Your Questions

I’m a total beginner. Should I join the introduction evening course over 5 weeks, or the One-Day Beginner Workshop?

The one-day beginner workshop is a crash course, with 3 hours of theory, 2 hours of shooting time and a review session after the workshop. It goes quite fast and is perfect to give you a quick insight into everything you need to know to start developing your technical and artistic skills. Time is limited, and we cover a lot of ground, so it’s advised you practice what you’ve learned right afterwards so the material sinks in and you won’t forget it. This workshop can really give you a kick start: then it’s up to you!

The 5 x 2h evening course, over 5 weeks, is really ideal to learn photography.
We cover all basic technical and artistic topics during the classes. Compared to the workshop format, we have a lot more time for learning, the topics are covered with more detail at a slower pace. We have open group discussions on a variety of topics and watch short films on influential photographers for new ideas and inspiration.

There are 2 important differences in the evening course, that increase your knowledge and skills, compared to the workshop.

1 – The evening course includes 4 homework assignments, due the following week. You have time to shoot, experiment, and choose your locations and subjects during your own time – so you practice and learn a lot more.

2 – Each week, we review your homework in class. The review is essential to get specific feedback on your photos. Seeing your classmates work is also very helpful. The review session is a formal critique (by the instructor) but also, and importantly, an open discussion with the class – in order to learn, get new ideas and inspiration, share opinions and debate. The review sessions teach you how to better see and interpret images, and vitally, to find out what you’re interested in – what you like, don’t like and what inspires you!

One-day beginner workshop description page here
Beginner course description page here

I think I have a handle on the basic technical elements: can I join the intermediate course? Or the portrait, street or night & flash workshops?

You can join the intermediate course, or the topic workshops, if you have a basic understanding (more or less) of the following:

• shutter speed & movement
• aperture & depth of field
• manual exposure mode
• camera settings
• basic aesthetics: composition, perspective, geometry
• basic lighting

If not, we recommend the introductory class or the beginner workshop: check out the links below to read the different course and workshop descriptions.

Introduction course description page here
Intermediate course description page here
Night & flash workshop description page here
Portrait workshop description page here
Street photography workshop description page here

I’ve been doing photography for a long time, can I take the advanced course?

Yes, if you’ve been taking pictures for a long time, have a good control of your camera and a good understanding of different types of photography (and/or art mediums). We expect you to have a fairly good handling of the following:

• shutter speed and movement
• aperture and depth of field
• manual exposure mode
• camera settings
• aesthetics: composition, perspective, geometry
• lighting and basic flash photography

Of course, if you’ve just completed our intermediate course, or several topic workshops, you can also do the advanced course.

You’ll notice the requirements for the advanced course are similar to the ones for the intermediate – why? The intermediate class focuses on technical subjects you need to learn as well as an introduction to artistic photography – notably photographic style and artistic expression.

The advanced course is about photography itself, as an art form, and not about technical subjects. So actually, there’s no need for a high level of technical competence to take the advanced course. We only spend time on technical matters during review sessions, or when preparing your homework assignments.

The advanced course gives you a wider perspective on the medium including its history and current trends in contemporary photography. You learn about photography within artistic movements, influential photographers who pioneered specific styles – and what those styles are actually about. We cover a range of topics from the conceptual to the abstract to the surreal, just to name a few.

Importantly, you will learn how to produce artistic photography yourself – it’s great fun! The homework assignments, with preparation in class, are based on experimenting with specific styles, and of course your own style. Please check out the course description below.

Advanced course description page here 

How do I register and pay for a workshop or class?

Very easy, on the homepage pick the course or workshop you want to register for. Once on the course page description, at the top, you’ll see links with dates to register. Click on the date you want and it will take you to the registration page. Fill out the form and then continue to the checkout/payment page.

You pay for the course when you register Online. After filling out the registration page, continue to the payment / checkout page. On this page you can either pay using your PayPal account or simply by credit card. If you don’t use PayPal, no problem. At the bottom of the PayPal checkout out page, click on the the link “Pay with Debit or Credit Card”.

If you don’t like paying for services on internet websites, no problem. You can make an e-banking transfer directly into our business postal account, using the information below. You can also use this same information to pay at any post office. If you choose to do this, please send us a message, via our contact page telling us you’ve made a payment, for what course and for what date.

Oliver O’Hanlon Photography
19, Rue de la Croix-du-Levant
1220 Les Avanchets

Postal account: 17-524981-0
IBAN: CH67 0900 0000 1752 4981 0

I don’t have a camera: can you lend me one for a workshop?

Yes, we can lend you a camera for a one-day workshop – but you must send us a message 4-5 days before the workshop. For the 5 week courses, this is also possible, however, we have quite a few requests so please send us a message well in advance so we can reserve you a camera.

I need to buy a camera: can you give me some advice?

Sure, we have a whole Buying Camera Guide for you to check out here

After checking the guide out, if you need further information, don’t hesitate to call on 078 765 39 23 for more assistance. For this type of inquiry, only phone calls, no e-mails please.

Is it possible for my child to to participate in a course or workshop?

Yes, from 14 years and older. Our courses are for adults, but it’s no problem for teenagers to take part – in fact they often pick up technical elements faster. Of course it will also depend on his / her level – don’t hesitate to call us 078 765 39 23 so we can discuss.

