Fine Art Photography
Atelier Classes
and Workshops

experience * explore * create

Listen to Our Students!

I participated in Russ and Wendy's Atelier MicroSchool in 2015 and 2016.  The courses not only improved my photography but also guided me on the ins and outs of the photographic industry and expanded my awareness of contemporary artistic photographers.

What I appreciated most about the Kwans was their huge emphasis on following one's own path.  Unlike many teachers, the Kwans are not looking for acolytes or clones.  Although my approach to photography is much different than that of the Kwans, they always encouraged and even celebrated the difference.  I was also frequently surprised and impressed with their ability to read the deep structure of my work, noticing details that had escaped me, the ostensible maker.  All that, and also:  the Kwans are kind and hospitable, something that for me is imperative in a teacher.

For photographers looking to really connect the dots in their practice, I unreservedly recommend working with the Kwans.

Jim Joly 2017


Russ and Wendy's Atelier Microschool has given me the ability to take my photography beyond mere picture taking.

Ben Poulton 2017


The "Abstract Thinking" workshop and presentation for the NSPS brought many of the elements from your Micro School class to our Club. You both did an amazing job of giving our members a greater understanding of Abstract photography. A difficult task in one evening. I had lots of good comments after the workshop. I hope this brings a further interest in Abstract Photography to our members. Thank you so much for all that you give in your presentations.

Sheila Dallimore, NSPS Programs 2015


I have just signed up for my fifth or is it the sixth course with Russ and Wendy.  I was looking to advance my photography and I didn't need some new technique, new piece of gear or set of presets for Lightroom. I had read the course descriptions and reviews of several well-known schools and they reminded me of much of my university days – a lot of hard work ending with only some letters behind my name. I needed and wanted something much more - to learn to think outside the rules, how to build a complete body of work and most importantly to understand why I photograph the way I do. I happened upon their website and their course descriptions were like a light going on. I signed up for term one of Photography - Outside The Rules and four subsequent courses and the results speak for themselves. The depth of Russ and Wendy's understanding and experience, their natural ability to teach along with a number of very talented course mates and their insights have made these courses by far the best learning experience of my life.

Bob Hansen 2014


To do abstract photography, you need to think abstract photography. So what does abstract actually mean and how can it be applied to photographic images? It’s definitely not an easy concept, however, Russ and Wendy Kwan’s fine art photography class – Thinking Abstract Photography not only guides you to a better understanding of the abstract art world but also inspires your own personal thought processes and ultimate applications.

Like a breath of fresh air, you’re taken beyond your everyday interaction with camera images and transported to a new exciting adventure, without limitations. You’ll question your knowledge, you’ll question your photographic style and you’ll stretch your own expectations into a world where abstract art is internationally acknowledged and accepted, but where abstract photography is still on the cutting edge of the art world.

Dale Waldorf 2014


Russ and Wendy are both buoyant and serious; their enthusiasm is infectious.  The MicroSchool is a streetwise, educated program of benefit to anyone who is serious about developing and refining his or her approach to photography into something deeply thoughtful and decidedly personal. 

For me, the result after a year of classes is not only new insight into my artistic process, but also a body of work and knowledge of how to produce and market that work.   The course was chock-full of highly practical and thought provoking hints, ideas, and concepts of which I will make use for many years to come.


Deb Reny 2013


I came to the Kwans through the recommendation (and a little arm twisting) of a good friend and fellow photographer who had signed up for term 1. Frankly, I had NO expectations about the course … just a way to spend some time hanging with a friend and fellow photographer. In the time span from starting term 1 to completing term 3, I have discovered more about myself as a photographer and the ART of photography than in the previous 50 years of photographing. From the critical and insightful examination of the historic (and current) greats of photography, the influences from other art-forms, sharing each others work, the free flowing discussions and exchange of ideas, challenging yourself and your assumptions about your photography, becoming clear about your own ART and esthetic … and much, much more … not the least of which is the warmth, hospitality, supportiveness, and genuine joy in sharing of Russ and Wendy. If your photographic soul hankers for something more than just creating another “pretty picture”, don’t walk, run to the Kwans. Resistance is futile … you will CHANGE and you will GROW … in ways you never imagined possible.

John Wilson 2013


Without a doubt, the "Outside the Rules" three-term experience with the Kwans has changed what I perceive, changed the way I look at things through my camera, and changed my photography outlook in general. With better understanding also comes acceptance of the work of others. Best of all that I have come away with, I am now confident in myself and my work and therefore free of restriction, able to go forward with my ideas and develop creatively. My classmates were a big part of the learning experience... seeing their work develop, hearing what they had to say, and watching their confidence improve and their work take different directions has been invaluable. I am so thankful I was able to participate in these classes. I am waiting in line for more from Russ and Wendy.

Bonnie Wing 2012


I wanted to thank both of you for sharing your time and talent with the Langley Camera Club over the last couple of years.

The sessions you put on with us were always well attended and well received. The two sessions on genre this year were particularly appreciated.

