Introduction to Shutha Courses
The Shutha 'Courses' aim to ensure that you have the essential skills to reach and consistently service the markets that you learnt about in the 'How to Sell' book. Where the 'How to Sell' book focuses on the markets and what they are and how they work, the Courses focus on you and how to manage your photography, yourself, and your business in a professional manner so that clients come back to you again and again.
There are many courses on offer at all levels, divided into four departments:
The Business department has courses on business basics, licensing and legal aspects, marketing and free online tools to maximise your effectiveness. These entry-level courses may not sound as attractive as some of the more photography-oriented ones, yet they are likely to make the most difference to whether you flourish as a professional photographer or not. These courses can help you grow your business so as to earn enough money to be able to afford time for the work you dreamed of. Get this right and everything else has time to come right. Get this wrong and you may not be in photography long enough to develop into an award-winning photographer.
Digital imaging department
If you really want to understand the fundamentals of digital imaging and how it all works, you need to spend some time in the Digital Imaging department, where Graeme Cookson has produced courses on digital imaging basics, image formats, colour and light, setting up Photoshop, image errors and colour correction. Sarah Saunders has also contributed a section on metadata.
These courses give you a fundamental understanding of digital imaging and the key elements that make up a digital image. They also give you a clear understanding of what makes a healthy digital image and why it is healthy. Likewise, the more advanced courses help you to recognize unhealthy images and even how to fix them. The courses on setting up Photoshop, image errors, and colour correction are primarily focused on photographers who are working with legacy files that are in Tiff, Jpeg, PSD or some other format where your work on the image actually impacts the image pixels themselves.
If you are shooting raw and working with raw formats, then Peter Krogh's Workflow department is going to be more applicable when it comes to the actual editing and correcting of images, since that department focuses on what we call 'non-destructive imaging'. Even if you work with raw, getting to grips with what Graeme presents here, though, gives a solidly scientific foundation for knowing what you are actually doing to images when manipulating them in a traditional or a non-destructive workflow, and how to make scientific decisions about adjustments rather than simply working by eye.
In the Workflow department, Peter Krogh helps you with a highly productive non-destructive workflow using Adobe Lightroom. Peter provides loads of 'how to' videos that take you step-by-step through the process of ingesting images, working with them to get them to the standard or the look you want, outputting them for specific purposes and archiving them for the long term.
Peter provides very practical ways of building a digital archive that is not only going to last for decades to come, but will also grow in value over time. Part of this is using the archiving functionality of Lightroom, but it is also helping you select the right computer equipment to use and how to backup your collection so that you don't wake up one day and find that your life's work has disappeared in an instant because your hard drives got stolen or there was a power failure and you were busy copying files or a virus destroyed your hard drive.
Finally Peter also provides a way in which you can get your old negatives into a non-destructive raw image format, through using a scanning technique with a digital camera.
In the Multimedia department, D J Clark takes you through becoming competent in the major media - photography, text, audio and video. He mostly uses video as a teaching medium to take you through courses that include writing simple news, audio for beginners, photography for beginners and video for beginners. He then turns his attention to creating multimedia content using a DSLR camera.
D J's concern is that you should become a competent communicator in all of these media so that you have the versatility to output a story onto multiple publishing and broadcast platforms. Being able to do that makes your skills significantly more marketable and your overall photography business more sustainable.