From day workshops and short courses, to full-blown diplomas and degrees, today we explore the value of paid face-to-face tuition when it comes to photography.
Because to be brutally honest, I have never understood their appeal.
Why would people want to pay for knowledge, when the internet offers so much more by way of resources either for free, or at most, maybe 1/10th the price tag in the form of an e-guide or something. Why would people care for ‘qualifications’ when the majority of the world’s best photographers are self-taught? And why would anyone want to learn from a full-time teacher, who is likely only that, because they couldn’t make it in the real world?
Basically, these were questions that from time to time, would bug me whenever I thought about photography education. Until one day, in the middle of an interview I was conducting for a potential intern who wouldn’t stop talking about how good his photography classes had been, I realized something.
People. Are Lazy.
They think photography courses are some sort of magic pill. A shortcut if you like, for getting into the industry. But just ask any photographer worth their salt, and they will tell you, there are no shortcuts. That it’s a slow grind to the top. And that there is absolutely no substitute for consistent practice over an extended period of time.
Sure, a tutor can simulate some scenarios for you, and might even be able to call in a model or two. But until you throw yourself in the deep end by taking on the responsibility of being the main photographer for the first time at a wedding, you won’t know what it’s like to sink or swim – and that unfortunately, is the only way to move forward in this field.
So stop asking permission. Start doing. If you want to know more: watch videos, read articles, digest resources, observe work from the best shooters in the world, and cultivate your own style. Then market yourself, create a great website, and start taking clients! Forget ‘studying.’ There is no degree in the world that can guarantee you a career in photography, so why waste precious time?
I never officially studied photography. My original qualifications were in the fields of graphic design and video production. And yet, I managed to build a wedding photography firm that has now served hundreds of couples, with no end in sight. On top of that, our Presets are being purchased in so many different countries across the world (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ, Germany, Italy, Poland, India, Singapore…), it’s unbelievable!
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start experiencing 🙂