As photographers, no matter our skill level, we all have a niche. We all have something we love to shoot, be it animals, portraits, nature, or street photography. But an essential part of growing as an artist is stepping outside your comfort zone. Unfortunately, it is not something easily accomplished by most human beings.
Photography workshops are a fantastic way to improve your skills and try something new. You can search for everything from "photography workshops near me" to an epic "expedition photo safari." The choice is yours! Workshops also offer a great way to dive deeper into your niche and learn new skills.
Either way, you can add more options to your portfolio and take away memorable experiences. In the end, your goal should be to find a workshop that will be enjoyable and fun. Ask yourself, if your batteries died and you took home no photos, would you still want to do the workshop?
Types of Photography Workshops
There are as many types of workshops as there are types of photographer. You can do workshops in studios in your hometown or travel the world. You can also do many classes online.
By far, the most common and popular types are travel photography workshops.
If you're going to travel out of town for a photography experience, you might as well go all out, right? For this reason, the lines between travel, landscape, nature, and wildlife photography expeditions get a little blurry. With a detailed itinerary, you can do it all from some of the most amazing locations on earth.
The organization of these photo tours makes or breaks the trip. Keep in mind; some companies are just in the business of selling seats. The tour might be just that and not photography specific. Keep this in mind when shopping and look for companies that offer photography instructors and mentoring.
If there is any location on earth that you have always wanted to photograph, chances are there are photography trips that will take you there. From the Arctic to tropical islands, from Patagonia to bustling cities in India, workshops like this can get expensive but are worth it.
The other kind of photography workshop you are likely to come across is more limited in scope with a greater focus on instruction. These are led by industry professionals in a specific field. If you are looking to hone your skills at wedding photography, street photography, food photography, or whatever else your niche might be, you can find someone willing to share their secrets. Generally, the most exciting workshops are led by photographers you admire, so be sure to research them carefully and get a feel for their work. If you aren't inspired by what they do, you will probably find their workshop uninspiring as well.
If you're wondering, "What about photography workshops near me?" then the answer is likely something a little more limited in scope. Smaller lessons and courses are a great way to hone your skills in your home town and learn from the pros. Professional photographers often offer one on one lessons or give lectures and workshops throughout the year.
Why Go to Photography Workshops?
Photography Workshops are a great way to pick up new skills and to fine-tune those we already have. They're also a great way to step out of our comfort zones and try something new.
Specifically, when thinking about travel photography workshops, the itinerary is essential. The logistics or planning an international trip and figuring out the best shooting locations is daunting. If you've never been to a place, it's nearly impossible to plan the trip and get the best photographs on the first go. By going on a tour, you are reducing your workload and stress, allowing you to spend more time shooting great images.
Picking the Right Photo Workshop
Workshops can benefit everyone and are extremely popular, but are all of them created equally? Of course not. It's imperative to choose carefully since the overall planning and organization of a workshop can make or break the experience for participants.
Your first step should be carefully researching the host photographer. While looking at their body of work is an excellent place to start, you'll probably also want to find any reviews of their workshops and lectures. Happy customers are the best indication of a quality photography workshop.
If a larger company leads the tour, you should also spend some time researching what they have to offer and if their customers are generally satisfied. See what sort of options the company offers like after trip mentoring or photography instruction. Again, reviews may be the most helpful resource.
A poorly organized photography workshop trip can ruin the total experience. Keep that in mind as you shop for it.
The importance of checking the companies planned itinerary can't be understated. If the trip is conducted in national parks, ensure that commercial photography permits have been attained. Additionally, be sure to locations have been pre-scouted and that the timing is worked out to arrive at the best light. Most companies won't want to share all their secrets before the trip, but you should be able to get an idea of how prepared they are.
List of Best Photography Workshops:
Of course, this isn't an all-inclusive list. There are dozens of workshops and classes out there to pick from. Always make sure to do your review to ensure that the workshop of your choice is the right fit for you. Some of them offer a seminar on photography as well.
Fashion Photography Workshops
New York Film Academy offers a four week long, hands-on fashion workshop. This is a total immersion program with a great deal of shooting. Students begin shooting on the very first day of their class. Throughout the workshop, all aspects of the fashion industry photography will be covered—everything from casting and working with models to editing and retouching. A similar four-week workshop is also available from their Los Angeles campus apart from their photography workshops in NYC.
Antonio Martez, a prominent fashion and beauty photographer, offers fashion photography workshop that tour throughout the US. With a focus on the lighting and using industry standard procedures. Models, wardrobe, and makeup artists will be provided, and Martez is present for the whole thing for one-on-one mentoring.
Food Photography Workshops
The Wine and Photography Workshop is a five-day expedition to the Okanagan Valley in Canada featuring lots of photography and lots of wine.
Portrait Photography Workshops
Andrew French (Extra) Ordinary Portraits Workshops offers portrait experiences in popular locations. The upcoming photography workshop will shoot in the famous Loew's Jersey Theater in New York. These are one-day workshops that include lots of shooting time with professional models. Small classes and unique locations with an industry professional make this photo workshop stand out.
