Whether you take them personally or simply admire those taken by others, photos can provide an endless source of both pleasure and entertainment. They may be mementoes of some special occasion in one’s life, fond images of a cherished loved one now departed, or scenes that reflect the magnificence of nature and the intricacies of fascinating, but unfamiliar cultures, such as those that have been immortalised within the glossy pages of publications such as the iconic National Geographic Magazine.
Among the admirers of the latter works are many who may aspire to match their professionalism, and who might even have attended or contemplated attending one of the photographic courses that are often advertised. In addition to these would-be artists, however, there are undoubtedly far more individuals who could gain a great deal more from this form of tuition than just a new hobby. To begin with, for those who are sufficiently knowledgeable in this area and skilled in its techniques, there are many lucrative commercial opportunities to be exploited. Those who may already be running their own business could also stand to benefit in a number of ways – given the value of applying such skills to the promotion of their products or services.
How often have you glanced through the property section of the Sunday Star and been singularly unimpressed by a collection of images that was clearly the work of an amateur. It is almost certain that a relatively short photographic course with some focus on shooting interior and exterior architecture could have made that same property appear irresistible. Better images might well have prompted a busy show day culminating, perhaps, in several acceptable offers.
The study of portraiture could also open the door for an excellent small business opportunity, especially today, when formal employment openings have fallen to an all-time low. Weddings, christenings, birthdays, anniversaries, conventions and a whole range of similar events invariably call for a means with which to record the occasion and those who shared it. Whether supplied in the form of glossy or matte prints, or as digital images, providing that their quality is good enough, there will always be a high demand for these powerful pictorial mementoes.
Perhaps you are a lover of nature and one of those who like to spend spare moments with a copy of BBC Wildlife Magazine – admiring images whose quality you believe is beyond your abilities. Once again, one or two photographic courses devoted to the treatment of wildlife and landscape subjects could see an end to that formerly negative attitude. While you may not manage to achieve the status of a published artist overnight or indeed, ever, you will certainly develop both the skills and the confidence required to start creating your own quality images of Africa’s unique flora and fauna, as well as the awesome beauty of the land that they inhabit.
This is the age of the internet and a business without a website is likely to be missing a valuable opportunity to increase its market share. While content is justifiably said to be king, the strategic use of eye-catching and relevant images can be a powerful means with which to first capture the attention of those seeking informative content. They also display products in a manner that maximises their appeal. Just as with house sales, portraiture and nature studies, photographic courses can help the website owner to raise the quality of their web images, without the need to incur the often high cost of hiring a third-party specialist. By the same token, for the professional web designer, a similar course of study could add a valuable new skill and the opportunity to eliminate dependence upon the purchase of costly, licensed images or repeatedly re-working those in the public domain.
Where then should you look if you are intent upon finding the best teacher for the job? If you are based in Gauteng, there is no doubt whatsoever that Martin Harvey Productions should be your first choice. In fact, given that Martin has made numerous contributions to each of the international publications mentioned and many more besides, it is worthwhile making the trip to Pretoria, even if you live in one of South Africa’s other provinces.
Martin’s photographic courses have a strong practical content. Offered at basic and intermediate levels, they provide the means with which to develop the essential knowledge and skills from scratch, and to hone them further.