John at dawn by MiltonJohn’s first camera was a Christmas present in 1959; he was 12 years old and was instantly in love with photography. For the previous two years, he had wanted a camera and a home darkroom and had drawn out plans for converting the family’s single bathroom into a wet darkroom. That idea— from Popular Science— did not get off the ground. Popular Science usually had a couple of articles about photography and he envisioned that one day he could take beautiful pictures of architecture, wide lush landscapes and stunning wildlife photos. His first serious camera came upon graduation from college: A Canon 35mm black F-1 with a standard 50mm lens and a 70-300mm lens. It was designated “semi-automatic” since an in-viewfinder light meter suggested shutter speeds or apertures for the photographer to set manually. When assigned to be advisor for the high school yearbook staff along with his English teaching duties, he took pictures on campus, at football and basketball games, and shot along side the professional photographers supplied by the senior portrait studio. At the time, yearbook pictures were shot with manual twin-lens reflex film cameras, so John learned to use his first larger format camera, manually setting both shutter speed and aperture and mentally counting off the distance to calculate the settings for the powerful Honeywell manual flash. Thousands of images later, he became one of his hometown’s two wedding photographers and added portraits, proms, and sports photography to his portfolio, but he still chased after the wilder, more natural side. After retirement from teaching, John fulfilled these wishes and began to take wildlife pictures, landscapes and cityscapes in earnest. John has taught basic and advanced photography and basic darkroom for the local community college, in addition to outfitting two darkrooms and two photography studios. He is a member of the Orlando Camera Club, and a past member of the National Scholastic Press Association and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. One of John’s favorite quotes is from famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams: “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

Call Digital Photo Academy at 1 877 372 2231. Lots of people seem to hang up if our welcome recording comes on instead of a live voice, but we promise to return your message within a day or two if you leave one with your name and number.  It would be even better if you included your e mail address as well as the date and city of the class you are considering.  If leaving a voice mail message is not your thing, please email us at or

[pix_slideshow data_slideshow=’john-cullum’]


  1. John Hall
    December 18, 2015

    Stunning photos!

  2. Adrian Thomas
    January 27, 2016

    “I had an opportunity to shoot with one of the instructors that is attached to Digital Photo Academy and this is the result. I struggled with composition and framing but after this class I feel more confident. I really enjoyed the evening shooting with John Cullum.”

    – Adrian Thomas

  3. Otto
    February 2, 2016

    “Hi John, Last night was very helpful ,hope see you again. Thank you.”


  4. Tim Brown
    July 1, 2016

    “Thanks, I really enjoyed it. It was nice having the one on one, and having the time to experiment with different settings. I’ll have to check out the recommendations. Had a great time today with my photo composition class. Had a one-on-one with the instructor, John Cullum, and he was quite impressed with my camera, (Nikon P900) and its zoom lens. Got some really cool photos, including a bunch of really neat osprey pics. ”


  5. Solomon Longsworth
    December 12, 2016

    “Hello Richard, Hello John,

    I had a great time! Such a great time that I bought another one of your packages for a friend of mine as a Christmas gift.

    Her name is Haley, and she recently got into landscape photography. John, if you remember, she is the one I purchased the Canon 50mm 1.8 Prime Lens for.

    I will let you guys know when she signs up for the class, in the mean time I placed some of the pictures I took that day with John.

    Thanks again John, it was a great time!”


  6. Paula Barnett
    October 5, 2017

    “Thank you for connecting me with just the right person, Richard! My class with John was all you led me to believe it would be. Plus more!!

    Looking forward to the next adventure with DPA.

    My best,”


  7. Robert Ballentine
    November 21, 2017

    “Hi John,

    I just wanted to say thank you for your time and sharing your wealth of knowledge today. With our new found passion, Barbie and I decided it’s time to buy new cameras (one each) so we can spend more time artistically investigating things we used to just look at.

    Thanks for inspiring us and for showing us how to look at the world in a different way.”


  8. Robert
    July 9, 2018

    “What an awesome experience! Had the camera, never knew how to use it. Our instructor, John, gave us an artistic viewpoint in composition which changed the way we look at the world. So inspired, we went out and bought new camera right after the class. Looking forward to capturing all of our new experiences with great focus. Thanks”


  9. Kennedy G
    June 28, 2019

    I had a great time at DPA workshop. Our instructor John was very informative and knowledgeable. I’ve been shooting for a couple years now so I’m not new to photography but I wanted tips on how to better my craft. John was able to provide instructions on how to take my photography to the next level. So if your new to photography or self taught I highly recommend DPA!

  10. Levis Irizarry
    July 21, 2019

    Yes very good class, Thank u!! 😁

  11. leonardocarrion
    July 21, 2019

    I had a blast yesterday working with everyone. I especially appreciated John’s insight related to camera gear and the way he composes his shots! Being out in the field shooting with like minded folks turned out to be a much more valuable exercise than I thought.

  12. Flavio Cruz
    July 23, 2019

    Thanks for the class! I had an amazing time with you guys!

  13. Juli Powers
    September 23, 2019

    Thank you ! Alex enjoyed both classes very much.

    Hope we can do it again sometime.

  14. Julie Tayes
    September 23, 2019

    I was in the composition class yesterday with John. I had a great time learning! John is very informative and helpful. It was all I expected it to be and worth the money.

    Thank you,


  15. Mike M
    December 18, 2019

    The instructors feedback was helpful and appreciated I had a good time at the event despite not having a huge group. I heard you never know, sometimes things in small packages do wonderful. Thank you for everything.

Leave A Reply