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Turning Chaos into Art is an intensive and interactive group mentoring programme which will enable you to become a better and more intentional documentary family photographer.
Our students’ work
During this mentorship, we will give you the insight and the tools to consistently create rich, complex and beautiful documentary family images. You will graduate with the knowledge that you can consistently craft powerful, storytelling images, even when all hell is breaking loose.
You’ll learn how to…
Image © Emma Collins
- use the documentary ethos in family photography to create successful storytelling images
- stop chasing the shot and start shooting intentionally
- use different techniques to infuse a photograph with sense of mood and feeling
- create dynamic images that excite the eye of the viewer
- amplify details in a photograph to elevate an image from nice to powerful
- use composition and organise elements in a frame to make sense of complex scenes
- and so much more…
Here’s what you’ll get:
- five months of intensive learning and mentoring with Emma and Antonina in an intimate online group setting;
- the benefit of two experienced working documentary family photographers guiding you and giving you feedback at regular intervals, pushing you to do things you never make time for on your own;
- an improved confidence as a documentary shooter;
- a deeper understanding of how to intentionally craft more impactful and complex photographs;
- practical assignments that will make you focus on specific techniques to confine concepts to muscle memory;
- personalised feedback at every step of the way (because this is the BEST and FASTEST way to grow as a documentary photographer);
- two 121 calls with Emma and Antonina, one at the start and one at the end of the programme;
- a combination of written and video instruction that breaks down the key elements of a documentary image, accompanied by assignments designed to underpin the lessons;
- live group critiques every two weeks and 24/7 access to a private Facebook group for extra support;
- a supportive group of like-minded photographers who will inspire you, cheer you on, and keep you accountable;
- a timetable of commitments from day one so you can plan your diary and know exactly what to expect and when it will happen.
Our students’ work
Group mentoring is mentoring on steroids.
Not only do you learn from your own critiques, by being in a safe, intimate group setting you also get the benefit of watching and learning from the critiques of your peers.
You’re less emotionally attached to the work of others, giving you an objective understanding of their critique which reinforces the feedback that you get about your work and progress.
Don’t take it from us
Here are just some of the kind words our students had to say about their experience with Turning Chaos into Art:
“This course has almost been a sort of lifeline! I’ve done my fair share of online courses over the years but this has been absolutely one of the best – teaching, content, pace, community and people all exceptional.”
“Turning Chaos Into Art does what it says on the tin. It takes all the swirling ingredients that make up a really good documentary image and it breaks it down into each individual element. Then it slowly helps you to build those pieces together to allow you to make photos you will be proud of. I have purchased a fair few photography courses over the years but TCIA has been, by far, the best investment I have made for my own creative development. In fact I wouldn’t really call it a course, or a mentorship, it has been more like an inspiring journey with friends.”
“I’m absolutely loving it. It’s the best thing I’ve done since picking up the camera in the first place. I’m going to miss it so much – it’s totally changed everything for me.”
“I cannot say enough great things about Emma and Antonina. They are amazingly talented photographers and excellent instructors. I walked away from this course having learned so much. They carefully broke down a different technique each week and gave insightful and constructive feedback that enabled me to grow as a photographer. I watched as my work improved over the course of 6 months and was able to easily apply what I had learned to make my images stronger and more impactful. I’m so glad I decided to sign up for Turning Chaos Into Art and I can’t wait to enroll in another course!”
“For some time I had been feeling a level of frustration with the work I was producing as well as the work I was seeing. I felt stuck creatively and knew I needed to shift gear drastically but didn’t quite know how to go about it. Signing up for ‘Turning Chaos into Art’ has given me the best push that I needed to drive into the next phase of my photography practice. I’ve only just scratched the surface of the rich and complex techniques taught by Emma and Antonina and I know that I will be practicing and perfecting them for many, many years to come. A huge thank you to Antonina and Emma who have been so generous with their time during this rich and in-depth mentoring course.”
Amanda Jane Dalby
Turning Chaos into Art was a game changer for me. My ability and confidence to take “different” pictures grew so much. Emma and Antonina are brilliant teachers. They are fun, respectful and brought me out of my comfort zone.
Turning Chaos into Art has been the best investment into myself as a photographer. Learning about composition in the documentary genre has been fascinating. Emma and Antonina’s assignments inspire and challenge you. Their explanations provided so many ‘lightbulb’ moments and they have made me much more intentional in my work. At first it is feels nerve wracking having your work critiqued but Emma and Antonina share their knowledge in such a kind and inspirational way. If I could I would do it all again – it really has been such a fantastic experience!
