Our 12 month course is designed to help you launch a career in wedding and portrait photography

The Academy


  • Over the course of 12 months you'll learn everything you need to start your own wedding and portrait photography business
  • You'll get on-the-job experience, working alongside acclaimed photographers and shooting at 3 real weddings, giving you the confidence to manage your own shoots
  • Your own dedicated mentor will work closely with you throughout the year, supporting and constructively critiquing your work via one-to-ones and on-going Zoom calls
  • You'll develop a wide portfolio of images from on-location shoots and real wedding assists, giving you a 'ready to go' portfolio across incredible locations
  • During the final months of the course we'll advise you on how to create a strong brand, establish your own website and how to price and sell your work
  • We have just one intake each year, and the next Academy will begin in May 2024. Get in touch via the form below if you'd like to discuss joining this year's group.


The Academy is an action packed year of learning.  Whilst the course contains continuous 1-to-1 coaching the whole way through, these six two-day modules are the backbone of the course and each one sets the tone for the next couple of months learning.  After each you will have assignments to complete, image critiques and ongoing mentoring via Skype.  After module 2 you will notice you start to join us at real weddings, to get the invaluable real-world experience you need.

Module 1:   Photography Technique & Light Mastery  (2 days)

After an initial orientation for the year ahead, we dive straight into talking about camera skills, understanding light, and working towards a photographic style.  We then put this theory into practice with a relaxed portrait shoot session working in your smaller mentor groups.

Day 2 continues our practical shooting, working with some couples on a location shoot.  In the afternoon we help you understand background selection, lighting, posing, and how to capture great moments within a portrait shoot.  This will be great preparation for your first shooting assignments, which will focus on identifying great locations and shooting couples.

  • Module 2:   Wedding Photography  (2 days)

Quite literally, everything you need to know about shooting weddings.  What to shoot and why, how to manage the day and techniques for every stage.  We spend a full day and a half shooting various simulated stages of a wedding, from the getting ready shots in the morning to posed couple shots, helping you with your images every step of the way.  This module forms the foundation learning for when you’re assisting at your real weddings.

  • Real Wedding shooting (3 separate days)

After module 2, we will invite you to join us at three separate weddings, to learn on the job.  You will work with one more than one of our mentoring team for variety, and these shoots will take place over the summer and autumn.  (There will be a long list of possible dates so we can find option that are convenient for you). These second-shooing experiences will provide a fantastic insight into what is expected of you, and how top professionals achieve great results.  They are great at confidence building, as well as helping you build really strong portfolio material, as you’ll be able to use these images on your website and to showcase in sample albums to help you book your own clients.  After each wedding your mentor will work with  review your images with you and give you advice to take to the next wedding.

  • Module 3:  Post-Production & Portraiture (2 days)

Day 1:  Learn how to create an efficient digital workflow, from capture and backup, to uncovering the secrets of making your images shine with Adobe Lightroom. No stone is left unturned as we help you towards a consistent and repeatable editing workflow for your images.

Day 2:  A foundation in family portrait photography.  Working with families whether you’re shooting newborns or older children is a great accompaniment to any wedding photographer. On this day we help you understand how to price and sell portraiture, and get creative in the afternoon with some studio and location shooting.

  • Module 4:  Marketing & Management (2 days)

As we enter the second half of the year, our focus shifts towards creating a strong brand for your new business and understanding what marketing materials you’re going to need.  We’ll teach you everything you need to know about branding, creating a strong web presence and great places to advertise and network effectively.  After this module we will work closely with you on a 1-to-1 basis to help you create your brand and assemble your website.

  • Module 5:  Practical Business Workshop

This is a really useful couple of days full of practical information on running your business. We start with a class in legalese… understanding contracts, copyright, and making sure you do everything correctly when taking on clients.  As part of this we’ll provide you with a great contract / booking form system you can use with your own clients.  You will also be taught about basic accounting, pricing your services and managing cashflow… all vital skills for a new business.  During day two we will discuss advertising in great length, providing ideas and case studies of other photographers successes to help you put your time towards the proven paths of selling photography.

  • Module 6:  Booking Clients, and Flash Photography (2 days)

With your new business in-hand and before our year together is up, we’ll spend a day looking at how you attract clients, secure your bookings and make great sales after the shoot.  On day 2 we spend time understanding flash photography theory to help you excel at on-location lighting, with hands-on practice at our Studio.  And of course we’ll finish up with a great night out to celebrate your new business and the journey ahead!



Mentoring is a fundamental part of The Academy, helping you improve leaps and bounds over the course of your year with us.

