The Best Course Review Ever. And the Worst.

Last night, I received one of the best reviews of any of my online courses. It was left on my Photography Masterclass course. I launched this course in February 2015 to huge success. It has by far been the class with the most enrollments with 9,342 to date. It’s also the most active class with students posting photos from our exercises to the course dashboard so others can comment and share.

photography masterclass adThe Photography Masterclass was also the biggest endeavor of a course that I’ve done. My good friend Sam Shimizu-Jones and I co-taught the course, shot over a few weekends in January. We travelled around the San Francisco area to get creative backgrounds and settings for the lessons. I had put a strict February deadline for launching, so I worked many nights to edit all the lessons and get it up and running.

All of that being said, we launched and it was great. We got mostly positive reviews with a few terrible ones stating that we don’t know what we’re talking about or that the person thought I looked like a duck (read the full review below – the worst one). And even though I knew we couldn’t make everyone happy, the bad reviews always broke my heart. We truly tried and continue to try to make this course the best photography course out there. We truly think it will take a complete beginner through all of the basics to advanced techniques to make them a great photographer. So when people gave us 1 out of 5 stars, it hurt. But as always, I tried to move on and improve.

On the flip side, some amazing reviews have come up. With over 100 reviews, the course averages around 4.5 stars out of 5. They talk about how they’ve dramatically improved and how they’d wished they’d taken this course before. Those reviews warm my heart. One that I received last night was so kind that I had to share.

Read the best review below:

One of the best and most useful classes I have ever taken.

Good Udemy Review

I started this course with a DSLR camera I knew nothing about. Our old camera died and I asked my wife to pick up a new camera. I figured something about 300 dollars. She came back with a Canon EOS DSLR with a couple extra lenses. I spent the first two years just using auto mode, cuz it was all alien to me. I understand it perfectly now, and it has sparked a joy of photography in me. This class was wonderful. Covered everything I could ask for. How the DSLR works, manual mode, tone, exposure, depth of field, editing. You name it. It’s very comprehensive. The instructors do a really great job. My only regret is that I didn’t take it earlier. Thanks again, and see you around!

Julie and juliaThat is a stellar review. Jonathan is the exact student that we want to teach. And we delivered. My wife and I were watching the movie Julie & Julia the other night about a lady who tries to make all of Julia Child’s recipes in one year. At one point, Julie who has been blogging about this experience gets inspired by a positive comment she received on her blog. Her husband notes that there are probably hundreds more people having positive experiences with her blog that don’t ever leave a comment.

My wife said the same thing to me last night. She said that there are probably hundreds of students who think the same thing about my class as Jonathan but don’t leave a review. That is really wonderful, and I hope true.

First, thank you Jonathan for the amazing review.

Second, thank you to everyone who’s left me a review, good or bad. I take them seriously and thrive on the positive ones.

Lastly, it’s funny to read the bad comments months or years later. Sometimes they still hurt. But mostly, they just make me chuckle. Ultimately, they help me grow as an online instructor, so I appreciate them just as much as the good ones.

So I’ll leave you with the absolute worst review that I’ve received to date… on the same Photography Masterclass course by Mr. Daniel.


Leaves a tremendous amount to be desired…

Bad Udemy Review

I tried really, really hard to find something redeeming about this course. Obviously, the two gentlemen worked hard. Unfortunately, they accomplished little. First and foremost, this course should NOT be titled “Master”. It is far, far, far from teaching “mastering” of anything. No where near enough time spent on relevant subject matters. But then there’s 2! lessons on removing Cindy’s beauty mark. Speaking of image manipulation…lots of material on a subject that does NOT make a person a better photographer. And even then, no mention of Canon DPP or Nikon’s equivalent that are fairly powerful…and free. Then there’s the wedding section debacle. Thank goodness it was included for free. Even Ebiner claims it is “crappy”. I agree. Last but not least, that insipid musical ending and logo presentation after every lesson is incredibly irritating. To end this, had I paid $199.00 for this course I would have been running screaming to the refund line. This course might be worth it to someone that has never held a camera but is almost worthless for anyone with any knowledge. How it got the high rating it has is truly beyond me. In fact, I’m thinking of removing my Udemy account if all paid courses are like this one. Speaking of knowledge, 1 of your test questions “answers” incorrectly and another doesn’t have the correct term listed. I’ll leave you to figure it out. I’m sorry guys but you asked for this. Have Ebiner throw that stupid Berkley hat away (I kept thinking he looks like a duck) and put some real content in this course.

  • Tintasmen

    Awesome article Phil, on last review, hurts you, but hurts me too! That´s a very bad person…

  • There are many ways to say the same thing; if a person don’t like something either ask for a refund – in this case -, or at least leave a comment without being so judgmental the way a person writes.

    Well… thrive to improve yourself, even better and look at the comment as it is, a comment.

    Cheers and keep your good work m8.

  • Thanks for sharing this, Finally I found a school that suits to my wants and needs. Keep in touch for info!