Extra Curricular Activities at WPS aren’t just about football, rugby or gymnastics. There’s an impressive variety of options to suite the most discerning of students. One such activity which has borne some impressive fruit is our Photography ECA. Organised and run by Nick Arundel, the club goes from strength to strength, encouraging each student to improve and impress in their quest to become a future professional ‘tog. Here we speak to Nick about his influences and his advice for his students.
Tell us about your photography background
During my late teens and early twenties, photography was very much a hobby that I fitted in around my busy sporting and working life. In 2016, I made the decision to leave the UK and travel. I spent 15 months travelling the world and visited a total of 28 countries. It was during this time that my passion for photography took hold. Having completed my round the world trip I chose to base myself in Dubai, where my company, Nick Arundel Productions began. I enjoy photography of many different genres including landscapes, portraits and interiors.
Tell us about the Photography ECA offered at WPS
Nick Arundel Productions, a brand partner of Canon ME, delivers Canon Juniors Academy in schools across the UAE. The course is designed to integrate the basics of photography within a fun and interactive environment enabling students to shine with their creativity. Throughout the course students will learn valuable photography skills such as composition and lighting.
Students are invited to attend an external trip during the term. This enables them to practice the skills they have learned over the previous weeks and take photographs in a new and exciting location. Each student chooses their favourite photo which is then showcased at an exhibition held at the end of term. These photographs will then be displayed within the school.
What makes a good photography student?
Through my experience of teaching, I have found that students that listen, perservere and understand the basic rules of composition and light produce the best photos. Patience is also key for a photographer. You are not always going to get the photo you want on that first try. You may need to revisit the location many times before you nail that perfect shot.
What is the one tip you would give to aspiring photographers?
It’s a question I get asked many times when hosting seminars and I always answer it the same way - just pick up a camera and go and have fun. Take as many photos as possible and through this you will eventually find the genre of photography that you really have fun with. I always say there’s no such thing as a bad photo. It’s a learning experience and if you practice daily your photos will get better and you will start to understand what magical things the camera can do with light.
What would you say is your photography teaching mantra/ethos?
To have as much fun as possible. What better way to learn than in a fun and friendly environment. I want students to have as much time holding the camera and taking photos as possible. I believe you learn more about the camera and yourself whist taking photos, but, there also needs to be an understanding of why we take photos and how the camera has taken them. During the Canon Junior Academy course, students complete a photography workbook to help them understand the theory behind the exercises we do.
What is your proudest moment as a photographer and photography teacher?
My recent work with the Sri Lankan tourist board, working alongside large brands here in the UAE and being flown to beautiful parts of the world to take photos and create content for magazines, videos and hotels. But, my number one achievement so far is heading up Canon Juniors Academy and being able to deliver the course to so many students across the UAE who are learning the art of photography. Photography is what I eat and breathe, so for me to be able to pass on my knowledge and experience makes me extremely proud.
Who is your biggest ‘tog influence?
Over the past few years I have followed a number of photographers on social media. As my main passion is landscape photography, I enjoy Peter McKinnon’s work. His content is great and he shares lots of tips and tricks on combining photography and business. The second is Serge Ramelli, a French photographer living in LA. His editing skills in both Lightroom and Photoshop put him up there with the industries best. Both these photographers have great Youtube channels which are interesting and informative. If you are interested in photography I highly recommend following both of these guys on their social media platforms.
Who inspires you now?
All photographers inspire me through their ability to pick up a camera, take photos and showcase how they want the world to be seen. The younger students I teach especially inspire me. I’m constantly surprised at how creative this generation is. Some days I get home after teaching and try to put into practice something I have seen one of the students try to create in the classroom. We never stop learning and as a creative person I’m always looking at the next thing I can learn or get better at.