DPC Roadmap 2018

By | 2018-02-19T11:05:50+00:00 18 Jan 2018|DPC News|17 Comments




Another year has flown by, and apart from the odd blog post and a short New Year’s message, I haven’t done any official announcements for quite some time. So, here goes my first announcement for 2018!



Out with the old, in with the new

Even though the DPC Team and I were busy on many fronts, 2017 felt rather “slow”. Apart from a few minor changes to our existing courses, we didn’t exactly “move mountains” in terms of the goals we had set earlier. This was partly due to technical issues that we experienced with our Photo Critic service.  However, on the less visible front, we did move a few hidden icebergs.

From an individual and personal perspective, the DPC team had a great year!

Our on-location lighting instructor, Trompie Van Der Berg, was awarded a Profoto brand ambassadorship. This is not a small feat, considering that Profoto is one of the world’s most exclusive and sought-after lighting brands.

Equally impressive, Warren James was appointed as a Fuji brand ambassador and X-Photographer.

Another achievement was that two of our team were featured in the Photoworld Magazine. Photoworld is a Chinese Photography Magazine with a huge following across Asia and other parts of the world. We’ve been chosen by Dudu Madonsela (curator of the Bensusan Photography Museum) among only twelve other photographers to represent South African photography! I was honoured with a main feature in the March edition (Danie Bester: A Knight of Photography as Art), and Bruna Mentrup-Nortje (DPC’s incumbent wildlife photographer) was featured in the August edition.

Bruna also received several prestigious awards, included a coveted PSSA licentiateship!

2017 also saw us heading in new directions on the educational front, John Onderstall and I started writing our first book on photography!  Late last year, we also began working on a new educational platform: Online DPC.  We also identified new team members who will be joining the DPC fold; but before I get carried away, let’s break down the major changes you can expect over the next two years:


Online DPC: A brand new teaching platform!

We are currently developing a brand new social-learning website, on which we will offer online courses to those who are not able to physically attend our courses. The good news is that these online courses will be made available to registered face-to-face students for free! More good news is that existing students who have already completed a course with us, will also get free online access to the courses they have already done! The online platform will follow the same structure and curricula as our face-to-face courses. Students will be able to connect with their instructors and other students via a social-learning platform, upload assignments, and track their progress online.

I can almost feel our students’ anticipation to join the awesome new community site! As with all good things though, it will take some time to roll out. Even though we have already started recording some of our classes in 2017, it will take us at least another year to have a fully functional platform, and an additional year to get all the courses online. Take note that complete online courses will not be offered before 2019 -2020. The online courses that we will offer this year will be supplementary to our face-to-face classes.


Changes to Photo Critic

Last year I reported that we are working on a new Photo Critic service. The current Ning-platform on which we’re currently running Photo Critic, was a great platform and served us well for over seven years. Unfortunately, compared to all the latest cutting-edge social platforms out there, Photo Critic has become outdated. We’ve also experienced serious performance issues, directly related to the platform itself.

After evaluating many alternative social platforms, and spending months installing and running demo sites, we concluded that it would be better to develop our own website from scratch. It was with great fanfare that I announced that we had found a developer who was willing to partner with us. The new website, built on Angular JS, quickly started taking form. By February 2017, the skeleton website was up. Heartbreakingly, the development of the new Photo Critic website has since stalled. Our developer could no longer continue, due to a change in his work schedule and personal commitments.

Since then, I have been looking at finding another programmer to partner with us and complete the platform. When hiring a developer proved too costly, we continued our search on customisable platforms. The good news is that with so many technological advancements in the past year, we found a more-than-suitable platform.

Unfortunately, investing in this new platform will cost a lot of time and money. I therefore had to make a tough decision: to postpone the development of our Photo Critic service for the interim. We will also no longer provide critiques on every photo, as we would rather spend our efforts and energy on developing and implementing the new study platform, where we feel our students will get maximum benefit. Luckily, all is not lost for our die-hard Photo Critic members. Members can still upload their photos and we will be encouraging the members to critique and rate each other’s photos while the DPC team maintain an administrative role only. We will also keep the communication lines open if members need any help, by encouraging them to post their questions on Photo Critic’s Discussion Forum and on our Facebook Group. We did amend the changes to the Rules for Posting images accordingly, if you would like to check it out.

Take note that we will continue offering the Photo Critic discounts to all our students!


