digital photography tips with Digital Photo Mentor Darlene Hildebrandt

Get Inspired · Find Creativity · Seek Adventure

About Darlene and Digital Photo Mentor


Wanna know if you're in the right place?

If you can relate to any of these things you just might be, so stick around!

  • Do you take pictures?
  • But wish you could learn to take better pictures?

Maybe you've tried to become a better photographer, but . . .

  • You're frustrated that your photos don't turn out the way you want and you can't figure out why.
  • You don't have time for a traditional class between your crazy work hours, time with family, and life in general.
  • You've seen ads for classes that sound interesting but they're all too far away.
  • Some of your past photography instructors have moved too fast, leaving you to sit and suffer silently and learn nothing in class.
  • You feel you are too “mature” to learn something new or don't want to look foolish.
  • You've spent a lot of money on a good camera, but digital photography is just too confusing, and you're afraid you made the wrong choice.
  • You've tried some classes but feel like they never cover exactly what you're missing, or answer that specific question you have that no one ever seems to ask.

If you can relate, this site is for you!

Hi, my name is Darlene Hildebrandt

Through my experience working with people just like you, I've come to understand that many aspiring photographers have a lot of the same questions, issues, and even fears.

I help people learn how to use their cameras, troubleshoot and solve their problems, and get past their fears by going out with them on workshops and photography tours, as well as in articles here on the site and my online classes.

I am a beginner to photography, and the challenges are very helpful

I was thrilled to download your e-book and to be so encouraged with the challenges you put before us in the book. I am impressed with how much information you give away and inspired by that.

I am a beginner to photography, and the challenges are very helpful. I am not naturally creative in this area and so your info has been helping me “look and see”.


Your writing style is like comfort food;

Last night while researching God knows what on the internet (most likely something off-camera-flash related) I stumbled upon your website and fell in love.

I enjoyed reading several of your tips and in general perusing the site. Your writing style is like comfort food; easy to ingest and digest and great fodder for someone like me who has an almost obsessive and insatiable appetite to learn and grow my photography business.

Suzanna M.

I feel your pain, and I'm here to help!

Through regular articles written by me, and selectively chosen guest authors, you'll get step by step information on the challenges you're most interested in overcoming.

Topics including the ones below, are just some of the things you can read about here. The list is constantly expanding as a new article is added weekly.

Join the discussion

These seem to be the most popular articles at the moment. Have a look through them and then join the discussion using the Disqus interface below each of the articles. You can register and login with facebook, google or twitter if you like, so it's really easy to participate.

How is this site different from others like it?

clear-subject-composition-2.jpgThere are probably hundreds of sites about learning photography. This site is different because of . . . well, frankly—me! My aim with this site is to be approachable and responsive to your needs. Tell me what you want to know, and if I don't know the answer, I'll do my best to find a guest writer that does. Post a comment on an article, or ask a question and I will answer it. Send me a message on Instagram, Facebook, or Contact me here on the site, and I will get back to you.

I am a real person and a real photographer with over 29 years of experience as a professional. I can help! Please participate in discussions and comments on the articles, I'd love for you to join in with us.

Photography is magic to me, it always has been. I love sharing it and seeing others like you feel the magic too! – Darlene

But first and foremost I LOVE seeing the light bulbs go off, and I live vicariously through your eyes as you achieve your photography goals. I love the win/win it creates as you get to express the creativity that perhaps you didn't even know you had—and I get to experience photography anew, through the passion and wide-eyed wonder of someone new to the art.

Just writing this makes me all giddy inside!

Who am I?


And where do I get off telling you how to take better photos?

I am the face behind Digital Photo Mentor. I have been a professional photographer for over 29 years, and as such have photographed everything from soup to hay—literally—including doing food photography; weddings; family portraits; corporate events and products.

After a forced change of direction (a.k.a. divorce), I left my photography studio behind and moved on to other aspects of photography—including sales, fine art, and travel. I've finally landed on teaching and I couldn't be happier. I've written for and have been published on websites and in newspapers around the world, and was also the Managing Editor of Digital Photography School for 5 years, one of the most popular photography sites on the internet.


I taught several workshop-style classes in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada including:

  • Travel Photography – how to get better photos on your next trip
  • Night Photography – a very popular class that often includes a field trip
  • Available Light Photography – learn about using natural light for better people photos
  • Street Photography – how to photograph on the street, including strangers, safely and have more confidence

Photo tour leader:

I currently lead photo tours to Morocco, India, Vietnam, Scotland, and I am in the process of planning some new destinations including Peru and Thailand. They will be added to our tour section in when more information becomes available.


I also do workshops for photographers of all skill levels in Alberta and British Columbia Canada, and may add Mexico, Barbados, Havana Cuba, and am developing an Eastern Canadian workshop that would be situated to suit Canadian and North Eastern US students.

I expected a beautiful India, but realized that the people impressed me most by the kindness, happyness and willingness to interact. And because my shyness of asking permission to click was gone.

What touched me most was the people, the colors, the smiles. I felt very at ease and safe.

I enjoyed very very much the photo shoot in the marigold fields. Learning new techniques was valuable.

... and I cried the day I left.

Lucia Strougo ... India Photo Tour

dps-logo-1000Managing Editor of Digital Photography School:

After writing for Digital Photography School for nearly 2 years, I was the Managing Editor of that site from November 2013 until September 2018.

I have been featured on these sites or businesses

twip_logo_2014_400I am a regular co-host on the TWiP (This Week in Photo) podcast. Episode I have participated in include #298, #300, #302,  #338, #346, #378, #382, and #391

Other sites I've been featured on:

I am so thankful for your blog!

I just started dabbling with photography and your website has been the most helpful in communicating the techniques AND showing them also.

It brings the theoretical into reality so it helps me learn better!

Thank you!


My personal vision

My vision is to help you be a little more creative, expand your horizons, and maybe even push your boundaries a little. I strive to provide a safe place to learn about photography and yourself as well as a chance to try new things and meet new people along the way.