Short Course in Photography

Why Photography?  

Photography is everywhere, more than at any point in history.  Nearly everyone has a camera.  Unfortunately, this means there are a lot of camera owners around, not necessarily that many great photographers. 

That doesn’t mean that everyone must be the next David Bailey to enjoy photography, but we do believe that everyone can have a much more pleasurable experience and enjoy the fruits of their labour a lot more by learning the basics and by expanding their knowledge base further.  

About the course 

The course is designed for those with a passion for Photography be that Urban, Landscape or Portraiture. Even if you have never picked up a camera in earnest, you will quickly learn the skills required to take a memorable image. 

The cohort will compromise of both the serving military community as well as ex-service personnel and veterans. The course is open to all regardless of age, rank or previous experience. 

In particular, we are keen to accommodate those who have been wounded, injured or sick whilst serving.  


The course will run from Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 17:30 for a duration of two weeks. Additionally, there will be self-guided evening sessions in order to complete assignment tasks.

Due to the Covid-19 situation, we hope to run courses in Summer 2021. Please see BFBS social media for further updates.

Where will it be delivered? 

The course will be delivered at BFBS’s state of the art media hub at Chalfont Grove in Chalfont St. Peter, SL9 8TN. Some activities are classroom based whilst other will take place out and about in either a rural or urban environment, supported by the tutors.  

How is it structured? 

The course will be delivered by our talented tutors and will cover both theoretical as well as practical aspects of Photography. The course will be delivered and assessed at an academic level 3 and the assessment elements (images & Photographic journals) will be worked on during class time supported by the tutors.  

Who will deliver the course? 

The course will be delivered by working photographers. They bring real-life experiences to the classroom making each lesson relevant and engaging.  

Tutor - Rupert Frere 

Rupert Frere is a British Army Photographer and company director of Schmooly media company. Rupert has won various awards for his photography and was runner up in television show Master of Photography which was aired worldwide on Sky.  Rupert has taught photography to British Army Intelligence, worked as the Royal photographer in London and is currently employed as a combat camera team commander. Outside of the army, Rupert runs photography workshops and is employed by various companies as their official photographer including; The Royal Variety and The Invictus Games, among others. 

Tutor - Ross Tilly

Ross Tilly is a photographer who has recently competed 30 years of service in the Royal Air Force photographic trade. He has traveled the world in his job photographing all aspects of RAF and military life with his work being published in national and international press and TV news.

His jobs have included working at the Defence School of Photography, Combat Camera Teams in Iraq and Afghanistan and covering high profile events with the MOD’s Directorate of Defence Communications teams in London.

He graduated from the University of Westminster in 2017 with an MA in Documentary Photography. He is passionate about all disciplines, but his preference is in documentary and street photography.

What will be covered on the course?  

This two-week course is centred around learning the fundamentals of photography and becoming comfortable with your camera. On this course we will cover: 

  • Demystifying the technical terminology of exposure – the foundation of all photography 
  • Learning the ‘rules’ of photographic composition to get better results 
  • Turning your camera into a tool and knowing how to use it – including menus and settings 
  • Practical photo walks in central locations 
  • Direct feedback on your work in real time, learning from fellow students and instructors 
  • Socialise! Squeezing all the information out of the course by talking things through in an informal environment 
  • How to enhance your work using the latest digital post-production software techniques  

What will be the outcome? 

The course has been fully accredited by OCN (Open College Network). You can therefore use this qualification as part of your CPD (Continuous Professional Development) program.  

You can view this course on the OCN website at this link

The level 3 course has been registered at the Ofqual website – please click on this link

Testimonials of past students 

Don’t take our word for it, this is what some of our students have said: 

“With the tips and discussions from all three of my tutors, I was able to transform my photography in just a few clicks!”
— Tom, Cambridge 
“The Schmooly photography course was beyond my expectations and the instructors were knowledgeable, friendly and engaging.”
— Ed, Ipswich 
“Being a part of the Schmooly training programme was the best decision I have made for a long time. The professional delivery was top-notch in an ideal venue with a great bunch of like-minded folks. I'll come again.” 
— Michael, Twickenham

The courses fees can be fully covered using your ELCAS credits, please check your individual eligibility via the ELCAS website. The costings will be approximately £2,200.

We can advise on local accommodation options and have negotiated preferential rates with several local accommodation providers, please call us on 0203 750 4551 or email us at [email protected].  

How do I register an interest? 

Please email us at [email protected] or call for more information on 0203 750 4551.

Courses will commence in Late Spring 2021. We at BFBS are also planning to run additional courses utilising the two-week delivery model on other subject areas such as; Graphic Design, Mobile Journalism and Podcasting. Keep an eye on our website for more updates!