Photography Book

I mentioned that John Onderstall and I are currently working on our first photography book. The eBook will cover, in-depth, the fundamental aspects of photography. It will be the ultimate photography resource and will contain hundreds of visuals, cheat-sheets, and dummy settings. As mentioned, ex-students will have free access to their relevant course materials on the online platform, whilst the eBook (an invaluable supplementary resource) will be offered as an additional purchase.

Since we have shifted all our weight towards getting the online platform ready, the book will only be launched towards the end of the year.


New Team members

We would like to introduce new members of the DPC Team who will join us from early 2018, and we hope to add a few more photographers by the end of the year.

Michael Tree, who is a seasoned professional portrait and wedding photographer, recently extended his photography reach towards architectural and interior photography. Michael won the Architectural Photograph of the Year (2017) at the 60th Anniversary of the Steel and Construction awards in South Africa. It is in this capacity that he will join our team and will, from hereon, present the Architectural and Interior Photography Course.

We are also welcoming the canny and energetic Tim Moolman, who is also a Fuji X-Ambassador. Tim is an adventure and documentary photographer with years of experience shooting many disciplines. He will be presenting a course on Mobile Photography in 2018 – we will keep you posted.

Other members who are joining us in supportive roles, are Jackie O’Hare and Phillip Erasmus. Jackie will be assisting us with proofreading and semantics. She has already done a lot of work behind the scenes, including the gruesome task of transcribing a few of my lectures! Phillip, who is a pro photographer, also joined the team in a supportive role. He has been assisting me during my classes, and I can assure you, the students will love him!


Photography Courses for 2018

We have already posted our course schedules for 2018, and we’ve made a few minor changes to our popular course line-up.

This year, we have added more modules to the creative photography programme, which will now consist of 4 courses:

  1. Expanding your Vision
  2. Visual Language and Storytelling
  3. Developing a Personal Photography Style and Photography Projects
  4. Photography Portfolios, Printing, and Presentation


For a list of all our photography courses for this year, follow the link below. Take note that we are in the process of confirming dates for Photoshop, Mobile, and the Location Portraits courses:


Courses for 2019

Unfortunately, due to a tight schedule, we postponed the development of our “Photography as a Business Course”. This business course will only launch in 2019. Another course you can expect next year, is a course on extreme action photography with Tim Moolman. We hope to introduce other long overdue courses on Baby, Children and Family Portraits from 2019 onwards.


DPC Services Roadmap for 2018 – 2019 (Dates revised)

Connecting the dots for our 2018 – 2019 programme so that you can follow our tracks:

  • 1 March 2018, 07 June 2018, Beta Launch of Online DPC
    • DPC Online are made available for testing to selected students
  • 26 April 2018, 12 July 2018, Official Launch of Online DPC (SA)
    • South African online platform launched to supplement the Basic to Intermediate Photography Course
    • From this point onwards, we will start adding other courses to the platform
    • At this stage, online courses will not be available as “stand-alone” courses as they will be offered supplementary to our physical classes
  • 1 October 2018, 30 December 2018, Guide Launch
    • Interactive guide covering the fundamental aspects of photography available for sale
  • 9 January 2019, Official Launch of International Online Photography Courses
    • International online platform launch
    • 30% of our photography courses will be available as complete online courses
    • More online courses will be added throughout 2019
  • 2019 – 2020, New Photo Critic
    • New Photo Critic subscription-based service to be launched


Marching forward…

Coming to the end of this lengthy post, allow me to express our continuous support to all our students. We carefully weighed all our options, and it is not without a healthy sense of trepidation that we decided to step on the pedal and create a new, more exciting avenue for our students. We hope to blow you away with a brand-new, social-friendly platform that will aid you in the endless quest to be better photographers.



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Questions or thoughts?

As always, your comments and proposals are highly appreciated: feel free to contact me directly, or leave a comment below.


About the Author:

Danie Bester
I am the founder of DPC and Photo Critic. I am married to Jenna, my high-school sweetheart for over two decades now and have two adult children, Mia-Daniel and Minnette. We live in Centurion, Pretoria. I am proud, yet humbled by how far we have come and what we have achieved in such a short time. Today DPC ranks under the foremost photography schools in South Africa and we've build a healthy community of photographers. The road has not always been easy but through a leap of faith and the grace of God, we have grown a small photography business to a successful training institute. Working as a commercial photographer and teaching a wide range of photography subjects, including; Portraiture, Studio lighting, Fine-art, Architecture and Food Photography has kept me fairly versatile. On a personal level, I pursue fine-art, travel, and landscape photography. I have recently been honoured, with my work being included in the Collectors Guide to Art and Artists in South Africa.


