TCC was co-founded to provide inspiring, interactive photography education for those who want to develop creativity in their work. To this end, this blog aims to create a community resource for photography enthusiasts and professionals. Today, I wanted to share a little more about the who and the why behind TCC.
Image by Ria Mishaal
I have been a full time fine art portrait and wedding photographer since 2011, and in that time, I have grown my business to a six-figure turnover and have been named as one of the top wedding photographers in the UK by Brides Online in 2017.
Before 2011, I had a university career in Neuroscience, where I developed a passion for well-structured teaching. I am passionate about authentic, uncomplicated communication, and I believe education should be accessible and supported.
I am largely self-taught as a photographer, gaining my knowledge from self study and workshops. My passion for photography started in my childhood and is founded in capturing my travels and the wild nature where I grew up in rural Hampshire. I have led many workshops for small groups of professionals, both for the Royal Photographic Society and other photography collectives, as well as under my own name. I am a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.
My co-founder David is an accomplished Visual Art photographer. His images have won over thirty awards in International Salons and Exhibitions and have been accepted in over thirty countries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) specialising in Visual Art. He was a Trustee and member of the Council of the Royal Photographic Society (2012-2017) and Chair of the RPS Education Committee (2013-2015). He Chaired the RPS Digital Imaging Group (2011-2014) and was editor of the Group’s quarterly magazine, ‘DIGIT’ (2010-2014) as well at the RPS Visual Art Group magazine ‘Visual Art’ (2010-2016)
He is an experienced educator, with over 30 years experience. He was a senior academic at the OU for over 20 years, and was involved in the production and presentation of courses, both as a course team chair and as a writer. This has given him a deep and detailed understanding of adult education and teaching techniques for students in small groups and at a distance. Together we have the skills and passion to lead this collective and hope that it will become a valuable resource for you in your journey to accomplished and fulfilling image making.
For some years David and I have felt a genuine need for teaching resources in photography and the world that surrounds being a creative entrepreneur; resources that are well structured with thoughtful and well designed teaching material.
The world has become bite-sized and instant, and while there is an important and valuable place for that sort of content, we felt a lack of well-developed teaching with the appropriate support for growth.
We discussed our experience of being on both sides of photography education and wanted to work together to create courses that would provide education at a different level. We are both very passionate about effective and accessible teaching. Therefore, we have designed our courses to be supported by in-depth course books to allow continued development with the support of the community and portfolio reviews. We believe this is necessary to achieve real growth. Development of creativity takes time and we aim to nurture that.
As for this blog, being largely self-taught and now having worked as a full-time photographer for over 7 years, I am fully aware of the journey into this frontier. It is incredibly empowering to work for yourself but is a very different landscape to working for someone else. As a research scientist, I was self-motivated in my work, but the level of freedom and responsibility I have working for myself thrills and terrifies in equal measure at times. It suits me down to the ground, but it can be difficult at times and that is when we most need kind and genuine support from others who have or are going through the same thing.
It has been lonely and I have been to my fair share of workshops that were not as valuable as they could have been. During my time as an entrepreneur, I have also become a mother to a vibrant curious little girl with whom I have a deep connection. The deeply fulfilling and complex world of being a self employed parent also made me long for a resource and community that answered my questions. I have found some online communities less than supportive, and for that reason often not participated fully in the online world. I have also found some incredible friends and colleagues along my entrepreneurial journey and they have inspired me to step up and play my part in building a better community.
The first course we launched, ‘Floral Photography‘ is a foundation photography course for those who are visually driven and creative, who work as florists or have an appreciation and passion for flowers. We have run one and two day courses. Most of those who come along have bought dSLRs but have very limited experience of operating them and have been overwhelmed by seemingly impenetrable manuals and technical blog posts online. It has been enormously rewarding working in person with these people to enable them to become familiar with their cameras, no longer viewing them as problematic but instead as useful tools to express their creativity and capture their vision.
I write this blog for students who are beginning their journey. I am also writing to those, like me, who have been in the business for some time by answering questions and exploring topics that are relevant to expanding their creativity.
We both hope that our project will become an established community with valuable courses and daily posts answering questions and meeting the needs of readers. We already have a closed Facebook group for those who have attended our courses to share their work and ask questions, continuing their growth with the support of like-minded others. This is a place for kindness and education:two of the most important elements of a functioning society. In time, we hope to inspire you and champion our members work with competitions and publications.
To build this kind community, we need you. I hope that you are encouraged by our vision and that you’ll choose to join us:
Do join our supportive and positive TCC Community learning group. There we will do regular lessons to improve photographic skills and creative thinking.
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