Are you disappointed by the photography course you took?

Dated: 09 Feb 2014

The Middle East suffers from a scarcity of photography teaching and training due to many factors, most notably the lack of official references for this type of training. So it’s understandable that the number of Arabic photography trainers can appear somewhat limited. This however is not an acceptable excuse for us to make room for someone who has limited knowledge and skills yet still believes that they can offer courses to the public and make money from this.

It’s very unreasonable for a photographer to announce himself a specialist trainer and direct people towards their high-cost training courses when their only qualifications have been gained by attending two photography 101 courses participation in a local community exhibition. These ‘trainers’ are likely to neglect to properly introduce their courses, the subject matter and the results gained by the participants.

Of course all training is subjective: it is an independent field that has its own characteristics and fundamentals. However, we believe that whoever wants to become a trainer should possess certain traits in order to be able to effectively teach others. Training is a special interaction with an audience who is hungry for the correct information in the proper context, and therefore should be appropriately applied.

This of course relates to training whatever the subject may be, and photography training is unique as it’s trainer should have certain characteristics. The trainers also need to have full knowledge of their subject matter, communication skills and the capacity to inspire. Moreover, they need to be up-to-date with all that is new in the world of photography, and technology and techniques that can improve expertise. Furthermore, they should be creative and able to measure the level of understanding of their students.

The photography trainer should be broad-minded and have the ability to discover, measure and categorize the talents of his trainees. In addition they should also have the ability to enhance student’s artistic taste, so they would have a sense of aesthetic of the photo.
We have received many complaints from people who received photography training that delivered the expertise without any passion or creativity. Others have commented that they did not understand the course or they are incapable of applying what they had ‘learnt’. When you ask people about the photography training they’ve undertaken there are so many criticisms given that we’ve initiated a hashtag #TheTrainerPhotographer to open a discussion on this matter.

Why not share your experiences with us.

Teaching photography requires knowledge, skills and an aptitude for creative thinking.

Sahar Alzarei
Assistant Secretary-General

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