You see around, a variety in everything, and where there is creativity, there it seeks the utmost attention. Moreover, the visuals rule the vision. So, whenever there is any event conducted on any workshop in photography, few points need to be considered. There are umpteen number of photographers generated in the market, but one needs to consider the fact the be it a participatory event or else, the money that’s being invested on such should be worth.
It might be confusing at times to get indulged in a myriad of choices, you have for both large organized conferences and as small as under 8-10 people, types of workshops. Though there’s always good and great opportunities knocking at the door to learn from the successful photographers through workshops, at the same time, it’s well important to note that just because something is deemed a “workshop” doesn’t mean that there aren’t any precautions to take and research to be done.
Workshops can be one of the best learning platforms to take the key learnings, but not necessarily always. Sometimes, it might get disheartening as well, for the waste of time and money.
So here are a few tips and pointers to help you get the most for your money and help you grow as a photographer, while not getting ripped off.
The Photographer’s Arena
Look around and grab a knowledge on the background of the artist’s work, how much active they are in the community, and if their workshop topic lives with whatever they are posting in the forums, as well how much new is the content every time they post. Again, this comes down to knowing who you are giving money to.
There are several successful ways to run a photography business but taking business advice from a boutique photographer, if you are a bulk photographer, may not be worth it for you.
Check out their work, how long they’ve been in business if they are still in business (yes, this happens), the level of your work, the level of the speaker’s work, and the topics they are discussing.
A workshop host should be an industry expert and more specifically an expert in the scope of what they are teaching. In other words, you wouldn’t ask a mechanic about removing a mole on your arm.
An important aspect, the Terms, and Conditions, before accepting the contract. Go through to comprehend the context, and pay particular attention to the cancellation clauses (whether it’s them or you that cancel). Since it’s an intangible service sold, contracts are fairly specific, to what you can and cannot expect, as far as what you receive.
If the workshop has a contract, pay particular attention to the cancellation clauses (whether it’s them or you that cancel). Especially when traveling to take a workshop, if something comes up and you have to cancel make sure you can get at least a partial refund, transfer your ticket to someone else, or receive the credit to take a future workshop.
Pay attention to any review clauses in the contract. This is the one that can put you in trouble the most. It has been seen more than one workshop host “ban” you from leaving anything but a positive review in public. This is a serious red flag and while the legality of it is a larger issue, you probably don’t want to pay not only the money for the workshop that you didn’t have a good experience with but then the legal fees to fight a lawsuit should the workshop host decide to pursue legal action based on your accurate review based on your own personal experiences (which is the de facto defense against slander or libel claims).
The Price to be Paid
Look at the workshop fee. The higher the fee, the less likely you’ll be “sold” on anything. You need to know, when you go to a $100 workshop, you should be given a hard sell on actions, forms, processes, etc. Alternatively, when you go to a $2,000 workshop, you don’t expect to be getting sold on anything except drooling over some of the gear they are using.
Some might mock at the workshop industry, which is almost as large as the photography industry itself. Moreover, it’s been seen photographers giving workshops in only their second year of business. Not to say they couldn’t help you but it is unlikely a 2nd-year business has much in the way to offer a photographer with 10 years of experience.
Workshops offered by enthusiast Photographers, most of the time, engage truly in educating and they love to do so, though this workshop industry itself is not a generally, “get rich quick” scheme. However, there are exceptions and it pays to do your research in advance.