Your Goals - Your Camera - Your Pace - Your Success

***New Unit for Paid Members! You have been added to The Basic Principles of Photography unit with our first video lesson***

About Page

About Me

Hey! So you want to know more about me? As an introvert this page makes me a little anxious to be honest.. but sometimes you just have to put your big pants on and get things done! 

Personal Life

I love to learn, especially about photography, editing, business, SEO, automation and other techy nerd stuff! Then I love to share what I learn, inspiring my students to do what they love with their time on this planet. Living with a sleep disorder limits my daily energy. It has pushed me to create a low stress work/life balance that I am very grateful for, I've had to live and work smarter to align with my personal goals and allow naps when they are needed!

Gem with her dog belle in the studio with an orange background

How I Teach

For 1-2-1 sessions, we start with an initial chat about your photography goals and experience levels so we can tailor your session. Then, using appropriate resources (worksheets, screen recorded sessions etc.) we run your lessons in line with your photography goals. I really do care about every single person's journey with me. I am honest and to the point so that you can get to where you want to be as efficiently as possible. I teach to your level and with practical tasks, analogies and hands on demonstrations. 

client review of photography training with gem

Work Life

I LOVE working with companies, artists, photographers, marketing professionals and business owners to build their confidence with photography and assist in setting up their studio spaces. It's a pleasure to help people grow their businesses. I support Portrait Photographers throughout their business journey too, from set up and implementation to maintaining customer contact and growing their businesses.

My education at university was in commercial photography and I studied business, law, psychology, sociology, computing and photography at college. I followed this with full time employment as a photographer and then started running my own portrait and commercial photography business in 2012. I started my photography tuition service via Devon Photography Training in 2014. All the while upping my game with various mentors, youtube rabbit holes, books and with trial and error. I also took more formal training and courses in Education and Training, SEO, Website Creation, Online Marketing, Social Media, Video Production and Editing.


My personal favourite type of photography is Portraiture. In 2017, and out of 13,000 entries, I won runner up (2nd Place) in The Guild of Photographer's Image of the Year Award for the Contemporary and Avant Garde Portrait Photography Category. I had made it my goal in that year to enter their competition every month to see what I could do with the support of my peers. Being part of a community like that is so inspiring and one of the reasons why I started my facebook group to support photographers who have worked with me. 

My Photography Awards

gemma varney photography award

recommendation for gem at photogemic devon photography training

recommendation for gem at photogemic

What My Students Say About Me

lightroom classic tuition student review

photography tutor recommendation

photography mentor recommendation online

testimonial for devon photography training

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