Introduction to photographic style

Starting 1 April 2024 Flexible schedule: week or weekends daytime or evenings

Introduction to photographic style

Developing your own style

  • Experiment with different techniques discovering a range of visual languages
  • Learn how to apply specific visual characteristics to build your desired vision
  • Get inspired and discover the work of master photographers

Schedule and pricing

  • Each photo course is comprised of five two-hour sessions
  • Flexible schedule: daytime or evenings weekdays or weekends
  • Schedule your classes directly with Oliver :
  • Valid 12 months
  • CHF 800.-


This five-part course is designed for those who have either completed the introduction or intermediate course or already have the basic fundamentals of photography under their command. You need to be able to control shutter speed, aperture and ISO. You don’t need to be an advanced photographer or own fancy equipment. All you need is a desire to learn, experiment with photography. During the course you’ll be exposed to a range of styles, with visual analysis. You will learn the technical, practical and artistic elements of how each style is created. We teach you first how to experiment using different techniques, learning how to create visual characteristics: which then focuses your vision, for a particular style. You will experiment and and put into practice a range of styles, shooting for your homework assignments. We review your homework at the beginning of each class with feedback and discussion.

What you will learn

  • Introduction to photographic style, how to build your own visual language: aesthetic characteristics, style consistency, personal approach, subject, camera settings, equipment, practical decisions, experimentation
  • Reportage and documentary trends and styles: narrative photography, the photo essay, press and photojournalism, formal documentary, personal documentary
  • Fine art photography trends and styles: constructed realities, snapshot aesthetic, surrealism, landscape, fine art documentary
  • Master photographers : William Klein, Alex Webb, Max Pinckers, Karl de Keyzer, Martin Parr, Alec Soth, Paolo Pellegrin, William Eggleston, Elliot Erwitt, Antonin Krotachvil, Bruce Gilden, Joesf Koudelka, Raymond Depardon
  • Artistic expression: inspiration, emotion, communication, provocation, intimacy


  • Class 1: introduction to photographic style, how to build your own visual language
  • Class 2: reportage and documentary trends and styles
  • Class 3: fine art photography trends and styles
  • Class 4: master photographers
  • Class 5: artistic expression
  • Homework is assigned each week, your photographs are reviewed the following class with specific technical, aesthetic and artistic feedback

Course address

  • Oliver O’Hanlon Photography
  • 88 Rue de Saint-Jean, 1201 Geneva
  • Public transport: bus 7 stop Ormeaux tram 15 stop Mercier
  • Walking: 4 minutes from Manor department store or 6 minutes from Cornavin railway station

Gift voucher

  • To offer this course as a present you can purchase a gift voucher with this link
  • We can send you an A5 printed gift voucher card in the mail

Student Photographs

You can also check out more student samples here

What are students saying?

Having been an amateur photographer for a long time, I had taken many albums of amateur photographs. Now an Alumnus of Oliver’s courses I am taking photographs I am genuinely proud to show and really enjoying my photography more than I ever had. The structure of the classroom and the practical courses works well, thanks to Oliver’s, enthusiasm, sense of humor and honest but constructive feedback. While the expanse technical knowledge Oliver shares inspires confidence, his emphasis is always on the creative, using collections famous and more obscure photographers to demonstrate. The themed assignments are fun but challenging to experiment beyond the comfort zone. Having roamed obscure parts of Geneva in a variety of weather conditions, no situation phases me now.

David Welsh Intro., Night & Flash Portrait Workshops & Intermediate Evening Class 2015-2016.

Antia-Collazo-Ageitos Photo Student

I wanted to develop my skills beyond the typical portrait and landscape photography, so I decided to give Oliver's lessons a try. I liked them so much that I repeated not one, but three times, taking a total of three group courses and one set of one-to-one lessons. Oliver takes you one step further and guides you through photography understood as an art, while helping you hone your technical skills. What I most liked about his teaching style is that he pushes you to explore and try out new things in photography that you might not have thought of before. His feedback is, above all, meaningful--very honest and very encouraging at the same time

Antia Collazo Ageitos Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Evening Courses and individual course summer 2016

I joined the Beginner's photography course offered by Mr. Oliver O'Hanlon. It was an intensive day workshop with three hour technical session explaining fundamentals of photography, lighting and efficient technical control of a DSLR followed with 6 hours of intense hands-on experience at multiple outdoor locations with varied natural lighting. My feedback

•    Mr. O'Hanlon is an expert on the science and arts of photography
•    Mr. O'Hanlon has the ability to explain complex technical or artistic items in simple terms with examples from eminent photographers. He not only generates enthusiasm on photography technically, but also challenges us to embark on the arts of photography
•    His technical knowledge is paramount where he personally tuned and adjusted all our cameras with rational explanation
•    Selection of the outdoor locations must have been carefully planned as we covered a large spectrum of lighting. He showed us simple rules which we could use to manage the varied lighting situations.
•    He explained with hands-on demonstration do's and dont's on street photography and portrait.
•    Beauty of the course was that it was very well designed and not prescriptive allowing each of us artistic freedom
As a result of this workshop, which was a birthday gift to me from my wife, I have taken a fascination to photography and have already enrolled for the intermediate course. I am eagerly looking forward to the next course.

Sukrit Bhattacharya Beginner Workshop and Intermediate Evening Class, 2016.

There are two things I like most about Oliver's sessions, actually, three: the video clips of photographers from different schools and his knowledgeable explanations at the start of each session; the photo reviews with his feedback (always stirring us up to go beyond the obvious) ...and Oliver's sense of humor and his unassuming way to talk about photography. Photography through Oliver's lessons has become a means of self-expression and engagement with every day life. An observation exercise in which shutter speed or panning, exposure or composition are tools to express your personal view of the world. And one more thing, he has made me discover the power of Black and White.

Laura Chumillas Photo-Walks, Beginner and Intermediate Evening Courses 2015-2016

Doing courses and photo walks with Oliver helped me in many ways. Firstly, it obliged me to get to know my camera and it's various settings. Secondly, having homework to do on a predefined topic (flash, portrait, movement etc.) encouraged me to think about my photos, and knowing that the group would all be there to review each other's work the following week, concentrated the mind wonderfully! Lastly, I benefited from Oliver's knowledge and experience in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Gregory McBride Introduction, Intermediate and Advanced Evening Courses 2015-2016

Oliver’s course was incredibly inspiring. Not only he transmits technical knowledge in a fun and engaging way, but also his approach to photography explores different aspects of art in general and personal creative processes. It was a great experience doing Oliver’s workshop, I have now discovered a hobby that I truly love!

Thais Porto Introduction and Intermediate Evening Courses, 2016.


Oliver O'Hanlon
88 Rue de Saint-Jean
1201 Geneva

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