Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

— Benjamin Franklin

About Project 52 Pros

Learn what Project 52 is about.

How It Works

The Workshop mechanics.

P52 FAQ’s

Helpful info about the class.


Have a question?

Project 52 grew from a desire to fill an area of growth that is missing for so many photographers.

The original path: Working as a photographer’s assistant has always been the best way to learn all the little, inside tips and tricks that are not taught in the art and photography schools. The kind of stuff that is learned on the job is invaluable for all photographers.

Those opportunities are lost for many photographers in smaller markets, or currently working jobs that would not make assisting full time impossible.

Project 52 endeavors to fill that void for photographers the world over.

Our “REAL WORLD” approach to assignments means that the photographer gets a comprehensive look into how assignment photography works, and how to bid, produce and bill for them.

A few assignments from the year include:

  • Shooting to a layout. Furnished PSD files allow the images to be inserted into the layout to judge the shoot’s effectiveness.
  • Shooting food, and learning how different food genres work
  • Shooting architecture and interior design
  • Environmental portraiture, with an emphasis on editorial and advertising portraiture
  • Catalog work: Shooting products to show them off… and fitting them to layouts
  • Bidding a small, local job for a small company
  • Bidding a large assignment for a national agency
  • How to find work in your area (yes, there is a real method. Not a secret, but a solid work plan)
  • Shooting a magazine cover (both furnished layout and creative)
  • Conceptual imagery (how to find ideas)

We have a shooting assignment each week, with a two week time frame to produce it. There is an educational component on every assignment, and we bring a total 365 degree approach to the work of assignment photography. From bidding and getting the job to the nuts and bolts of producing it, each assignment is a rich learning experience with honest, LIVE feedback.


About Project 52 Pros | How It Works | P52 FAQ’s | Registration Information | Contact


“I experience each week’s assignment as a new mountain to climb, which was they followed by the next assignment ‘mountain’.  I look forward for these relationships and learnings to continue and to grow.  Now off to the climb the next mountain and the ones after that…..”

Thank you Don, and Project 52!


Jay Chatzkel



“Project 52 Pros offered me an opportunity to learn about ‘real world’ commercial photography from a remote location where that opportunity just doesn’t exist. Don’s extensive industry knowledge and resources provided me the tools to create portfolio worthy images every week. Working with a weekly deadline creates accountability, which, followed up by real time, honest critiques makes this program priceless. My photography and confidence has improved exponentially over the last year. Don, can’t thank you enough!”


Mel Arnott




For Registration Information, see this page.


“Last August I signed up for Donald Giannatti ‘s *Project 52 Pros* course. His weekly assignments and critiques have completely changed my approach to photography and how I think about myself as a photographer.

I can’t say enough about this year-long study except, sign up today!
Don is offering another 52 week course in commercial photography. If you are wanting to learn commercial photography, then this is the course for you.”

Darla Hueske


“P52 has been the single ongoing project that has shaped our business.

The group provides endless inspiration and motivation that ensures you work at your best – what ever level that is.  If your already a professional then this group will push you further, and provide a safe environment to push yourself with the critiques and provides business marketing guidance.  If your a beginner and wish to join the ranks of pro you will see your work rapidly become professional level with 52 real world assignments given. Those 52 images that will give you a very solid foundation to spring board your portfolio from.  You will also receive individual help from Dons one on one skype chats, to keep you on whatever path you choose.

Whatever your level you are most welcome here.  No judgments – just cheering.”

Filipe and Anna /


Felipe and Anna (McGunn Media)


From Food Photographer, Kathy Jan

“I wanted to let you know how very much your friendship and mentorship has meant to me over the last few years. I think that if I had not found your Learn to Light workshop and subsequent Project 52… well I would not be where I am today. And for that I send you a very heartfelt thank you. Not to mention the one on one workshop we did :). Words do not describe my gratitude for your generosity and openess to share your experience.

I am sure that there are many others who don’t tell you, but have benefitted so much from your time and teaching – they need to tell you 🙂

So I want to let you know the difference you have made in my life.. as a teacher, mentor, and friend….

Today and yesterday I spent photographing for a start up fresh meal delivery service. When they first contacted me, I wrote up a bid based on my work with Selina. But that was more than they could afford right now.  When I got their response that I was too expensive for them,  I heard your voice telling us newbies to “just get the gig”. And so that is what I did. I went back to them and proposed a very reduced price compared to my original estimate (but a bid that would make it worth my while). and they accepted!

And they are such a joy to work with. I feel like I am creating something bigger than me. That their food is just so delicious – that the images we are making now will grow their business. And the icing is this I am making new contacts. We photographed at a local farm where they source their produce. The best 2 hours I’ve spent in a very long time! And then at the docks of a fisherman where they buy fresh fish – these contacts alone are worth gold 🙂 And I am having so much fun! For the first time in a long time, I am fully engaged in my work and 6 hours felt like I had just started the day! And honestly, the confidence I have now is because of the work we did in P52 and in our 1-1 workshop. Yes, I have done a lot of practice, but your critiques and admonishments to stretch beyond my comfort zone have propelled me to a place I never imagined in such a short time. You’re the best!

Thank You.”

Kathy Jan /

From Julie Clegg: Photographer

“I was always intrigued by Commercial Photography but was never sure how to get into the field. I spent many years as a consumer photographer and I wanted to do something more and different. When I came across Project 52 Pro and saw the description, I immediately signed up. It was exactly what I was looking for. Over the course of a year I was continuously challenged by the variety of assignments. I experimented more than I ever imagined and was put out of my comfort zone more times than I care to admit. I make photographs of things now I never even considered as something I saw myself shooting.

I learned so much about lighting, business, marketing and vision just to name a few. I also made a bunch of great new friends who have become an amazing network to me as I get further into commercial work. I was so thrilled with my growth and the knowledge I gained in just one year…I signed up for second year! I will always be incredibly thankful for Don’s patience, continued help, and straight forward sharing of information. It is by far, the best education I have received and I could not be more thrilled with what is to come!

Julie Clegg /


FREE DOWNLOAD. Each year we create an annual book for those who were involved. It is also made available at Blurb if you wish to have a hard copy coffee table book.

2013 Class Book PDF Download

2014 (Summer) Class Book PDF Download


I have been a photographer and an art director for more than 40 years. That makes me an old guy, yep. But it also means I know a hell of a lot about this crazy business and I want to share it all with you. Meet me here.


The About Page will answer most of the questions you have, and there are links to other pages with more info on them as well. If you are interested in being in our next class, see this page and use the form there.

For any additional questions you may have: Contact Page



Assignment Forty Two: A Pour Shot

You can use beer, or wine, or lemonade, or root beer, or ginger ale… Whatever you want to pour. The brief: A close up of a pour shot… it can be from oblique to the camera to straight over top. It must show an interesting ‘splash’ or something interesting in the glass...

Assignment Forty: Spoons

March is small table top month. Due to a lingering winter for many of our attendees, we are going to concentrate on stuff you can do inside. We will be focusing on table top images with scrim and softbox lighting. Let’s put natural light away for a while and pretend...