Published on June 22, 2022

Photo credit: Erica Hawkins (www.ericahawkinsphotography.co.uk)

Did you know that, as well as offering courses for school leavers, North Hertfordshire College also has a range of leisure courses open to adult learners? These courses are a great way to learn new skills and meet new people as you work together on a common interest – like photography! 

NHC’s photography leisure courses start at a beginner level, with more advanced courses available which explore skills further. We spoke to some of our learners on our photography courses to find out more about why they decided to join NHC for a course – take a look at some of their stories below! 

“You’re never too old to learn something new”

Dave Gauld

“I’m Dave, a 71-year-old from Stevenage. I finally retired in early 2019 and took up photography as a hobby. I very quickly realised I needed to know more about what I was doing, so I searched the internet for photography courses and found a Photograph for Beginners Course at NHC. I learnt so much on the course about how the camera works and different techniques and very quickly started to enjoy take different types of photographs. I’m now doing the Photography for Improvers course. The tuition from Erica Hawkins has been excellent and fun at the same time. I’m hoping to develop my skills further and creating a portfolio of my work in the future – so I’d definitely say you’re never too old to learn something new.”


“The joy that came with learning was amazing”

Graham Hopkins

“Ever since a teacher lent me their 35mm SLR camera at school, I’d wanted to have a go at photography. Fast forward nearly 4 decades, and I finally signed up for NHC’s ‘Digital Photography for Beginners by Erica Hawkins’. The joy that came with learning was amazing and I soon ended up buying my own DSLR (although the College has cameras you can use in class if you don’t own one).  Erica takes you through everything, from the basics of how to turn a camera on right up to different photography techniques.  She makes sure everyone is included and her passion and inspiration for photography is contagious – so much so that the majority of her ‘Beginners’ class signed up for the follow-on ‘Intermediate’ class.  I can’t thank her enough for finally being able to look at life through a lens!”


“Rekindled my creative side”

Cathy Zioli

“I’m Cathy, I’m 51 and from Letchworth. I have always been pretty creative and loved drawing when I was younger, but work, children, and adult life happened! I decided during lockdown to rekindle my creative side, so I bought a camera and fell in love composing shots. As a complete novice, it made sense joining a photography class as I’d rather be shown and taught compared to looking online or in a book. I’m definitely going to carry on learning and hopefully improve my hobby – who knows where it may lead.”


“I’m completely hooked”

Dave Boyce

“I’ve always enjoyed taking photographs and recently treated myself to a DSLR camera. I signed up for the evening classes to learn how to use it properly and became completely hooked. Erica is a great tutor and her enthusiasm rubs off on the whole class. I would recommend these classes for anybody who enjoys photography and wants to learn from an expert.”


“A proper hobby to aid with my mental wellbeing”

Neil Durkin

“I’m Neil, aged 55 from Stevenage. For years, I wanted to learn how to use my camera properly rather than just point and shoot. When a friend said he’d signed up for a photography course here, I jumped at the opportunity and enrolled in the Beginners’ course. I’ve learnt so much and have now got a newfound motivation for my photography – so I’ve also signed up for the Improvers’ course. With these new skills, combined with the advice and feedback on my photos, I’m feeling confident that my photography can become more than just documentary of my life and places I’ve been, but actually a proper hobby to aid with my mental wellbeing.”


“Confident to learn and practice new skills”


“This the second course I’ve done with Erica and she has been amazing. She’s bright, vibrant, fun and passionate about photography and so happy to share her knowledge with all that want to learn. For me, it’s made me more confident to go and learn and practice new skills I have learnt on the courses. Hopefully, doing this course will help me push further into making my photography the next step from just a hobby”


“Fulfilling and rewarding”


“I am enjoying the course as I am finally learning what I have postponed learning for over 20 years, and I am finding it both fulfilling and rewarding. I will certainly carry on taking photos as often as possible because it is great fun and seeing myself progressing motivates me every day. I can also document my family’s life and that will last forever for my kids and their kids, and so on.”


If you’re inspired by our amazing adult learners to explore a new hobby and skill, be sure to check out all of NHC’s leisure courses. Clear your mind and create time to explore new skills and activities in a friendly environment. Find your new favourite at NHC today.