When it comes to photo-related stuff, Expert Photography always appears in the top search results. For the many years that I’ve been writing about this niche, EP has always been one of my go-to authority sites.
They have a rich collection of tutorials, articles, eBooks, and other resources that you might need especially when starting out your career in the digital media industry.
That’s why their plagiarism scandal came to me as a surprise.
In today’s review of Expert Photography, we will be talking about the site’s founder Joshua Dunlop, his online courses and ebooks, and whether they are worth investing in.
Plus the most controversial topic of them all: the plagiarism incident they were involved in and their side of the story.
Let’s get started.
ExpertPhotography.com Review 2021 (Summary)
- Company: Expert Photography
- Founders: Josh and Michael Dunlop
- Website: https://expertphotography.com/
- Products: Courses, presets, ebooks, cheatsheets (see all here)
- Best For: Novice – intermediate photographers
- Money-Back Guarantee: Yes, 90 days
- Price: $47 – $299 (depends on the product chosen)
- Rating: 9/10
Since 2011, EP has made a lot of contribution to the online community by providing easy-to-follow tutorials on photography, various free materials, and a lot of info-posts related to the niche.
This is one of the main reasons why you always see them on the first page of major search engines.
Today, the platform has grown even bigger and it now has a lot of free and paid products that you can learn from.
Though I have not (yet) reviewed each and every course they offer, there are quite a number of training resources I personally enjoyed. And I’ll be sharing some insights about those with you in a bit.
Here’s a list of their bestsellers (with reviews):
- Photography for Beginners (4.5 hrs)
- Wow Factor Photography (5 hrs)
- Simply Stunning Landscapes (5.5 hrs)
- Effortless Editing with Lightroom (6 hrs)
- Infinite Exposures (5 hrs)
- Macro Magic (4 hrs)
- Total Time-Lapse (2.5 hrs)
- Milky Way Mastery (3 hrs)
And that’s not all.
Whatever genre or skill you’re interested in learning about, you’ll likely find it among ExpertPhotography.com courses and ebooks.
Josh Dunlop Photography Products
As I mentioned earlier, this site is a haven for valuable resources when it comes to this niche.
Josh Dunlop’ photography site has several products ranging from online courses, ebooks, cheatsheets, presets and so many more.
Though I won’t go through each of them here one by one, there are a few I’d like to tell you about. I’ve divided them in 3 categories: For Beginners, Specialized Photography and Editing.
Let’s get started!
Training Tutorials For Beginners
1) Photography for Beginners
In this course, Josh explains all the basics of photography in a very simple and beginner-friendly tone. It is divided into several modules for easier consumption. The videos last an average of 6-15 minutes each, so they are very easy to watch.
Here’s a peek of the outline:
- Everything About Exposure
This is the part of the training where you get to know what affects exposure, which is also one of the most basic aspects of photography. This will help you master the rules of exposure and help you get ready to go manual.
- Setting Up Your Camera
Here, Josh explains how important it is to set up your camera properly. Most of the problems you encounter as beginners will probably be due to not using the right settings, not the device itself.
- Learning About the Basics of Composition
Composing a photo is one of the most difficult aspects of this craft. But in this lesson, Josh explains it in the simplest possible way so that you can appreciate the basic rules behind it.
Here, you will know how to balance the image, focus on symmetry, and all the stuff that can turn a normal scene into a picturesque view.
- Actual Field Test for Different Scenes
Here, Josh takes you to various locations and demonstrates how to properly take photos of different scenes like low light, portraits, sunsets, black & white, and many more.
- The Post-Process
Editing is crucial in photography. In this module, you will learn how your instructor normally does his edits by using the photos shot in the previous lesson.
The bonuses include cheat sheets and posters.
2) Simply Stunning Landscapes
If you are a fan of landscapes and nature, then this training is for you. Joshua Dunlop will take you to various scenic locations and discuss how he does the shoot from start to finish.
Here’s an outline:
- Necessary Equipment
In this module, you will know which gears to bring when planning to do landscape photoshoot. You will most likely need extra accessories to make the shooting more convenient and a bit easier, like a tripod.
- Camera Settings
According to Josh, the three most important settings you need to pay attention to when shooting landscape are the following: depth of field (DOF), sharpness, and focusing.
He will walk you through the different settings that will ensure a perfect capture of the picturesque scene before you.
In this part of the training, you will be taught about the factors you need to consider when planning an outdoor shoot in nature. A few things you need to take into consideration would be the weather, best time of the day, and choosing the perfect location.
