noticed an immediate improvement in my photographs. I feel hugely inspired by Deb and her work. I am really happy that I had an opportunity to learn from her from the start. There is so much information for the beginner that I think it will take me a while to process it all and many many hours to put into practice. I think may re-take this class in a year or so and maybe even as an active student next time. I found that the class is hugely interactive, so I have a feeling that it will be different each time depending on the group of students that join it and so I will learn a whole lot more next time. 
Another thing that was super useful is that I am of course filled with huge doubts about myself as a potential photographer and what I can bring to this art, questioning why I want to do it etc, so I was honestly surprised that some really established, successful photographers go through similar doubts. I felt like something got released inside me when I realised this and I am now learning photography which much less anxiety and doubts and just enjoying it as I go along. I think myself very lucky that I got to think about many of the issues surrounding photography as an art so very early on, I think it will save me from a lot of stress in this pursuit. Really grateful to Deb and apologies for the delay in providing feedback, as I say it is taking me a while to catch up with all the materials.” - Anna Fomina

“Deb is really a wonderful instructor. She is so personable, and understands how to interact with each individual student in order to give them the best experience. Her feedback is immensely valuable, and comes from a place where she truly desires her students to grow. I loved the exercises we were given, which allowed us to take risks that we might not have otherwise taken. I was able to connect with my own self more than I have before, especially toward the end of the workshop. In fact, I loved what I experienced so much, I'm already saving for Deb's Project Development in Fine Art class.” - Meghan Endahl

“Embracing Your Inner Artist is just what I needed to help me uncover the artistic vision that has been inside me all along. The assignments helped me look at things I see every day with fresh eyes and realize that I needed that creative boost. The class, with Deb Schwedhelm as teacher, was organized, challenging, and thoughtfully presented. I would highly recommend this class to every photographer who wants to take his/her photography to another level and tap into his/her true inner artist.” - Patricia Kelso

“I'm happy that I finally had the courage to sign up and take this class! This was my first online workshop, but not the last. I'm already looking into the other Illuminate classes offered. All of the material covered in class was just what I needed. I learned a lot watching the feedback videos and hearing Deb's critique. I feel like this class gave me the tools to grow into the photographer I want to become and the confidence to call myself an artist. Deb has always been one of my favorite photographers and I'm so thankful I got to have her as a teacher.” - Laney Butler

“I would highly recommend the 'exploring your inner artist' class with Deb Schwedhelm for absolutely anyone who wants to improve their photography. The course content has been well conceived and flows brilliantly with the assignments and the feedback sessions are so in depth and personal, Deb connected so well with ALL of us, she is very committed to each and everyone and their self development. It was stretching at times, but worth it in every sense. I have benefited hugely from this class in many ways and have not only been inspired to delve deeper into my creative vault, but have seen a marked improvement in my images during this 3 week class. I just want to start again!!!” - Susie White

“Before taking the class, I was searching by myself to get informations about great photographers that made history. I got lost in all the google results. I couldn't focus and enjoy what I found. But then, when I enrolled in Deb's class, I was so excited about alllll the pieces of information and inspirations that she brought us to look out for. She gave me what I was looking for for a long time. When I say I got excited, this is an understatement. I use her teaching to find more and more and more. To buy books, to read, to try new things. It was a real pleasure for my creative soul. Her personal stories are very inspiring too. It is really important for a creative person to feel like we are not alone and she made me feel like she has been there or she is there actually. The title of the class is so right on!” - Tammy Lacasse

“This course was everything I needed. I leave knowing more about my artistry and myself.” - Kylie Reid Flury

“I went into Embracing Your Inner Artist with open arms looking for guidance in furthering my work as art. I was happily surprised with the amount of reference to other artists, both current and past that helped me to truly look at their work and in turn look at my own work with fresh eyes. From day one I was captivated by the materials and longed for more each day. And to my surprise it was the emotive and passionate conversations from both Deb and classmates that drew me in each day to continue opening my eyes. I leave inspired and determined to fine tune my Fine Art path and am forever grateful for this community I have embarked upon.” - Natalie Marotta

“Embracing Your Inner Artist has helped reignite an inner spark for creating I had been missing. The class was a perfect combination of inspiration, information and practice. Deb's feedback was candid, helpful and encouraging. I'm confident I will look back on these three weeks as a major time of growth in my unique photographic journey.” - Michelle Shott

“Deb is an excellent committed teacher who is there to answer every question. She makes you think beyond the technicalities of photography. You submerge into yourself and you look deep inside your soul. Deb has made me question and explore my artistry and reason for creating. An excellent exercise to dig deep.” - Mireia Vilaplana

“I really admire Deb both as an artist and a teacher. She has a combination of creative vision, clear communication and organization that blends to make her an excellent teacher and this course a fantastic choice. She is able to translate what she and other artists do in a way that is both digestible and inspirational - pushing me personally while feeling supported and encouraged. I especially love the exercises that Deb had us complete in class - which were out of my comfort zone but that surprised me (in a good way) with the results. Deb fostered a wonderful community between the participants in the class and as a result it felt robust and engaged - even within a virtual platform. And finally, I felt Deb's way of providing feedback was absolutely fantastic. She is honest and direct, while still being supportive and nurturing. Often with CC people are very nice and supportive, but you don't feel they are offering suggestions on places where you could push further or different ways of seeing something. I felt Deb was able to provide those different looks and angles in - so you knew she was really taking time with your work - while still calling out strengths and aspects that she liked. I'm very happy to have taken this course and as I leave it, I find myself inspired, more reflective about the artist I would like to be and more clear about where I want to go next with my work.” - Melissa Schulze

“Four years ago, I took Deb’s class for the first time. At the time I was taking this class, I was doing portfolio building sessions. Both the families and I liked the photos. But nevertheless I was not wholeheartedly convinced, neither with the sessions, nor with working on my website and marketing. In her feedback to my submissions, Deb was honest and helpful. That's why I have taken this class for the second time. I loved to watch the inspirational videos about photographers from different eras and continents. This class honors individuality, not only in style and voice, but also in the way one can pursue a career as photographer. There is so much food for thought in the lessons and I used the three weeks to dig deep.” - Sonja Stich