What do I need to bring?

Your camera (please make sure the battery is charged and you have a memory card in it with plenty of space for extra photos).

What type of camera is suitable?

My current classes are designed for DSLR and Compact System Camera (CSC) users. If you’re unsure what type of camera you have, this should clarify things. If you have a compact camera which has manual settings then this may be suitable too, but it’s a good idea to check with me which make and model you have  before booking and I will let you know if it is suitable.

Camera buying guide for parents
Still confused about camera types? Read our guide for parents

I’m planning on introducing a class especially for people who want to get more from their camera phones and simple point-and-shoots compacts. More info on this to follow soon.

What’s a DSLR?

DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. It’s a camera that has mirrors inside the body that allow you to see exactly what is in front of you through the viewfinder. DSLRs allow you to change lenses so you can achieve different creative effects. Their main advantages over smaller, compact digital cameras are their higher image quality and their responsiveness (as soon as the shutter button is pressed, the photo is taken, so you don’t miss the moment).

Can I borrow a camera?

I have a very limited number of DSLRs available on a first-come-first-served basis to borrow free of charge for the session. So if you’re thinking of buying a camera but don’t have one to bring along, please let me know.

I want to buy a camera before the course – which one should I buy?

There’s lots of advice and information on choosing a camera in our camera buying guides. If you need some additional advice on which camera and /or lens to buy, please do contact me

Booking and Payment

How do I book a class?

You can book classes direct from our online shop

What forms of payment do you take?

You can pay for your class using Paypal.  You can also use a credit or debit card via the Paypal website.

What happens if I can’t make the class after all?

I teach very small groups to give you the best possible experience. Due to the limited numbers, my classes are non-refundable. If you give me more than a week’s notice of cancellation, I can either transfer you on to an alternative class, offer a credit note, or allow you to transfer your booking to a friend. If you want to discuss a cancellation, please contact me

What happens if Small Beans cancels a class?

In the unlikely event of a class being cancelled, I will notify you as soon as possible and give you a choice between a full refund or a credit note that can be used for an alternative Small Beans class.

General Questions

How do I know if your classes are any good?

You can read what my students have been saying about the classes or take a look at the great photos in the student gallery for a better idea of what to expect.

Do you offer gift vouchers?

Yes – a photo class makes a great present. You can buy one here

How do I redeem a gift voucher?

Just browse through the classes we offer and choose which one you want to attend. The value of your gift voucher will be deducted from your class fee on checkout.

I’m not a parent. Can I still do your classes?

Small Beans is designed for parents  who want to take great photos of their children, but the class is also great for grandparents, aunties, uncles, and mums-to-be. It isn’t for professional portrait photographers or aspiring professionals. Please contact me if you’re unsure of the suitability of a class.

Can I bring my baby/child with me?

That depends on which class you’re attending.

I run a special ‘bring your baby’ class where babies are very welcome! If you would like to bring an older child, please check with me before booking so I can make sure the class is suitable.

The intensive half-day camera course is  jam-packed full of information and attendees need to be able to concentrate fully on learning and practicing without distractions. So for this reason I ask you to leave the children with someone else for the morning if you’re attending this course. I know how tricky it is to juggle childcare arrangements when you have young children, this is why I pack my course into one session to minimise disruption.

Do you offer follow-on or more advanced classes?

I’m planning on launching a ‘next level’ class for parents who have already completed the beginners class and are keen to learn more. If you’re interested in future developments, please join the mailing list and I’ll keep in touch. 

Do you offer private classes?

Yes! You can book one here.  If you can’t make the classes I advertise or prefer to learn privately,  I can arrange a private class for you. If you have a small group of friends who are interested in learning together, I can also offer a special class for them, in a home setting.

Will you give me advice on my photos after the course?

As part of your class fee I will personally review the photos from your homework assignment. If you want me to to continue to review your photos and offer guidance and mentoring after the class is over, students are able to buy credits for my mentoring service at a heavily reduced price. I’ll give you more information on this service after your class.

Do you offer online courses?

I believe that the best way to learn photography is face to face, so I do not offer online courses. However, as a student you gain access to the Students Only area of the Small Beans website, which contains lots of supplementary information and memory-joggers from the course content. I provide supplementary video training on some courses too (please see individual class pages for details).

The Classes

Are your classes suitable for me?

My students tend to be at a variety of levels. Some are complete beginners (“how do you switch it on?”).  Others are keen photographers  but lack the confidence to use anything other than the AUTO setting. Others get some good results but don’t really understand how they got there, and are keen to understand how their photos are made.

How is the class structured?

Sessions are a mixture of practical exercises and theory (I use simple explanations with lots of visual examples). I will set a simple assignment for you to complete at home after the class, and I will personally review the photos you take for this assignment. You will have special access to the Students Only area of the website which contains lots more information and advice, and I will invite you to a private Facebook group so you can stay in touch with fellow class members and share ideas.

How many people do you teach at once?

I keep my class numbers small so that you get lots of personal attention and advice. Maximum numbers vary depending on the class and/or venue, but are usually between 5 and 10 people.

I don’t know anything about cameras…will the course be too fast for me?

You don’t need to know anything – complete beginners are welcomed! We will spend some time at the start of each class going over the basic controls so you won’t feel overwhelmed, even if some of the students are more experienced. One of the reasons I only run classes for a small number of students at once is so I can give each person individual attention. If you are struggling with anything, I can help out where necessary. 

How will I remember everything I learn?

I cover a lot of information in a short space of time, so I will provide you with plenty of notes and memory joggers after the class covering everything from the class and more. 

Where can I find out more about my class venue?

Classes take place in a variety of venues. Currently the majority of classes are held at the very charming Copsale Village hall. It is in a very peaceful setting surrounded by gardens which we make use of to get some great practice in! Very private (we have exclusive use), there’s plenty of space to stretch out. I’m always on the lookout for other Sussex venues, so if you would like to suggest somewhere, please contact me.

Photography Classes for Parents in Sussex