8 Ways to Find a Photography Workshop Right for YOUMe Ra Koh
There are 8 Ways to Find a Photography Workshop Right for YOU. Why is this important? Time and money are both valuable. None of us want to waste time or money on a photography workshop that leaves us feeling overwhelmed. We want a photography workshop to empower us to capture the stories of people we love. But with photography workshops being offered everywhere from local community colleges to pros to online and even Groupon, how do you know if a photography workshop is going to be worth your investment? Bottom line, price is not the indicator. Just because a workshop is cheap doesn’t mean you are going to get your money’s worth. Mother’s Day is around the corner ladies. What better gift for Mother’s Day than the gift of confidence with your camera!
Here are 8 ways to find a photography workshop right for you;
1. Research Their Work
You want to take a photography workshop from someone who captures life in a way that you want to capture life. Review your teacher’s portfolio, see if the images visually jump out at you and/or speak to your heart. That’s the first step in testing the value of a photography workshop!This gorgeous photo is by our Kansas Confidence teacher, Cathy Mores. You can also check out the many photo tips she shares on her blog. You will LOVE her blog!
Kansas moms, Cathy is doing a special speaking event for Wolfe’s Camera in Topeka, Kansas on Friday, May 2nd at 4pm! Admission is free! What better way to see if Cathy is the right photography teacher for you!
2. Ask for BEFORE and AFTER Examples 1 of 9
BEFORE & AFTER Photo Results from former students is another great way to test the value of a photography workshop. I LOVE having my CONFIDENCE Teachers share their students BEFORE & AFTER Photo Results because how can you not see the powerful transformation when it's right in front of you?
Check out this BEFORE photo that one of Nicole Elliott's students took of her daughter.
The AFTER Result! 2 of 9
Now check out Nicole Elliott's student's AFTER photo!!! INSANELY BEAUTIFUL!!! Look at the lighting, the intentional composition, the use of shadows, the sharpness...I could go on and on! Her former student took this photo of her daughter while she was waiting for her prom date!
*If you love BEFORE & AFTER examples as much as I do, check out all these!
3. Talk to Former Students 3 of 9
Photo: Nikki McLaughlin
If you see a workshop being offered in your area, email the teacher to see if you can contact past students for references. Ask former students what knowledge or level they were at before the workshop and what level they'd consider themselves now. How happy were they with their experience?
After teaching our CONFIDENCE photography workshops for almost seven years and now mentoring our nationwide team of teachers, I've learned that interested students want to make sure they are not going to feel "over their head" among the other students. Or they want to confirm that the information taught will not cover what they already know. All valid questions that helps you make a wise decision! If the teacher doesn't have references, do some digging of their workshop on Facebook to see if past students have posted positive or negative comments. A winning testimonial is a GREAT way to know you are making a worthwhile investment!
4. Decide on What Kind of Hands-On Experience You Need 4 of 9
Photo: Jill Ann Melton
Nine out of ten photography workshops will offer "hands-on" experience. But is it the hands-on experience you need? If you are wanting to take photos of your kids at home with natural light, you want to make sure the hands-on part of the workshop will be set up that way. When I first started photography, I remember attending a workshop. The professional photographer who was teaching brought in gorgeous models, set up awesome lighting. Although my photo results looked amazing, when would I ever have those ideal shooting set ups again? Answer...almost never if you are working with kids. Even though the hands-on experience was fun and gave me great portfolio content, it didn't empower me how to shoot in a family's home with low light and kids who are on-the-go.
(I had to share what the students’ captured!) 5 of 9
I had to share what types of photos the students were capturing with the previous photo! Isn't it fun to see what kind of magic window light can create!
5. Studio or Natural Light? 6 of 9
Photo: Janna King
What do you prefer? Studio or natural light? There are amazing workshops for both types of lighting. Spend some time flipping through magazines or looking at blogs and websites to see what style of lighting attracts your eye the most. Maybe you like the "look" of studio lighting, but you want to learn how to create it with window light as Janna King illustrates with this sweet baby photo. Photography is more about light than anything else.
6. Research Teacher’s Teaching Experience 7 of 9
Photo: Laura Swift, our Virginia Teacher (teaching a special session to moms with babies)
If you are going to take a photography workshop, you not only want to research their photography portfolio but it's also important to research the teacher's teaching experience. How much experience do they have at teaching? Have they had any training in teaching? What is their teaching philosophy? There is nothing worse than showing up for a workshop and having the teacher be unaccessable to all the questions you are afraid to ask. Just because someone is a great photographer doesn't mean they are a great teacher.
Even though most of our CONFIDENCE Teachers didn't come from a background in teaching, they have a heart to teach--to empower moms. When they apply to become a teacher, they spend an intensive three day training with me on the art of teaching photography from what I call a "transparent methodology". This is a teaching style that seeks to be real, transparent, rooted in serving others and seeing their equipped with the techniques to empower confidence.
7. Size of Workshop 8 of 9
Photo: Amy Rhodes (Las Vegas Workshop)
The size of a workshop can make or break a workshop experience. When Brian and I teach our CONFIDENCE 2 Day Workshop, we often have anywhere from 15-20 students, but there are also two of us so we can tag team all the hands-on help needed. Our team of CONFIDENCE Teachers love a workshop of 6-8 women because they feel like they get to not only connect on a teaching level but also a personal level. But the size of a workshop question is also about your own comfort zone too. What do you think you would feel more comfortable with? A small, more intimate group setting or a larger group with more diversity? There isn't a right or wrong answer. If you go with the larger group, ask if the teacher has additional helpers/pros coming during the hands-on time so you don't slip between the cracks.
8. Look for Personal Touches (i.e. Heartfelt Swag) 9 of 9
Photo: Nikki McLaughlin
Although it isn't necessary, a make or break deal, to have personal touches added to a photography workshop...I've always felt that "heartfelt swag" was an indicator of how much the workshop teacher loves what they do. I take complete delight in seeing how our different teachers add their own personal touches to make their student's workshop a special experience. Every student gets the 50 plus page workbook, but the extra personal touches are an expression of our individual teachers.
*See more heartfelt swag and more BEFORE & AFTER photos here!
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Confidence Photography Workshops for Women Offered Nationwide. Find one of our wonderful teachers near you! Get to know them in the following posts;
13 Ways to Engage the Photographer in Your Kids (from Me Ra and her two kids!)
Photo: Cathy Mores