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Online Course for Au Pairs

Photography Basics: Using Your Smartphone Like a Pro

Course Code: AU0111WA21

Young woman taking photo of a skyscraper on her smartphone

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Date & Time

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This class consists of four online meetings. The meeting schedule is below.

Meeting #1: March 18, 2021, 7:00pm - 9:00pm EDT
Meeting #2: Office hour session, date and time TBD
Meeting #3:
Office hour session, date and time TBD
Meeting #4:
April 1, 2021, 7:00pm - 9:00pm EDT


Whether you are branding yourself on social media, launching an online business, or just sharing pictures with your friends, you can achieve professional quality pictures on your smart phone without hiring an expensive photographer.

Designed for those just starting out and/or amateur photographers looking to improve their skills and knowledge, this online course will dive into the world of digital photography. We will be using a smartphone for instructional purposes, but the techniques can be applied to digital cameras as well. Learn how to adjust camera settings for best results in a variety of conditions.

Topics include:

  • Proper exposure
  • Composition (framing)
  • Shutter speed / Aperture / ISO
  • When to use a flash
  • Taking great portraits
  • Creating custom filters
  • Camera accessories
  • Mobile photography apps
  • Shooting RAW Images

In addition to learning how to take great photos, you will study basic editing and retouching of your images. In fact, you will leave class with your own custom preset (filter).

Through a combination of live online meetings and pre-recorded lessons and assignments, this online program will give attendees three of the six educational credits required under the J-1 visa. Au pairs (commonly misspelled as au pere or au pear) are required to earn educational credits under the J-1 visa. Click here to learn more.

In today's digital world, photos are more important than ever. Learn how to make the most out of your smart phone of camera, register today!

Meet Your Instructor

Jeff Heckman, Photography Basics Course InstructorJeff Heckman

Jeff Heckman is a freelance video producer and multimedia specialist. He has an extensive working background as a field producer, cinematographer, and editor in the areas of positive youth development, nutrition, agriculture, and public health. Born and raised in New Jersey, his projects and assignments have taken him throughout the Northeastern US, working with award-winning businesses, rising entrepreneurs, and prominent public officials. He has done work for Condé Nast, Meridian Health, Cox Automotive, Rutgers University, and NJEA among others. He currently holds a staff position as a Senior Video Producer and Photographer with Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.

Registration Fee TBD Includes all course materials, certificate of completion, and other J-1 required documentation.
Cancellation Fee TBD  

This online course for au pairs provides three (3) of the six educational credits required under the J-1 visa program. Click here to learn more.


No meals will be provided.

Accessing this Online Course

This online course will be delivered via Rutgers Canvas learning management system. Registrants will receive an email with a link to access the course and a document with tips on how to use Canvas on March 17, 2021.

Equipment you will need to access this training:

  • A computer or tablet
  • Microphones and webcams are required as this is a very interactive course


  • If this is your first time registering with us, please provide your own unique email address when registering; do not provide an email address that you share with anyone else.

  • If you have previously taken classes with us and have used a shared email address, you must update your account with a unique email address. Click the Register Online button below and sign into your account. On the left side toolbar, click My Account. On the drop-down menu, click Edit Profile/Password. Scroll down to the Email Address field (not the secondary email address field!) and enter your own, individual (not shared!) email address here. Click the Submit button at the bottom to save. If you need assistance updating your account, please email or call (848-932-9271, option 2) our Registration Department.

Note: Pre-registration is required.


Sorry, registration is not currently available for this course.

Would you like to be notified when the next offering is scheduled?
Here are 3 convenient ways to be added to our mailing list:
1. Click here to join our email list (please choose "Au Pair Classes" as your Area of Interest) 
2. Call us at 848-932-9271, select option 3
3. E-mail us at ocpe@njaes.rutgers.edu

Program Questions? Contact Us!

Program Coordinator: Suzanne Hills, 848-932-7234
Administrative Assistant: Sarah McCarthy, 848-932-7703