The Course

Three years ago I didn't own a professional camera. I had an old Nikon D70 with a 6 megapixel capacity which was perfect for my trips to the mountains of Peru or the deserts of India. I had a cheap 18-120mm Sigma lens and a National Geographic bag, which was more expensive than the camera. Armed with that, I practiced on those memorable trips and honed my skills as a photographer. I had no idea I was about to become one... I had been in the music industry for so long, that a career in anything else was just out of the question.

As fate goes, I had an opportunity to buy a full frame camera and without much deliberation I jumped at it. My first pro camera was a Canon 5D Mk II.
I studied photography in Peru in 2001, but those were the days of analog cameras and dark rooms. Within a couple of years everything changed and I had to adapt to the new way of photography. Digital was the way forward... it was now easy and affordable to learn photography.

In 2013, when I bought the 5D Mk II I had never done portraits, or fashion or even worked with a flash! I had to work out how the "great photographers" did it. There had to be a way to understand aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure, you name it... the lingo can get quite confiusing without proper guidance. Through trial and error and constant practice and learning, I managed to simplify it and make it "work" for me. This is what I'm going to teach you at the "See The Light: Go from Auto to Amazing" course.

I will de-mistify the jargon and make it practical and easy. I'm going to make you the master of your camera so that you never use "Auto" again. From today on, you're the creative genius behind your images.

Topics I cover:

  • Cameras: Nikon vs Canon
  • Lenses: what to buy, what each does and how to use them creatively
  • What is exposure? (the most important thing you can learn about photography)
  • Aperture, shutter speed and ISO and how this holy triangle work together
  • Composition: how to make beautiful images
  • How to be creative and lose your fear to shoot

We will spend some time at my studio learning the basics and practicing those basics before moving to the next topic. Then we will proceed to the Emmarentia Botanical gardens to work on portraits and landscapes.

The course is R800 per person and it runs from 9am to 1pm. Please be punctual so we can get acquainted and start on time. 

If you're interested, please drop me an email on or call me on 083 998 1312 or 011 058 1840. Look forward to working with you!



Xavier Saer provided me with the knowledge and understanding to be confident with my DSLR camera. The workshop, “See the Light”, is a fantastic way to learn the basics and understanding of digital photography. The class was kept small, which ensured for personal attention by Xavier. All the work was covered promptly, ensuring that no-one lost interest. The attendees, all had different “levels” of experience/inexperience, which made no difference, as everybody’s questions and limited knowledge was addressed. Xavier’s presentation was fun, and his passion for life, shines through in his own photography. After conclusion of the workshop, I left with a feeling of anticipation for the follow-up course. Whether you are looking to start a photographic career, or just want to take up a new hobby, Xavier’s photography workshops, in my opinion, and through my own personal experience, would have to be one of the best investments you could make. Thank you to Xavier Saer Photography for a great learning experience! - Elsa Burger

The course was great...Xavier will unpack it all expertly. He's a great teacher and the nicest person. Highly recommended! - Alexis Kriel

His workshop was one of the most amazing workshops that I ever attended.  Nothing was overlooked.  Xavier is so knowledgable about every aspect of photography, which fascinated me and the other students attending. The lesson was carefully planned, very comprehensive and most importantly hands on and interactive. I learned so much information that will be me to be a better at photography. Attending this workshop has also given me the enthusiasm to move forward with my photography…and pursue it with a passion…a passion for me…and the type of photos that I like to take. I definitely recommend this workshop for all aspiring photographers…These workshops are also a way to interact with other photographers…or like minded individuals… I really would like to THANK Xavier for having this workshop…and I most definitely am looking forward to other workshops in the future…probably on portraiture…fashion…lol even something on how to use speedlights - Praksha Maharaj

I very much found the course to be beneficial, I learnt a great deal about aperture, iso and shutter speed that I wasn't aware of before! I use the camera very basically, and feel like there's a lot more for me to do at events now that You've taught me some tricks. Xavier, your course was very impressive, and i throughly enjoyed meeting you as well as the other photographers who were a part of the course with me! Thank you very much for the opportunity! - Andreas Nichas

I found the practical component especially enjoyable. As an amateur photographer, I've never taken the trouble to investigate my camera’s settings and how to use them optimally for any specific type of shot. The course helped me transition from clueless clicking to confident control. I would strongly recommend it to anyone looking to learn the essentials - Hemali Khoosal

The course was awesome. I loved the content but more than that, I loved your lecturing. You clearly love what you do and your passion for photography comes across is your lecturing style - Hement Gopal

Participating in Xavier Saer's "See The Light" photography course was an enlightening and highly informative experience. Xavier has a unique teaching style and is largely hands-on in his approach, constantly allowing us, as students, the freedom to photograph at any given moment and awakening our inner creativity. An enthusiastic teacher and an enjoyable course filled with adventure, I would recommend this course to any individual wanting to learn more about the technicalities of photography and wanting to leave auto behind - Sasha Leigh Goncalves

Xavier Saer's day photography class was definitely time well spent. His charisma and passion for photography shines through in his teaching. He focuses on teaching YOU the best techniques, tips, tricks etc. for YOU. I highly recommend that you bring a camera you are at least familiar with using or that you are going to invest in using (in terms of brand). Photographs capture moments that tell a story and those stories truly can be worth a thousand words, and I don't mean the selfie-stick over filtered instagram sort of crap. Best wishes to the future photog in you - Tasneem Ballim

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