Yorkshire Photo Walks was set up by Leeds based photographic artist, Tom Marsh in October 2012. Tom wanted to bridge a gap he found in the market when searching to improve his own camera skills. He found that there were lots of companies charging hundreds of pounds for in-depth, day long courses and local groups charging next to nothing for inspirational talks but little in the way of practical tuition out in the field. Tom was looking for something in between, shorter, more affordable, bite-sized tuition sessions in different inspirational locations.
On Tom's first session, which took place at Swinsty Reservoir in North Yorkshire, he only managed to attract one person. However, with persistence in marketing his idea and his belief in the service he was providing, Tom eventually built up his clientele. In March 2013 he staged a free session to advertise his Photo Walks at Spofforth Castle near Wetherby, which attracted 37 people! From that moment on Yorkshire Photo Walks started to grow. Tom also grew as a tutor alongside his business, launching new ideas and scrapping the elements that didn't work.
By 2014 Tom had completed a Masters Degree in Photography and had two years teaching experience. He started to run Photo Walk Weekends, both in Yorkshire and further afield. With regular Photo Walkers returning time after time for his services and a growing number of new participants Tom's schedules of Photo Walks began to diversify and grow.
Today Yorkshire Photo Walks is an established photography tuition business, still run by Tom. The aspirations he had when the business was first conceived are still going strong. Yorkshire Photo Walks offer more diversity, in terms of locations and what is taught on each session, than any other local photography tuition service. For a combination of value for money, expert tuition, a relaxed atmosphere, a wide variety, and personal after-care Yorkshire Photo Walks are very hard to beat.
Yorkshire Photo Walks tutor Tom Marsh likes to refer to his Photo Walks as 'a photography experience.' The walk itself is just a part of a larger whole. The experience starts with the website, which offers clients a wide range of options depending on their physical and photographic ability. The walks are categorised so each individual can find the best option for them. The Photo Walk Fact Files go into more depth, providing information about where to meet the tutor and what to bring on the day, as well as useful information about the location and maps of the walk start point and route. Tom usually provides two Photo Walks every other Saturday although some weekday and evening sessions are occasionally arranged for specific events. An average Photo Walk lasts approximately two and a half hours.
Once you have found the right session for you and have made your way to the meeting point, you are always met with a welcoming smile. Tom never stands for any elitism on the Photo Walks, no matter what your ability or the make of camera in your bag, you will be seen as an equal member of the group. With group sizes not exceeding six participants, the Photo Walks are neatly formed and sociable at the same time, providing each individual with ample, personal time with the tutor.
Tom starts the session by outlining three Photo Walk objectives, these are three things he guarantees each participant will have improved upon by the end of the session, no matter what their level at the start. With each objective Tom provides a bit of theory and then an engaging practical task to help clients put the theory into practice. The Photo Walk finishes with a short task that helps each individual gauge how much they have learnt in the session as well as allowing time to ask any questions on a one to one basis.
After an afternoon or evening Photo Walk Tom will often go to a local pub where participants can relax and review their photos from the day over a leisurely drink or meal. This is an optional extra that many take him up on.
Each and every Photo Walk participant receives a follow up email after their session. They are encouraged to share their best photos from the walk via the Photo Walk Gallery, though which, Tom offers helpful photo critiques and answers any follow up questions. They also receive a full PDF of Photo Walk notes so there is no excuse for forgetting anything that they learnt during the Photo Walk.
Tom Marsh was born and bread on the outskirts of Leeds, West Yorkshire. He took his first ever photograph with his parent's disposable camera at the age of 6 years old at Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire. From that moment on Tom had caught the photography bug. A year later he had saved up enough pocket money to buy his first ever camera.
As the years went by Tom would document every family outing and holiday. His parent's love of the countryside and walking gave Tom the opportunity to explore many areas of his beautiful home county whilst growing up. As he got older he started to venture further afield, visiting all four corners of Yorkshire and everything in-between.
Just as Tom was coming to the end of his school life, the Internet was making a big impression on him. In 2006 he left to study Website Design at the University of Bradford. During the course however, he was placed on a module entitled 'Digital Imaging,' all about digital photography. He threw every ounce of passion he had into his project and only dropped 2% of the marks across the whole module! It was at this moment he realised that photography was more than just a hobby.
After graduating from University with a 2:1 BSc Hons. Degree, Tom worked as a website designer but still pursued his passion for photography. He learnt everything there was to know about his beloved medium and in 2012 embarked upon a photography Masters Degree at the University of Westminster. He commuted by car one day a week for two years from Yorkshire to London. A journey that was well worth making. Along side his studies he set up Yorkshire Photo Walks, sharing his knowledge and passion for photography and his home county with others.
After graduating with merit, Tom continued to grow his Photo Walks, becoming known for his relaxed, personable and engaging teaching style. As his business has developed he has progressed alongside it. He is now known as 'The Flat Capped Photographer' and has a reputation for taking his clients to places he has found over his may years of exploring Yorkshire, some of which, many never knew existed. His love and knowledge of his home county and his passion and enthusiasm for photography makes Tom unique. He not only stages Photo Walks in amazing locations but he also has the ability to inspire through a natural flare for teaching.
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