  1. Nate Green 2018/01/22 at 06:43

    Thanks Danie. Really looking forward to what’s in store. The online courses are an awesome idea and making recap material available is just what every student wants to hear 🙂
    Congrats to the well able guys that have made the team. It’s always pleasing to see a vision grow. Well done and a great year ahead. DPC has been instrumental in my career.

  2. Renate Jute 2018/01/21 at 08:39

    Hi Nomsa
    Working with the DCP team is such fun. They are so passionate and knowledgeable.
    It will be money well spent.

  3. Renate Jute 2018/01/21 at 08:36

    Hi Danie. I look forward to the creative class.

  4. Danie Bester
    Danie Bester 2018/01/20 at 19:49

    You have been quiet lately Renate, but I understand 100%. Life happens! I think you will be elated since we will be presenting the creative photography program in Bryanston too, which is much closer for you. We will keep you posted in regards to the Online Photography Courses.

  5. Danie Bester
    Danie Bester 2018/01/20 at 19:45

    We see you soon Nomsa! In the meantime, please join us on our Social Media outlets, especially our Facebook Group where we will gladly answer your interim questions.

  6. Danie Bester
    Danie Bester 2018/01/20 at 19:41

    Dankie vir die mooi woorde Hendrina 🙂

  7. Renate Jute 2018/01/20 at 17:35

    Danie and DPC team
    I am so excited about the online courses. I loved attending the face to face classes, but my work and study schedule often prohibited me to attend more of these classes.
    Well done on all the achievements and developments during 2017.

  8. Nomsa Mohlamme 2018/01/20 at 14:10

    Cannot wait to commence my photography course, my savings are getting there slowly but surely. Reading about such amazing experiences people have with DPC is giving me so much courage and inspiration

  9. Hendrina Folscher 2018/01/19 at 18:03

    Danie, jy en jou DPC span het ‘n groot impak op my fotografie as amateur gemaak. Danksy aan baie kursusse beweeg ek vorentoe en weg van “auto” af. Julle is ‘n inspirasie om groter te gaan met volharding en harde werk. Nogmaals sterkte met al die nuwe planne, ek kan nie wag vir die e-boek en aankyn kursusse.

  10. Danie Bester
    Danie Bester 2018/01/19 at 10:25

    Thanks kindly Marius and I promise that we will continue focusing on people, rather than just content. I wish you all success and good health for 2018!

  11. Marius van Aardt 2018/01/19 at 08:22

    Having experienced your passion not only for photography but for people and helping them I have no doubt that whatever you endeavour in line with your passion will be a roaring success.

    Doing a course through DPC always felt like dealing with people and not an institution – please never lose that – it is an competitive edge.

    Living out in the sticks I don’t get to attend as many courses I would like to and I am looking forward to your online content.

    All the best for 2018 and beyond!

  12. Danie Bester
    Danie Bester 2018/01/19 at 05:42

    Thanks for your support Nicolene and always backing our efforts! Truly appreciated!

  13. Danie Bester
    Danie Bester 2018/01/19 at 05:41

    Thanks for the kind words Derik and I am looking forward to you and Catherine joining us during some of our photo-walks!

  14. Derik Midgley 2018/01/18 at 21:46

    I take my hat off to Danie and the DPC Team for their continued efforts and inspiration to maintain a World class platform in the interests of Photography.
    My personal growth in understanding light and developing a meaningful sense of visual expression can only be attributed to the passion and energy that Danie puts into DPC. I look forward to the continued developments in 2018.
    Thank you Danie.

  15. Nicolene 2018/01/18 at 16:42

    I agree with Luke. The impact you and the team has made in my personal walk with photography has been nothing less than extraordinary. Dont know how you do it all. Well done guys. Looking sooo forward to all those exciting things coming up. Really truly very exciting. Well done DPC

  16. Danie Bester
    Danie Bester 2018/01/18 at 14:46

    Dankie! Thanks for the kind words and flattering Luke! Absolutely worth it if we get students like yourself!

  17. Luke 2018/01/18 at 12:10

    Danie as always I ask myself the question “Do you ever sleep”. What you and your team at DPC have got planned for DPC in the future is nothing short of being to good to be true. Sounds amazing and I wish you and everyone involved nothing but success in this new venture. As an old student (Old being the operarative word here) it has always amazed me the amount of time and energy that you and the team have spend on teaching your students the in’s and out’s of photography and you guys are always ready go the extra mile.Not to mention the quality of lectures and lecturers. Exciting times indeed, so looking forward to this year and off course cannot wait for that eBook launch from yourself and John. Put my name down for that one already.

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