The Minnesota Zoo’s photography programs include sessions perfect for photography beginners, professional photographers, and everyone in between. Learn tips and tricks-of-the-trade from a photography expert, and take advantage of the chance to see and photograph the Zoo’s animals without the crowds. Every class will include time in one area of the Zoo when the Zoo is closed to the public. A Zoo naturalist will also be present at each program, to answer all of your animal questions and share fun facts and insider stories about the trail of the day!
Each session offers a new focus and the chance to visit a new area of the Zoo – bring your cameras and come back often!
Photography at the Zoo is a partnership with District 196 Community Education.
Your photography teachers:
Gil Dignen has over 30 years of photographic experience. He has worked as both a studio and commercial photographer, including 18 years as a travel photographer for Northwest Airlines. Gil has experience teaching photography classes at various colleges in the metro area and has a studio in Northeast Minneapolis where he does portraiture and commercial photography. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with others through Community Education and at the Minnesota Zoo.
Dr. Asha Lalla is a photography instructor with Minneapolis Community Ed and ISD 196, and enjoys sharing her passion for photography with other hobbyist photographers. Her love for animals brought her to the Minnesota zoo and its unique program. She enjoys seeing the personalities of the animals come out when they are being photographed, and learning more about their stories! She also enjoys travel and macro photography. Asha co-teaches many of our photography classes with Gil.
Ages: 16 and up
Time: 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Fee: $49/person for Zoo members; $55/person for non-members
Photography Problem-Solving on the Tropics Trail
Escape winter and head to the Tropics for an afternoon! The Minnesota Zoo’s long and verdant Tropics Trail is rich with a diversity of different types of plants and animals – but with shifting light, glass, fences, and more, photographing animals on this trail also provides a unique set of challenges. Learn how to shoot through glass, vanish fences, and properly light our subject. Lens and filters selection will be covered, along with the use of tripods and other camera accessories, as we practice with the birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish!
This class will combine classroom learning time, photography practice along the fully indoor trail, and, if time allows, the chance to receive feedback about your photos in class. With both a photography expert and Zoo naturalist by your side, you will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions, practice new skills, and learn about the animals you photograph.
Bring your camera along with any accessories you have (tripod, lenses, filters, flash); nothing but your camera is required, but you may find additional accessories useful. Items not brought on the trail can be locked in the classroom. The instructor(s) may also demonstrate additional equipment relevant to the class.
How to Register
Questions? Email or call 952.431.9390.