If I get stuck doing my homework can I call you for assistance?

Yes, no problem, you can call Oliver on 078 765 39 23, 7/7 11h-22h, for assistance. If he is not available please leave a message or send a text, and he will call you back. For helping you with technical difficulties, he may need to talk and go through some things so please have your camera with you when you call. If it’s not a technical issue, but you need advice or ideas etc. it is also fine to call. For help with homework, only calls, no e-mails please – it’s a lot faster and easier to sort your issue out by phone.

If it’s bad weather on the date scheduled for my workshop will it be cancelled?

Only in case of extreme weather, freezing cold or strong storm etc. will a workshop be cancelled in advance. We don’t cancel workshops on the basis of the weather forecast. However, after the morning theory session and lunch, which all takes place indoors, if it is consistently raining hard, in this case and only in this case we will take a group decision to either continue or cancel the afternoon shooting session. If the afternoon practical session is cancelled, you can join free of charge another afternoon session, with several date options.

I’m interested in doing a private course with a few friends: is this possible?

Yes, it is possible, we often organize courses or workshops like this.
We also can organize a tailor made program for your specific needs.
We have a page for all information on private group courses here (LINK)

Public transport access?

Oliver O’Hanlon Photography
Studio 81 (ground floor)
Rue de la Croix-du-Levant, 19
1220 Les Avanchets, Geneva

Door code: 3945

Coming from Geneva by bus: There is a bus stop right outside of the studio! The stop is called “Floralies” bus number 10 on Avenue Louis Casai. If you are coming from Geneva centre, at the bus stop cross the road, DO NOT go into the apartment complex, take a left and walk along the side walk towards the bus stop going in the Geneva direction. When you arrive at the Geneva direction bus stop, on your right, behind the bus stop, there’s a small parking and road, and a large apartment building – the studio is on the ground floor of this building. Access to number 19, is on the other side of the building – walk through the passage opposite the bus stop and turn right.

Coming from the Airport by bus: Take the number 10 to the stop called “Floralies”. When you get off the bus you’ll see a large multicolored building in front of you. The studio is located in this building. The entrance is on the other side. Opposite the bus stop there are some stairs and a passage, go through passage, then turn right, and the studio is on the ground floor of number 19.

Coming by tram: you can take either the number 14 or 18 and get off at the stop “Balexert”. Once off the tram walk up the hill to the left of parking P3 building, with the tram stop behind you. Walk up the hill on the left side, with the P3 parking on your right. At the top of the hill, enter on your left into a school playground – with a large colorful apartment building facing you. Walk straight through the playground, passing under the building through a passage. Once on the other cross the road, and walk up the stairs. Once at the top of the stairs, you’ll be at the building where the studio is. Walk towards your left and towards the building and follow the numbers going down until you get to number 19.

Directions to studio by car:

Oliver O’Hanlon Photography
Studio 81 (ground floor)
Rue de la Croix-du-Levant, 19
1220 Les Avanchets, Geneva

Door code: 3945

By car, it’s about 10 minutes from the city center Cornavin area. Or 2-3 minutes from the airport and or motorway exits if you’re coming from either Vaud or France. The building is on Avenue Louis Casai (although not address see above) – about 300 meters North from the main street level entrance of the shopping center Balexert. Les Avanchets is a large apartment complex situated between Route de Meyrin and Avenue Louis Casai, also between Balexert Shopping Centre and the Crowne Plaza Hôtel.

It’s not complicated to get there. However, Rue du Croix-du-Levant is in a U shape and part of Avanchets Parc, a large apartment complex, so it can be a bit confusing if you don’t check access before. To access it by car you need to drive into the complex either from Avenue Louis Casai (coming from Airport direction only) or on Route de Meyrin (both directions possible).

Coming from Geneva: Get on to Route de Meyrin, and after coming up the hill from Servette, drive through “Le Bouchet” junction, staying on Route de Meyrin, in direction of Meyrin. Straight after the junction you’ll see the “Balexert” shopping center on your right and you’ll go underneath a section of the shopping center passing the parking entrance and then a tram stop, stay in the right lane, and take the exit for “Avanchets”. Go straight passing two roundabouts (you’ll also go through a tunnel) and at the 3rd roundabout, take a right onto Rue de le Croix-du-Levant, go all the way up and around to the left, until the the dead end: number 19 is on your left (access on other side of building).

Coming from Airport / Motorway: Get on to Avenue Louis Casai, driving towards Geneva, pass the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Casai Centre and EFG office buildings, get in the right lane, and take the exit “Avanchets”. At the first roundabout, take the 3rd exit on to Rue de le Croix-du-Levant, go all the way up and around to the left, until the dead end: number 19 is on your left (access on other side of building).

Google Maps Link:


Parking?

Parking: there is hardly any parking on our street, although you’ll see many people do park there, illegally. If you’re coming for a workshop and you park on Croix-du-Levant on a Saturday during the daytime, chances are you’ll get a ticket. If you park on Croix-du-Levant on evenings or on a Sunday, chances are you won’t get a ticket (however we guarantee nothing). So, best for parking without getting a fine is to use one of the parking’s at the Balexert shopping center and walk over, about 3 minutes. Check out parking options on the Balexert website here.