- Shooting Styles
In this lesson, Josh will show you his personal techniques and styles in taking photos of various landscapes and sceneries.
- Composing the Shot
Here, Josh explains the rule of thirds, symmetry, golden triangles and many other things you need to remember when composing your shots.
- Actual Field Work
This is the most interesting part of the course. In this lesson, Josh will take you to different locations to demonstrate how he takes photos of nature. You can see the actual shooting of a hilltop church, a waterfall, a lake, and so much more.
- Tips on Getting Perfect Panorama
If you are a fan of a panorama, or if you wanted to learn how to perfectly create one, then you should not skip this module. You will learn all the rules you need to apply in order to get that magazine-worthy shot.
Extras include tips on how and where you can sell your prints and a checklist for this genre.
Specialized Photography Training
3) Milky Way Mastery
aThe night sky has always been a fascinating subject, not only for professionals but also for novice photographers. In this course, the instructor will guide you on how you can effectively capture the Milky Way, the moon, and the north star.
Let’s look at the outline:
- Necessary Gear for Night Photography
Unlike other genres, shooting the night sky will require you more gears and accessories. The reason behind this, the things you need to bring, and what gears you should never forget, will be discussed in this section.
- Understanding the Night Sky
Here, the instructor gives a brief explanation and background on three of the most common subjects for night shooting: the Milky Way, the moon, and the north star. The videos will teach you where you get the best view for these subjects.
- Actual Field Shoot
In this lesson, you will witness the actual field preparation and work of the instructor. He will show you first hand how to capture the night sky in the most spectacular way possible.
This is probably the part that you are all curious about. Here, Josh will take you through this entire post-processing workflow. You can see how he does the edits and how he applies his presets, or which presets are applicable for this kind of subject.
There are some bonus videos about light painting. In these videos, you will witness how it is done and what camera settings to use to achieve those cool photo effects.
4) Total Time Lapse
Right now, time lapse videos are increasing in popularity. This is due to its ability to capture the “development” of a particular subject.
Through this course, you will be able to see how it should be done and what are things you will need to create your very own time lapse masterpiece.
Here’s a peek of the layout:
- Gearing Up
As usual, the training starts with the instructor explaining the set of equipment you will need for this particular activity. They have a detailed discussion on the kind of lenses to use and the aperture as well. The video also mentions various filters you can use to make your photos even better.
- The Shoot
Here, your instructor will explain several factors you need to consider when creating time lapse. Things such as aperture, shutter speed, and basically just the important settings you need to be aware of in order to totally nail this activity.
At the end of the module, he will also give you a total walkthrough of the entire process, which should make you understand it better.
- The Post
Josh will show you how the editing is done by using special software called LR Time Lapse. Here you will learn how to properly adjust your photos so that it does not mess with the time lapse effect.
You can consider this as an in-depth tutorial on his editing workflow for this particular genre.
The bonus videos include strategies you can use to market your creation, how to turn your lapse into movies or how to transform it into hyperlapse.
5) Macro Magic
Over the years, macro photography has been misinterpreted by many people. In this course, Josh took the liberty of clearing up the misconception so that you will truly know what is a macro photo.
Here’s a quick overview of the outline:
- Fundamentals of Macro
The start of this training is pretty strong. The instruction is very determined to clear up any misunderstanding you might have about macro photos.
With that out of the way, he explains the basics of this genre and provided a quick comparison between images taken from normal lenses and macro lenses.
- Equipment and Accessories
The instructor discusses the different accessories and tools you will need to make shooting macros easier and convenient. You need to have a tripod, shutter release, lens modifier, just to name a few.
- Camera Settings
Your coach will teach you how to experiment on camera settings to get the best output for macros. Each setting has a dedicated video discussion so you can get a good grasp of the rules behind it.
When shooting macros, you will most likely need a light source to illuminate your subject. Ring lights are the most common source of lighting for this genre these days.
- Actual Shoot
Here, you get to see how Josh takes the shot, which settings were used, and how the images look like with those settings.
You can find a bonus video on focus stacking here plus some downloadable resources that can help you with this activity.
6) Wow Factor Photography
If you want to unlock your creative potential, this course is for you. In 30 days, you will be trying out different shooting styles and techniques that will give your photos that “wow” factor, hence the name.
Here is the overview:
This module contains all the information you will need before starting up this 30-day project. It also contains a list of the gears mostly used in the project.
- 30-day Challenge
This lesson contains 30 different shooting activities you can try out. Josh will demonstrate how it is done and will give you tips regarding camera settings for each activity.
