Canon Australia Opens A Canon Academy That Directly Competes With Those Of Us Who Teach Photography And Support Canon

Canon has announced in Australia the opening of the Canon Academy to offer workshops and courses on photography. They have done this by partnering with an existing workshop organisation, URCreative.

I have to say that I think this is a really bad idea, and let me explain why. There is an active community already of people running workshops and courses in the photography area, including me. Those of us who use Canon naturally do a lot of our teaching using Canon gear. I’ve probably personally facilitated the sale of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Canon cameras and even more lenses and accessories. I have to say I don’t feel much like continuing to personally recommended Canon gear when they are actively pushing people that compete directly with me. Canon could have much better served its customers and those of us who teach using Canon gear by instead making the Canon Academy an online only thing that listed the workshops and courses that we, the existing teachers, were running. Indeed they could have actively profiled us on the website, building a closer relationship with us rather than pissing us off. Sadly this decision by Canon smells of a decision made by an MBA rather than someone who really understands and is passionately involved in the photography world. Very sad. Think of it in the same way as if Canon started selling cameras directly, and how the camera shops would feel.

Bad move, Canon, bad move.

What follows is the Canon press release.

Canon EOS opens up a world of inspiration and learning with the launch of Canon Academy

Creative Canon photography courses now available Australia-wide in nearly 30 locations and online, taking your photography to the next level.

Sydney 25 May, 2012: Canon Australia today announces the launch of a new education program, Canon Academy, enabling Canon EOS photographers of all levels to take their photography to the next level through an extensive series of face-to-face courses and workshops, and online courses. Available at Canon’s World of EOS, Canon Academy is designed to inspire and educate photographers, from entry-level to professional, across Australia.

The Canon Academy website can be accessed now at

Courses range from an “Introduction to DSLR” to an “Advanced e-Learning Course”, as well as specialist workshops in Architecture, Night Photography,  Landscape, Studio, Fashion and Portraiture photography.

“Canon’s World of EOS is designed take people’s photography to the next level through inspiration, creative challenges and skills development at all levels, including the rapidly growing number of first-time DSLR camera users,” said Rebecca Pearson, Canon EOS Assistant Brand Manager. “Canon Academy is a natural extension of this experience and we are excited to be providing a comprehensive learning opportunity in a range of formats and locations for people of all skill levels – from the complete novice, and upwards.”

Canon has partnered with URCreative, the photography training division of the Creative Institute of Australia, to lead Canon Academy’s portfolio of courses and workshops. The content will offer a variety of experiences to suit the needs and lifestyles of aspiring photographers as well as those people simply wanting to get more out of their Canon EOS DSLR camera. It will include five types of courses, six workshops and two online offerings in almost 30 locations around Australia to complement the brand’s existing online tutorials available via the Canon World of EOS.

“Canon’s expertise in high-quality imaging and our intimate understanding of user needs are matched by URCreative’s experience in delivering quality instruction,” continued Pearson.  “Canon Academy students will receive the very best photography learning and development delivered by trainers at the forefront of photography education.”

Greg Lee-Conway, URCreative Managing Director, says that students will achieve tangible improvements in their fundamental skills as well as an increased appreciation for the creative potential of photography. “Partnering with Canon, the market leader in DSLR photography, enables us to broaden and elevate our learning program with the use of a range of high-quality, dynamic products and accessories,” says Lee-Conway. “We’re looking forward to continuing to share this experience with a host of new Canon Academy students and enable more budding photographers to realise their creativity.”

Related links:

–       Canon Academy website

–       Canon World of EOS experience site

About Canon:

Canon is the world’s leading imaging brand that actively inspires with imaginative ideas that enable people to connect, communicate and achieve more than they thought possible through imaging solutions for business and consumers. Canon’s Australian R&D company, CiSRA, develops and exports digital imaging technologies for use in Canon products worldwide. Canon has ranked among the top-four US patent recipients* for the past 20 years, and had global revenues of around $US46 billion in 2011. Canon Australia also operates Canon Finance Australia, which offers one-stop shopping for customers wanting leasing or finance services. For more information, visit,,,

* Based on weekly patent counts issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office

About URCreative

URCreative is the photography training division of the Creative Institute of Australia. URCreative was founded in 2008 by members of the commercial photography and photographic education community.

