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Online Photography Course
Portfolio Development

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: Portfolio DevelopmentLearn how to put your very best foot forward, developing portfolios that display your finest photos. Outdoor Photographer columnist William Neill covers the art of editing your images, and developing thematic portfolios. His insightful lessons, challenging assignments, and invaluable critiques will focus and expand your creative potential. In this exciting online course, you will learn how to focus on the subjects that most inspire you. Give yourself this gift: master the art of editing and organizing your images.
Key Features

Skill Level: Intermediate & Advanced

  1. Introduction
  2. Thinking in Themes
  3. Editing on a Technical & Aesthetic Level
  4. Grouping by Quality Level
  5. Adding New Images
  6. Improving Your Portfolio
  7. Where You Can Go
  8. Putting It All Together

  • Develop portfolios with consistent quality.
  • Learn to edit with thematic interest.
  • Improve your presentations.

What You Get


You get direct feedback on your photos from world-acclaimed, professional photographers. You can learn photography in this way from anywhere in the world.  
  • Learn at your pace, with structure.
  • Be guided by a real pro instructor.
  • Get your photos critiqued every week.
  • Join students from around the world.
  • Go far beyond any book or DVD.
  • Make great pictures, again and again!



Photography Instructor: William  Neill William Neill
William Neill, a resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a landscape photographer concerned with conveying the deep, spiritual beauty he sees and feels in Nature. Neill's award-winning photography have been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. In 1995, Neill received the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. Neill is a member of Canon USA’s elite Explorers Of Light.

Neill's assignment and published credits include National Geographic Books, Smithsonian, Natural History, National Wildlife, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen's Quarterly, Travel and Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Sierra and Outside magazines. Also, he writes a bi-monthly column, On Landscape, for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Feature articles about his work have appeared in Life, Camera and Darkroom, Outdoor Photographer and Communications Arts, from whom he has also received five Awards of Excellence. His corporate clients have included Sony Japan, Bayer Corporation, Canon USA, Nike, Nikon, The Nature Company, and Sony Music/Classical.

His work was chosen to illustrate two special edition books published by The Nature Company, Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder and John Fowles's The Tree. His photographs of natural patterns were published in his book, By Nature's Design (Exploratorium/Chronicle Books, 1993), and his images were featured in The Color of Nature (Exploratorium/Chronicle Books, 1996). A major portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published entitled Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness (Yosemite Association, 1994) for which he received The Director's Award from the National Park Service. A retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, 1997) relates his beliefs in the healing power of nature. His latest book, Traces of Time, is the third book in the series with the Exploratorium and Chronicle Books.

Note: Don't miss the fascinating BetterPhoto Interview with William Neill!

A Couple of Photos by the Instructor

© William Neill 

© William Neill 

A Couple of Student Photos


View photos by previous students. You can make pictures like this too!

Robert D. Hayes
© Robert D. Hayes
Robert D. Hayes
© Robert D. Hayes

Course Outline


Lesson 1: Introduction: Find Your Focus
Assignment:  Find your focus.

Lesson 2: Thinking in Themes
Assignment: Thinking of your photography in terms of themes.

Lesson 3: Editing on a Technical & Aesthetic Level
Assignment: Editing your work.

Lesson 4: Grouping by Quality Level
Assignment: Group your photos by quality.

Lesson 5: Adding New Images
Assignment: Adding new work to your portfolio

Lesson 6: Improving Your Portfolio
Assignment: Improve your portfolio.

Lesson 7: Where You Can Go
Assignment: Images for your portfolio - Part One.

Lesson 8: Putting It All Together
Assignment: Putting all the techniques together.

Review: Voting on Best Work

© William Neill 

© William Neill 



  • Digital or film-based SLR, or medium or large format camera.
  • Wide angle, telephoto lens.
  • Tripod recommended.
  • Desire to improve, expand vision.



Is this course intended for advanced photographers or can beginning photographers participate as well?
This 8-week course is open to photographers who have a strong understanding of basic camera controls, a desire to improve, and are selling or may wish to sell their work in the future.  

Do the techniques covered in this course pertain to any type of photography?
Yes. However, I do specialize in landscapes and nature, and so can help more with those working with nature subjects.  

How much equipment will I need to assure my completion of each week's photography assignment?
You will need a standard selection camera gear, including a camera (digital or film-based) with shutter speed and aperture controls, and lenses such a wide angle lens or wide angle zoom, a telephoto lens or telephoto zoom. A tripod is not required but is helpful.  

