The fact that high-end, professional photography equipment has never been more affordable represents both a blessing and a curse at the same time. On one side of the fence you have the way in which affordable digital equipment has made it possible for more budding photographers than ever before to get well and truly stuck into their passions and produce images of genuinely impressive quality. On the other however, an abundance of affordable equipment coupled with the ease of building websites has made it possible for pretty much anyone with the desire to do so to call themselves ‘professional’ when they are in fact nothing of the sort.
This is something that needs to be taken into account when looking to take part in any kind of photography course as in order to pick up the skills and insights you need, you really don’t want to be doing business with someone that has little experience. So, if for example you were in the market to sign up for any number of landscape photography courses, there are certain things you should be on the lookout for prior to making your final decision as to whether or not to go ahead.
For example, what does your first impression tell you about the provider’s website? Does it fill you with confidence and paint a picture of a professional you’d like to work with, or has it clearly been thrown together in 20 minutes with no real care or attention to detail? Some would argue that these kinds of things are really superfluous to the bigger picture, but in reality they genuinely could not count for more. The reason being that if they really can’t be bothered to create a quality first impression with their website, what’s the likelihood of them caring about anything but the money in your pocket?
Depth of Knowledge
Upon reading a little further into the information on the provider’s website, it should become abundantly clear as to whether or not their depth of knowledge is up to scratch. The simple fact of the matter is that they should be able to make it clear that they are in fact anything but one-trick ponies and can therefore be relied on to deliver quality teachings.
From choosing the right locations to equipment to editing to printing and so on, you should be looking to work only with those with a genuinely comprehensive depth of knowledge.
In the Field
If, for example, you’re planning to head out for a landscape photography course, there’s a huge difference between a largely theoretical course that takes place in the classroom and another that actually sees you head out into the field. The problem with theoretical courses is that while they can indeed communicate important teachings, there’s really nothing on Earth that comes close to the value of real-life experience – especially when that experience occurs under the watch of a seasoned professional.
So, before signing up for any such course, it’s worth taking a look into whether or not any practical experience is included and to what extent. What’s more, the locations that can or will take you to will also play a huge role in your enjoyment and the progress you make.
A Rich Portfolio
As this is a professional photography service you’re looking into, sure it isn’t too unreasonable to expect a dynamic and rich portfolio of work to dive into, right? This should cover a variety of both new and old work alike, allowing those with an interest in joining up every opportunity to see the kinds of photographs those running the workshops are capable of.
It’s of course about more than images alone and all written content will play a role, but if you’re not immediately won over by what should be a good selection of breath-taking images, chances are it’s not the course provider for you.
Last but not least, the only resources you have at your disposal for making a full and frank evaluation of the situation are the reviews and testimonials of past and present students. These should be abundantly available on the provider’s site itself, though where absent can be tracked down with ease by carrying out a quick web search.
It’s crucial to never sign up for anything until you’ve listened to what the voice of the people tells you, as this is really the only unbiased information you can count on.