Whether you’re just getting started as a photographer or you’re well-established and looking to hone your skills, attending a photography workshop is an awesome decision! These workshops offer personal feedback, guidance, and the ability to talk through different concepts and ideas. There’s nothing like having a one-on-one interaction with an expert to help you take your photography skills to the next level!
A photography workshop is basically time – from a few hours to several days! – where you get a chance to be taught the skills you need to thrive as a photographer. Different workshops will emphasize different things: some will focus purely on the technical or artistic photography skills, and some will look at the marketing and business side of things. Some will do a little of everything! They are generally small, consisting of around 10-20 people, so that there can be room for individual feedback. These workshops are a great option for any photographer who’s looking to level up!
Wondering how to choose the right workshop? Consider these steps as you research and decide!
The first step on your to-do-list: write out a list of the goals you want to achieve as a result of taking a photography workshop. This will help you focus on which workshop to pick.
If you’re just starting out, don’t worry about writing out ALL your goals for photography. Just go with what you want to know and get better at. Is it using different kinds of gear? Communicating with clients? Editing software? Decide what you’re wanting to learn most, write it out, and use that to guide your research as you look for the perfect workshop.
Now that you’ve decided on what you want to learn, you’re ready to select the right type of photography workshop! Some workshops are more general in scope: they will be open to all kinds of photographers and have more of an focus on composition and skill. Others are very industry-specific. Here are just a few examples of possible photography types to focus on when selecting:
It’s crucial to know what you want and what works for you. Here are some areas to consider as you are choosing a workshop:
What is your favorite method of learning? Do you work better in small groups, large groups, or one on one? I encourage you to pick a photography workshop that compliments your learning style! At the same time, don’t be afraid to stretch yourself and go for something new.
Is there an area of weakness you’re wanting to grow in? Great! The right workshop will push you to grow in that area and provide you with the instruction you need. Having one on one feedback and healthy critique is what makes a photography workshop so attractive and fun!
Ask yourself if you can envision this workshop helping to advance your photography skill set. What do you plan to get out of it? Have your goals ready, and choose a photography workshop that will help to bring them about. Be ready to work hard and give all your attention to the task at hand!
Your search for the perfect photography workshop is going to be led by how much time and money you are willing to invest in your goals. Some workshops are done in a single session, while others can span over the course of a week. Prices vary widely, so deciding on your budget beforehand is going to help you filter your options as you decide.
If travel is a concern for you, picking an online option over an in-person workshop could be the way to go. Although in-person has it’s benefits, virtual workshops can also give you the one on one interaction you’re craving. But if you can make an in-person photography workshop, I definitely recommend it! There’s nothing like learning with a group of fellow creatives to get your inspiration flowing.
For those of you who are looking for in-person wedding photography workshop and are ready to travel, I offer a 3 night accommodated, 4 full styled shoot located in the beautiful Scottsdale, AZ!
Complete with transportation and instruction ranging all the way from pricing to multiple types of marketing, taxes, gear, and workflow, my co-host Dan and I offer a community driven workshop intensive for wedding photographers!
If you’re seeking a retreat-style workshop that fosters friendships and celebrates photographic creativity, Live Rooted is the right choice for you. We’re going to have a blast – I’d love to see you there.
In some cases, you don’t have to go beyond your own hometown to get the instruction and guidance needed to take off in your photography! Local photography workshops are quickly becoming the buzz. They are a great resource for anyone who’s not looking to travel, and the connection you make there can often be more helpful and enduring, because you’re all from the same area.
On the other hand, traveling further afield for a photography workshop is a great experience, and a wonderful way to expand your horizons! You’ll be able to make connections and dip your feet in the photography world. Don’t be afraid to research different locations (especially if you’re focusing on landscape photography) to push yourself to learn new things.
So you’ve narrowed down your criteria: you know what you want to focu on, how much you want to spend,a nd whether you want a virtual or an in-person experience. Now it’s time to craft a shortlist of workshops athat meet those needs, and then find out a bit more about them.
Make sure what you think you’re signing up for is what you’re actually getting. Do some research to find out what you’ll be learning to make sure the photography workshop you’ve selected is giving you the right teaching.
One thing to look out for is the skill level a workshop is pitched to. Don’t be afraid to get honest here! Although the goal is to get better, be sure you don’t select something that’s so advanced you don’t have a frame of reference to start with. And no one wants to pay good money to be taught things they already know!
Be sure to take some time to research the instructors and take into consideration any reviews they’ve received from previous students. This will really help you get a feel for who you’ll be working with and learning from.
The goal is to pick instructors who inspire you and who challenge you to grow in your skills. Make sure that you like the leader’s work – there’s no point in learning from people who you don’t want to emulate.
Workshops can be incredible places to make connections both personally and professionally, so when you’re looking for the perfect one, try to pick one where the instructors and fellow attendees are the kind of people you want to get to know.
Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from people who have gone before you and taken the workshop you’re looking into. Ask around to find out what their experience was like to see if it sounds like the experience you are after!
Last but not least, preparation! Before you head off to your photography workshop, there are a few things you’ll want to know!
Make sure that you check the kit list so that you bring everything you need. Be sure to bring whatever you would normally use to shoot!
Be prepared to focus and work on multiple assignments. This is not the time to be finishing up some editing in the background – you want to fully immerse yourself in the experience to get the most out of it.
Be ready to receive feedback and constructive criticism, and don’t shy away from asking questions. Your fellow attendees all have their own experience, and they are a resource as much as any instructor- so one of my top tips is to be ready to ask them about their work. Soak up being around all these amazing artists and entrepreneurs!
Now that you know some practical how-to’s when it comes to choosing the right photography workshop, you’ll be a pro at choosing which one is right for you. Remember to start with your goals and know where you want to grow in photography, then go step by step from there.
If you have any questions about the wedding photography workshop I offer, or questions in general about workshops, feel free to reach out to me or check out my wedding photography retreat workshop. And don’t forget to have fun!