I have already put some of the training into practice last night at an appointment with a bride and groom, I had unfortunately already agreed to see them at their house. They had a very excited and noisy 5 year old boy, a TV to compete against and a tired 'husband to be' who seemed convinced that they were going to go with a male photographer they had met with earlier.
Marie Myers, March 2010
It’s 4 years since I first met Phil and I can honestly say that my photographic ability and confidence has grown tremendously in that time. I set up my own business, Rebecca Fennell Photography, 3 years ago and found it a very lonely road to start because most photographers I’d come access were very cagey about imparting knowledge. Phil is the complete opposite – he wants to give you his knowledge, which is a very rare thing indeed! Through doing the Diploma, I have increased my technical ability greatly and now have much more understanding of lighting, both natural and studio, which is so important to get right.
I have nearly completed the course (still have a few main photos to hand in and am working on the personal projects) and have learned so much, not only about photography, but myself too! There is no denying that it is a lot of hard work but the end result is the knowledge and tools to go out and work confidently in the industry. Unlike the City & Guild Course I did a few years ago (no idea what I learnt there, it clearly wasn’t about photography nor working as a photographer!!), you never feel bad about asking questions because Phil gives you the support, time and patience that you need.
One of the courses on the Diploma is about The Business of Photography ‐ you learn how to be a working photographer, the nitty gritty of the business side – believe me, there is SO much more to it than taking photos ‐ in fact, taking photos is around 35% of what I do! You also learn the Understanding of Photography – I have to say, I found this one tough. I hadn’t written an essay for years, let alone done research nor knew about what it is I had to write about, however, when I eventually got my head around doing it, I was both amazed at myself and learnt something new and very interesting!
As a result of doing the Diploma, I feel I’ve got a good set of tools and skills with which to work and it’s starting to pay off. I’ve now got the confidence to join a networking group and through that, the work is starting to come in and my name is starting to be recognized. I also assist on a number of the MelenCourses and am going to be teaching a couple of them myself – something I had not thought about doing before but something that I really enjoy. There’s no getting away from the fact that the Diploma is hard work but, like with anything in life, if you’re passionate about photography and you want to succeed, this course will give you the wherewithal and opportunities to do just that. It also gives you the opportunity to work with other photographers and so be part of a network of like‐minded people, which is invaluable as a freelance photographer.
"Phil's enthusiasm for photography is infectious. I wanted to get out there and practice what I'd learned and my photos vastly improved havingbeen on his course. He packed in lots of great tips and techniques and there was plenty of hands-on. He also made sure he helped us individually which was important as we all had different cameras."
"Having been on a MelenCourses photography course earlier in the year I was so much more comfortable with using, and understanding my camera. So when I went to South Dakota to work on a cattle ranch for a while, I was able to manage the horse, the cows and the camera to take a shot."
Louise Young, September 2008