Photography has firmly established itself as an exceedingly popular hobby that a great many of enthusiasts have turned into either a part-time, or a full-time, endeavor. And, while many have been able to find success in doing so, someone now aspiring to do this themselves should keep in mind that the field has become highly competitive in recent years. So, in order to ensure the greatest chances of success, an enthusiastic photographer must make an effort to improve their photographic chops.
The advancement of technology in recent years as put high-quality, yet affordable photographic equipment into the hands of many, many more photographers. And, all indications currently are that this trend will just continue to advance on into the foreseeable future. For this reason, there are more hobbyist, enthusiast, semi-pro and professional photographers about today than there likely ever has been before. This means, of course, that the field of photography is much more competitive now than it ever has been. And, if you want to achieve success in the field, it is more important now than ever that you work seriously at maximizing your photography skills.
One method for improving your skills that is very attractive to a lot of enthusiast photographers is attending various photography workshops. Photography workshops are excellent places to learn — often from established professionals — the best ways to improve your photography. However, with the increase in photographers, there has come with it a serious increase in the amount of these short-format photography workshops run by people looking to cash in on the expanding market. And, not all of them really provide maximum value for the prices they charge for attendance. Choosing a good one is imperative. Any ‘yahoo’ with a camera can procure a little bit of space somewhere, place an advertisement in the paper or on community bulletin boards, and hold a 1 or 2 day beginners workshop in order to try and pull in a couple of bucks. It doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. And, if they don’t, you’re not likely to receive value in exchange for your attendance fee.
For this reason it’s important that you do take it upon yourself to do at least a little research before deciding to attend a specific photography workshop in your area. You should spend some time trying to analyze and investigating what exactly is on offer.
You should start by making sure that the topic of the workshop is of interest to you. Workshops are not full courses. They tend to be short — either 1 or 2 day workshops, or sometimes lasting over the course of a long-weekend. Since there’s not a lot of time, and the subject of photography is so broad, photography workshops tend to focus on specific subjects. It’s common to see landscape photography workshops, or portraiture photography workshops, introduction to studio photography workshops, basics of photography gear workshops, or other such things. So, the first thing, that should really go without saying, is to make sure the particular photography workshop you’re looking at addresses a topic that you’re interested in. And, try to keep to workshops which don’t seem to broad in scope. Because of the time limitations involved, if the workshop is attempting to address a wide range of subject matter, chances are it’ll leave you with more questions than answers. You want something very focused topically — something that can be sufficiently addressed and explained in the time allowed.
If it’s at all possible, you should also try to learn exactly how the workshop is to be conducted — that is to say: what style, ,method and manner of teaching goes on at the particular workshop. Some photography workshops feature an instructor that will basically perform a straight-forward presentation. Typically, they’ll stand at the front of the room and give a lecture of sorts. They might have a projector for displaying images and other various visual aids. This style of workshop is fine — especially if you have an experienced, engaging and talented instructor. But, a lot of people find that it’s difficult to really absorb and retain the information that they learn in this manner. Instead, a more “hands-on” approach in the conducting of a photography workshop is desirable to many people. In these types of workshops the instructor often demonstrates and then has the attendees go through a number of exercises during the workshop. Many people tend to believe that these sorts of photography workshops are more engaging, more enjoyable and participants tend to retain the information better if they are actually shown how to do something and then guided through the process of actually doing it themselves — rather than just have someone standing at the front of the room explaining it and leaving it up to you to practice what you’ve learned once you get home.
And, of course, perhaps most importantly, try to learn something about the instructor that will be conducting the photography workshop. What is his or her credentials, if any? Do they have a lot of experience in photography? And, more importantly, do they have experience in teaching photography? Photography and teaching are two different things. And, someone who may be a highly skilled, talented, experienced and successful photographer may not be particularly skilled at teaching photography. In fact, unless they’re a fairly rare person with an innate talent for teaching, they very likely wont be until they get at least a little bit of teaching experience under their belt. So, before choosing a photography workshop, try to learn who the instructor is, and what kind of photography and teaching experience they have.
There’s no doubt, however, that attending a good photography workshop can be a fun, rewarding and exceptionally worthwhile experience. And, the better photography workshops out there can really aid you in increasing your photography skills and your overall knowledge of the art, craft and science of photography. I highly recommend that you put in a little investigative effort and attempt to locate some decent photography workshops going on in your area. I’m certain that with a little bit of wisdom exercised when choosing a photography workshop, you wont be disappointed and you’ll very likely see your photography improve.
And, if you’re looking for a proven method for actually earning money from your photography hobby, I recommend downloading this entirely free e-book located here, and checking out the valuable information located at Photography Jobs. Or, if you’re more interested in mastering the art of digital photography from the privacy of your own home, I would recommend the wonderful course material available from Learn Digital Photography.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to post your comments in the comment box provided below and I will do my best to answer your questions or otherwise address your comments as time permits.
Have a great day! Happy shooting! And, I hope you enjoy your next photography workshop!