Most Frequently Asked Questions Before Enrolling

What are the most frequently asked questions and concerns about taking an online photography course?

“I don’t have time to do a course”

All our online photography courses are designed to be completely flexible to you. Whether you are working full-time or a stay at home parent, you can fit your studies around your schedule. There are no specific timescales on any activity.

You don’t need to schedule in a time and date to attend a podcast or make sure an activity is completed by a specific date. The course can fit in with the schedule that you set for completion.

If you want to complete it quickly because you have a specific goal in mind, we can help you with that. If you want to take your time and work through slowly, many students do, that’s absolutely fine. Also, you have unlimited time to complete the course providing you log in at least once per year (which only takes a minute).

This also means that when you complete the course, your involvement with IOP doesn’t have to end. We offer mentorship even when you have been awarded your certificate. Our students stay friends with us over the years and we actively engage in their development long past completion.

“I can watch tutorials free on YouTube, why should I pay for a photography course?”

The simple answer is that free learning rarely works. You can glean some useful information but ultimately, learning is an in-depth process that is personal to each individual student. You need interaction, help, advice and mentorship to make your photography the best it can be.

Free tutorials have their place and there is no harm supplementing your knowledge in this way, but if you really want to improve, then you need an expert eye on your own photographs. In receiving bespoke advice on your photography, you will improve, we guarantee it.

There’s another reason why an IOP course works so much better than watching random videos on YouTube or other free sites. We have a proven learning system and structure that works.

Start at the beginning, follow the instructions and do the assignments in order and you will become a better photographer. That structure and system are what our students mention the most in their feedback. It helped them to focus their minds on a set task, which was building on the knowledge learnt in a previous unit.

In this way, we make sure that your learning is incremental and at an appropriate level of difficulty for your skills. How many times have you watched a free video or read a photography blog and had absolutely no idea what the instructor was discussing or how to apply that knowledge to your own photography? If you are anything like us, that would be many, many times. 

“It’s too expensive”

The old adage, “you get what you pay for” has never been truer in this situation. We know you can enrol on free courses or cheaper alternatives but they just aren’t as good, your results will be less than your expectations and you may end up frustrated with the whole process. 

There is also a really cost-effective way to enrol. IOP also offer a way to break down the course enrolment fee into ten easy interest-free instalments. If you are a complete beginner, you can enrol on the Diploma in Photography for just £35 per month. If you want the most in-depth course and are considering a new career, the Professional Diploma in Photography can be joined for £45 per month.

This enrolment fee is less than the cost of a few cups of coffee from your favourite cafe every week or a couple of weekly drinks in the pub.

If you are serious about improving your photography, join the best online photography school available and make sure you get the results you want from your investment. 

“How can you teach a practical subject like photography online?”

We teach it through the practical application of photography skills which are then assessed by your Tutor who gives bespoke advice on your images. You will get more dedicated and thoughtful advice on your photography through an IOP online course than you would get on a classroom course, where you have to fight for the Tutor’s attention with up to twenty other students. 

IOP don’t ask for lengthy essays like many other online photography courses, we ask you to get out with your camera from Unit 1. Practical work is key to our ethos.

“I’m nervous to share my work. I don’t want to be laughed at. I don’t feel confident enough.”

This is such a common concern and one of the main benefits of an online photography course. There will never be a situation where you are made to feel like you have asked a silly question. We will always encourage and support you.

We understand that sharing your photos is a big step for many people. Lots of our students have never shared their work before. Camera clubs and workshops are incredibly daunting places and it’s understandable why many people feel reluctant to attend them. When you become part of the IOP community, we promise you will be welcomed whether you know nothing about photography or are a more experienced shooter.

“What is an IOP qualification going to do for me?”

Most photographers don’t have degrees. They are judged on the quality of their work and portfolio. Ultimately, our aim is to get you taking the best quality photos in your chosen field because of this.

Having said that, you will receive two certificates on completion of an IOP course. One official IOP® certificate and one official CPD certificate (from our accrediting body). When you are applying for a job or trying to secure a client, it is very useful to have these as a benchmark of your success. 

“I’ve done photography courses before and they haven’t helped.”

Think about what kind of courses you have done before. Did they offer real help and mentorship? If you have had a bad experience or have been jaded by one of the myriad cheap or free courses available, it’s perfectly understandable that you would be cautious about enrolling in another one. Have a look at some independent course reviews here. The best information on how useful a course can be comes from previous students. 

“All the courses look the same. I don’t know which one to choose.”

They aren’t all the same but it can be so difficult to work out what is marketing and what is real. Our advice? Test their customer service before you buy. Send an email with an enquiry and see how quickly they answer (if at all). If you aren’t happy with the response, don’t enrol. Get in touch with us here or ask for a free photography appraisal now. We offer a free appraisal because we want to start as we mean to go on; with bespoke advice and help on your photography. We’ll look at the lighting, composition and camera craft used in your photos and offer real advice as well as a course recommendation. 

Find out more about our courses here

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