Will this course also include tips, hints, or other helpful information on marketing one's work?
Not specifically. The course is designed to improve the level of your work, and your presentations in general, including for publishers, galleries, competitions and even family slide shows! If you are looking for specifics about submitting images, who to contact, and general marketing techniques, please see other Pro classes.  

© William Neill 

© William Neill 

Do I have to be online at any specific time?
No, you do not need to be online at any specific time. The lessons are sent to your email and you are also provided the Campus Square - where you interact with your classmates and instructor. This is also where you upload your photos to be critiqued by your instructor. The instructors are very punctual and respond quickly.

Will I have access to the instructor to ask questions during the photo course?
Absolutely! Students can ask questions in the special Q&A forum set up in the course's Campus Square, or can ask the instructor via email.

Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Yes. We are confident that you will fully enjoy our courses. All the same, for our 8-week classes, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent out. If for any reason, you are not satisfied and let us know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent, you will be promptly refunded.

For our 4-week courses, we offer a 100% money back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent out from BetterPhoto. If for any reason you are not satisfied and you let the ordering department know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent, you will be refunded within 7 days. After the second lesson has been sent out, no refunds will be given.

Still have questions about this course? Ask Us

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Only $396.00 USD  Click to Verify - This site has chosen a thawte SSL Certificate to improve Web site security  We accept Visa and Mastercard  We accept American Express

At a Glance
8-Week Photo Course
Category: Nature / Travel

$396.00 USD
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Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5
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Read all 49 reviews

Course Reviews:

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Antoinette Addison
Antoinette Addison
member since: 1/4/2013
This is a fabulous class and a great complement to other photo classes. It vastly exceeded my expectations. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what an interesting and balanced portfolio was, but I realize now I had no appreciation for the on-going process of creating and improving one. This class really was an eye opener. It will not only help me build portfolios, but I believe it also will improve my photography a lot by giving it a sense of focus. Thank you Bill.

- 7/13/2014 7:18:47 AM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
David B. Dawson
member since: 1/6/2011
Best photography course ever. I have no hesitation at all in making this claim. After two years of taking classes on specific skills and styles, many of them very good in their own right, this is the class that put it all together. Thanks to the wisdom and guidance in Bill Neill's critiques, I've gained a tremendous amount of confidence just from the eight sessions of the class, and I've gained a world of insight into what it means to think and see as an artist rather than a technician or a hobbyist. Like I said, best class ever -- I'm already planning to take it again.

- 1/10/2013 9:32:27 PM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member stephen barney
stephen barney
member since: 4/3/2012
Everyone needs this class, it will fundamentally change the way you approach photography. Its not about technique although the critiques will point out where your going wrong its all about what you shoot and how you group it. You will finish the course with a fabulous portfolio and a much clearer methodology for creating one. This is one of the classes here that can and should be taken again and again I fully intend to do it again and probably more than once I must say a huge thank you to Bill for his excellent coaching and for running a great class

- 1/8/2013 7:43:19 PM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Stephanie Lewis
Stephanie Lewis
member since: 11/27/2009
I have taken a number of classes. All of them have been great but this one is my favorite. Bill's feedback was thoughtful and encouraging. He gently led us through the various decision points of portfolio development. And it was very easy to engage in an e-conversation with him. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be taking this course again. Thanks Bill!

- 5/11/2012 2:48:32 PM

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BetterPhoto Member Kitty R. Kono
Kitty R. Kono
member since: 9/15/2008
This is the second time I have taken Bill Neill's Portfolio Development class and it was even better the second time around. He kept me focused for eight straight weeks and each time I was able to produce a book of photographs that I am proud of. Mr. Neill is a marvelous coach and teacher. Anyone who is serious about putting a portfolio together should take this course.

- 9/7/2011 7:01:08 AM

Read all 49 course reviews...

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More Delighted Customers:

"Excellent course. Highly recommended. Gave me new insight into my photography. Great feedback." -David G. Hammaker 

"I am so glad that I took this class. I have become a better photographer not by learning about composition or camera controls but by the importance of editing your work, photographing with a theme in mind, and how to add new images to those already taken. Bill's lessons are straightforward, the assignments are challenging but fun, and the critiques are very informative... I highly recommend this course!" -Rik Michaud  

"No matter what your ultimate goals are, whether beginner or advanced, this course will help you push to the next level. William's critiques and guidance have been invaluable. William's willingness to share his knowledge, philosphy, and experience was an added bonus. My only regret is the class is only 8 weeks!" -Laurie Meehan-Elmer 

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