A year in review

What we got up to in 2020

This year certainly didn’t go how we expected it to, but instead of focusing on the negatives, we thought we’d share everything that we’ve been up to here at Visual Education this year.

This year got off to a strong start as we released our re-mastered ‘Introduction to Photography’ course. We made this course completely free to ensure that anyone who wanted to learn photography could.

This comprehensive course covers the fundamentals of photography, helping aspiring photographers learn how to use their camera in manual mode and get more creative with their photography. The course also came with a new, in-depth 90-page e-book, a must-have for anyone starting out learning photography.

As much of the world went into lockdown, we were able to keep our members (and the team) busy by continuing with our live shows throughout the year. We completed a total of 31 live shows, including critiques, live photoshoots, photography briefs and even interviews with some familiar faces.

These live shows saw the studio soaked with water, filled with flowers, covered in makeup and scored with tire marks (but nothing a lick of paint can’t fix).

Images shot during Karl Taylor Education live shows

Despite not being able to have guests visit us personally in the studio, we were still joined by some incredible photographers (albeit via video chat) for some fascinating and insightful discussions.

These included conversations with Tim Flach, Urs Recher, Tom Oldham, David Lund, David Stanbury, Barry Makariou and Rachell Smith who all discussed what they’ve been up to during lockdown and how they have been able to continue with their photography businesses, even if it is a little different to how they normally would.

Guests on Karl Taylor Education live talk shows

Many of these live interviews took place with Karl alone in the studio, which meant there was a lot for him to juggle with setting up and running a live show on his own, but members welcomed the additional content. We even put on more shows than normal, with photoshop demonstrations, website reviews, and critiques added to the live show schedule to help people through lockdown.

The team all worked remotely during our lockdown, but they put in extra effort to ensure we maintained our high level of course and blog content and customer support. They even snapped some pictures of their home setups — not quite as fancy as the studio, but who can complain about working while still in your pyjamas?

Karl Taylor Education team

One of our big projects for the year was thankfully completed just before lockdown hit us. This was our floating ceiling rig — something that has been in the pipeline for years.

It took time, testing and a lot of skill from a wonderful local metalwork company for it all to come together, but the hard work and hours paid off as we’ve photographed almost £300k worth of cars and bikes already in the studio this year for various projects, including a live show, a new series of courses all on car photography and a commercial project.

We made a video of the entire process, which you can watch.

Karl explaining the lighting setup for car photography

How to photograph cars

How to light & photograph cars

A behind-the-scenes look at a recent car photoshoot and TV commercial we did using our new custom-built ceiling rig.
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Studio images of car photography

With our studio being based in Guernsey we were lucky to get back into the studio relatively quickly and we’ve all enjoyed being able to get back to ‘normal’, working on new courses, video production and live shoots.

Some of our favourites this year have been our ‘Egg Challenge, where Karl was challenged to see if he could think outside the box and shoot some creative shots with just an egg as his subject, and our Moving Bodies workshop, where Karl demonstrated how to use long exposures to capture a variety of artistic images of human movement.

Egg images shot during Karl Taylor Education live showImage of model moving with motion blur

We’ve also released some exciting courses this year, including our Fashion on location’ series. These courses required a real team effort and seeing the fantastically positive reactions from members really made the hours in wetsuits, being battered by the elements, worth it.

Images from filming courses for Karl Taylor Education

There have also been some new additions to our live show line-up in the form of our Photography briefs’. We created these as an extra challenge for members to offer them a chance to practice working to a commercial photography brief.

Their submissions are then reviewed in a follow-up live show, which gives an opportunity for members to see what they got right and where they could have improved. This has been an incredible learning opportunity for members and has been an absolute hit with our audience! Our fourth brief will be announced early in January 2021.

Images of our three brief sketches

With everything that happened this year, we made sure to focus as much on the community aspect of Visual Education as we could.

We really wanted to bring together like-minded photographers so that they could talk, share ideas, and offer advice. We really focused on building our Facebook group for members and, as part of this, we started weekly challenges to allow everyone to keep practising their photography.

Since we launched the weekly challenges we’ve had more than 1500 images posted to the group. We’ve also seen members support each other by offering critique, advice and encouragement.

A selection of weekly challenge images from members of Karl Taylor Eduction

Top Row:  Lee Hayes, Javier Mouriño, Assaf Ambram, Paolo Mendoza . Bottom Row: Ian Knight, Charlene Guilliams, Brice Mardon, Slim Zrelli, Jonas Wångström.

Our community isn’t the only one that’s grown — our own team has also seen a new addition. Sara joined us towards the end of the year to fill a position dedicated to customer service and administration. This was a new role that came about as we continue to strive to offer our customers the best service possible.

We’re now a team of 9-strong, all with our own skills and expertise but with the sole goal of providing the best possible learning experience for members.

Click here to learn more about the team and what they do.

Images of all the team at Karl Taylor Education

This year might have been a challenging year unlike any other, but we’ve come out stronger on the other side and we can’t wait to see what 2021 has to offer!

Although we can’t be sure what’s in store for the world, one thing we can promise our members is that we’ve got a jam-packed schedule of live shows, new courses and interesting shoots, which you’re sure to love. We’ll also continue to be here for you, offering the best photography education possible, top-notch support and an incredible global community.

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  1. Hello Karl,

    I wish you and your super-great team all the best for 2021. I joined KTE in October and I have been helped a lot by instructive videos and general tips for a amateur photographers such as myself. So thank you very much for all the insightful and informative education so far. This is the best photography education on the web (according to me). I am looking forward for all the new courses and videos in 2021. Stay safe now.

    Kind regards,
    Magnus Bjurling, Sweden

    1. Hi Magnus, thank you so much for your message and support we greatly appreciate it. I see you’re in Sweden not far from our friends at Hasselblad and based on your email address you’re with another Swedish super-brand! All the best Karl.

  2. Congratulations on a great year. Happy new year to you all. I am truly grateful for finding your site it has made a huge impact on my skills and confidence. looking forward to an amazing 2021. Cheers-Brian

  3. I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year!!!
    Hope 2021 is a much better year for all of us.

    Also want to let you know how much I am enjoying being a member of this community. What you have put together here is truly AWESOME!!! I’m learning so much from your courses. A big “Thank you!!” to all of you that make this happen.

    Best wishes,

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