Photo Academy was a one-year program run by the Woont production studio, which consisted of workshops designed for young talented photographers. The program gave them access to a professional studio, where they studied theory and practice under the leadership of the largest audio-visual studio in eastern Slovakia. The aim was to get the participants and their work to a professional level.
Foto Academy started in December 2017, when we opened the call for applications and continued until the end of 2018. From more than 60 applicants, we selected 7 participants, for whom the program should have been most beneficial. The program consisted of 10 workshops that took place inside and outside the Woont studio. Between the individual workshops, the participants received homework assignments, which they later compared in a group.
The first workshop focused on theory and aimed to get participants on the same page.
- Working with light
In the second workshop, participants focused on light – natural, artificial, soft, hard, reflected. They quickly understood the principles of working with light and learned how to create a different light atmosphere.
- Portrait and space lighting
Hand-crafted scenery, a vintage motorcycle, a professional make-up artist, and two models were the focal points of this workshop. Participants tried working in an artificial environment and communicating with professional models, a make-up artist, and, last but not least, working with the best lighting technology.
- Collective photoshoot at The Invisible Hotel room
This workshop was focused on commercial photography and took place in the Golden Treasure room at the Invisible Hotel. Mentors showed participants how to think about space, space lighting, choose the right angle, and understand the customer’s intentions and needs.
- Collective photoshoot of portraits and spatial photography at Creative Industry Košice
The participants also tried to photograph the environment for business clients, directly on our premises. During this workshop, the appropriate communication with the client, pricing, discounts, and deadlines were discussed in detail.
This theoretical workshop was focused on post-production. Participants gained important know-how on working as efficiently as possible and sending photos to the customer without unnecessarily overwhelming with an extensive mix of bad and good photos.
- Collective photoshoot of The Invisible Hotel rooms
After the first collective photoshoot at the Golden Treasure room, the participants were given the task of taking photos of the remaining rooms of The Invisible Hotel. They had to use all the acquired knowledge and then present their work in a group.
- Individual photoshoots of The Invisible Hotel rooms
Participants faced several obstacles during the collective photoshoot. They incorrectly set up the lights, failed at team communication, misallocated tasks, selected inadequate final photographs, and showed their weaknesses in post-production. During the evaluation, they realized what they had to do differently and then retook pictures of the rooms. The second photoshoot turned out much better, and the resulting photos were used for various promotional purposes of The Invisible Hotel project.
- Photographing partners and articles for Invisible Mag
Each participant also participated in the photoshoot of articles for The Invisible Mag. One of the great advantages of this photoshoot was a varied offer of topics from which participants could choose and meeting new people and potential clients.
- Product photography
The last workshop was focused on photographing products for the Košice book guide called City Cracker.
An integral part of the program was mentoring and professional feedback from the founders of the Woont studio.
Ján Varchola and Peter Uhrin are co-founders of the Woont studio. Since the beginning, they have provided comprehensive and professional services to clients such as Orange, Volkswagen, TopFashion, Aupark, Forbes, and Slovenská sporiteľňa. They worked on editorials for Eva, Emma magazine and created video clips for IMT Smile and a destination spot about Košice. Their goal is to provide comprehensive professional services and educate top professionals who live in Košice. We got to know them thanks to the Escalator program, in which they participated in 2015.