~ By Danie Bester
On Monday, after looking at the statistics for DPC, I just realised again how far we’ve come since I decided to resign my day-job, and throwing all my time and savings into DPC. Since 2010, we had a whopping 1855 people, completing Basic – Intermediate photography courses with us. Almost the same number of people committed to weekend and practical workshops! We can proudly state that we have the highest rate of retaining our students among all other photography schools in South Africa now.
Sure, it was not all moonlight and roses and we had our ups and downs. Nevertheless, looking at the constant growth of our course presentations, materials, and student base, we can count ourselves very blessed indeed. It is with mixed emotions that I look back over the past years. Partially proud, but at the same time extremely humbled and thankful for all we have achieved. I honestly couldn’t have done it by myself. Without Jenna and a team of committed and talented instructors, DPC would have remained just a dream.
Deon leaving Photo Critic
Sadly, Deon, who has been a cornerstone of our Photo Critic website resigned to focus on his own photography business. Deon, joined us way back in 2010 as a freelance instructor, and we will surely miss his inputs. We wish him Godspeed and all success with his future exploits.
A brand-new Photo Critic app!
Some of you will remember how much I boasted about my plans for a new Photo Critic website and how hard I’ve been working on it. Our aim for the new website was to make it more user-friendly, with improved social interaction, while also including an online learning system and extension to our photography courses. Unfortunately, after countless hours spent, we encountered just too many problems with the web-based platform I decided on. Gutted, and utterly disappointed, I realised that what we really needed, was a brand-new platform, designed from the ground up. But being a mere script kiddie with limited coding experience, I lacked the technical wizardry to make it happen. Then middle October, the solution came to us!
I contacted an old student, Liam Beeton, who is one of SA’s foremost App Developers, to assist me in building a customized website. Liam who just returned from living abroad in the UK, was so excited when I prompted him about the opportunity. He mentioned that he was looking at ways to incorporate his two great passions in life, technology, and photography; for some time now… This was the opportunity he waited for and he enthusiastically agreed to partner with me on this venture! I’ve been between a rock and a hard place, but I could feel the weight lifting when Liam agreed to join our ranks!
Liam has been working day and night ever since on developing our own customized app. Without boring you with the technical mumbo jumbo, all I can say is that the new Photo Critic will be a cutting-edge, cross-platform application, that will run seamlessly on your Computer, IOS, and Android devices. It will be fast, responsive, and beautiful. It will also be future proof. Owning the source code ourselves means that we can easily adapt, or add features without the limitations of a web-based platform.
Yesterday, I had the privilege to test some of the code, and oh wow! It is blistering fast compared to our current ageing platform. Obviously, we are still a few months away from launching the new app, but good things come to those who wait right?
Course Programme and Schedules for 2017
The “Expanding your Vision” series was one of the highlights of the year, with over 150 people doing the creative workshop in different areas. Due to the positive feedback, we got, I realised the importance of presenting similar, short, affordable, yet highly creative topics throughout next year. My next series will launch in January and will be on Developing your own Photography Style and building a Portfolio. I will also be announcing future creative and advanced topics throughout next year.
We will be posting our course schedules for 2017 on the DPC website within the next two weeks. To remain market leaders in this very competitive creative industry, you can expect additional practical courses as well as updates to our current course materials and structures. The good news, however, is that we won’t be increasing our course fees for at least, the first half of next year! I will broadcast a message on Photo Critic as soon as we’re done with 2017’s schedules, or you can simply view the courses online by visiting our Courses Overview Page
In the meantime, should you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me personally.