Measuring your photography?
How long have you been into photography?
A few months, a few years?
There’s one thing I’ve learnt over fifty-plus years of pressing that shutter button, you never, ever, know it all.
No matter how many hours you practice, how many workshops you attend, books you read, webpages you trawl… you never know it all. And yet, given the opportunity to test our knowledge, we are disappointed when we don’t always have the right answer.
Photography Assessment Tool Origins
About three years ago I commissioned a local web designer to create an online scorecard for my website visitors.
It consisted of a number of questions in three category areas of camera, control and creativity. It worked pretty well over that time, creating a lot of interest in my workshops… but I always felt it was missing something.
To me, it failed to deliver very little for the photographers taking part. Sure, they got a score at the end which gave them an idea about their knowledge level, but not much else. Those who scored high no doubt got an excellent dopamine rush, but those that didn’t… didn’t. A bit of a letdown for them.
In order for the tool to be completely successful, it needed to be useful, both in terms of generating interest in Hampshire School of Photography (getting our name out there, making us known), but also in terms of providing feedback to the participants.
What’s the point in answering all those questions if there’s no useful feedback at the end.
Three years on and I believe the new, updated, Photography Assessment Tool, is starting to tick all the boxes.
The New Tool
For a start, the new tool is infinitely customisable.
It comes with its own landing page which can properly introduce visitors to the concept of the scorecard (as it’s known). A set of questions that enable customers to determine with reasonable accuracy, the level of their photography knowledge.
It’s a genuine webpage, with photos, graphics and information about Hampshire School of Photography. People can see that we are a real business, with real premises (and real classrooms!). We are definitely not an internet-only, faceless, data-harvesting, bunch of scammers. We are a family business run by a photographer who has over fifty years of experience behind the camera.
The customisability goes further, enabling me to analyse everyone’s individual scores and ensure the answers they get at the end, are truly dynamic. This means that there is no blanket answer for everyone.
The questions are split into four main categories or Camera, Control, Creativity and now for the first time, I have added Confidence.
Confidence is a big one for photographers. Over the last year or so I’ve been working closely with a number of students, both private individuals that come to me for mentoring, and also a small group who come to me once a month for intense, highly-focused coaching (They are my INNER CIRCLE).
These are opportunities for me to dig deep into the psychology of those taking part. The process helps me (and them) to understand their motivations and fears. Important elements which either help or hinder their photography progress. Confidence (or lack of it) has figured in nearly every case. Consequently, it felt appropriate to add Confidence to the category list, bringing the total up to four.
There are a few additional questions which don’t fit into any of the existing categories, such as what software they edit their photos with, the types of cameras they use and so on.
Dynamic Personalised Results
It is, however, the report page that takes this scorecard to a whole new level.
Not only do we get a score, but there’s a graphical representation of how well the photographer did in each category. More than that, there’s feedback and the feedback is dynamic and highly personalised.
Dynamic results change with the scores. The feedback and advice vary from person to person and category to category, depending on how each person has scored in those areas.
If someone scores well in camera but bad in creativity, the report comments on both separately, and then gives advice which is uniquely tailored to each.
No two people are ever likely to get the same content in their reports (unless their scores are identical).
The last part of the report gives participants the opportunity to book free phone consultations, should they want to talk through their situation in more detail and get advice about options for moving forward. You can even book a place on the monthly free evening workshops at our Training Centre. All of this is done from the same page, enabling participants to pick dates and times. It’s easy, seamless and pain-free.
The obvious benefit of the Photography Assessment Tool for the photographer is a reasonably accurate result (nothing is ever 100% accurate, elements of photography are just too subjective). It’s a snapshot of where they are at that point in time, something to perhaps help them make a decision about where they ought to be focusing if they want to improve.
It’s a starting point, and if they feel they want to make a more concerted effort to move forward, then HSP can offer them a range of solutions. Workshops aimed at the beginner – through to highly targeted tuition by private mentoring… and of course, all the various shades that lie in between.
Take The Test
If you’d like to take the test click on this link or scan the QR code with your phone.