How To Get The Most Out of A Workshop
Tips to getting your money's worth and taking your work to the next level
To some photographers, attending a workshop is akin to purchasing a new lens - Guaranteed results. These are the photographers that jump at every opportunity to attend a workshop, despite their unforgiving schedule. For most of us, attending a workshop is tough to afford. We wonder, “Will this bring me more bookings?” or “Will this make a visible difference to my work?” - But these avid workshop-goers justify the cost - easily. What is their secret? How do they seem to be getting more out of workshops than the rest of us? Below are my top 3 tips on how to soak up every possible advantage from your own workshop experience:
1. YOU'RE GOING PLACES - PLOT THEM EARLY.
You want to take your work to the next level, you just need a few pointers to help you get there, or perhaps you’ve encountered a problem while shooting that no amount of youTube tutorials will help solve. Take note of points like these leading up to your workshop so you can personalize your experience when you get there. Consider not only your personal outcomes for this workshop, but also the direction you want to take your career/art-form in. Maximize your experience by plotting these outcomes early to ensure your workshop takes you another step closer to achieving your goals.
2. LEARN FROM YOUR PEERS
Help others where you can, and ask for help when you need it. The person conducting the workshop will be best-equipped to teach you what you need to know, but you may also be able to learn a lot from watching your fellow students at work. Ask a few questions about their creative process during a practical shooting session, and see what insights you may have to offer them in return. Photographers working in the same industry as yourself may have valuable experience that you could benefit from.
Staying in touch with the photographers you meet at a workshop is valuable. One of my most valuable take-aways from a workshop was meeting Fathima from TTL Photography, now a good friend of mine whom I regularly turn to for advice. Being peers in our industry we regularly message each other for some guidance and a sound second-opinion. It is a huge benefit to have a sounding board like this, from which you can give/receive guidance and learning, long after the workshop is over.
3. LET GO OF FAILURE
From the workshops I’ve given and attended, I find the students who learn the most are the least interested in what others think. They ask a lot of questions - Tailoring their experience of the workshop to fit gaps in their knowledge. They give their best effort while shooting, eager to show their teacher the back of the camera and ask for guidance. They are willing to try out what they’ve just learned, despite the chance that the first few attempts will end in failure. Failure is how we learn best. Ever arrived at a shoot and realized you left a crucial piece of equipment at home? Did you make that mistake ever again? Me too. Workshops are a safe place to explore your creativity and skill with zero repercussions for those golden failures. Let go of your opinions of others, and what theirs are of you. You are there because you are creating your success. All you need to focus on, is crushing it.
Have any great tips of your own from your experience at a workshop? We and our readers would love to hear them! Drop us a comment below.
Looking to attend your next workshop? Shop your ticket here and join us on 17 December for our Nikon School Workshop on Mastering The Essentials of Photography.