Rankin offers free photography lessons to everyone (but there's a catch)

Publicity of photo of Rankin for the BBC series Great British Photography Challenge
Rankin was previously the presenter of the BBC series Great British Photography Challenge - but is now offering a paid-for course in photography through BBC Maestro (Image credit: BBC / Storyboard Studios)

One of the world’s most famous photographers will soon share his wealth of knowledge via a brand new course on BBC Maestro. The fashion and portrait photographer will be sharing over two decades worth of experience into digestible bitesize lessons. Anyone interested will be able to access the first two lessons free of charge, if you sign up before the official launch of the paid-for course. 

Rankin is widely renowned as one of the world's greatest photographers. He’s shot everyone from pop royalty (David Bowie and Kylie Minogue) to actual royalty, the late Queen Elizabeth II (although he wasn’t allowed to photograph her hands). He’s worked on numerous projects that include highlighting the impact of food waste to photographing West End stars to raise money for homeless charities.

• These are the best cameras for portraits perfect for capturing in-focus faces with beautifully blurred backgrounds

For many aspiring portrait photographers, he is an inspiration and the new BBC Maestro series will cover everything from the equipment he uses, and different lighting techniques to interacting with models, promoting yourself, and networking. 

BBC Maestro first launched in November 2020 in partnership with BBC Studios to offer never before offered insights into the world's greatest creative talents. Whether you want to learn how to produce music from Mark Ronson, write poetry from Carol Ann Duffy or find out how Billy Connolly become one of the funniest and most respected comedians, there truly is something for everyone no matter your creative flair. 

Prices start at £79 for a lifetime subscription to a single course which will enable you to watch videos as many times as you want at your leisure. If you’re a multi-faceted creative with interests across the arts you can also sign up for £10 a month subscription and access 100+ hours of video lessons, explore new courses as soon as they land and if you’re not enjoying the service there is a 30-day money back guarantee. All NHS and public health workers are entitled to a 25% discount, all you need to do is email support@bbcmaestro.com from your work email address. 

Courses are available in a wide number of countries around the world including the US, the UK and Australia

To sign up for your free two lessons head to the BBC Maestro website

Also check out the best lens for portrait photography and browse a range of super-sharp 85mm prime lenses

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.