I hope you are enjoying this Bootcamp! I love running them and I love that they provide real value for our members and new friends alike, giving you a fast paced photo eductaion and inspiration and making you pick up that camera and actually use it!!!
I make no mystery of the fact that these courses are a chance for us to show you what else we could do for you and give you a taste of both our teaching style, amount of value you're likely to get from us and the sense of community which always comes with it.
The way I see it, if you have a camera, but you don't really know how to use it and most of your kids childhood is recorded on your phone only - it's a no brainer - you should give us a go!
As you know, we will be drawing one lucky winner out of all those who posted entries for every one of the weekly theme, but if you're not the lucky one, we'll have a great deal for you to join our courses too. So if you were looking to book a place on the upcoming Level 1 course - hold your horses. It'll be worth the wait.
A few of you have got in touch with me with questions on the courses so I thought I'd bring them all together here to hopefully give you a better idea of what we do and how ( and why our students love us)
Q. When is your next course?
Our next Level 1 online course - the fundamentals course - will be starting on the 25th March. It's a 6 weeks course, but we will be taking a week off over Easter, so it will span 7 weeks in total.
Our next Level 2 course will be starting in May, same with our Photo Editing course.
We are also planning dates for later in the year for all courses.
Q: How does the online course work? Do I have an instructor to talk to?Yes you do. The online course consists of the core course materials plus several layers of support. Here is how it works:
Every Monday we release one for the 6 core modules for you to read through, follow exercises etc. You don't have to access this bit at any particular time, it's for you to just go through it at your pace. That material includes spet by step instruction, inspiration - a bit like what you have with this bootcamp.
On top of that, every week we have a live webinar class led by an experienced instructor who is there to help you with all aspects of your learning. This class is usually scheduled on Wednesday or Thursday evenings and it's there to help you go over the material, answer your questions, provide additional examples and explanations.
Then, there is a private Facebook group, moderated by the same instructor, where we chat, inspire, post additional resources, answer pressing questions and help you with all ad-hoc queries - a bit like what you have here, but on a smaller scale, so it's easier to get supoort and connect with one another.
You will also be getting personal video feedback on your weekly photos. In brief - lots and lots of way to get support. Once purchased, you retain access to your course indefinitely so you can come back to it as often as you want.
Q: Do I need to be online at any specific times?No for the most of it - you certainly don't need to be online when the modules open on a Monday morning - you'll just see you have another module appear in your learning space on our site. But we do have one live element - a weekly webinar which serves the purpose of going through the material, answering questions and providing additional information. These are usually scheduled after 8,30 pm ( to allow for kids bedtimes) BUT they are also always recorded so if you don't make it live, you can still watch and listen afterwards.
Q: The bootcamp is really fast paced, is the online course just as intense?Thank goodness no. I think for your and our sakes. It's 6 modules, released one a week on a Monday morning. You then have until the end of the week to read the materials, practice, ask questions in our Live webinar and finally submit the weekly assignment. Most people read through the lesson during the week and do the practice at the weekend.
Q: I saw you had an Editing and Flash course too - do these work in the same way?Yes and no. No - because throughout most of the year you can buy the Editing course and the Shooting with Flash course as a self paced, self progress course - so you can start it at any point, all the materials are released at the same time, and just plough through it as fast or as slow as you wish. No live instructor as it's all in the modules, although we will always help if you ask or get stuck!
I'm afraid not. The courses are designed as a whole with elements building on top of one another in a logical way so we don't split them
Q: Can I just buy individual modules, I already know some of the stuff?
Q: Do I need a pro camera?No. You DO need A camera. And your camera needs to allow you to make changes to some of the manual settings ( going beyond the ‘landscape’. ‘portrait’, ‘fireworks’ modes). You’ll often be able to tell if your camera has those just by looking at it - if it has a wheel with letters M, A, S, P or M, Av, Tv, P on it you’re good to go. Some modern cameras do not have that though, but still let you change those settings, so just drop us a line with your camera’s make and model and we’ll happily advise. We even have a few cameras for rental if you need.
Q: What if I find I booked the wrong level?Well, it's in everyone's best interest that you get the most out of the course so if you booked L1 but realise that you already know it all, we will happily offer to move you to a L2 course. And if you're even beyond that - we'll just refund.
Q: What if I don't manage to finish the course? Life got in the way etcIf things happen before you start the course or at the beginning of the course and you actually don;t manage to join in - we wan simply defer you till the next course. If you get part way through and then for some reason drop out, you can come and redo the course the next time it runs - as if you were a new student. This option carries a small additional charge
Q: I'm a complete beginner - will I be able to keep up?
A LOT of students who come to us have never used a camera beyond sticking it on Auto and hoping for the best. For us, this is great because this means we don't have to make you 'unlearn' any bad habits and we just take you through the material and your camera buttons and dials one by one so you get a very good solid grouding in photography in general and specifically with a focus on children's photography.
Q: Will I improve? I’m not an ‘artist’ typeAh. The question not many people actually ask, but nearly all want to know. Obviously - I don’t know you or your ability BUT I have seen over 1000 students go through our courses ( in person or online) and every single one of them improved. Some improved more than others, some really got the ‘photography bug’ and moved on to start their own photography businesses, some just kept it as their hobby and a way to get better photos of their kids. Not everyone can become the next Annie Leibovitz but everyone can learn how to use the camera to deliver the kind of results they want ( like that blurry background in images or being able to capture your kids on the move - sharp!) and everyone can learn how to master their camera and principles of composition and light which make your photos much stronger. So yes, you will improve, even if you don’t think of yourself as an artist.
Q: I am thinking about turning it into a job ( one day) - can you help me with that?
We have a rather sizeable group of members who started of with us, many not having used their cameras properly before, who have moved into professional photography. Some photograph children, others specialise in babies, or wildlife or weddings. I am so immensly proud of all of them and they still stick wiyh us through the Alumni group and suppor teach other ( through smaller sub-groups) but are also on hand to help new members. Our Alumni community is active, vibrant, creative and supportive, and there is no week that passes when I'm not proud and grateful for them being in my life. So in short - yes, we can definitely take you towards that goal and support and mentor you to get there.
I hope I answered some of your questions here. If you have more - please just talk to me, or better still, the many of our members who join in these bootcamps too!
If you want to know more about them : check it out here
And don't forget - a very VERY nice offer will be coming to you at the end of this course ( if you don't win a place outright!).
And spring is THE nicest time to have your camera out and snapping...