Creative Photography Courses

Photo Idols is an assignment where we find and research photographers that we really like. I asked members to create images and use their Photo Idol as inspiration. Images: (1) © Bex Cullingford: Elliott Erwitt, (2) © Liz Cottingham: Robert Mapplethorpe, (3) © Marie Fraser: Tony Ray Jones, (4) © Tim Coxon: Richard Garvey-Williams, (5) © Bloss Spink: Christoffer Relander, (6) © Guy Ward: Jay Maisel, (7) © Ian Seccombe: Frank Hurley, (8) © Liz Bisson: George Rodger, (9) © Lisa Mee: David Hawkins-Weeks, (10) © Lorraine Pinkerton: Cindy Sherman, (11) © Lucy Church: Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), (12) © Susanna Daniel: Edward Weston, (13) © Andy Russell: Stephen Shore, (14) © Angelo Gifford: Trente Parke/Gus Powell/Fan Ho, (15) © Carol Sinclair: Charlie Waite, (16) © Mick Smith: Bob Martin, (17) © Pat Smith: Martin Elder, (18) © Sophie Lawrence: Paul White, (19) © Steve McCabe: Guy Bourdin, (20) © Terri Sands: Bill Brandt, (21) © Tom Lee: Charlie Waite, (22) © Amanda Wells: Thomas Leuthard, (23) © Don Boys: Bill Gekas

I have been running photography courses now since around 2008.

One of the longest running courses is Photoclub in the Pub, a 6 month long creative photography course with 5 creative assignments. We meet once a month in the pub to discuss each assignment and do a slideshow of everyone's images. Photoclub in the Pub also has other benefits such as reduced prices on other courses, prints of your images and video screencast feedback on your images.

Photoclub is been really successful for us but we were finding that some people wanted some of the action but couldn't get to the pub meetings, either because they were not local or just busy on that night. This is when we came up with the idea of the online version of Photoclub in the Pub which we call Creative Assignments.

Creative Assignments is the exact same assignments as the Photoclub ones, you get video screencast feedback on your images you just miss out on the pub meetings and prints. Of course the pub is nice because it is social and you have that interaction with other members, but the next best thing is the closed Facebook group that I run for both Photoclub and Creative Assignments' members. It is a great way to share work in progress, ask questions or just see what everyone else is up to.

We now have our first US member of Creative Assignments and have had members in Europe too. The beauty is you can be anywhere in the world to do this creative photography course.

The most frequent question I get asked is, what level of photographer do you need to be? Well we have all levels of photographer taking part, some are very advanced with big fancy cameas whilst other are relative beginners with comact cameras. Everyone is given feedback based on their level and it means everyone can be creative together and learn as they go. I would say that some knowledge of how to control your camera would be beneficial, for those that are local my 1-2-1 Camera Confidence courses would really set you up for this.

Photoclub in the Pub is run once a month on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday's meeting is at the Pelham Arms in Lewes, East Sussex. Wednesday and Thursdays meetings are run at the Nevil Crest & Gun in Eridge near to Crowborough and Tunbridge Wells on the Kent & Sussex border.

We are now taking bookings for the next season of Photoclub in the Pub which starts in August 2015. The price is £169.

You can start Creative Assignments at any point for one month of the full membership for 6 months (5 assignments). The price is £99.

Nothing speaks more about these course than the attendees them. Here are just a couple of testimonials I have recieved from people who have done these courses:

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From Susanna Daniel:

I took one of Andy's six month Photoclub in the pub courses and really enjoyed it. I have only dabbled in photography and don't even have a fancy camera, but that didn't matter; Andrew sets assignments that

puts you out of your comfort zone and forces you to take pictures that you would never otherwise think of taking. For that reason alone it is great; really makes you think and see things in a different way.

The feedback was always really useful and we could learn as much of the technical side of things as we wanted.

Meeting in the pub once a month is a great idea as it makes it all less formal and easy to talk about the assignment, and photography in general.

I would recommend this course to anyone, whether you are a total beginner or an experienced photographer.

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From Ian Knight:

I was given the course as a Christmas present as I’ve been interested in photography for many years and just muddled along. I had been talking about doing a course for a while now, as it happens this fitted the bill perfectly!!

Other photographer’s photos always looked more professional and interesting than mine.  They were ‘proper’ photos that grabbed your attention whereas mine just seemed to be snapshots, which, whilst capturing the scene never stood out and never encouraged any more than a glance.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my Photoclub in the pub course. It has pushed my boundaries, put me outside of my comfort zone  on occasions and most importantly made me think more creatively and technically about my photography. A novel idea for a course, Andy adds his knowledge, enthusiasm and critique which all combine to put you at ease and coaxes out any ideas and potential.

Since undertaking the  course, my enthusiasm for photography has been re-kindled with a vengeance. I now have a direction and lots to think about!!. I feel happy using the manual modes on my camera as well as getting into the photo processing software side of things too. Hopefully I will start to use my DSLR to more of it’s potential as many of the concepts Andy taught via the assignments are now starting to become second nature.

Many thanks Andy!!

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The photos at the top of this post were created by members of these courses for the Photo Idols assignment. Members were looking to find, research and be inspired by a particular photographer. I think you'll agree that they came up with some great images.

Andrew NewsonComment