It’s the off-season right now; the time of year when photographers have the time to endeavor upon education and expand their knowledge base. But when it comes to finding a wedding photography workshop, which one is the best? Which one is worth investing your money in to? Here’s my two-cents on workshops.
#1: Star power does not equal quality
I get it. We all want to be that super famous photographer who can sell out a workshop before you even finish saying the word “workshop”. But here’s the thing… just because someone is famous doesn’t mean they’re providing you with a quality workshop. Are they actually teaching you new skills? Are they truly broadening your horizons? Or are you just in love with the idea of hanging out with them and you’re willing to pay the big bucks and hop on a plane? Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely quality workshops out there hosted by famous or very well known photographers, but keep reading on and you’ll learn how to find them.
#2: Mimicry does not equal learning
If your teacher is only showing you how to get a certain quality of image under very specific situations, you need to ask yourself – are they actually teaching you a new skill or are they teaching you how to follow a specific set of instructions under specific circumstances? Let’s face it, all weddings are different. Different aesthetics, different backgrounds, different lighting situations. What good is a skill that’s only usable once in a blue moon? That’s a question only you can answer.
#3: Generic isn’t always best
Generic workshops; things that cover a little bit of business and a little bit of shooting are really good for photographers who are early in their career. Once you’ve got a few years of experience, though, you’re likely not going to benefit from generic workshops as your needs will become more specific. Quantity of information covered isn’t as important as quality of information covered.
#4: Self reflection of your learning needs reigns supreme
This is, what I think, the most important factor is in finding the best wedding photography workshop. You need to stop and think about what it is that you need to learn. Where are your weaknesses? What are you struggling with and who can help you fix that? There’s no point in attending an education session if you already know 80% of what you’re there to learn. Challenge yourself and find the best workshop for the skills you truly need to improve on.
#5: Critical analysis of workshop content and examination of learning objectives
This point is saved for the last because it’s a bit of a mashup of many of the other points. Once you think you’ve found a workshop that meets your needs you need to read the overview of the workshop and really think about whether or not it’s going to push your limits and challenge you as an artist. When you read the course outline can you decipher what new skills you’ll be able to walk away with?
Wedding photography workshops seem to be a dime a dozen now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find quality workshops with amazing teachers who help you learn entirely new skill sets. Good luck!!