The following is a review of the new Travel Photography Academy.
Nine years ago, I met Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere at a McDonald’s in Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia.
He’d spent the previous 12 months traveling to not just a few, but ALL of the Pacific island nations.
I recall his small daypack full of electronics, including a DSLR camera and laptop.
The word “commitment” came to mind when I saw his willingness to carry all that extra weight.
In the years since, I’ve watched Gary criss-cross the world countless times, cameras, lenses, and laptop in hand.
Along the way, Gary’s taken pictures. Tens of thousands of them. Unlike many amateur photographers, he took the time to learn how to use his camera’s manual settings and edit photos too.
Since 2011, he’s been racking up photography awards as the fruits of his labor, including being named Travel Photographer of the Year by both the Society of American Travel Writers and North American Travel Journalists Association.
One of the things I like about Gary is that when he decides to do something, he does it full on.
And so it was with great pleasure that I dove into his latest project, the Travel Photography Academy.
What’s Included in Travel Photography Academy
The Video Course
The foundation of the Travel Photography Academy is an online course featuring 16 lessons in eight modules.
Each lesson includes a professionally edited video of Gary providing clear, concise advice and instructions. Gary’s a terrific public speaker, and that comes across in the videos.
The length of the videos varies from two to 41 minutes, with the total viewing time being four and a half hours. This is based on the lessons there today; he’s signaled more will be added in the future.
- An introduction to standard camera gear
- Knowing your camera settings
- Composing your shots
- How to shoot various subjects, such as landscapes, people, and buildings
- Night and smartphone photography
- Editing in Lightroom
- Backing up and storing photos
- Publishing to the web
Below each video is a written outline of the main points, Plus, homework assignments to get you out taking photos.
My favorite lessons were on the topics of composition, smartphone photography, and editing in Lightroom.
I was lucky enough to have a friend, Troy, who introduced me to the Lightroom software back in 2010 while we were both living in Medellin. The quality of my photography increased considerably once I began taking the time to edit my photos.
Gary emphasizes this often-overlooked step and accomplishes the same thing in a 35-minute lesson where he walks you through Lightroom.
While Lightroom is easier to use than Photoshop, it still has a lot of bells and whistles. This lesson alone will save you lots of time figuring out which edits to make on a consistent basis.
One of the best ways to get better, faster, is to have access to professional photographers who can provide feedback on your work.
This is a killer feature and shows Gary’s commitment to taking a hands-on approach with students.
Webinars offer another learning opportunity, and I expect Gary, given his experience and network of contacts, will have some amazing guest photographers contribute their knowledge.
The first webinar is happening today, June 9, and features Bob Holmes, a five-time SATW Photographer of the Year winner with 35 years of experience.
As we know at Travel Blog Success, a sense of community is vital to the learning process.
Discussions and Q&A serve to inspire and motivate. It creates accountability. It offers a trusted place for feedback. And perhaps best of all, it allows for new friendships and partnerships to form.
As a part of the TBS community, Gary’s been very helpful in our Facebook group, offering advice and feedback to our members on a regular basis.
More than a few have even told me they appreciate him being there and I expect the experience in the Travel Photography Academy’s group will be like that x10.
Who This Course is Right For
Having watched all the video lessons, I can safely say the Travel Photography Academy is a solid investment for beginners and intermediates who are serious about improving their skills.
I got a TON of value out of the video lessons even though I don’t own a DSLR nor intend to purchase one (I currently use a Canon G7X and iPhone 6S).
For advanced photographers, I believe the value is there too, primarily based on the access to Gary, photo critiques, webinars, and discussions in the Facebook group.
The Final Verdict: Is Travel Photography Academy Worth It?
As I mentioned in the beginning, I’ve known Gary Arndt for many years and know first hand his commitment to quality and providing a quality experience for his students.
The Travel Photography Academy is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to improve their photography.
It’s also backed by a community, led by Gary, that will give actionable advice as you work to improve your photos.
We’ve often talked about starting our own travel photography course here at Travel Blog Success. We know it’s an important part of travel blogging and want to equip you with everything you need to succeed as a travel blogger.
The Travel Photography Academy is an excellent resource to complement what we offer here, and we highly recommend it.
Ready to Join us in the Travel Photography Academy?
Lifetime access to the Travel Photography Academy is available for a one-time payment of $495.
Click here to learn more.
Travel Blog Success was provided access for review purposes. We are also an affiliate, meaning if you join the Travel Photography Academy by clicking one of the links in this article, we’ll earn a commission. All opinions are the author’s own.