Over the last two weeks, I revealed what I believe are the three main challenges facing photographers today.  Namely…

  1. Inspiration & Motivation
  2. Technical Know-How
  3. Marketing

Last week we looked at “Technical Know-How and the week before that we considered the question of “Inspiration & Motivation.”  If you haven’t read those blogs please click the links above and take a look at them.  It will put what I am going to announce today into the right context.

I am skipping over the question of Marketing at the moment – not because I don’t want to tackle it but because it is so important that I need more than a single blog post to deal with it.

Today, I want to tell you what the big change is that I have been hinting at, and explain how Ian’s Studio can help you overcome the first two challenges of “Inspiration & Motivation” and “Technical Know-How”

So, big drum roll please, because today I am officially announcing…

Ian’s Studio Photo Academy

The Academy will be a paid membership site.  The primary purpose of The Academy will be to provide its members with regular inspiration & motivation, backed up with the necessary technical know-how to help you create the images you want to create.

What will The Academy provide?

  • Weekly “Inspiration Sheets”
  • Discounts and priority booking for two “Academy Events” at the studio each month
  • Feedback and Critiquing session both at the Studio and on-line

What are the Weekly “Inspiration Sheets”

Every Monday Academy members will receive a two or three page “Inspiration sheet”.  This sheet will be in PDF document that, each week, will give you a different subject or theme to shoot.  There will be example images to inspire you and practical advice on how to go about making an image on that theme.  We will cover the techniques at different levels.  The Inspiration Sheets will explain how to shoot the subject with “point-and-shoot” cameras and also how you might tackle the subject using a more advanced camera such as a DSLR.  Where appropriate we will also explain any relevant post-production techniques.

What are the “Academy Events”?

There will be two types of Academy Events.

  • Classroom Based
  • Workshop Based

In the Classroom Based sessions, we look at photographic theory (eg understanding composition) or techniques that can’t be taught in a practical environment (eg Theatre Photography).  These sessions will replace my previous classroom based courses such as the “Intermediate Photography Course” and the “Introduction to DSLR Photography” course.

The Workshop Based sessions will be a cross between my more formal Friday Night at the Studio sessions and the practical workshops that I have run.  These sessions will provide practical training and printed notes.

Feedback and Critiquing Sessions

Some of the classroom based Academy events will have critiquing and feedback built into them.  In addition to this there will be critique nights at the studio, and for those who cannot come to a face-to-face session, I am planning to run webinar based critique session.

When will all this start

The plan is that the new “Academy Events” will start towards the end of October.  To create space for these events I will be reducing the number of regular (non-academy) Friday Night events.

The actual membership site I hope to have up and running in the next couple of weeks.  This will be very much a ‘beta’ version of the site and thus I won’t be starting to charge for membership until January.

What will it cost?
Basic membership will be just £6 per month or £60 if you pay annually.

But what if I don’t live near Stockport?

One of the main reasons for setting up the academy is to be able to better support those photographers who are not in the NW UK.  If you don’t live near Stockport it is unlikely that you will come to any of the Academy Events, but I hope you will find the weekly “Inspiration Sheets” alone worth the £6 per month.

Longer term I am actively looking at converting the classroom and workshop based teaching into video-based training materials that will eventually be made available through The Academy.


This is an exciting opportunity for all of us.  It would be really helpful to me if you can let me have your thoughts about The Academy in the comments section below.

Next time I am going to talk in more detail about the “Academy Events” and give you the chance to say which events get run first.

Until then… keep MAKING great photos,