You never know what can happen at a photography workshop. last April I went to St Augustine, Florida to attend a workshop taught by Rick Sammon. Before I left, I joked with my wife that Rick and I would hit it off and be good friends. I won a contest the first day by getting a shot of a galloping horse with all four hooves off of the ground. The next day I volunteered to help teach Lightroom and HDR techniques, and Rick used my HDR images as examples for the class. I had a great time, and Rick and I actually did hit it off.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your next photography workshop.
- As Rick says, “stick like glue to the instructor”. You can go off on your own and shoot any time. Why not take advantage of the opportunity to learn from the instructors? Don’t be afraid to ask questions, that’s what your instructors are there for.
- Listen to the instructors. If you don’t have any questions, listen when other people ask questions. Sometimes you’ll get the answer to a question that you didn’t even think to ask. If the instructor suggests a different composition or vantage point, give it a shot! This leads me to number 3…
- Try something new. You’ve invested your time and money to attend a workshop and improve your photos, now get out of your comfort zone and experiment. I took the shot below in St Augustine on Rick’s recommendation. I didn’t really ‘get it’ until I processed the HDR shot later. By taking the instructor’s advice I learned something new and ended up with a cool shot.
- Be nice to your fellow attendees. Workshops are more fun if you make a point to participate and interact with the other students. There is no telling what you might learn or who you might meet by simply introducing yourself.
- Come early and stay late. If you show up early, you’ll have more time to get acclimated and make yourself comfortable before the workshop begins. Stay late to take advantage of every possible learning opportunity. You could miss the best shot of the day if you head home early. If everyone is going out to eat together after the workshop, you should definitely go! You’d be surprised what you can learn over a beer or a burger.
- Have FUN! Don’t forget you are attending this workshop because you enjoy photography. Make some photos, make some friends and learn something new!