‘I met Jonathan during a group photography workshop in Laos where he had a look at the photographs i shot there. His assessment of my work and candid feedback made me decide to sign up for some one-to-one tutoring in Bangkok.Jonathan worked out a plan to improve my composition and then move to people photography and visual storytelling; he brought me back to the basics and day by day we added on more. This kind of structured approach suited me well. Some days were easier, some harder but i felt i learned as much if not more from bad shots than good ones. I valued his feedback on my photos; candid and honest but always contructive and encouraging.I have learned to look at a scene differently, to shoot with more impact by using what we studied during the week and to tell a story with my photographs.As well as being a great photographer and teacher, Jonathan is a fun, easy going person and i enjoyed the time spent together.At the end of the workshop i was proud of what i achieved; I returned home on a high, inspired, with better photographs – it was a privilege spending time and learning from this passionate accomplished photographer.I want to come back to build on this experience!’
ON A RECENT TRIP to Cambodia, I had the privilege of studying under the mentorship of the well-regarded photojournalist, Jonathan Taylor. Known for his raw black-and-white images of hit men, drug addicts, crime scenes and the like in Southeast Asia, Taylor’s photographs have been featured in The Independent, The Guardian, on covers of Time Magazine, and in other top publications around the world….To Read More Of Carin’s Article On My Course Please Click Here.
“1-on-1 training with Jonathan has unlocked exciting new possibilities for me as a visual storyteller. He straight away understood how I could overcome the challenges I was facing and applied just the right amount of counsel to help me to move well beyond the kind of results I was hoping for in just 9 days. It was brilliant to work with a pro who freely shared their inspiration, passion and knowledge of both the art of photography and region, against the beautiful backdrop of Siem Reap.”.
“Interested in expanding my capabilities in media, I came to Photography School Asia for help in learning some basics about documentary photography. Within the first day of working with Jonathan in Siem Reap, I became more comfortable in manual mode than I’ve ever been able to accomplish in a group or classroom setting. There is truly no substitute for a one-on-one workshop with such a skilled and approachable professional photographer. Although my time was limited, Jonathan created a tailor-made program for me to get the most out of my brief 2 days with him.
I was also able to take a photo walk with Timon in Bangkok, which was a great way to dive right into practicing street photography. The amount of progress in my technical and social approach in this short timeframe was monumental—I only regret not signing up for longer programs. These highly personalized workshops sent me home with a newfound confidence to tackle some editorial projects I was previously hesitant to begin.
I asked Jonathan what it takes to become a great photographer. His response, “total dedication, TOTAL dedication…” Living on the edge, in the fringes, behind what is apparent to us, in the shadows…that, in my mind, has made Jonathan a photographer and teacher that can imbed emotion into an image. Many have the technical skills, but what sets him apart is passion, unique experiences, credibility, survival: he has an intangible presence in the scene, in a market, on the street; all can learn from it, but I expect very few can replicate.
We stopped and talked to a few local ladies selling snacks. I never really hit the shutter on my camera, but came to understand them, their families, their names, what they like and don’t like. Then, we moved on. Jonathan simply said, “that IS photography”. For a second I was confused, but I got it…now I get it.
I had the opportunity to spend five days with Jonathan, one on one. Impressive was his ability to listen, to my expectations, adapt, assess my skills, he was organized and ultimately pushed me forward as a photographer. At times, uncomfortable, he challenged me to stretch, and at the end of five days, I was better, much, much better.
I will not hesitate to return in six months and build on this experience.”
John Murch- Long Term Course, Bangkok
“I contacted Jonathan after researching his website and after meeting him at his studio. I have studied photography in the past but a very basic level and before the advent of the DSLR evolution. My goal was to re-capture some of my 30 years old photography skills and to upgrade myself and also educate myself on the new digital technology. Jonathan’s process is to begin by teaching the basics and by using these as a foundation to build a complete and thorough knowledge of creating interesting photo stories. His process gradually builds up your confidence level and he inspires his students to continually improve. By the end of my 10 lesson course I feel that I have achieved and even exceeded my personal photography objectives. I can only thank Jonathan for guiding me and inspiring me to constantly improve. He is a true professional and a great mentor. Thanks Jonathan!”
Margie Greenberg – Blue Bell, PA. on a recent photographic journey to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos
“Jonathan, I wanted to offer my thanks to you for making my photographic journey through Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos something I will never forget. From the moment we arrived in Bangkok, I felt that you had meticulously planned our travel and photographic experience.
Your guidance, critiques and teaching expertise helped me to overcome my fear of manual mode and I feel that I have gained more insight into what is involved to create a good photograph. Your knowledge of Southeast Asia enabled us to travel off the beaten path to places I would have never discovered on my own. Urging us into situations that were not always our comfort level only served to heighten our creativity and our understanding of the environment
Your love of the people of this area is obvious and watching your interaction with people of such different cultures than your own was a highlight. You created an environment for me and Robyn to follow your lead.
I loved every minute of our 3 week trip from the markets to the monks to the tribal people in the hills. Before we left, Robyn and I wondered what it would be like to travel with such an accomplished photographer. We thought about nonchalance and attitude but I must say that you are such a warm welcoming individual and had little tidbits not slipped out over the course of the 3 weeks, we would have never known your accomplishments.”
