Set in the heart of Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter, the Manchester Academy of Photography (MAP) is a professional photographic training centre.
The academy is renowned for its recognition of the importance of teaching photographic theory in simple, practical and, therefore, very effective ways. The centre helps students to unravel the complexities of photographic theory and then use this knowledge practically whilst taking shots in and around the northern city.
The photographers at the MAP are all trained teachers, so students can be sure of a sound education. The course director is currently Richard Gaskill, who has a BA in Documentary and Fine Art Photography and an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.
Gaskill has over a decade of experience and has widely exhibited his work. Meanwhile, Clare Struthers and Becky Matthews are also current teachers at the academy. Matthews is an award-winning photojournalist and Struthers has an MA in Photography, as well as experience as a freelance documentary photographer.
Who is the academy for?
The MAP has been created to provide training to photographers of all talents, from enthusiastic beginners to those pursuing a career in the industry. The academy’s approach of teaching practical skills rather than just reeling out information means that whatever your ability, you hopefully won’t feel out of your depth.
The classes held at the academy reflect its mission to be appropriate to all abilities. The Introduction to Photography course is held over two days and covers an overview to digital imaging. The class is mostly practical based and aims to help students understand how to get the most from their cameras using the manual mode. Held over Saturday and Sunday, with homework set for the Saturday evening that is then reviewed on the Sunday, it is used to help develop relevant skills.
The Intermediate Level course is also a two-day programme. This class builds on the knowledge gained in the introduction course. Its aims are to develop a student’s ability and knowledge of what makes a well-balanced and composed photograph. The course content is intended to teach students about how to look for a story and edit their images appropriately. The Intermediate level class also introduces different styles of picture taking, including street photography.
The academy also offers more specific courses, including Night Photography and The Use of Light. One-to-one classes are also available to anyone with an SLR camera looking to capture the best possible shots.