Contemporary art photography

Course Dates: 27/09/19 - 08/11/19
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: PS - Photography Studio
Armelle Skatulski

Become an expert in the fine art world of contemporary photography. Learn about the history, concepts and theories behind the art form, and the technology and techniques now influencing it. Develop practical skills to realise your own creative ideas, discuss your photography portfolio with others, and learn about platforms to showcase your work on the commercial fine art market. Please note: this course has a break week on Friday 20th October.


What is the course about?

This course introduces you to both the theory and the practice of photography as a fine art, and how this can influence your work. We will explore the history, concepts and theories behind the position of photography within fine art. We will consider techniques and technologies such as camera types, lighting, traditional and digital printing influencing fine art photography in today's world, and give you guidance on opportunities for exhibiting and publishing work on the commercial market.

What previous students liked most about this course: “Feeling pushed to think much harder than I ordinarily might. I liked what felt like an uncompromising approach to the this subject. Greta humour! ; ) “
“Very interesting to learn about photographers and their artistic work.”
“The course gave me a new way of looking at photography.“
“I have a greater understanding of the wide range of contemporary art photography practices that exist and their influences.”
“Very interesting subject and challenging level of discussion - plenty to take away and follow up myself.”
“Time for review of work. Broadness of material covered – good food for thought.”


What will we cover?

- Historical examples of photography as art
- Current fine art photography practice and current conceptual approaches
- What is published and exhibited in today's art world
- Experimenting creatively with technology
- Exhibiting or publishing work and what is most appropriate
- Describing your work and writing an artist statement
- The ‘business’ of fine art photography including agents, museums, galleries, and opportunities
- Project reviews and feedback during the class
- Showcasing tips and platforms.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- discuss a range of historical examples of art photography
- experiment with technology and formats to realise creative ideas
- understand how technology has affected what is produced in fine art photography
- benefit from feedback and comments about your own work
- identify conceptual strands in contemporary photography
- demonstrate awareness of how fine art photography functions as a business
- develop strategies for the publicity and marketing of your own work.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course. It would be useful for you to have a basic knowledge of the manual functions of your camera and to produce images which can be discussed in class. However the course will also be of interest to those who are not photographers and want an introduction to the subject of contemporary art photography within an historical context.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, handouts and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussions. You should be able to use numbers and be able to undertake simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Illustrated lectures, group discussion and viewing and discussing the work of contemporary artists. You will have opportunities to show and receive tutor and peer feedback on your own work.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring some examples of your own work to take advantage of opportunities for feedback and progression. If you are not a practitioner you will not be expected to bring work but will be invited to participate in the discussion and feedback sessions.

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, Build students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Build offer a whole range of specialised photographic courses and others with a fine art orientation. Browse the photography section of the Build prospectus or check the website for inspiration.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 2 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

While this is a very good introduction to complementary art photography it also includes a lot of the history as well which is good for those new to this field. I found that it expanded my knowledge of both photography and art much more than I would have expected.

A lot of the course is taken over to discussion and critique of students work (there are weekly homework assignments). Although these discussions were interesting and informative, they did tend to go on a bit, which meant we had slightly less time for theory than I would have liked. However the notes provided did give a lot of sources for self study.

Homework assignments are good and challenging, pushing yourself outside your normal style. I especially enjoyed the conceptual art project with some great ideas from my fellow students.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 24/03/2019)
This is the only regular course I know in London that deals with the theory of photography, and I highly recommend it as a way of imagining where my own photography might fit into the world of art photography. It covers both contemporary and historical photography and students' own work. Class discussion was very lively and included artists as well as photographers.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 01/03/2019)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: VY731

Please choose a course date 

Fri, day, 27 Sep - 08 Nov '19

Duration: 7 sessions (over 7 weeks)

Full fee: £229.00
Senior fee: £229.00
Concession: £140.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

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Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.

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