Teaching Philosophy

I love to teach. The most important thing for me is to connect with my students, and to show them how photography is a tool to engage with life. The more you practice and experiment, the more you will reap the benefits of honing your eye and finding what really matters to you. This is a responsibility I take seriously, but with a great sense of humor! Learning the techniques of photography can feel daunting, but confidence and inspiration is key. I am not interested in formulas, or the rulebook. I focus on the individual: everybody practices photography in their own way, and it is my job to motivate and help you discover your own style, and unlock your imagination.

My classes are thorough. As well as the technical aspects, I talk about my favorite modern masters who have contributed to the iconic imagery we all know and love: Jean-Henri Lartigue, Man Ray, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, William Eggleston, William Klein, Antonin Krotachvil, Martin Parr, Sebastiao Salgado, Jacob Aue Sobol. These photographers all have very different approaches and elements to their work, but all of them are united by their quest for truth. Their expression ranges from serious, hilarious, calm, witty, dramatic, and sweet. Their photographs are authentic, and this is what I am here to help you create, no matter what level you are: beautiful images that make you stop and think. I will also make you laugh. Welcome!

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

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

I signed up to this course hoping to get to grips with the technical fundamentals and basic theory of photography, in reality, the course was that and so much more. I found the course's blend of interesting video materials and subsequent discussions to be provocative and engaging, ranging from aesthetic and art historical considerations to social issues surrounding photography. In addition, the significant time and depth spent reviewing our homework each week provided me with the opportunity to develop critical visual skills of my own and others’ work. This, in particular, is a testament to Oliver’s passion and commitment to his students. Each week Oliver’s inimitable (and highly entertaining) teaching style inspired me to go out and develop my own photographic practice. It was an absolute pleasure to participate.

Charlotte Ward Introduction Evening Course 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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