5 Reasons to Attend Photography Workshops
I have had the luxury to attend some workshops centered around the wedding photography industry and I have to say that I have found the experiences to be very fulfilling. For those of you who do not know, I am returning (FULL FORCE) to wedding photography after spending time around the brazilian jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts (MMA) scene for a bit. I really missed the wedding environment, and after being a little disconnected for a while, I thought it a good idea to rub elbows with some like-minded folks. Here are the reasons that I attend and plan to continue well into the future:
- PROXIMITY - I am able to get CLOSE to wedding photographers I admire. I put this one first because I think that having personal access to someone that you look up to (in any field) is a great asset. Now, just because you are near them, doesn't mean that you are getting the most out of that experience. You HAVE to make a connection when you go to a workshop, it isn't just about the learning part. I have taken this to heart and now have a deeper educational opportunity from the likes of Mike Colon, Ray Santana and Kenny Kim - to name a few.
- PEOPLE - Talk about NETWORKING!!! There is no better way to meet people that share similar passions than to be a part of the same workshop, or educational event. This kinda goes without saying, I know but the creative energy that comes from 5-25 people in the same room, talking the same vocabulary, all trying to improve... AWESOME! The ideas that are shared, the helping hands, the shared experience, ALL help you bond with the other attendees. Now, the longest workshop I have been to was only 2 days but I can only imagine what a longer, more intense workshop would feel like... I think the closest I could compare it to would be CAMP :) And just like camp, you don't leave and forget them, you tend to email them, facebook, heck, even call them and grab meals together!
OK, I see a theme here, it's all about people and relationship... to some degree it is, for me, at this point, it TOTALLY is! The more people I can touch and work with, the stronger my network of friends to call when I want to second shoot, or need a second-shooter, or want to join a shootout, or need help with a particular project, or need advice on such-and-such. So, in a pie-chart, the top 2 would be a little more than 50%, but there's more ....
- PROGRESS - I am able to SEE pretty quickly how well I am progressing. I can look at my work from the photography workshop and from prior and SEE if I am moving the direction that I feel that I need. I think I am a pretty quick learner and in a workshop, I fell that I am better able to focus and improve.
- POINT OF VIEW - It is pretty easy to get stuck in a rut, and having people's work to view is an eye-opener. It is pretty much a given that when you photograph as a group, any given subject, there is a natural group that forms around the place where the "best" images can be made. Most of the time, that group is around the instructor but the surprise it that MOST of the photographs are unique in one way or another. I really appreciate that different point of view. Seeing how someone moves just a little this way, changes the look and composition. Those are all things that I am learning when I look at the other students' work.
- PORTFOLIO -This is probably the most tangible output of a photography . The organizers of the workshops have spent a lot of time preparing a quality experience for me and that is evident in the shoot that is arranged. You will likely have high quality models, hair and makeup and wardrobe. This is a great addition to your portfolio in a couple ways. If the shoot is out of your normal style, it shows you have some diversity. If you it is line with your style, then it is just more great work with beautiful people :) Either way, adding to your portfolio is a benefit in my eyes.... it shows that you are occupied, even if it is "only for a workshop" it shows your dedication to your craft and your willingness to keep moving forward. And speaking of workshop output, take a peek at some of my recent stuff form the Montage Shoot for the 7 Workshop, and the Mike Colon Atlanta Workshop.
I truly enjoy the workshop environment, even if I had not sat down to think of why, I would still go :)
I encourage you to take it to the next level. If you have been to a workshop, great, go to another one. If you have not, you NEED to get to one. You will not regret it at all. Finding a workshop is pretty easy... check out your favorite photographer's web site for information and if you are unable to find something, shoot them an email. Who knows, you might encourage someone to start a workshop of their own.
Here is a list of a few workshops that I am fond of:
Mike Colon - You will get great information and insight into your shooting and your business. Mike Colon Workshops and Events
Kenny Kim - He's all over the globe! He has a really cool workshop in Italy that I WILL go to! Kenny Kim Workshops
Jesh De Rox - This guy has some great insight. The way he gets people to feel something is astounding, check him out at one of his experiential workshops.