Keeping the club interesting with members engaged and moving forward without becoming stale is always a challenge and with your help we accomplished that.

Your knowledge, perspective and approachable style really help give our membership a valuable perspective on photography we would not otherwise get.

We, as a club very much value our association with you and look forward to future endeavours.

Thanks again,

Glen Mackenzie 2012
Vice President, Langley Camera Club


It strikes me that I have not yet written a testimonial for your course. To a certain extent, this is a testimony indeed to the changes that the two of you and my classmates have catalyzed in my photography and approaches to creativity. It is taking time for me to process and be able to articulate the seeds of change that your courses planted, sprouted and nourished. The tree is only bearing early fruit, but there is a sense of growth and direction that was not there before.

Oops. That looks very much like a testimonial.

To say "thank you" seems hopelessly inadequate in the face of the gift your courses have turned out to be ... nonetheless, thank you.

Grant Tomlinson 2012


The Crescent Beach Photo Club recently enjoyed a two part seminar with Russ and Wendy. We left it completely up to them to come up with the subject matter and were treated to an enjoyable, creative, thought-provoking couple of sessions in which we both learned more about photography from a historical and theoretical perspective, and spent time discussing and analyzing our own work. Our members have a wide range of photographic skills, and Russ and Wendy delivered a seminar that was interesting, informative, and useful to all of us. Russ and Wendy have an infectious enthusiasm and their knowledge and passion for their craft are inspiring; I hope they are able to come back soon!

Deb Reny 2012
Outings Co-Chair, Crescent Beach Photography Club


Having now completed the first two of Russ and Wendy's three courses, I can definitely say that I think about my photographic pursuits in new ways. Their patient encouragement and continuous infusion of new ideas has had a transformative impact. Each week we are treated to a short instructional session as well as an image review with our peers. All of this gently pushes us toward our individual goals. A key part of the learning experience is the development of a supportive group of peers and this was certainly my experience. The course is highly recommended if you are looking to better understand yourself as a photographer and to discover/strengthen your own voice.

Dennis Ducklow 2012


Simply put, Russel and Wendy Kwan have completely changed my photography. Throughout the Creative and Fine Art Photography program I was able to dramatically increase my knowledge in all areas of photography. I now have a clear vision of where to take my photography and how to go about getting it there. The Kwans’ passion for photography seems to have no bounds and their different teaching styles and approaches to photography compliment each other and make for a very well-rounded program. I highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to take their photography to the next level.

Marc Cadieux 2010



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Russel and Wendy were well prepared and brought an enthusiasm to the idea of Creating a Body of work. It was a topic I hadn’t previously thought of, but one which would certainly help me expand my many thematic interests. The classes and assignments have brought a renewed interest to my image making. As well, the class discussions with fellow photographers were invigorating and thought provoking.

Wayne Reeves 2014


I have had the pleasure of knowing Russ and Wendy Kwan for several years now and have also recently attended and participated in their lecture series.

Russ and Wendy continually and always inspire me; drive me on to become a better, more rounded and more professional photographer/artist. They manage to stay topical and fresh, they are cutting edge and did I say inspirational. If you are in a photographic slump, if you want to continue to grow, if you are new to the art world and want to surround yourself with knowledgeable, innovative and genuinely caring artists, then these are your go to gurus.

I cannot thank Wendy and Russ enough, for making me see my work more clearly and for giving me the confidence to experiment and open my eyes to new avenues.

Thank you both of you and may your success only grow and grow.

Lynne Kelman 2012


Russ and Wendy: I wanted to thank you again for such a thrilling photography course. I have never learned so much in such a short time! You both have given me lots to think about over the next while, and I feel that I will approach my personal photography in a new way with the ammunition you have provided me with. I enjoyed listening to your amazing knowledge of this wonderful art form. Your passion for this genre really came through! You both were so supportive of not only my, but all the group's assignments, and you provided excellent individualized feedback to help us all grow in our individual photographic journeys. When I left after our final session today, I felt an emptiness. This is definitely a reflection of the program, your sincerity, and your warmth as human beings. Thanks for everything! I will definitely be taking the next course on "A Body of Work".

Paul Langereis 2011


Establishing Your Point of View is an eight week exploration of different topics guaranteed to make you stop and think. As an experienced photographer, the topics under study were new to me, causing me to go deeper in my photography, extend my boundaries and really cause me to push against my self-imposed limits. This is what I signed up for, this is what I got. Russ and Wendy open their home in a most welcoming way and immediately facilitate the process of the group of eight students working together. The result is honest and supportive feedback on the weekly assignments. The pace seems a little quick, with new ideas coming each week, leaving me the task of reviewing the previous topics and working to integrate them so they are not lost. You will need to create time in your week to respond thoughtfully to the challenging assignments and to assimilate the learning in order to really make progress. Highly recommended!

Dennis Ducklow 2011


Your 2 part lecture and discussion class at the North Shore Photographic Society meetings brought a whole new dimension to how to think about our photography.

The exercises were fun and the thoughts of various people brought out many ideas to consider.

Both of you helped us think through our discussions and open new avenues to explore.

