I’m Mike James and I help photo enthusiasts like you become a more confident and creative mobile photographer through online training.
Below is my story and my why
After 20-years working in photography, I really disliked it. The big camera was a tool of the trade and only came out on special occasions because it felt like I was working.
It was in 2015 that I realised how many precious memories I had missed and were never captured. That year my mother passed away. My eldest of 3 was 9 at the time. If you have experienced the loss of a loved one and had to prepare a funeral, you know how photos help you grieve and preserve their memory. I could only find 6 photos of my mum in those 9 years. And, no video!
Mum was unwell for quite some time and like many of us over 40, she hated having her photo taken. I didn’t like taking out my work camera either. I never used my smartphone, because why would I, it was inferior to my ‘big’ camera.
After this regretful realisation, I started using my smartphone more to capture my family and reluctantly myself. Photos of you are not for you or about you. They are a gift for your loved ones. Mums passing actually hit me quite hard. Photography was and is my escape. It forces me to slow down and study the intricate details and beauty of our immediate world around us.
My photo subjects started to include flowers and nature before exploring other genres. This new passion for taking photos was due to the simplicity and limitations of the smartphone.
I was never a creative type.
I can’t play an instrument. My drawing is not even recognisable as stick figures! My previous photography and teaching of photography were very technical. The great news is there are rules and guidelines for creating those beautiful and impactful images. You know the ones that stop you in your tracks and think WOW that is an awesome image. These are not hard and fast, black and white rules. You can learn these proven concepts on how to prepare and set up a photo, how to capture the emotion and photography intent. You start to then become inspired to bend the rules, follow other photographers and aspire to emulate their results.
My obsessive personality had me researching everything smartphone photography related. I did every course, downloaded every book. I attended numerous ‘big’ camera workshops. Even though I often knew far more about the camera than the instructors, I wanted to get inside their head about the art of photography.
No-one was exclusively running smartphone photography workshops or training. I needed to share this passion and help other photo enthusiasts enjoy their smartphone more. I began running local weekend workshops and started to present and judge at camera clubs.
Smartphone Photography Training started shortly after. The concept was proven. There was a group of people like you. It soon reached a point where I could not run any more workshops and people outside my geographical area could not attend. Knowing the positive impact of smartphone photography on people’s lives, I knew I had to serve you online.
My qualification and difference.
Remembering how hard it was to find quality training online, I had to do something different. The next 2-years were committed to obtaining a Diploma in Training Design and Development. We all go to YouTube for answers to our questions. The fastest, thorough and most effective way to get a new skill is a structured learning path.
What I offer.
Now, deliver to different learning styles through PDFs, video courses and packages including image reviews and Live one-on-one training. We also have an incredible Facebook group participating in photo challenges. This has become a really supportive educational community of interest. I regularly jump in the group to provide Live tutorials. The community is how we continue our relationship and conversation long after enrolling in the courses.