Phew! That took longer than I had hoped! But the wait is over, it is finally time to swing wide the virtual doors, and stand to one side as the crowds (hopefully) rush in! Yes, finally Ian’s Studio Photo Academy is ready for business….
Please come on in… The Academy is open!
Ok, so last week I talked about the unexpected problems. They took a bit longer than I would have liked to solve, but I really didn’t want to send this message out until I knew everything was working fine… and importantly securely. I mentioned about the problem with PayPal (that is still not resolved) so I had to implement a different credit/debit card payment handling system (“stripe” for those who have heard of it) which requires SSL to be implemented on the site. (Translation: The padlock thingy appears when you enter any financial details so you know it is safe). So as I type this, you can’t pay for Membership with PayPal but you can do with a normal card – which is probably the better system anyhow. I will be implementing the stripe credit/debit card payment system for events soon – but it is not there yet.
So What’s This Academy Thing Anyhow?
Well, regular readers of my blog/recipients of my newsletter will know I’ve been talking about this since mid-September.
If you want to catch up you see all the blog posts about it here: https://www.ians-studio.co.uk/photographers/blog/ – The first hint about it came in the blog post from 5th September, and each week from then I continued to tease and inform.
But in summary, the Academy is now the cornerstone of how I deliver photography training. These are the key benefits:
- Weekly Inspiration Sheets delivered via email every Monday – These sheets will give you a theme to shoot, hint and tips, technical know-how and images to inspire you to go out with your camera every week.
- Inspiration Sheet Archives – Monthly Members will have access to the last 10 weeks of Inspiration Sheets, Anual Members will have access to the full archive.
- Priority and discounted booking on Academy Events – Academy Events will be training sessions, some will be classroom based some practical. Academy Events will be open to non-members in the last two weeks before the event date. When an event is open to non-members the members discount will cease to be available.
- A Members Only discussion forum – A place where you can ask questions and share ideas about photography.
- Opportunities to receive feedback on your images – At present this will take two forms there will be regular critique sessions at the studio, and there is a place in the Members Forum where you can post images that you would like feedback on. In the coming months, I am going to investigate ways of offering critiquing sessions on-line as a sort of webinar.
- Access to Marketing information (Annual Members Only) – One of the biggest challenges faced by professional, semi-professional and those who just want to make a few extra Pounds or Euros (I do have non-UK subscribers!) is knowing how to promote yourself. I am not a marketing guru, but I am recording what I do when it comes to marketing my business and I am sharing that data with Annual Members of the Academy.
- Stock Photography Sales Data – As I have stock sales I will be sharing with Academy Members details of what has sold, and to whom. Monthly members will have access to the last 10 weeks of sales posts (but without the financial information) Annual Members will have access to the full archive and will be able to see how much an image sold for.
What’s It All Cost?
The normal price for membership is £6 per month or £60 per year.
During the initial launch period (now until 12th January 2017), we are running two special offers:
- If you take out Monthly Membership during the trial launch you will pay just £1 until 12th January 2017, after which the £6 per month will start.
- You can take out Annual Membership during the trial period, and we will manually extend your membership until 12th January 2018.
Where Do I Sign-Up?
The sign-up page is here: https://www.ians-studio.co.uk/photographers/join-the-academy/ – you will need to pay by credit/debit card. If you choose the monthly option you will only be charged £1 and the monthly £6 per month will kick in on 12th January 2017. You can cancel your membership at any point and you will still remain a member until January 12th. If you want access to the Marketing Posts and/or want to see the financial data associated with stock sales you will need to take out the Annual Membership which costs £60 (saving you £12 over a year). In that case I will extend your membership till 12 Jan 2018 – so effectively you get the time from now till 12th Jan 2017 for free.
In September I started by asking you “What are the biggest challenges, facing your photography today?” – since then setting up the Academy had dominated my life, and honestly believe that what I am now able to offer is a very cost effective way of help you meet the challenges that you all identified. Please, give it a try – it will only cost you £1 to try it out for 8 weeks.
Until next time, and hopefully with The Academy’s help, keep MAKING great images,