For the last couple of week’s my blog has been about photography techniques – protecting your camera in the rain and common mistakes made in the studio.  This week I want to turn my attention to having a plan for improving as a photographer.  And as part of that, I am going to answer a question I’ve been asked a number of times…

Whatever Happened to Courses at Ian’s Studio?

The short answer to this, is of course, that they are still there, but they are now being delivered slightly differently.  The courses have become part of Ian’s Studio Photo Academy.  The Academy is what we are now using to deliver training.

Let me explain how this works.  The Academy offers at least two “Academy Events” each month.  Some months it may be significantly more than this.  Academy Events are our formal training sessions and are a direct replacement for workshops and courses.  Academy Events have a set agenda – you know what you will learn, and they will have printed/PDF notes – you have a lasting record of what you have learned.

A course is simply a series of training events that link together to achieve a specific training objective.

Over the last six or seven years of running courses and workshops, we discovered that there was some overlap and a disconnect between the different training offerings.  For example, on our Intermediate Photography Course, we provided an overview of wedding photography, but all of that material was also covered (in more depth) in our Introduction to Wedding Photography workshop.  This overlap was not ideal for anyone interested in BOTH the Intermediate Course and the Wedding Workshop.  Not only that but our classroom teaching on Available Light Photography (important to anyone wanting to do wedding photography) was only covered as part of the Intermediate Course but not as part of the Wedding Workshop.  Not ideal for anyone just wanting to do the Wedding Workshop without the Intermediate Course.

Now everything has been broken down into distinct modules (events) and we have training plans which explain which modules are relevant to which training objectives.  Using the Wedding Photography example above – there are now three events/modules that cover everything that we used to cover on the old Wedding Photography Workshop, plus the relevant sections from the Intermediate Course.  Those modules are:

The first two modules are also part of our “Intermediate Photography Course” training plan.  It’s the same material and it doesn’t matter which training plan you are following when you do the modules.

Training Plans

You can find a full list of all the different training plans here:

At this stage, not every module/event has been scheduled. We have, however, recently added the 21 classroom events that make up our “Introduction to Digital Photography”  course and our “Intermediate Photography Course“.  And we have dedicated training plan pages for both courses.

The Introduction Course will be running every Saturday Morning for 8 weeks, starting in January.  This makes it ideal if you, or someone you know has received a new camera for Christmas.

The Intermediate Course, by contrast, will start in April and it will be one module/event every three weeks right up till December 2017.  At just £19 per session for Academy Member, this provides a cost effective way to really take your photography to the next level throughout 2017.

Over the next few weeks, we will be adding more modules/events to the schedule.   We will also be adding in more dedicated training plans for different topics such as studio photography and Lightroom.  We will also be adding in practical sessions which support the classroom based training that we have already added.

Your Next Steps

As we reach the end of 2016 and look forward to 2017 it’s a great opportunity to consider your training goals for the coming year.

  1. Take a look at the training plans.
  2. Let me know which training path/plan you are wanting to follow – I can then make sure all the modules for it are scheduled
  3. Join the Academy (if you haven’t already done so) – You get £6 off every Academy event you book if you are a member and it only costs £1 to join for 5 weeks a the moment!
  4. Book your events/modules

Obviously, there is much more to improving as a photographer that just doing training courses (although that will definitely help you).  In  a couple of weeks time, I’m going to be providing Academy Members with some alternative suggestions on how they can improve as a photographer in 2017.  Another great reason to join the Academy!