Turning Chaos into Art is such a well put together course. It is intense and requires commitment, but it is so very rewarding. The bi-weekly group feedback and critiques are invaluable. Whether you are wanting to run a photography business in this genre or just hone your skills for your own photography art, I feel this course is a fantastic resource and great value for money and highly recommend it. On top of all this, you also get to meet some great photographers and develop a wonderfully kind and caring community as you cheer each other on.
The course has been invaluable to me, I can’t express enough how much it has changed the way I see everything and how that might work within a frame. Antonina and Emma are there every step of the way and really go above and beyond to help guide you through each assignment with their wealth of experience and knowledge of Family Documentary. Investing in the course is the best decision I’ve made for my creative development in years and I would highly recommend it!
Enrolling in the Turning Chaos Into Art Mentoring Course was my gift to me and I’ve enjoyed it so much! Antonina & Emma are the kindest mentors you’ll find and the bi-weekly image critiques were a fun experience where I learnt so much. Because you see everyone’s images critiqued, you basically learn 10x as much as you would on your own. I’ve never picked up my camera up in down season as much as I did during this course. The units and lessons are manageable and well structured, yet beefy enough to really learn something new. I’ve been photographing weddings and families for 6 or 7 years now and I can honestly say I still learned tons even when I already know how to take a good photograph. I feel my images are more multi dimensional and I’ve learnt how to include elements in the frame to tell a better, more meaningful story. Enrolling in this course turned out not to be just a gift for me, but for my clients too.
Who is this programme for?
Whether you’re shooting for yourself or are running a business, this course will help you become a better, more intentional documentary photographer. This is an advanced programme, and so you will need a solid understanding of using your camera in manual or semi-manual modes. The programme will guide you through all the peculiarities and the different technical and creative skills required to shoot in a documentary way. It will improve your understanding of how to elevate a pretty photo into an artfully crafted documentary image that tells a story.
What happens after I enrol?
Once you enrol, you will receive an automated order confirmation email. You will also receive instructions on how to access the learning platform, your welcome pack to get you set up and the introductory unit, as well as a link to our private Facebook group.
What if I change my mind?
Because of the personalised nature of this mentorship and the limited number of spots available in each run we expect our students to be fully committed to the programme when they enrol. With this in mind, the mentorship fee is non-refundable. Please read our full Terms and Conditions here: https://learn.madefordocumentary.com/terms
How much time each week will I need to dedicate to this mentorship?
Every two weeks we will release a new module and a corresponding assignment. They should take you about 30-60 minutes to read and watch, and a few hours each week to shoot (this could be photographing your own family, arranging portfolio building shoots, or practicing during client sessions). At the end of each two week period, there will be a live group critique conducted via Zoom which typically takes about 3-4 hours. Each critique is also recorded, so if you can’t make it, or can’t watch it in full, you can access the recording later. You will also need to allocate time for 121 calls with Emma and Antonina at the start and the end of the programme.
What are the timings for the group critiques?
The timings will be set in advance and published when the enrolment opens. The critiques typically take place on Sunday evenings (London, UK time).
What if I can’t attend the group Zoom calls?
You will receive dates for the group critique Zoom calls in advance. If you know you won’t be able to make it live, you will be able to submit your images and questions in advance. All calls will be recorded and posted on our education platform so you can watch (and re-watch) later.
What payment options are available?
You can either pay in full, or we have an easy option for you to pay in 6 instalments. We accept all major credit and debit cards.
How many spots are available?
This group mentorship is limited to 14 students to ensure an in-depth experience, so that each participant receives regular individual feedback.
How long will I have access to the course materials?
You will have access to the materials for the duration of the mentorship and will be able to download any content you want to keep before the end of that period. You will have access to the Facebook group for the duration of the mentorship and for as long as you wish afterwards so you can continue to benefit from peer support in your group even after the course wraps up.
How much face time will I have with the mentors?
Each student will have two private Zoom sessions with Emma and Antonina, one at the start of the programme and one at the end. You will also get live group mentoring calls every two weeks to review the work that you have produced in response to the assignments. There is also a private Facebook group to ask questions and request feedback in-between the group sessions.
I have more questions!
Great! Email us at email@example.com and we’ll answer any questions you might have.
From humble beginnings of wrapping newborn babies back in 2010, to having a successful lifestyle business, Emma has become one of the leading documentary family photographers in the UK and has won several Documentary Family Photography awards, including Best Overall and Environmental Portrait categories twice in a row. In 2021 she has been shortlisted for the Alpha Female Award by the World Photography Organisation. Her heart has been won by the powerful stories that documenting family life offers, showing families that life doesn’t have to be manicured, that what they have together is their perfect. She is passionate about spreading this message, raising the profile of the genre and teaching photographers how to elevate their images to create art from the everyday chaos.