I will practice using my camera until next summer when we meet again in India!!Thank you again for enriching my life both culturally and educationally.Fondly, Margie”
Russell and Rosalie Uebergang- Bangkok Three day Private Study
Jonathan provides an enjoyable, professional, informative photography course which makes you think about taking photos in a different way. Whether you know little or a lot about photography Jonathan is able to make you feel comfortable and challenged at the same time. Taking a photography course with Jonathan Taylor offers the chance for people to learn about photography at their own pace as he caters for individual needs. Jonathan’s experience as a photo journalist comes into the fore as he infuses students with confidence to approach people in the streets, markets, or wherever they are in their daily lives and capture a moment of their life. This was one of the most empowering courses we have done for quite some years! “
Katrina Aiken, Photography Tour -Luangprabang-Laos
Taking a course with Jonathan was a delight. Through his years in the region, Jonathan knows the off-the-beaten-track treasures of southeast Asia and is always looking for that special experience that will capture his student’s imagination and allow them to really flourish as a photographer. I found myself crouched in awkward positions, crossing precarious wooden bridges, waking in the early morning … All to catch that perfect shot of a bustling city market, the daily rhythm and life of a rural village or the morning procession of monks collecting alms. Each part of this adventure was crafted to meet my needs as a photography student and to achieve the right balance of photography and travel. It left me with a renewed love for expressing my experience of this world through my lens and a new appreciation for the varied beauty of this part of the world.”
Karen Terry, 5 Days Course, Bangkok and beyond
From Klong Toey to the Sheraton, you’ll see the different sides of Thailand. Jonathan is passionate about the culture and photography. He’ll be candid about your work – he wants you to learn. If you are searching for something diverse and adaptable with a reputable photojournalist, Jonathan’s your man.”
Sherry Ott, Laos- Vientien, Vang Vien, Lamprabang
Jonathan was able to quickly asses my skills and start his instruction at the appropriate level in order to maximize my time with him. Most of all he provided me opportunities for shooting that I never would have had without him. This is where his years of experience in photo journalism pays off. I became more at ease with taking candid photos of people in their environments and learned how to always be ready for anything – including being in a racing boat on the Mekong at night! We also focused on the editing process and some basic understanding of the ins and outs of photo journalism. My time traveling with Jonathan was very rewarding! “
See her pictures of her travels with Jonathan by clicking on her Laos section here- www.ottsworld.com
Ken Street- Two advanced Three Day Courses, Bangkok
I recently spent three days shooting with Jonathon around Bangkok. Focussing on lines and curves, colour, and finishing with a day photographing people. We also covered basic techniques in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. As I am just starting out in photography I found Jonathon’s constructive, to the point tuition very beneficial and would certainly recommend him to anyone thinking of taking a course with him. Since taking the course my photography has come on leaps and bounds, and I intend to take another course with him when I am next in Bangkok. I found Jonathon to be very knowledgeable and friendly; taking time to focus on the areas I believed needed addressing. “
Liam O’Dowd,-Bangkok Five Day Course
My 5 day course in and around bangkok with Jonathan was superb. Ranging to abstract photography to composition techniques the diversity of subjects meant the course was new and interesting at all times. His foresight to develop the skills I needed and wanted to improve the most has left me feeling much more confident with my camera and with my photos. All this combined with his extensive knowledge of the country and culture made for a very enjoyable and productive 5 days.”
Deanna, Thailand Bangkok & Sangklaburi-Laos, Luangprabang
Photography School of Asia’s 10-day course offers its students a comprehensive look into the life of a photo-journalist. Jonathan Taylor, who has worked as a photographer in southeast Asia for almost two decades, knows the area intimately. Using his past professional assignments as inspiration for student projects, he urges his students to work as vigorously on the course, as one would on assignment. His thoughtful crituques, attention to technical detail and good mentorship are bound to help the aspiring photographer grow. I came home from the course more confident, inspired, and very eager to apply all that I had learned. “
Catherine Bradshaw- 10 Day Course & Then A Group Workshop, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos
Studying with Jonathan has given me a whole new perspective into the world of photography. He taught me so many invaluable lessons that it is hard to condense into a short testimonial, but primarily he taught me how to shoot from different angles, how to approach people for portraits, composition, technicalities of the camera and photographing etiquette. I have learnt how to differentiate between a simple snapshot and a good photograph. I spent ten days on a private course with Jonathan and four days with him at a workshop in Luang Prabang. Every second was well spent. Jonathan’s love for photography is contagious and he has inspired me. I would recommend him to anyone who is interested in taking their photography, at whatever level they may be, one step further. It’s not a “frills” course. It’s the real thing. “
Evan Ng, Group Photography Workshop Trip To Luangprabang, Laos
I’ve attended similar trips by other groups, and I have to say these 3 days in Luang Prabang were the most well spent of all. I’ve learnt more from Jonathan about the finer points of photography during this trip compared to any other. What’s more, I got to see a new place, travel and relax, and met a whole new bunch of friends ‘ enthusiasts. I learnt and enjoyed at the same time. What more can I ask for?”
Philippe Celis, 10 Day Course- Bangkok and Sangklaburi
My photography course with Jonathan Taylor (JT) was incredible. We started off the first morning with a review of some basic theory of photography. After a brief assessment of my existing knowledge, JT sent me straight on to my first assignment. The course was very comprehensive, dynamic and often quite challenging for my un-experienced photographic eye. The assignments ranged from basic themes such as texture, repetition and lines to more abstract photography including colour awareness. Later on we covered at length different styles of people photography: people compositional, portrait, environmental portrait and documentary photography. That was where Jonathan extensive experience in photojournalism and ability to articulate clearly the essence of each lesson came in very handy. I still have 3 days left with JT, including a “photography trip” to a rural village in central Thailand. The trick there will be to combine all the elements covered during the classes to create a mini feature on that place. Looking forward to it. A very rewarding experience! Easily beat my expectations.”