Every student is assigned a dedicated mentor, all of whom are part of our training team that you’ll work with on the six modules. They each bring a wealth of experience and insight, drawing upon years of first hand experience of shooting weddings and portrait photography.

Mentors will review your project work with you on a regular basis, constructively critiquing, guiding and advising on all aspects of your style and technique, offering tips on composition, camera setting decisions, posing and lighting.  Mostly mentoring calls are managed on an individual (not group) basis, via Skype calls.  As the Academy is design to work around those currently working, mentoring appointments can be arranged for evenings if daytimes are not possible.

In order to maintain your development throughout the year we also arrange several 3 hour face-to-face sessions where you and your mentor can spend more intensive time together, working on specific subjects.


  • On-going fortnightly Skype calls to review your work
  • Three 3-hour face-to-face mentoring sessions for more in-depth help
  • Constructive critiques designed to fast-track your learning and development
  • Approachable, friendly and enormously well qualified mentors
  • Project assignment homework structured to challenge and push your camera skills


Working with your mentors at real weddings is undeniably the most valuable element of The Academy year. These aren’t days where you sit back and watch how the pro’s do it, you’re going to be shooting alongside us in these real-world settings.

It’s an opportunity to learn on-the-job, get a very real experience of typical wedding day shoots, and pick up an enormous amount of learning and knowledge from the professional photographer, the stuff that you can’t learn in the classroom.

With The Academy we give you 3 unique opportunities to work at real weddings where you will:

  • Learn the stages of the wedding, helping you anticipate things before they happen
  • Further expand your portfolio of shots, with images from real weddings
  • Gain invaluable knowledge watching and listening to how a professional photographer manages a wedding day


The Studio:

The Studio is where most of our classroom training will take place. It was purpose-built with your training in mind, offering a comfortable and creative environment to learn in.

We pride ourselves on the relaxed yet informative learning style we’ve cultivated, which is very interactive.  The Academy group is limited to just 12 each year, and we build a really strong and encouraging atmosphere between everyone. The best way to learn is to simply enjoy what you’re doing, and that is always our aim.


For many of our shoots we try and re-create real wedding day experiences for you, and this means visiting some of the UK’s best wedding venues for on-location shoots.

Their’s always an air of excitement when we go out on location and we have exclusive use of local churches and stately homes for our wedding photography courses. Models, location set-up and wedding details are all organised before your arrival for an amazing shoot experience.



A huge aspect of modern wedding and portrait photography is understanding the art of running a business.

Once you’ve gotten to grips with building your portfolio and mastering your photography skills, we spend time taking you through how best to set-up and run your business for greatest success.

The really exciting part is that very soon your dream of a photography business starts to flourish with websites, branding and sales advice.

We will cover:

  • Attracting clients and securing bookings
  • How to present yourself, your images and your business
  • Building your brand and marketing materials with clients in mind
  • Accounting, pricing and contracts


The Academy training is carefully designed to take you through all aspects of camera and creative photography skills, and as such, is open to anybody who has a passion for photography and is considering making a career as a photographer.

There is no minimum level skill requirement and we easily cater for different levels of experience. Most of our students have a DSLR camera and a passion for photography.

On the course you will learn:

  • How to understand light and make the most of it
  • The type of camera equipment you will need to be a wedding or portrait photographer
  • How to shoot portraits and weddings
  • How to use the settings in your camera to get the perfect shot
  • How to make your images stand out using post-production techniques
  • The theory of flash photography


Our ethos at The Trained Eye is about creating a community where photographers can thrive, support each other and share knowledge. Upon graduating from the course, all Academy students become part of The Trained Eye Alumni, where members share learning, provide advice and offer you a network of on-hand expertise.

Over 10 years, we're extremely proud of our graduates, so many great photographers have gone on to build fabulous careers. Why not get inspired by taking a look at their work below. If you would like to speak to them about their Trained Eye experiences before you take your next step, they'd welcome your call.

Nadine Van Biljon

Nadine Van Biljon

Academy 2012

Pete Henderson

Pete Henderson

Academy 2011

Becky Harley

Becky Harley

Academy 2015

Natalie Chiverton

Natalie Chiverton

Academy 2016

Nick Labrum

Nick Labrum

Academy 2014

Eneka Stewart

Eneka Stewart

Academy 2012

Becky Weir

Becky Weir

Academy 2018

Zibi Photography

Zibi Photography

Academy 2013


Got a question?

If you have any questions about the content or availability of any of our courses, or to make a booking, please get in touch: