It’s that feeling you get when a long-held ambition finally comes to fruition – as if you could walk on air, as if Santa Claus has just delivered a present you have dreamed of for years. That’s how I feel every day when I think about Engage Live.
When I started my photography journey just a few short years ago, I learned so much from online videos delivered by experts in their fields, and I was therefore able to launch and grow a wedding photography business that is currently booming.
Since then, I have always wanted to give something back, and that has been my raison d’être for launching Engage Live. Nevertheless, I’m constantly surprised and delighted that so many of you have been able to benefit from our online and in-person classes.
It’s always wonderful to welcome new people into the wider Engage Live community, and to receive feedback detailing how you’ve managed to improve and grow thanks to the teachings of our amazing pool of instructors.
Our first year cannot end without me expressing my gratitude and thanks to those instructors: namely Gerry Coe, Sasha de Paz, Brett Florens, Hamish Symington, Richard P Walton, Bea Lubas, Lyn Chapman, Andrew Appleton, Glenn Norwood and so many others who have inputted into our classes via Skype from all parts of the world. Without you guys, Engage Live would still be a dream, not a tangible reality, an ambition finally fulfilled.
Since we launched at the very end of 2014, we have streamed seventeen classes online, which have been watched by over 22,000 people across the globe. We have moved from my own home in the beautiful city of Derry~Londonderry to a state-of-the-art studio and office space just down the road, the same space that hosted the Turner Prize in 2013.
Our in-house team has grown, with new presenters, marketing executives, interns, designers and filmmakers helping Engage Live to find its feet and develop as we continue to serve your needs – the needs of thousands of aspiring and professional photographers working in all kinds of niche markets.
We recently completed a survey with our users, which proved that you value our services. We will plan how we move forward according to your responses, because you, our community of Engagers, are the most important thing of all. We are here to help you, and you, in turn, have helped us. We will endeavour to improve in 2016, which promises to be an exciting year for more reasons than one.
We have a new range of in-person workshops scheduled, including a three-day Game of Thrones Photography Tour of Northern Ireland and a Digital Photography 101 class for those aiming to master their cameras. New instructors will come on board, new classes will be scheduled, and in January we will venture out of our training academy to meet new Engagers at The Societies’ Trade Show in London.
Over the Christmas period, the Engage Live office will be closed from December 24-30, but if you have a pressing issue, feel free to email us and we’ll attempt to help in between turkey sandwiches and Irish coffees.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped to make my vision for the Engage Live photography training academy a reality, and wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. As a good man once said: ‘Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.’