the workshop experience
Can one week really make a significant difference in photographic growth? It did for me. In fact, I consider most of the workshops I have taken as key turning points. And that’s what I want for each of the students I teach in photography workshops in Maine, on Amelia Island, in Santa Feand occasionally even in my own studio. Here are some of the reasons I believe workshops are an effective way to learn:
Focused time. When you attend a workshop, you set aside family, work and other responsibilities to focus fully on the experience and learning. (Don't worry, those responsibilities will still be there when you return home after the workshop.) For one week, both day and night, you will take a deep dive to explore, learn, practice and pursue your passion. It is sort of like an entire semester of a class packed into one week. It is exhausting and energizing at the same time.
A guide by your side. My approach is to discuss and demonstrate, make assignments, allow you to do the work, be there as questions arise, and then help you evaluate your work. As part of this process, I believe it is important for you to try things on your own, work through challenges and find your creative zone. But when you need help, I’m always nearby.
Shared enthusiasm and support. You spend this week with others who share a similar passion and sincere desire to learn. It's being surrounded by others who speak the same language. You learn from your classmates as well as your instructor.
Purposeful image reviews. Image reviews shouldn’t be scary. They also shouldn’t be fluff. Students tell me this is often their favorite part of my workshops because we take a look at what they are doing right and things they might try differently. After all, there are multiple ways to tackle any visual challenge. They also benefit from seeing how other students approach the same subject, location or challenge and benefit from group discussion. We look at your work every day.
Creative-thinking skills. Among the things that makes my workshops unique are the creative-thinking skills that I share (particularly in the studio workshops). My goal is to help you look at things in new ways, to interpret your images in more personal and powerful ways, and to solve creative challenges by exploring possibilities. I also believe in the power of journaling and reflection.
Unique Visual Challenges. In field workshops, you visit a variety of destinations—each one calling for different visual skills and ways of thinking. In studio workshops, you are provided with a variety of subjects and types of setups. This gives you an opportunity to tackle both visual and technical challenges.
If you’ve been exploring ways to grow as a photographer or are looking for an educational vacation to focus on your passion for photography, consider taking a workshop—whether with me or another photographer who can help you focus on your current needs. I would be happy to answer any questions you have about workshops and hope you can join me some day.
the workshop experience