To master a creative skill such as photography it’s been said that a student must invest 10,000 hours in learning the craft. At the Viewfinder Center we agree that “practice makes perfect” but we also believe that focused, hands-on learning experiences and quality feedback are essential for producing confident and capable photographers.
Now in it’s sixth year, Viewfinder’s Advanced Photography Study helps goal-oriented students master a variety of camera skills and shooting strategies, taking them from intermediate shooter to advanced photographer during it's seven units of study.
Graduates leave the program with their very own print portfolio and program diploma — proof of their ability to solve technical and creative problems on their own. From studio shoots to landscape field-trips and action sports to reportage projects — this program will challenge the photographer who’s ready for more.
Get ready to broaden your photography horizons during this exciting in-depth program!
Classes on Tuesday Evenings in Zurich
Seven off-site Practice Shoots
Feedback after each practice shoot
Students print and build a portfolio
Graded assignments & written feedback
Landscape Shoot Weekend Trip
Access to Online Resources
Access to Fully Equipped Studio
Diploma upon Completion
Throughout the program, students print their assignment work and build their own photography portfolios. This valuable asset helps maintain a photographer’s creative motivation and also nurtures the development of a personal shooting style. In addition to earning a program certificate, each student’s portfolio is a testament to their skills and experience behind the camera.
Instructors facilitate an interactive critique session after each of our practice shoots. Participants receive ideas for improvement, before tackling their independent photo assignments. Be ready to partake in the conversation as fellow students share ideas and opinions about what makes a successful image. Feedback sessions have been a program highlight for our students.
In our experience, photography is a “learn-by-doing” craft. Students put their new knowledge to work by practicing together in the field. Instructors are on-site to assist as students tackle real shooting situations, chosen to be both fun and challenging. From portraits of models and action-packed sporting events to landscape and macro photography, we make excellent use of Switzerland’s beautiful scenery and wide variety of subject matter.
After completing their course work, students take part in a group photography exhibition. Learning how to present your work is as important as creating it in the first place. The student exhibition is a culminating experience and wonderful way to wrap up a creative and productive year together!
Matt is the principle instructor of the Advanced Study program. As a young photographer he worked for three daily newspapers in the USA, acquiring a broad base of skills and experience, covering multiple assignments per day — always under deadline pressure. These days he regularly shoots for the Zurich-based Keystone agency and works with other clients in the Zurich area. Matt’s work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists (USA), the National Press Photographers Association (USA), and the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers. For Matt the Advanced Study program is a unique and fulfilling opportunity to work with highly motivated students.
Erwin’s photography career has taken him around the globe and introduced him to many of the world’s best and brightest. After cutting his teeth as an agency photographer in Zurich, he moved on to photograph for the biggest brands in fashion, living in Paris and New York for more than 20 years before returning to his home country of Switzerland. In addition to photographing for Vogue, Elle, GQ, L’Oreal, and Yves Saint Laurent, Erwin frequently shoots for Swiss Universe (1st and business class magazine for Swiss airlines). A powerhouse of energy and creativity, Erwin is as approachable and thoughtful as he is enthusiastic for the craft of photography.
Susi picked up her first camera 30 years ago and has never looked back. The switch to digital photography allowed her to push her creativity further and intensified her desire to produce more images. Susanne grew up in Kanton Valais, here in Switzerland – which helps explain her fascination with beautiful landscapes. Macro photography is one of Susanne’s biggest passions and she takes pleasure photographing the details that others miss. Susanne’s enthusiasm for nature is infectious and fun. Her landscape and macro expertise come in particularly handy on workshops and macro photography courses where she helps students find compositions where others wouldn’t look.
A’ron picked up his first camera at age 10 and has been fascinated by the creative and technical sides of photography ever since. His main passions are wildlife and landscape photography and he travels widely in search of new subjects and scenery. A’ron has developed a strong expertise with Adobe's imaging software, especially Lightroom which he's worked with since it's initial release in 2007. A'ron takes pleasure in helping other photographers master their digital workflow and gain confidence in their photo editing abilities.
Mike Bissig feels at home while photographying in the Swiss Alps. Although he lives near Zurich, he spends much of his free time in the alpine region of Uri, base-camping at his family's farm house in Urnerboden. As a Swiss adventure and lifestyle photographer he concentrates mainly on shooting for the outdoor industry. His photographs of outdoor athletes get used by companies like Mammut, the Swiss Alpine Club and various tourism agencies. Mike is able to draw on his extensive mountaineering and athletic experience for his outdoor projects at home and abroad and helps Viewfinder students learn how to get great shots in spite of stormy weather.