Santa Fe Photographic Workshops has an extensive list of courses and experiences. They have portrait sessions ranging from street and iconic portraits to their Fashion, Faces, and Figures course for professionals. Many courses travel throughout the American Southwest, Cuba, and New Orleans. Other topics offered include photography basics, landscapes, travel, and architecture.
David Molnar aims to provide education to those who are finding difficulty in handling their camera and doing editing. One of his workshops is on iPhone portrait photography where he teaches how to compose, shoot, and organize the images.
Hudson Photo Workshops wants their students to use the camera for the maximum potential and thereby caters to people with different levels of skill set.
School of Photography workshops is taught by professionals who provide accurate and deep knowledge of the subject. Their workshops take place in London and Essex. Apart from studio photography and night photography, they provide classes in Photoshop and Lightroom as well.
Street Photography Workshops
David Coleman offers total experiences, day workshops, and tutorials. Based on the West Coast, his "experiences" are usually trips to various locations in Mexico while his one-day workshops are located in the San Francisco Bay area. Locations include Chinatown, Mission District, and other fabulous spots for street photography. David also provides free photography seminars on street photography, colors, composition, etc.
James Maher is a New York native that offers many street photography jaunts around the City. He's a wealth of knowledge about secret spots and great locations. Check his website for upcoming group workshops.
Raw Photo Tours are targeted for those photographers who love adventure. They specialize in providing street and documentary photography workshops. They intend to provide a deeper understanding of photography, which is a lot more than learning the basics.
Wedding Photography Workshops
Twig and Olive Photography is a US company that offers wedding, family portrait, and newborn photo workshops throughout the nation. Their Constant Trust workshop focuses on wedding photography and how to get the most out of your limited time with the couple. There is a focus on the business of wedding photography as well as posing with models and setting up a stylized shoot. Twig and Olive Photography organizes photography seminars in newborn photography, child and family photography as well,
Julie Paisley offers intensive one-day workshops in her cottage location in Nashville, Tennessee. She goes in depth into topics of interest to wedding photographers in each workshop. Workshops for 2019 include marketing, styling, and bridal posing. Check her website for additional workshops or next years schedule.
Travel, Landscape, and Nature Photography Workshops
National Geographic Photography Expeditions might have the most recognizable name of all photography workshops. They offer dozens of trips all over the world, led by the worlds most admired photographers. Each trip has a different breadth and focus, from their 24-day Around the World by Private Jet workshop to their five-day expedition cruise along the California coastline. Trips that take place on their fleet of vessels are always accompanied by a National Geographic photography instructor, while all other trips are hosted by a National Geographic photographer. This workshop would undoubtedly be one of the best photography workshops that you can get.
Pictours Portugal is based in Portugal but offers three equally interesting photography workshops. Visit Portugal, Tuscany, or Vancouver on five or seven-day tours led by professional photographers with small group sizes.
Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris offers photography trips to some of the most desirable locations around the globe. Locations of these trips include Alaska, Greenland, China, and Mongolia, among others. Their trips to Spitsbergen and the Galapagos look fabulous. Taking these nature photography classes in these exotic locations is beyond comprehensible.
Jennifer King provides on the field training for the photographers, whether it be a beginner or advanced, the creativity and techniques to become a better photographer. Apart from workshops, Jennifer is also involved in teaching at photography summits, through educational videos and online classes.
Jarrod Castaing is an award-winning photographer who aims to give photographers the insight in shooting spectacular landscapes through his photography workshops. These landscape photography workshops are held in places like Iceland, Norway, and New Zealand.
Sea-to-Summit Workshops is a California based company that tours all over the world. Upcoming locations include Death Valley, the High Sierras, and Coastline of California, Eastern Washington, and Olympia National Parks as well as the Islands of New Zealand. Visit their website for more information about their locations and hosting photographers.
Erez Marom Workshops visit locations like Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Patagonia, Israel, and Namibia. Hosted by Erez Marom himself, these workshops focus on stunning landscape imagery and detailed travel itineraries.
56th Parallel is a Russian travel company that organizes photography workshops all over their country. None of their tours are photo specific, but their tours of Kamchatka in Eastern Russia are very popular with photographers. A more remote version of Alaska, expect to see stunning landscapes and lots of bears.
Toehold Photo Travel is a photography tour company that specializes in nature and wildlife locations. Many locations are visited throughout India, as well as Cambodia, Antartica, Costa Rica, and Iceland. These are photo specific tours led by professional photographers who conduct extensive planning for the best trip and offer a lot of off-field learning opportunities as well. The company even provides rental equipment.
Wildlife Photography Workshops
CNP Safaris offers photo tours in seven countries including Botswana, South Africa, US (Alaska), Namibia, Kenya, and Tanzania. They include tours in specialized vehicles (both by land and water), and they offer an extensive mentorship program.
Suzi Eszterhas leads tours and trips to great wildlife scouting locations. Upcoming spots include Monterey Bay, California, Botswana, and the Galapagos Islands. Groups are small, with only eight to ten people, allowing for lots of one-on-one instruction time. She also offers personalized instruction and workflow tips, if you're interested in getting even more out of your photos from the trip.
The list of photography workshops around the world grows every year. Photography trips are a great way to learn new skills by actually doing. And combining a workshop with a big trip is a great way to ensure you'll have a terrific memory.
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