For 30 years, Nikon School had offered a very popular photo education program, Nikon School, across the country. In 2002, we proposed a digital school, taking advantage of the growing move to digital. Nikon would book locations and market the schools and Blue Pixel would create a curriculum and manage the teaching. Nikon said yes.
Teaching the digital process wasn’t new to Blue Pixel. Blue Pixel’s founders were among the first to embrace digital photography in the mid-1990s and went on to spread the word. Reed Hoffmann had been working with newspapers around the country (and in Singapore) training staffs in converting from film to digital and streamlining their workflow.
The first challenge was in taking that experience with professional photographers and applying it to consumers. In addition, Nikon requested that Saturday’s program be geared toward point-and-shoot cameras (Coolpix) and Sunday’s towards the emerging digital SLR market. Our next challenge: create two full-day programs aimed at two groups of people. And find teachers, working photographers who really understood digital — cameras, techniques, computers, hardware and software — and could present that material for everyone from novices to professionals.
The End Result
Fall 2009 will be Blue Pixel’s eighth year teaching Nikon School, which has grown to include 30 cities in nine months reaching more than 10,000 photo enthusiasts annually. The original Saturday program has been replaced with an introductory SLR seminar and Sunday’s program now is for advanced users. The material is reworked every year to keep the programs fresh and up-to-date, incorporating new products and reflecting changes in the industry. It’s been a big success for both Nikon and Blue Pixel.