Giving Value to Beginners’ Photography Courses

Julia Mastrogiannaki's feet, dancing tango at Tango Al Fresco, July 2013. A clue to the next workshops I'll be holding

Julia Mastrogiannaki’s feet at Tango Al Fresco, July 2013

I love teaching photography to beginners and improvers. I love it when, during the course, I get a glimpse of their potential before they do. I love setting them up with strong foundations from which they can develop their photography themselves. Today was a case in point; two of the people who come to the City Academy Foundation Course haven’t yet realised just how much they’ve learned.

Of course there’s a risk in setting such thorough foundations in the way I believe works best. It’s partly the risk we take on whenever we push people into doing new things outside their comfort zones. It’s also the risk that they’d have preferred an easier approach, one that lets them go home with a set of nice that they’ve produced by wrote rather than the struggle of finding out what happens and why. My method means that any good images they produce during the course are hard won indeed.

Of course there’s a place for helping people produce beautiful images, but not before a student has learned the basics of how the camera works. These two workshops are for learning, they’re not studio sessions or photo walks. They’re to lay good foundations. As such exploration of how to use the camera, the struggle to get a good and if the students haven’t. They’re here to learn, to understand how to use the basics to explore the art of photography and through this their own potential and, through their mistakes to be helped to think things out for themselves.