Monday, 22 March 2010

Get the best from a photo workshop or photo walk

Attending a photography workshop or photo walk is a great way to learn new techniques, explore a new genre, expand your knowledge, have fun and meet other photographers.
Before you attend your workshop or photo walk
  • Think about what you want to learn from the workshop and why you want to attend.
  • Prepare a list of questions as it’s easy to forget thinks when excited or in rush.
  • Ask the workshop leader for specific recommendations that will help prepare for future photo shoots.
  • Make sure that you know how to use your equipment. Unless stated otherwise, photography workshops and photo walks are about creating and making images. You’re at the workshop to learn how to create great images, not how to use your camera.
  • Charge your batteries the night before and make sure that you’ve got a good supply of memory cards.
  • Take your camera and flash instruction book with you. It’s easy to forget how something works, especially if you don’t use the gear regularly. Your workshop leader will be a professional photographer who will be fully familiar with their kit, but not yours.
  • Note book and pens or pencils. Make copious notes for future reference.


During the workshop or photo walk
  • Be an active participant and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The workshop or walk leader is there to help you. If you’re uncomfortable asking questions in a group, ask the leader in private.
  • Work hard to make to best of your time and take your own initiative. There will be others in the group who don’t.
  • Have positive attitude and be open to suggestions. Participate fully and accept feedback with an open mind. Your workshop leader may identify and help you with your technique and approach. You’re going to the workshop or photo walk to expose yourself to new ideas. Listen to the advice given to other participants.
  • Participate in discussions and share your experiences with others. You may learn as much from other participants as the workshop or walk leader.
  • Don’t expect to be creating great photographs straight away. The time during the workshop to practice and experiment with some expert help at hand. Part of creating great images are practice and planning.

After the workshop or photo walk
  • Share your images or any new images you create with other participants via email or a photo sharing service such as Flickr. Many workshops and photo walks will have dedicated groups just for this.
  • Don’t be shy. Maintain contact with your workshop leader and fellow participants. This way you’ll continue learning and maybe even develop some new friendships.
  • Practice what you have learnt; new approaches, techniques, or even ways of thinking. Follow your workshop leader’s recommendations.
Ian Pack is a freelance photographer & photo workshop leader based in southern England. More details of his workshops and photo walks may be found by visiting:


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