If you’ve been following my blog, then you might have read this post regarding a French photographer by the name of Serge Ramelli. Serge produces numerous free tutorials on a vast array of subjects that act as mini-tasters for paid for tutorials that are for sale on his website for a very reasonable price. Now don’t get disillusioned: these free tutorials are quite extensive in themselves, often running for 15-20 minutes and they are very informative. I don’t know of many photographers who have given such a vast amount of knowledge away for free and I’ve learned a lot from them alone.
So why does he have paid for tutorials? Well, of course, he doesn’t give everything he knows away for free, that would just be silly. And that’s where the paid for tutorials come in. The courses are quite cheap already, considering what you get, but if you sign up to his email list from time to time you will get emailed special offers which entitle you to a 40% discount, and on special occasions even up to 50%, so it’s worth doing.
Wanting to try something a bit different I decided to purchase the Interior Design Photography course. For around $50 (using a discount) you get 19 videos and 10 RAW files that are featured in the videos. The videos last nearly 3 hours. Now that’s a lot of tuition for $50…you can’t really argue with that.
The first 5 videos are dedicated to shooting a particular hotel room which include the lounge and bedroom. Serge takes you through the whole process, from start to finish, detailing his thought process, techniques, hints, tips, what to look out for what to avoid, what to do, what not to do. In other words, pretty much everything you need to know. It’s quite extensive and he provides reasons for everything he does, which is what I like from tutorials. No stone is left unturned and you aren’t left with unanswered questions. My kind of teacher.
The sixth video explains shooting detail shots: the type of photos that are supplemental to hotel websites and just add to the “story” of the room in question and provide the finishing touch.
The last two shooting videos expand on the first five and explain how to shoot smaller rooms.
These first eight videos are something of an eye-opener in themselves and I’ve learned a lot from them alone. It’s quite surprising how much you don’t know or didn’t think of until someone points it out.
After being something of a spectator, the remaining videos are hands-on and you get to learn as you watch the video by editing the provided RAW files alongside with Serge. Having a moderate level of proficiency in LR here is rather useful but not necessary. Having a second monitor or having a means of displaying the video on another screen whilst you edit on your main monitor is highly beneficial.
Once again Serge leads you hand in hand with what he is doing and explains why he is doing it very thoroughly. He is a natural teacher and the way the videos are produced is almost like having him alongside you.
As with the shooting videos you start off with the basics and learn more and more techniques as you go along. The first eight videos detail the editing of the photos taken in the shooting videos, and the remaining are other rooms within hotels he has worked finishing with an external shot of the hotel.
Serge’s editing technique is rather unique, as he explains in his videos. I won’t spoil it by revealing it: you’ll have to buy the tutorial to find out how it’s done, but it’s netted him a lot of money from a lot of hotels. His style of interior photography and editing makes his work different from all the rest. It’s subtle, but very effective. Applied correctly it’ll make the image stand out from anything else. It doesn’t have to be applied to interior photography either: the techniques can be applied to any type of photograph to create a unique “look”.
All in all the tutorial and quality of education is excellent and I highly recommend it.
Here’s a photo of a before and after. Both images photo credit/ copyright to Serge Ramelli. Editing of second image by me under Serge’s video guidance.