Why FennWorld?

  • It seems to me that at some point most human beings have wanted to be a photographer or make a video about something. Sort of like how everyone considers writing a novel or starting a podcast. Whether it’s a mom wanting better shots of her kids, an employee thrown into making videos for a startup business with no budget or video department, or even a student looking at seriously pursuing photography or film as a career. Face it, we live in a visual world. Your personal life is on display in a visual format, created and curated by you–it’s not called social media for nothing. Social media is primarily about the media and everyone is usually interested in learning how to show their best self. But if you’re a business, the same is true; your brand, your character, your company image is sold visually. It’s difficult to find someone in the modern era who wouldn’t benefit from some learning on the photo and video front.
  • The good news? The time is now. The nice thing about our modern era is that the tools necessary for good quality photo and video work are finally made available to everyone. This site’s primary aim is to fill the existing gap in education. If the tools are now free why not democratize the education?The pro media world and the consumer world are converging and FennWorld is where they collide. There is a big difference in budget between a Hollywood blockbuster and what you have to work with; let’s be real. But if you’re smart about it a little creativity and basic education can get you shockingly close. A $500 camera today can shoot better photo and video than the $500,000 Hollywood cameras ten years ago. And if you don’t have money for a “real” camera? The cell phone you walk around with every day likely has a great camera built in. And it’s not just the gear that’s finally affordable. Software that once cost tens of thousands of dollars is now free or open source. Resolve, Fusion, Blender, these are software packages used on the stuff you see in theaters and on TV and you can download them right now, on Mac, Windows, or Linux. And software is also easier to use than ever. Like, look at complex visual effects, e.g. face replacements, match moving and 3D integration, these things used to take teams of very skilled people and long render hours to get anything worth watching. Now, your phone can do a decent job of the same tasks in real time.
  • So Why Fenn? Because I love making this stuff and I love teaching it. I’ve taken thousands of photographs, printed in dozens of publications across the globe, and spread across genres of portrait, product and environment photography. I’ve been in this industry for nearly two decades. I’ve worked with A-list Hollywood celebrities on fancy feature films, in production and post production on everything from name brand TV commercials to low budget corporate web content. I’ve attended film school and teach at film school. Teaching privately as well has given me a good idea of students’ most common needs and how to best address them. By my mid-twenties I had travelled every continent on the planet doing photo and video work in the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. After having accomplished most of my professional goals way quicker than anticipated, I asked myself: “What’s next?” My new dream is you, the student, and the creation of this site. I’ve coached hundreds of people like you to success and now the way to broaden my reach is by taking it online. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to individuals who opened doors for me early on. I was way too young and inexperienced to merit many of the opportunities I’ve had. My heroes and mentors are not all still with us, but if I can perpetuate that legacy of shared learning I’ll die happy. So, it is fantastic to have here. Thanks for wanting to learn something new and welcome to FennWorld.

FennWorld’s CORE

This isn’t the only place on the internets for media-related training. You’ve got lots of options. You can pick from overpriced dedicated training, disorganized and distracting public video platforms, or just peruse endless forum threads. None of these are bad (hey it’s how I’ve learned half of what I know) but good information is so inefficiently delivered in these formats. Here’s the deal with the FENNWORLD CORE: 

Cheap:Β This CORE course is and ever shall be free. The focus here is largely about professional results on amateur budgets, so expensive training just doesn’t fit that paradigm. I have a lot of friends in other countries that simply can’t afford paid training yet they’re probably more talented than I am. This site seeks to never let cost discriminate.

Organized: The internet is a fabulous resource, but it’s gotten insurmountably big. Let me present organized, concise training to you. FennWorld is a place of curated information from sources on the inter-webs and people in the real world, with everything put into one place with structure and purpose. I’ll include many valuable resources already online when they teach a principle better than I can or have time to. Again, this is curated content from only the best sources that takes the best of the internet as it pertains to creation of high quality media content.

Relaxed: You’ll learn better if we’re all having a good time. FennWorld is fun, and the content on this site has been time-tested and applied over many years, with proven results. I have put a lot of thought not only into what is learned, but how. The organization of the site is very intentional. I want you to feel relaxed, comfortable, and excited for what’s ahead. This site invites you to contribute if there’s anything you feel you can add. It’s not about ego or competition here. These industries once housed closely guarded “secrets”. It’s an era I’m glad to see fizzling out. Most professionals I currently know are opening up to sharing their techniques and readily learning from the best-kept “secrets” of others. Which leads me to my next point.

Expert: In narcissistic Fenn fashion this site bears my name but the information comes from a community of experts. (Fun fact: I actually bought the domain name with my brother when we were like, 12). The professionals contributing here are all secure enough in our current positions that we aren’t afraid to share. We’re all about change, good karma, and we focus on one goal: to create high quality content efficiently. This site invites you to contribute if there’s anything you feel you can add. It’s about a community of people at the top of their game wanting to give their best knowledge and receive the knowledge of others. Together we’re smarter.

These four principles form the FennWorld CORE. The CORE is the necessary primer for getting everyone equipped with the base set of knowledge. Don’t underestimate the core even if you think you’re a video shniz dizzly wizzle. If you think focal length affects depth of field, that you need to shoot raw to adjust white balance in post, or that Sony has bad color science you need the core.

FennWorld is comprised of the ever-updated CORE training along with upcoming project-based tutorials. Most of the project-based tutorials are advanced enough you’ll need knowledge from the CORE if you’re a beginner. The project-based tutorials are paid as a way to cover my hosting costs, but you really don’t need them–the CORE is quite comprehensive. Project-based training simply gives me the opportunity to showcase the CORE concepts applied to real-world projects and make enough money to keep making my own creative content.

To cite an overly abused principle, my aim in this CORE course is to provide you with the 20% of skills that get you 80% of the end result. Everything you need to start making great media quickly is in the CORE. The information hits a point of diminishing returns where you’ll start to see less result for the time invested, and that’s where I move the training from the CORE and into the project-based tutorials. So again, the stuff you really need to master is freely available in the CORE.

That’s a lot of words for someone who just claimed to be making good use of your time. Hang in there, we’re getting into the juicy stuff.