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HomeTech Tips: iPhone Photography Cafes

iPhone photography, café style!

by Maryl Gearhart, Ashby Village technology volunteer

If you’re passionate about making and sharing photographs on the iPhone, what do you do?

You offer a workshop to encourage others!


That’s exactly what two Ashby Village volunteers did in October. Bill Graham and Celie Placzek designed and facilitated two workshops with support from a team of Ashby Village volunteers.

Their sessions were part of the technology workshop series co-hosted by Ashby Village and the University of California Berkeley Retirement Center.

Workshop design

Bill and Celie designed the workshop to cover three topics: the iPhone’s native camera app, organizing photos in the iPhone’s Photos app, and sharing iPhone photos.

Celie explained, “While it's exciting to use the iPhone camera in creative and imaginative ways, we wanted to share our passion with people of all levels of competency, so we needed a workshop focused on the basics. Demystifying the iPhone camera app and Photos app became the goal.”

Bill and Celie chose a new “café” workshop model: In this model, each volunteer works with a small group at a separate table to provide individualized assistance. Bill commented, “We created a structured step-by-step script that allowed each facilitator to employ individual approaches to support.” Celie and Bill trained their team of facilitators using role play techniques.

The response to the workshops was very positive. In the evaluations, people reported they learned “a lot!” – how to take many kinds of photos, how to create photo albums, and how to email or text a photo.


The participants were equally enthusiastic about the café style workshop. They commented that “it was ideal for hands-on learning,” and “the small group format ensured individual attention.” The success of the café model was heartening. Pat Hom, one of the organizers of the workshop series, originally suggested the café approach, and she was delighted that “Celie and Bill refined the model and made it a success.”

What’s next for iPhone photography?

Many attendees expressed interest in a more advanced workshop or an interest group. Stay tuned for future opportunities to learn more about iPhone photography!


Ask the experts

If you have questions about iPhone photography, email Celie Placzek or Bill Graham at


Let us assist you

Ashby Village volunteers are available to help you with your technology challenges. Contact the office at or (510) 204-9200.