Photographing your craft work with Beytan Erkmen

Professional Practice Skills Photography and digital image manipulation

Ref: S2D12566

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About this course

Learn how to take great photographs of your craft objects, whether you want to sell them, make prints, use on a website or submit to exhibitions. You will utilise natural light and minimal, affordable equipment, including your own DSLR camera and its flash to improve your photographs.

Course Description

This course is one of a series of courses aimed at practising artists and makers, as well as existing Short Course students, who are keen to move their practice onto a more professional platform.

Knowing how to photograph craft objects can be a valuable addition to any maker's practice. Learn how to do this with accessible and affordable equipment, using your own DSLR camera, natural light and your camera’s flash.

You will learn how to set up your DSLR camera and lens to control exposure of natural window light to photograph craft objects with professional results. Experience how to use a still life table and a pop-up light tent to alter the quality of reflected light on different object surfaces. Understand how to make the best of natural window light to produce colour accurate, evenly lit high quality images with your digital camera, and understand how to reduce reflections and eliminate unwanted shadows. Use of a digital flashgun (speedlite), combined with daylight will also be demonstrated. Watch how lighting techniques for glass, ceramic, metals and wood are demonstrated, and how to correct exposed images, prior to Photoshop retouching.

Objects between 5cm to 50cm in length or 8 kilograms in weight will be suitable for this course. Please note, jewellery (close-up) will only be demonstrated, as special lenses are required for macro photography.

This course is suitable for those who have little or no previous experience of photographing their work. The focus is on developing skills and working towards independent photography practice to capture and edit craft and fine objects.

The tutor began his career as a studio portrait photographer in 1990. More recent projects within education and product industries have allowed him to show his creativity and flare. In 2009-2012 he gained an MFA degree in Photography at the University of Creative Arts, Farnham. Always passionate about his subject, he worked with independent studios in a training and advisory role, and has always been interested in teaching photography to inspire others.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • A DSLR camera, all accessories, lenses and filters you have, with fully charged batteries and clean memory cards, camera to computer lead, camera instruction manual and a tripod
  • Three objects that you wish to photograph
  • Notebook and pen
  • A USB memory stick or portable hard drive to save images
  • A note of your Adobe login, if you have one
This course is for those with little or no experience of photographing with a DSLR camera, but some knowledge of how to save images to a computer. You will be allocated a PC workstation in the IT suite. No previous knowledge or experience of using photo-editing software is required, as this will be demonstrated using Adobe Photoshop. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Beytan Erkmen

Beytan began his career as a studio portrait photographer in 1990. Throughout his career he has produced images for companies in fashion, hair and beauty, theatre production and performing arts and has been published internationally. More recent projects within education, leisure and product industries, have allowed Beytan to show his creativity and flare. In 2009-2012 he gained a MFA Masters of Fine Art Photography Degree at University of Creative Arts, Farnham. After more than 20 years, his enthusiasm, passion and dedication for photography, is still as fresh as the day he was given his first camera.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

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