Want to learn how to improve your urban photography skills or how to get better at the business side of photography? Join our two newest 500px Classes, available to 500px Awesome, Pro, and Pro+ members.

Read on to discover more about our two instructors, Mitul Shah and Duncan Nicholls, and what they’ll be teaching in their Classes. Plus, get a sneak preview at some of their best advice!

Then, sign up and get started—and don’t forget to add the live webinars to your calendar.

Capture your city: This is urban photography
June 15-17

Photographer: Mitul Shah

Who he is: An urban photographer based in Toronto, Canada. He captures the city from unique angles—“angles most people don’t often get to see, whether it’s from up-high or down below.” Read more about Mitul on his website and check out his photos on 500px. Plus, read his previous ISO article: “Master Motion Blur in Street Photography.

What you’ll learn: Mitul teaches us techniques for taking photos in cities, from “Motion Blur” to “Look Up.” A master of capturing mood, Mitul shows you how to photograph your city with a new perspective.

Live webinar: Friday, June 16, from 4:00 PM-5:00 PM EDT

Check out some of Mitul’s incredible photography:

Hard Rock by Mitul Shah on 500px.com

Beck by Mitul Shah on 500px.com

Star by Mitul Shah on 500px.com

We asked Mitul a few questions:

500px: What’s one piece of advice you wished you knew when you started taking photos?

Mitul: One piece of advice I wish I knew when I started was that quality always beats quantity. Every time I went out to shoot, I was always thinking of being able to get the greatest number of photos rather than focusing on creating photos of quality. Therefore, when I would go back to edit them (and when I look back at them now), I noticed they were mostly photos that followed the same simple patterns rather than something unique and organic.

In short, when shooting—don’t be concerned about taking the greatest number of photos, but rather the best photos you can take.

500px: Where do you find inspiration?

Mitul: All honesty, 500px is my number one place for photography inspiration. The quality of work and various different unique styles of photography always amaze me. What I like most is that it is relatively easy to find other photographers from different cities and discover different styles of work.

500px: What can photographers look forward to learning from you?

Mitul: Photographers can look forward to learning about how to capture the city differently, through giving a new eye to architecture or the fast-paced environment of the people. For those curious, I’m more than willing to share tips on technicals of how I personally use my camera or how I edit.

Get a membership and register for Mitul’s Class

The Business of Photography: The 50% of being a pro photographer we all forget
June 29-July 1

Photographer: Duncan Nicholls

Who he is: A photographer who’s had clients including Nike, New Balance, TAG Heuer, Men’s Health, Under Armour, Lacoste, and The North Face. He is represented by Verbatim in the UK and NYC. When it comes to photography, he specializes in athletes, portraits, and landscapes. To Duncan, “the magic and power of photography is that we all see the world in our own unique way.” Read more about Duncan on his website and check out his photos on 500px. Plus, read his previous ISO articles: “48 Hours in Miami: Photographing Pro Tennis Player Heather Watson” Part 1 and Part 2.

What you’ll learn: Being a professional photographer requires more than just taking amazing photos. Duncan Nicholls dives into to the business side of photography.

Live webinar: Friday, June 30 from 1:00 PM-2:00 PM EDT

Check out some of Duncan’s fantastic photography:

Underwater 001 by Duncan Nicholls on 500px.com

NYC_004 by Duncan Nicholls on 500px.com

Nike Stockholm 002 by Duncan Nicholls on 500px.com

We asked Duncan a few questions:

500px: What’s one piece of advice you wished you knew when you started taking photos?

Duncan: Wow, there are hundreds. But giving you a couple…

Firstly, a successful shoot and long term career are not just about capturing incredible work on the day for your clients. It’s about creating an enjoyable experience for them pre-, during and post-shoot. And in between shoots with your marketing. You’ll be commissioned and re-commissioned because you can deliver exceptional photography, but also because you’re a nice, kind, positive, and professional person who’s a pleasure to spend time with. Exuding calmness in stressful situations, when everyone else is panicking, is a skill to cultivate.

It’s all about sincerity, maintaining relationships within the industry, and the long game. Treat clients as friends, and not sources of revenue. You’ll be surprised how years can pass—then out of the blue you’ll receive a call from an old client, or a recommendation from them that leads to new shoots and new long term business. This comes back to being a pleasure to work with.

Plan your days—in fact, weeks ahead. Being a freelance photographer means that you probably won’t be shooting every day but will have lots of days where you need to edit, plan future shoots, have client meetings, market your work, maintain current client relationships, etc. The key to efficiency is to set some time aside the day before to plan out your next day, or even week ahead. Yes, other stuff will come in, but planning is simple but so powerful in terms of efficiency of your time. Also, putting the most important thing (or the thing you don’t want to do—these things are often the same) first, at the beginning of your day, is a very powerful strategy.

The best in any industry are rejected all the time, and often continuously at the start of their careers. Where others give up, they kept going, with an unwavering faith that they’d achieve what they set out to do. That’s the mindset you need from the start.

500px: Where do you find inspiration?

Duncan: On a visual level, mainly from paintings and films. I also keep up to date with the work of a relatively small number of the world’s best photographers in my genre. I’ll then naturally come across other photographers from time to time that inspire me, too. A good resource to see the work of a number of high level photographers is to look at photographers’ agents’ websites, as they will have lots of photographers on their books. I’ll also attend art exhibitions (not just on photography) whenever I can.

Being a sports photographer, I’m also hugely inspired by the dedication of the world’s best athletes. Showing up everyday and doing the work, irrespective of how they feel, or whether they’ve had any setbacks at all. That inspires me to do the same with my work.

I also read a lot of autobiographies, business, psychology, and spiritual books—and get a lot of inspiration from the stories of people from many industries and walks of life that have achieved great success, overcome huge obstacles in life, and have positively impacted the lives of many. It’s very easy to only look within the photographic industry for inspiration—but I believe the best look outside the industry continuously for inspiration, or perhaps strategies and practices that will propel their own growth.

500px: What can photographers look forward to learning from you?

Duncan: I’m hoping that by sharing my experiences I can help other photographers to achieve their own goals much sooner.

On a specific level, many, many things, I hope. Like how to consistently deliver exceptional service on the highest pressure commercial shoots. And strategies and mindsets I implement to retain long-term clients. How to prepare for portfolio and client meetings, what questions to expect, etc…

Get a membership and register for Duncan’s Class

Get a 500px membership and sign up for these Classes today—and stay tuned for more to come in the future!