I got an email today from Ken Goodrich over at Hawaii Photo Retreat talking about shooting on the Big Island, which reminded me that it might be a good idea to post the next installment of my series about photography workshops.
The photo workshop comes in all shapes and sizes. There are local workshops-a lot of times you can find a short lighting or camera workshop starting as close as your local camera shop or photo club-and longer "get away" style workshops, which travel to places like Timbuktu. (You always wanted to go to Timbuktu, didn't you?) There are very "established" workshops like the Santa Fe Photography Workshops or the Maine Media Workshops and also workshops run by people just starting out.
Some of the benefits of the photo workshop are that they allow you to try new things, to go to new places, to try out a different form of photography (maybe) and to get to spend some time with other, like minded folks. In almost all of the workshops I have attended, I've met at least one person (usually more) I enjoyed shooting with or sharing company with, and I've gotten to go shooting at some locations I'd never get to go on my own.
The biggest downside to workshops is the cost-they can be quite expensive. Let's face it, if you wind up in a completely wrong workshop (well, wrong for you) it can be an especially expensive mistake, though you can usually get *something* out of any experience (even if your only take away is which workshops to avoid.) (Remind me and I'll share a story of a friend and a camel in a future installment of this series that will have you laughing until you cry.)
Many people wonder how you can find out about photography workshops and, in typical Carol fashion, I'd be here to help. Here are some pointers to get you started looking at workshops:
- Shaw Guides has an online guide to photo workshops though you should be warned, this is an "unfiltered" sort of a list.
- Santa Fe Photography Workshops always keep a running list of workshops-I've posted about them in the past and we'll cover them more in a special topic.
- Along with the Maine Media Workshops-another photo workshop along the same lines as the Santa Fe folks.
- I've also attended the VSP Workshops in Europe-Jonathan and his wife are nice folks and they offer a broad range of workshops that span the globe to get you where you need to go, not to mention they have some special workshops-like carnivale in Venice (I mean, who doesn't want to go to Venice during carnivale?)
- I mentioned the Hawaii Photo Retreat-again, Ken and Mary Goodrich are really nice folks and I can't speak highly enough of their work and their workshop.
- Kathleen Carr offers workshops and creative retreats in Hawaii as well-her woman's photography retreats are another "to die for!" style workshop that will not only relax you but have you wondering how you produced so much great photography.
- The folks who bring us National Geographic also bring us photo workshops, or "photo expeditions" as they like to call them. More information can be found here for the curious. They have also started offering what I'd call photo "long weekends" which really have me taken-I am very interested in doing shorter stays (like 3-4 days) in cities closer to home and they have started to offer these.
- And, if you still want more, there's Strabo Tours-folks who seem to go everywhere anybody wants to go.
This list is not exhaustive but it might be enough to get you started looking at workshops. I find that, sometimes, even if I don't plan on taking a workshop right away, just looking through all of the websites and picturing the exotic locations is a bit of a break from my daily stress-filled routine.
In the next part of the series, we'll talk about what to look for in a workshop, what to expect, how to prepare for one, and the like.
Until next time...