As everyone works on their own project in this class you'll be working from a photo reference that you bring yourself, so it's a good idea to start planning this early so that you pick something you really like. And also I have a few tips for making things easier.
Don't pick something too challenging especially if you are just beginning. Portraits can be challenging so a safer bet for the beginner is to pick a landscape or still life. That being said, if a portrait or figure is what you really want to paint, I have seen some great results from even beginners before, so don't let me put you off.
If you are printing out your photo try use a good quality photo paper rather than regular office paper, as you'll get richer and more realistic colours and tones.
If you are not that confident with your drawing, try using The Grid Method to help.
Consider using your Ipad or tablet if you have one. The advantage of this is that you don't have to go to the bother of printing anything off and it's fairly easy to download an App like "Copy It", which will make the process of using The Grid Method a lot easier. Of course the danger is that you risk getting paint on your shiny new tablet, so be careful.
Work from a descent sized reference. In the case of a photo, something printed at 6x8, 8x8, 8x10, 8x11 or 8x12 inches would be a fine. (See the link in Tip 3 to match these to your canvas ratio). Or if working digitally, please work from a tablet rather than a phone, which is too small.
Try ensure that the image you are working from has enough detail to work from. This can be a particular issue that arises when you find a image you like on the internet that looks great on a phone, but then when you zoom in, view it on your tablet, or go to print it out you discover it lacks detail appearing pixelated or blocky.