How to Choose the Best Photography Workshop for You
One of the most important decisions aspiring photographers eager to hone their talent must take is choosing a photography workshop. If you’re one of them, we suggest that you give it some thought instead of ‘just going with the flow’ and choosing arbitrarily. Of course, it goes without saying that you must already have a clear idea about what genre of photography you want to pursue. For instance, if you’re a frequent traveler interested in taking better photos of your trips or you’re serious about becoming a full-time travel photographer, you must naturally take up a workshop focusing on travel photography. If you are still ‘finding yourself’ as a photographer and haven’t zeroed in on a niche, choosing a photography workshop can be a bit difficult.
Define your objective for taking a workshop
You must know why you’re signing up for a photography workshop. As a novice, your primary goal may be to just stop taking blurry pictures and learn techniques that improve your output. If you’ve some experience in a particular genre of photography, you may be looking to enhance your knowledge and skill, and aspire to achieve more out of the genre. By defining what you want to learn, you can choose a workshop aligned to your requirements and skill level more easily.
Understand the difference between a photo workshop and a photo tour
A photography workshop delivers an immersive educational experience characterized by lectures, hands-on training, critiques, assignments and photo reviews. It is designed to teach, advice and help so you return as a more informed photographer. A photo tour is a less intensive experience focusing mostly on seizing photo opportunities during your travels, and does not include lectures, reviews or critiques. You’re basically on your own and it is entirely up to you how involved or relaxed you want to be.
Zero in on a photographer who inspires you
The thing is, if you are interested in a particular genre, you would’ve been inspired by notable photographers specializing in that genre. Picking a workshop taught by these remarkable individuals would seem like a natural route to take. You can learn a tremendous lot from their experiences and insights; it’s your chance to get into their creative minds and draw inspiration to get your own creative juices flowing. However, not all inspiring and well-known photographers are the best teachers, which brings us to our second point.
Pick a celebrated photographer who can actually teach
There is little point in paying for a workshop by an eminent photographer, who unfortunately, isn’t the best instructor. A good instructor is someone who has a genuine interest in sharing his/her knowledge with you, communicates openly with you and doesn’t have a giant-sized ego! Keep in mind that famous photographers who’re busy with their own work may not have the time to really make every session as spectacular as you may hope. So, the smart thing to do is to figure out if that photographer who inspires you is also a good teacher.
Ask former participants about their experiences in the workshop(s) you’ve short-listed. It also helps to inquire among fellow participants who have taken multiple workshops a year. Another strategy is to ask other workshop instructors for recommendations. Instructors usually tend to teach at various workshops, so they can more easily answer your specific questions.