How Do I Choose the Best Photography Workshop?

Dan Cavallari

Savvy photographers know that attending a photography workshop is useful for more than just learning new skills. Workshops are great places to network with other photographers, models, and even potential clients while giving the photographer new information on current techniques, equipment, and trends in the industry. A photography workshop is useful for all ability levels, but it will be important for you to carefully consider which workshops are best for you to ensure your money is well spent. Try to choose workshops taught by professionals with substantial credentials, and of course, choose a workshop that is affordable for you.

A highly skilled workshop presenter can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of the workshop.
A highly skilled workshop presenter can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of the workshop.

Think carefully about what your photography goals are before signing up for a photography workshop. While much of the information at just about any photography workshop will be useful in some capacity, it may not always be applicable to your goals, business, or hobby. Think about your skills, as well as your shortcomings within the field of photography, and ask yourself whether the workshop you are considering will elevate your talents or give you new and valuable skills for improving your business. You may need help figuring out how to get your business started, or how to keep it from stagnating, in which case a photography workshop focused on the business end of photography will be appropriate. Such a workshop will be mostly useless, however, for a person who needs help with new and interesting lighting set-ups.

Try to do some research into the format of the photography workshop you are considering. Some workshops are more lecture-based, while others may be hands-on. Think about your learning style when determining which workshop is best for you. Hands-on workshops with well-known industry professionals may be more expensive, but you may take far more away from the workshop than if you attend a lecture-based event. Workshops run by well-known professionals are also likely to attract far more photographers, so one-on-one attention may be difficult or impossible. If you want one-on-one tutelage, choose a smaller, local workshop run by a local photographer with plenty of experience.

If you are looking to broaden your business and establish more contacts within the industry, it may be helpful to attend a larger, regional workshop. Take advantage of all materials and resources presented during the workshop, but don't forget to interact whenever possible with other attendees. You may be able to establish working relationships with other photographers, thereby helping you grow your business and spread your name around.

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