Introduction to fine art photography

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

Introduction to fine art photography

Discover and learn fine art photography

  • Get inspired and develop your artistic skills
  • Learn photography fine art genres, theory and technique
  • Explore what’s trending in contemporary fine art photography

Schedule and pricing

  • Each photo course is comprised of five two-hour sessions
  • Individual course: flexible schedule day or evenings Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays
  • Schedule your classes directly with Oliver
  • Valid 12 months
  • CHF 800.-


This intermediate level course introduces you to the world of fine art photography. You don’t need previous knowledge of fine art. Participants must have a good command of their cameras, or have completed the introduction and or intermediate course. You need to control shutter speed, aperture and ISO. There’s no need to be an advanced photographer or own high-end equipment. The course introduces you to various forms of fine art photography through simple presentations, including historical and contemporary topics. We’ll cover not only intermediate theory and technique, but the impact and relevance of master fine art photographers on the medium. You’ll be applying theory directly to the creative process – how do you actually start making fine art photographs? Particular attention is given to developing a variety of techniques, finding inspiration and learning how to assemble a coherent body of images. Each week, you will choose a topic we cover in class, for your homework assignment (4 assignments in total). Homework is reviewed in class in the following session, with feedback and discussion.

What you will learn

  • Movements timeline, photography within fine art 1839-2021: pictorialism, surrealism, dada, mixed-media, abstraction, california modernists, snap-shot aesthetic, minimalism, personal-documentary, constructed realities
  • Master fine art photographers: Alfred Steigletz, Man Ray, Paul Strand, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Averdon, Diane Arbus, William Klein, Robert Frank, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Martin Parr, Jeff Wall, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gregory Crewsdon, Andreas Gursky
  • How to start making fine art photography: style, inspiration, experimentation, artistic expression, practical decisions
  • Experimenting with new visual languages: applying technique and visual characteristics to ideas
  • Creating a coherent artistic portfolio or project: inspiration, artistic expression, quality, consistency, printing


  • Class 1: movements timeline, photography within fine art 1839-2021
  • Class 2: master fine art photographers
  • Class 3: how to start making fine art photography
  • Class 4: experimenting with new visual languages
  • Class 5: creating a coherent artistic portfolio or project
  • Homework is assigned and reviewed with specific technical and artistic feedback in the following class


  • 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 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

What are students saying?

Joining Olivers sessions was the best decision for developing my skills as a photographer. While I have seen many self-proclaimed photographers offering courses on photography here, Oliver is an experienced professional photographer, in fact one of the best I know covering a broad spectrum from portraits and reports to artistic street photography. During the classes I experienced Oliver having great skills in teaching and encouraging people to find their personal best approach to photography. Beside that, he is also fun to be with. If you want to start or develop your photographic skills, join one of his photo walks or individual classes, instead of buying yet another camera.

Jan-Henrik Tiedemann Advanced Course 2016

Absolutely loved it! Assuming my basic knowledge of the subject, this workshop has provided me with enormous boost. It gave me the understanding of many different light aspects. Provided me with training on how to use a variety of handy equipment, such as cobra flashes, backlights, diffuser, etc… I was impressed by the amount of knowledge one can carry out from a class in a day. In many ways thanks to Oliver’s style. Easy to communicate with, yet highly professional he manages to create a relaxing working environment in a group. Good theoretical part followed with tons of useful advises during the practice. Also to mention – I highly appreciate the “follow up” session and Oliver’s ability to provide feedback. Criticism to the point and in a way that you want to go out there, reflect, shoot more, experiment more… Truly inspirational experience for me.

Igor Kazakov Portrait Workshop May 22 2016 and Advanced Evening Course summer August 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

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 O'Hanlon
88 Rue de Saint-Jean
1201 Geneva

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