We caught up with Frui founder, Henry Carroll, in Australia to ask him a few questions about what you can expect to learn on our holidays and courses. Here’s what he had to say…
What’s different about the tuition people receive with Frui?
No matter what you’re learning – painting, cooking or photography – it’s all made really fun. We don’t fixate on the technical aspects too much. That’s not to say we don’t cover them. We do, but it’s important not to get too bogged down in technical stuff, as that can stifle your creativity. We make sure that you learn the fundamentals and then encourage you to get creative. I suppose where we’re really different is that we make things super simple, so you ‘get it’ straight away.
How do you choose your tutors?
Besides the obvious things like being knowledgeable about their subject area, we look for people who are instantly likeable and communicate their passion clearly and concisely with enthusiasm. A Frui tutor also needs to have lots of energy and go the extra mile to make sure everyone understands what they’re banging on about. A high tolerance to alcohol is also a must.
Do the tutors have different teaching styles?
Yes, of course. We have our fixed worksheets, but each tutor brings their own personality to the workshop or holiday. We’re all different, but we all agree that photography, painting and cooking is an excuse to have fun and be creative!
How do holiday destinations affect what guest’s learn?
We always tailor our worksheets to the destinations. For example, on our Istanbul photography holidays we tend to focus on architectural and street photography. We also introduce guests to the idea of capturing contrasts, as that’s an intrinsic part of understanding the city. In more rural detonations we tend to look at landscape. Depending on the destination, there might be a more traditional emphasis, such as Kerry in southern Ireland, or contemporary, such as Mexico. Everything we teach is designed to give guests a greater insight into a destination so they can respond to it creatively.
What’s your teaching background?
I had a baptism of fire! I taught A’level photography at a sixth form college. In a digital age the students had no patience for the darkroom, which was all the college had at the time. To hold their attention I had to come up with ways to make things quick, easy, fun and creative. When we started Frui, I used the same techniques I’d learnt in the classroom on adults. In fact, if anything, adults get even more distracted than kids, especially if there’s Prosecco being poured.
Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
These days people are just as interested in learning about historical and contemporary photography masters as they were about learning techniques. No book existed that covered these two things. Existing books were all very techie, wordy and full of forgettable pictures. So I set about making something that was really concise, emphasised the creative aspects of photography and full of incredible images. It also draws people’s attention to the psychological aspects of picture taking, which is something that’s often overlooked.
Have you ever had any student success stories?
Lots! We’ve had people who worked in IT or finance who have given it all up to pursue their creative passion. Others have become their company’s in-house photographers. Lots of people get their photographs featured in magazines and on websites which is always great to see. I also had an email the other day from someone I taught in Marrakech saying they are now doing a photography degree!