Hello Photoion students and photography fans. Today we’ve got something a little different for you. We’re highlighting a selection of our students and giving you an in-depth look at their work, along with talking with them to learn more about their photographic journey and how they got to where they are today.

First up is Dolores Mateo, who has so far joined us for a Beginners Photography Course as well as Wildlife, Advanced Photography, Photoshop for Photographers, Speedlite, and Portrait photography courses, so she’s been exposed to quite a variety of techniques.

Dolores first found herself with an entry-level camera in June 2015 and used it to take photos of the local wildlife during the Golden Hour around her home. Dolores told us that she has “endless patience to wait for something to happen so the timing of my images was not too bad.”

This patience is essential for a nature and wildlife photographer, and is very handy for all types of photography. Keeping focused on your task for a long period of time can be challenging, but looking at Dolores’ images, we think you’ll agree the patience is worth it!

photography student wildlife

(c) Dolores Mateo

Dolores actually came into contact with us at Photoion when she disagreed with some comments Ion had made on a picture a friend of hers had posted on Facebook. Ion looked through Dolores’ work and immediately saw her potential and was able to convince her to join us for a beginner’s course.

Dolores joined us on a Beginner’s course in September 2015 where she learned the basics of photography such as composition, lighting, as well as finally learning the settings on her camera (something a lot of people don’t know for the longest time!).

Talking about her experience on the Beginner’s course, Dolores said “The course was the best learning experience I had ever had.”

(c) Dolores Mateo

“I went from not knowing anything to being able to compose and understand how to get the light into the camera to create images. Ion was passionate and encouraging and was always finding the best of each image to guide us on how to improve them. He told us to practice after the course and to post our images for feedback. No other photography school provides this unlimited post-course feedback and in my opinion this is essential.”

Not long after completing our Beginners’ course, Dolores signed up for the course she was most looking forward to, the Wildlife Photography course. We took her and her fellow students to Richmond Park where we observed and photographed the wild deer.

photography student deer wildlife

(c) Dolores Mateo

With the tools she learnt on this course she spent the next few months taking thousands of images from parks and animal sanctuaries in her local area.

photography student wildlife deer

(c) Dolores Mateo

photography student profile wildlife bird

(c) Dolores Mateo

Dolores’ skill has improved remarkably during this time, and Ion encouraged her to submit some of her work to the Photoion Awards 2015 book, which she did.

Her portrait of an Amur Leopard taken in the Wild Cat Sanctuary in Welwyn was selected to be published in the book!

In April 2016, Dolores took a trip to Namibia and captured some beautiful images! Since then she has been on a number of photography safaris to quite a few countries. Her passion remains the same which is nature and wildlife photography and has the patience to wait for the right time for the perfect image. We’ve seen Dolores grow as a photographer in a very short period of time. Dolores has some stunning images and she also won first place in our school competition Photoion Photography Awards 2016 with her image ‘Zebra.’

Zebra by Dolores Mateo. first place winner of the Photoion Awards 2016

Dolores has truly been bitten by the Photography bug and says that “Photography is now part of my life in a way that few hobbies have been before.

“I have learnt to be aware of the light and I have trained my eye to look for images around me. Most importantly, photography has made me happy. It has brought together my deep need to create beauty with my passion for nature and wildlife. It has given me the opportunity to meet amazing people. It does feel like the beginning of a new adventure.”

(c) Dolores Mateo

photography student wildlife flamingos

(c) Dolores Mateo

We’re incredibly proud of Dolores and her accomplishments, and are so glad she decided to take this journey with our school and share her results with us, and now with you!

photography student wildlife elephant

(c) Dolores Mateo

photography student wildlife giraffe

(c) Dolores Mateo

If you’re interested in learning how to create beautiful images like Dolores, head over to our course page and book a place on one of our many Photography courses.