This will change the way you look at photography. Just to give you an overview, you will be learning how to shoot spiral lights, water droplets, photo montages, and a whole lot more.
This contains a downloadable file that will serve as your ultimate guide to completing the project.
There is a bonus ebook on how you can boost your following and there is also a free PSD up for download.
Mastering the Post-Process Workflow
7) Effortless Editing with Lightroom Course
Lightroom is one of the most commonly used editing software not only by beginners but also by professionals.
Compared to Photoshop, this is a much simpler app in terms of navigation and use. In this course, Josh will walk you through the post processing using LR.
Here’s what you’ll see inside:
- Comparison of Softwares (PS vs LR)
Here, you will learn the differences between two popular editing software: Photoshop and Lightroom.
This contains detailed explanations about the different tools you can use in LR. Along the way, you’ll also see how Josh edits his photos as he continues discussing the effects and tools.
- Photo Adjustments
These are the more advanced corrections that you might need for your photos. It is explained as simply as possible to help you understand it thoroughly.
In this module, you will have a walkthrough of the post processing from start to finish.
- Lightroom Shortcuts
You can get your complete shortcut guide by downloading the file in this module.
Expert Photography eBooks
Aside from the courses mentioned above, there are still many products on the site. You can purchase AMAZING ebooks like:
- Edible Images
- Perfect Pawtraits
- Creative Photography Cookbook
- Products in Focus
- Picture Perfect Properties
- Dreamy Childhood Portraits
(Just to name a few.)
There are also presets available like Black and White, Light and Dreamy, Peachy Pastels, and a whole lot more.
And finally, the Shuffle and Shoot playing cards are a great gift idea for beginner photographers.
Expert Photography: Scam or Legit?
At first you probably wondered:
Is Expert Photography a scam?
If you’ve reached this far, I doubt you are still thinking this site is a scam.
Let me just get this straight: I personally have access to their paid products and I can confirm that ExpertPhotography.com is a legit website.
If you’re wondering whether their content was plagiarized, then that is another story that you will know more about in a bit.
Is Expert Photography Worth It?
Short answer: Yes.
I want to be as honest as possible. I haven’t really completed all the courses I have access to yet. However, judging from the ones I already explored, they are of really high quality.
(That includes eBooks as well.)
The videos themselves are very well recorded and smooth. You can clearly see how much professionalism has gone into creating those materials.
On top of that, Josh explains pretty well and he demonstrates the processes at the same time, letting you understand better. Plus, he explains in a very calm and friendly manner, which makes his courses beginner friendly.
I do admit that the pricing is quite a bit higher compared to similar courses online, but the good news is that sometimes there are good discounts available.
Expert Photography: Plagiarism?
We’ve come to the part that you have all been waiting for.
In late 2019, Expert Photography went under fire for plagiarism accusations from Nasim Mansurov. He published an article accusing Josh Dunlop of stealing content from his site (Photography Life) and other sources as well.
At first, I was bound to believe in his claims since Nasim provided side by side comparisons of the contents from both websites.
But that changed when I had the chance to get in touch with Klara Stekler (EP’s manager). She shared their side of the story which not a lot of people know about.
FYI: I shared her quoted responses on my other Expert Photography review (published on my main blog).
Commenting on the stolen content issue, Klara told me that they were shocked by the article as well and expressed how disheartened the whole team was.
She mentioned that they worked with one in-house writer (Craig) who had caused this issue and only later did they find out that Craig failed to demonstrate professional conduct in doing his work.
And because he was the only in-house writer at that time, he was assigned to update content written by other writers.
(This explains why Nasim’s article mentioned not only Craig’s name but Josh Dunlop’s as well, therefore branding him as unethical.)
Klara further clarified that Josh has not personally written content for the site for over 3 years, so he is not responsible for such plagiarism claims.
(Again, you can find her detailed responses and my thoughts here.)
What their solution was:
After reading Nasim’s article, Klara told me that they took quick action to fire Craig. Plus they also made sure to remove all the articles published under his name. On top of that, the EP team decided to use two different plagiarism detection tools for all their upcoming content.
I’m also glad I had a chance to get a comment on this situation directly from ExpertPhotography.com manager.
Personally, I’m inclined to believe her because I myself have worked with unethical freelancers who tried to pass someone else’s work as theirs and not always did plagiarism tools picked up on it.
Now that I’ve shared the other side of the coin, it’s up to you to decide which side you want to believe in.
I’d like to hear from YOU:
- What was your experience with this website?
- What are your thoughts on this Expert Photography review 2021?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!