PhotoTraces Academy

Lifetime Photography Education

Viktor Elizarov
Photographer behind the Academy

Changing the Way We Learn Photography

The concept behind the PhotoTraces Academy was born from my dissatisfaction with how I learned photography. I found it to be non-systemic and fractured without accountability or feedback. 

I often felt like I was blindfolded trying to navigate an elaborate maze while random people gave me confusing commands - go left, go right, turn around. This felt like I was moving in circles without making any advancements. 

I also realized that the traditional way of learning photography brings unnecessary complexity and confusion when combining the technical and artistic aspects of photography.

I built the PhotoTraces Academy to address those shortcomings.

The PhotoTraces Academy is a new approach to learning photography. It gives each student a clear direction, proper structure, motivation, accountability and feedback. ”

Since learning photography is not a sprint but a lifetime marathon, the Academy is designed to be continuous and ongoing.

By joining the Academy you'll get the following:

Continues Guided Learning

Get lifetime access to the Academy platform with the guidance of professional photographer and community support.

All the Tools You Need

Every Academy member has access to all my tools and products. For example, all my Lightroom Preset Collections are available to Academy members. 

Lifetime Membership

Enroll once and you have access to all my current and future products and tutorials without monthly payments or recurring fees. 

The Concepts of "Small Wins" and
"Weekly Challenges" as the Driving Force Behind Academy Membership

My teaching system is based on the concept of “small wins.” The method is a cornerstone for creating new habits.

The key to success when learning something as complex as photography is to reward yourself with little prizes every single day that will help you stay motivated. Instead of spending days or even weeks before you see the results of your hard work, you accomplish a “small win” each day.

The compound effect of “small wins” in the long term is enormous.

Every Weekly Challenge is designed to be a “small win” for you in the process of learning photography—something you can complete in a short period, learn something valuable, get feedback, stay motivated and be ready for the next challenge.

Can you imagine how much you can learn if you take 52 challenges over the span of one year?

Here are the Main Ingredients of the Academy:



01. Enhanced Tutorials

Each course or tutorial comes with demo images in RAW format. When you import them into Lightroom, you can access all the editing steps I used in the tutorial. You can click through each of the steps to see how the effects were achieved. 

You can reverse engineer every step to see which editing sliders and tools were used at each point in the process.


02. Access to All the Tools

Every Academy member has access to all my tools and products. For example, all my Lightroom Preset Collections are available to Academy members.

I currently have over 14 Lightroom Preset Collections with over 500 individual presets.

  • Lightroom Rapid Editing for Landscapes
  • Lightroom Rapid Editing for Cityscapes
  • Lightroom Rapid Editing for People
  • Lightroom Rapid Editing for HDR
  • Fall Colors Preset Collection
  • Winter Colors Preset Collection
  • Spring Colors Preset Collection
  • Summer Colors Preset Collection
  • Lightroom Export Presets

The total cost is over $200 if purchased individually. You get it at no cost as the part of Academy membership.


03. Weekly Learning Challenges

Each week, Academy members are challenged to master one specific technique or topic, something that can be easily completed over a weekend.

The plan is simple:

Step one, download the demo image and go through the recorded editing steps.

Step two, apply the techniques you learned in the previous step to your photo(s).

Finally, share your results with other Academy students.

The idea is to complete 52 challenges in one year.

Challenge 01: Simple Landscape

Challenge 14: Focus Stacking

Challenge 22: HDR in Lightroom

Challenge 28: Shooting & Editing Panoramas


04. Feedback & Accountability

And finally, we will have a Private Facebook Group where you can get motivated and stay inspired by sharing your photography and the results of your weekly photography challenge!


05. Lifetime Membership

To ensure Academy students have access to continuous photo education, I introduced the Lifetime Membership. Enroll once and you have access to all my products and tutorials without monthly payments or recurring fees.

You never have to pay for another tutorial, course, or Lightroom preset. You will not only have access to all my current products and tutorials, you will also have access to future products and tutorials as well.

What You'll Get...

All the tutorials, products, weekly learning challenges, plus guidance and feedback under the umbrella of the Academy membership.


The biggest advantage of the Academy is Lifetime Membership where there are NO recurring fees. That’s right. Once you enroll, you have lifetime access to everything.


At this time, enrollment to the
PhotoTraces Academy is closed.

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when new membership spots are available.