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Ideas for Successful Photography Short Course

Ideas for Successful Photography Short Course

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Mark Aitken


Facilitated by an award-winning photographer, this course consists of 14 steps designed to investigate your photography practice. Each step involves taking, looking, thinking, writing and discussing photographs. What is there of you in a photo and why should this photo exist?

We will embrace and utilise other art-forms to stimulate ideas and develop unified concepts. You will gain insight as to where your ideas for photographs come from and what you’re trying to achieve and leave with a new portfolio that is at once different and similar to anything you have produced before.

You will develop a critical sensibility of how and why we take photographs and what we want to convey through them. The course includes a visit to a London gallery with a talk by an expert curator. You will leave with a course portfolio of work that is revelatory of your skills and ideas. Work will be hosted on Instagram.

Topics covered
You’ll be asked to present your own current portfolio or any recent work. Key questions will be asked: Was the taking of the photograph planned, accidental or intuitive? What is there of you in the frame? You will define differences between taking and making photographs through course presentations, exercises and criticism.

Who should take this course?
Open creative minds and those wishing to upskill and practice lateral thinking.

Course Outcomes
A greater awareness of how your personality is reflected in genres such as portraiture, landscape, abstract, studio and street photography. You will also be better prepared to plan and submit work for longer courses, competitions and editorial work.

Entry requirements
Students should have an interest in photography. You may be a seasoned professional or a beginner. The course is designed to develop and stimulate your ideas.

Level: All Levels


Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Mark Aitken is an award-winning filmmaker, radio host and head of a non-profit company that’s produced over 40 films. Previously, Mark lectured film practice at Goldsmiths for 11 years and continues to teach at Central Saint Martins. His most recent film ‘Dead When I Got Here’ about a mental asylum run by its own patients in Juárez, Mexico is accompanied by a book and photo series. His acclaimed photo installation ‘Sanctum Ephemeral’ was published as a book in 2018. Mark holds a PhD by Publication entitled ‘Emotional truths in documentary making' from Goldsmiths and is active as a jury member for film festivals in Estonia, Germany and Poland.

Visit Mark's website, The Deep River, for more information.


Students attending this course should bring their own digital SLR cameras, although mobile phones will suffice.
USB memory sticks.
Also please bring a selection of your own work.

Available dates