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Do you have a passion for photography and want to take your skills to the next level?

Are you a seasoned photographer looking for peer-inspired upgrade? A beginner perhaps just starting your journey into the field of photography? Or as a seasoned novice do you land somewhere in between? Wherever you find yourself -- proper technique, use of technology and skill building are essential disciplines we all must employ in our trade. That is where I come in as a mentor, professional photographer and fellow photographer/hobbyist!

A mentor/coach relationship is sometimes all we all need for new growth. A tweak in a different photography direction and encouragement to step outside our comfort zones. Oftentimes another set of eyes may be all you need to kickstart your perspective and infuse your toolbox with new techniques.

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Who Am I?

My name is Clay Groot. I am a Michigan based photographer with over 10 years of professional and personal photography experience. My portfolio includes everything from nature and wildlife to families and adorable kids. Restaurant, food and beverages to manufacturing presses and assembly lines. People and pets, nuts and bolts, rivers and streams, mountain heights and prairie expanses. I've photo-trekked throughout the state of Michigan and photographed locations North, West, South and East of our Michigan borders.

One of my deepest passions is bringing joy to other peoples lives and filling their ordinary life with numerous and extraordinary smiles. My method of delivery? The camera. Capturing treasured moments and sharing them. Another passion? To teach others to do the same. My mom greatly influenced my love for photography many years ago and helped me discover a deep passion for capturing life on camera. Now, after countless hours of being behind a lens, I would love to be able to share my knowledge and skills with you to fuel your inner passion.

- Read more about my journey -

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The One-on-One sessions begin with a skills assessment from which we establish a baseline and work a plan to improve your skills. Our goal? To help you become a well-rounded, responsive photographer, confident behind the lens and ready to take the next shot. Each session is completely customized to fit your skill level. We will focus on areas of improvement and together prioritize a plan to achieve those goals.

Photography is more than just taking the shot, its seeing the shot before it happens in real time. Composition, context and final use all play into the perspective you bring to your lens. The more unique your perspective the more individual creativity you have to share.


Two of the biggest struggles with which photographers struggle are subject matter and finding ‘the’ captivating shot. With that in mind session locations are likely to vary. If you have a preferred spot then let’s shoot there. I have favorite locations I can share during our sessions all of which may serve as a canvas for some incredible shots.

Areas of focus

Below are a few areas of focus that each session could include.

- Understanding the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

- Equipment recommendations.

- Creating depth of field.

- Composition and framing.

- Perspective variations.

- Building ability to focus consistently.

- Finding light in any situation.

- Lightroom editing and/or Photoshop (color correction, use of actions, smoothing skin, etc.)

- Working with online communities and building an online presence.

- Running your own online gallery.

- Pricing and selling your own prints.

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What My Clients Are Saying

I recently did a couple of one-on-one photography mentoring sessions with Clay. He is a talented photographer and artist. I wanted to take my photography skills to the next level. Clay was able to help me see things through different eyes. He helped me to see and find beauty in the mundane. Clay clearly enjoys teaching and sharing his passion for photography. He is supportive, caring, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I strongly encourage one-on-one mentoring sessions with Clay. – Debbie

Clay expresses great interest and knowledge in photography. He has always been able to answer my questions and has taught me so much about my camera and how to further develop my ‘eye’ for photography. The few times we’ve gone out for shooting sessions, he was very patient with me and has made it fun. He is excellent at explaining different concepts and offers insightful feedback. – Maggie

I have really enjoyed being able to be coached and mentored by Clay in photography. We have had several experiences indoors at the theatre as well as outdoors in nature photography. Each time, Clay has been knowledgeable and patient while explaining aspects of setting my ISO, shutter speeds, exposure, and creative angles. Clay has an eye for capturing unique moments, while also the expertise and deep knowledge of photography to help any aspiring photographer, like myself, improve. I highly recommend Clay in that his patience and manner of explaining are two essential qualities that are so needed to grow.  – Robin

Clay is a wonderful mentor!! Not only is he a fabulous photographer with a wealth of information, he is also very patient and kind but does not shy away from giving honest and helpful feedback. – JJ

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Multiple Sessions

Think you’ll need several lessons or want to focus on different areas of photography over a few sessions? Then look no further! These sessions are completely customized to fit your needs and hone-down on your skills.

One Session, One Time

Feel like you just need a little push in the right direction and then you’ll be good to go? Then this would be the option for you! One 3 hour crash course session, we’ll focus on your skills, and techniques that matter most to you.

Sound like something that interests you?

Please feel free to call or text me at (616) 918-9889, or message me over Facebook or Instagram and I'll be more then happy to discuss details and future with you.

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