Last weekend I had an awesome new experience. I became a teacher.
Standing in an East London photography studio, in front of a group of food and photography hungry bloggers, I spent 8 hours teaching them how to take great food photos and I had an utterly amazing time doing it.
Blogger Skills Academy.
This happened because I realised that bloggers are busy people with precious little time to learn photography or other blogging skills. Bloggers have loads of subjects to master, besides photography, so they need to learn in a very focussed way, in a way that relates back to the profession of blogging. They need to learn how to take great photographs, without having to trudge through the entire history of photography first.
When I realised this, I sat down to see if I could write a basic photography course for bloggers. 8,500 words later I decided I had more than enough to tell people. I just had to work out how, and with that, the Blogger Skills Academy was born.
The words kept coming, before long I had written three courses specific to photography for bloggers. After six months of planning, Sunday 4th September 2016 saw the first ever class, with a bunch of food and photography hungry bloggers attending, all keen to improve their photography skills.
The Perfect Environment.
I created an environment that would help people aspire to taking great shots for their blog. The venue was a beautiful, bright and light photography studio in East London. There was everything a student could need to understand what makes a great shot. I planned this meticulously. I took them out for lunch, gave them great coffee, awesome teas, fruit, pastries and follow up PDF notes and free gifts. The environment was set for a great shot to happen.
The only thing that didn’t work out was finding a dog sitter for my beloved pooch, Bernard. After three dog sitters were unavailable, he ended up coming along. It’s one of the best decisions I made, I think he’s become as much a part of the Blogger Skills Academy as I am!
The Hero Shot.
The bloggers had a target. To re-create a stunning, richly coloured ‘hero shot’ of a pile of pancakes, dotted with blueberries whilst being drizzled with a torrent of glistening syrup. The perfect mouthwatering pour shot. We went back to the start, broke the image down into pieces, and then re-built it, step by step, capturing the final action shot at the end of the day.
What surprised me was how engaging it was. I expected to stand there and feel the steely gaze of confusion land upon me, but it was nothing like that. I felt really excited to be sharing my knowledge and that translated into a genuine desire to connect with people and help them understand the tricks and tips we were using. Everyone was completely receptive to my explanations and I was incredibly proud of what the students achieved, at the end of the day we sat around the TV, editing the images in Lightroom, watching some stunning shots appear on the screen. I felt a peculiar sense of comfort, happy that I’d helped people create an image they were proud of, which they could go home and feel inspired by, and hopefully go on to create even more amazing images in the future.
I got home that night, had a celebratory takeaway and went to bed, to unable sleep, the adrenaline and excitement still pumping around my body, frantically planning what courses to do next, when to add extra dates, desperate for my next fix of teaching. From my perspective the day was a complete success, everything fell into place beautifully and I can’t wait until the next class and batch of students!
You can find more details and book classes for the Blogger Skills Academy here.