4 thoughts on “Canon Australia Opens A Canon Academy That Directly Competes With Those Of Us Who Teach Photography And Support Canon”

  1. I think you need to re-adjust your viewpoint Wayne and focus on what’s important. Education has and always will be about the student. And Canon are addressing this by offering high quality standardized courses and on so many levels I can only see this as a huge benefit for Canon users (myself included).

    Your argument is a bit egocentric to be honest, evidently in fear of the Canon Academy dominating the photographic education market and jeapordizing a part of your income (I get it). But lets face it, for the thousands of Canon users around the country it’s an absolutely fantastic opportunity to be better acquainted with Canon equipment and my trust in their gear is easily extended to their services because their intention can only be for the end user to get the most out of their products. There are plenty of establishments (universities, tafes, private colleges) that have poor administration and are focussed more on making money than the welfare and development of their students, unfortunately your viewpoint echos this sentiment because you’re only focussing on what it means to you and not to the intended audience of the Canon Academy.

    It makes perfect sense for Canon to partner with a market leader in photographic education to compliment and further enhance the World of EOS. There’s no need for Canon to start from scratch when they can just do their due diligence, find the best training facility in the country, partner with them and rebrand accordingly (it’s genius in my opinion). In this case they’ve leveraged off a well established school with locations around the country and obviously believe in their courses. It makes no sense at all for Canon to just simply endorse a bunch of random facilitators because they use, praise and recommend their equipment?!?! They couldn’t control or regulate the quality of courses if they just recommended a whole bunch of different trainers. The courses wouldn’t be as well integrated and developed alongside their products, they wouldn’t have all the possibilities for tie ins to the WOE and photo5 etc. The Canon Academy allows them to have their training partner develop courses alongside new product developments and get the product and the education to market at the same time… I’d far rather do a course than read the manual 😉

    So instead of choosing to be “pissed off” why not take the ‘cup half full’ approach and consider the Canon Academy from the perspective of the end user and Canons desire to further enhance the World of EOS. They have the ability with the Academy to standardize and ensure a high level of education across the country and allow their users to become better acquainted with their equipment. I’m an enthusiast photographer myself but know a lot of people in the industry and I’m always hearing complaints about short course offerings in Australia. I have personally attended courses and workshops that leave a lot to be desired so I’m very excited to see Canon do what they do best and continue to innovate and inspire.

    If I were you Wayne I wouldn’t be cussing the company that provides you with the best gear in the game, I’d be actively seeking an opportunity to work for the Canon Academy!!! At least be a little careful because it certainly sounds like you care more about lining your pockets than facilitating and inspiring your students.



    P.s. I just booked into a Landscape workshop with the Canon Academy… woot!

    1. Wayne Cosshall

      HI Darren,

      Thanks for the lengthy comment.

      I’ll stick by what I said. Canon could have supported everyone who are running workshops and courses. They chose otherwise for their own commercial reasons and presumably a profit source. Excuse me for looking out for my business, as this is surely what Canon is doing, though I believe in a misguided way.

      Do you seriously believe that Canon is not doing this for money? Not only the money from the courses but also the ability to push product on students. You won’t get the balanced discussion of brand name vs third party lenses and accessories that I would want as a student.

      I also feel you fail completely to understand the nature of education. As an educator for over 30 years I can tell you that standardising is hardly a plus. Likewise you dismiss universities, tafes and private collages as being poorly administered and more focused on money than the welfare of their students. I can assure you that you are very wrong on this. I’ve taught in many of these (all three categories) and I can assure you that the staff are very concerned for the welfare and growth of their students. It is called professionalism.

      To me this is yet another case of quality education and training being undermined by commercial interests, and I mean those of the multinational.



  2. I’ve just signed up. The most affordable e-learning module out there. And actually one of only a few. I live in rural Victoria and Tafe is not an option for me. I only need the basics, the certificate on the wall to satisfy those who ask “have you studied” as in Australia you can’t work on merit alone.

    I will let you know if they “PUSH” their agenda and products – which I highly doubt will happen…

  3. Hi, I am highly interested in signing up for the the Diploma of photography via elearning and would like to hear reviews from those that have already enrolled and how they are enjoying it? Thanks

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