On behalf of the members of the North Shore Photographic Society, I would like to extend our thanks for all the fun, vibrancy, and learning you brought to our members.

Sheila Dallimore 2011
Program Director, North Shore Photographic Society


Involvement in Wendy and Russ’s Fine Art Photography Course provides an exhilarating, creative experience not to be missed. Our small group shares a discussion of weekly assignment results and becomes absorbed in a deeper awareness of various aspects of the photographic process when guided by two accomplished photographers eager to share and discuss their passion for photography.

Their open-ended, open-minded approach provides a refreshing opportunity, for novice and experienced photographers, to hone our process and find our own individual voice in photography. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Dale Waldorf 2010


I don't think I've ever been this inspired or stimulated. At the end of the first Term I am begging for more. If you are ready for changes, take this course. What Russ and Wendy teach really makes a difference!

Bonnie Wing 2011


I came away from my first meeting with Russ and Wendy on a real “high”.  They “saw” and understood my work, delighting in both subtle nuance and bold statement. There’s magic in that.  Wanting more, I registered in one of their 8-week courses.  Within the context of a very structured and demanding set of weekly assignments, they continued their wholehearted interest in each participant’s work, encouraging and validating creative expression and experimentation.   Their informed critiques were given with kindness, gently opening doors to self-analysis, improvement and new directions.

Joan Henderson 2010


As a past student of numerous photography classes and workshops (with some pretty big name photographers), I have to say, with unequivocal enthusiasm, that Russ and Wendy’s classes are the best!!!

Simply the best environment to explore photography through pure love of the medium.  Can’t say enough about the excellence and thoroughness of valuable information provided.

Janis van de Geer 2010


Russ and Wendy are a great team. They have clearly worked long and hard to figure out how to share their extensive knowledge of the historical, conceptual and technical aspects of photography. They have a wonderful generosity of spirit that helps all of us who wish to find a personal direction in this diverse medium.

Lawrence (Larry) Pinfield 2010


I have been an avid photographer for forty six years, exploring many different areas of the art. Over the last few years I have become increasingly dissatisfied with my work and only vaguely aware of the reason. The 'Establishing Your Point of View' section of your course not only clearly identified problem areas for me, but also presented me with the tools to overcome my difficulty. I look on the last class not as the end of that section, but the beginning of a period of exploration in which I can practise everything you have taught us. Your presentation stimulated my imagination and renewed my excitement and I look forward eagerly to beginning the next series of lessons.

What a great way to begin the Christmas season.

Anthony (Tony) Wood 2010


There is far more to taking pictures than getting the 'correct' exposure. Once you've mastered the basics of your camera, you'll want to learn how to reliability make good photographs. You'll want to learn to compose a photograph to achieve a desired response, to create sets of photographs that belong together as a body of work, and to take those bodies of work and show them to the world in a way that makes sense. This is what Russ and Wendy are all about. They are passionate photographers with years of experience teaching. Their three part course will greatly improve your ability to consistently take good photographs. It changed my view of photography and improved my approach to it enormously. I highly recommend it to anyone that takes photography seriously.

Clifford Hammerschmidt 2010


I have thoroughly enjoyed taking classes with Wendy and Russ. They are fantastic teachers and their lessons have helped advance my photography a great deal. Their classes on producing a body of work truly fill a niche that is lacking in the photographic education available in the area. I highly recommend them.

Dana Reed 2010


Russ and Wendy Kwan are caring, supportive teachers, knowledgeable in the art, the technique, and the business of photography. With a vast repertoire of photographic techniques, they have the technical know-how to enthusiastically support you in any crazy endeavour. They have a genuine interest in their students, and are passionate in helping them explore their art. Russ and Wendy are modern photographic Legends, and I am grateful to have studied under them.

Lia Laroye 2009


The day I saw Russ and Wendy's book 'Chasing Light Stranger', it gave me goose bumps all over my body; it shook my soul and I felt blissed to see their world. That was before I became their student.

Since then, I have learned everything from basic to detailed skills in the darkroom from Russ and he is still leading me to the higher ground of the silver gelatin world by sharing his knowledge, skills and still growing curiosity for adventurous experiments. From Wendy I have learned so much about the esthetics of the light showering us; she leads me to a different dimension of beauty in this world. Their balanced feedback has taught me a lot about how to make and see negatives and prints by offering not only technical instruction, but also artistic critique and support.

Yoshinori Tanaka 2009


Russ and Wendy were instrumental in improving my skills as a B&W photographer, and as a B&W printer in the darkroom. They are a very warm, open and honest couple who enjoy teaching what they know, and I am very grateful for the time that they spent with me!

Jason Kazuta 2009


Critical to the success of every photographer is artistic vision.  However, one’s vision may be unfocused, obscured, or otherwise hidden from practical usage.  Russ and Wendy Kwan, two photographers with crystal clear visions, have developed a program to assist virtually any photographer in uncovering and applying his or her own unique vision.  I recommend their program to any photographer, be they amateur or professional.

Alan Jacques 2009


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