Photo School with Pete Ashton

Umbrella for my photography training and event freelance work.

February 2012 - Ongoing

Photo School was started in 2012 by Matt Murtagh and myself when we noticed that many of our non-photographer friends were buying fully-functional DSLR cameras as the prices had recently dropped to the same as a decent compact. They didn’t know how to use them, but they weren’t interested in doing a long course run by a college to become a “professional” - they just wanted to take better pictures.

We trailed a number of classes using Matt’s academic photographic knowledge and my experience in social media training, settling on a Beginners model which, with yearly iterations, still runs to this day. After a couple of years Matt ceased freelancing and, with his blessing, I took on Photo School as my own project, developing it to comprise a quarter of my freelance income and folding it into my art practice.

Photo School is centred around Beginners Photography, enabling me to refine my knowledge of camera technology by repeatedly explaining it in new ways to different people. I also run regular Photo Walks around Birmingham which I see as equal parts photography class, community activity, guided tour and, of course, art. The walks lead to my first Arts Council funded activity, Photographic Exploration of Space, where I explored ideas around group photography as a collaborative artwork.

Photo School continues to be an important part of my work and art practice and runs from the website photo-school.co.uk