I don’t do a lot of workshops, part of the reason is that you have to put so much effort into them just to make them happen and then you have to coordinate models, shoot sights and the list goes on and on. Plus I have complained a lot on this site about how I don’t like workshops. People have given me a hard time about it because I bitch about people who give workshops who are not qualified or who are not actually working photographers and they make the bulk of their living off of workshops.
Yes, you can learn from people who only give workshops. But, in my opinion, you can learn more from actual working photographers. Mostly because you will learn about everything that can go wrong on a shoot! When I do workshops it is based on how I do everything, from start to finish. Also, I only do one every year or two.
I had an article run on a photography site, which I wrote and supplied images for. The funniest thing was the hate I got from it. People thinking I’m just out to take money from them. It is amazing how these are the same people who will fall for the big convention crap workshops but hey, here is mine at half the price and twice the knowledge but I’m a thief! Bring on the hate because if you really want to pay twice the price, go for it! I won’t stop you.
I might do one this year, I might not, it really depends on what I have going on and if I even have the time to do one. I shoot a lot, I actually keep quite busy. This is why I really feel that it is hard to be a working photographer and a full time workshop host.
Plus, aside from the workshop, I don’t have anything to sell. I’m not sponsored by anyone, mostly because I do not dedicate myself to just one product. I truly believe that the best camera for any shoot is the one currently in my hands. In fact, some of the images posted here today are from my old digital camera (made in 2002) and from my iPhone 5c, not even the new one! So I can’t make money off of sponsors because I can’t exclusively promote one product.
My teaching is more like a philosophy of photography. The how is easy, the why is the difficult part. Is there a purpose to the work or are you just wanting to create pretty pictures? I don’t always have a deep intellectual point to my work, okay quite often I don’t have any intellectual point to my work…. or do I?
I shoot for a mood, sometimes the story is just in my head and I want the viewer to be able to tell their own story from looking at the images. Other times I want the viewer to be able to know exactly the story I am telling. And I don’t always know this going in. There are times when I have had a model come in and my whole approach changes because of their vibe. But this is what I mean by being able to change with the moment and if something doesn’t quite fit right you know how to make changes to make it work for you.
I like to keep an open mind while I work. My game plan is kind of like a road map. I use it to know where I am at, but not necessarily where I am going. Or to see where I want to go and all of the different routes available to get me there. The shortest route is not always the most fun or the most interesting.
Will I do a workshop this year? No clue. But if I do it will be a crazy weekend of fun, pool parties and an open bar! I’ll keep you posted, and if you’re interested in attending one of my workshops, send me an email and I’ll put you on the list if it happens.