Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Workshops... Are they worth it???

Found a question on Photo.net questioning the worthiness of fashion photography education and workshops. Well, being a fashion photography workshop instructor, I had to put in my $0.02 on the topic!

Through LUCIMA STUDIO, I teach a lot of fashion photography workshops. These workshops usually consist of hobbyists that have all the best gear. I've seen PhaseOnes, all the L-lenses, and even a RED EPIC at my workshops. But with all of the money that photographers spend on equipment, it usually doesn't change their images much at all. The top-of-the-line gear just makes you better at getting the same old images you've been getting all along!

On the other hand, proper instruction and education gives you insight and new perspective. It pushes you to think on another level and rethink what you thought you knew. It challenges your assumptions and forces you out of your comfort zone. And through the (sometimes uncomfortable) process of stretching, trying new things and looking at old things differently, you add new skills to your arsenal; skills that allow you to use your equipment in exponentially different ways.

Think of education and photography skill-sets like "photo filters"... filters that fit every physical lens you own. So by learning 1 new skill, you now possess +1 more ways to use every single lens you own. That's like having 2x as many lenses!

Except that you are getting much more than 1 "photo filter" (new skill). Hopefully throughout the course of the workshop, you'll acquire dozens of new "photo filters" (new skills). And now you have exponentially more lenses!

That's what gear can't do for you. Gear doesn't ask questions. Gear just helps you do what you already do, but better. And ultimately if you look at the return on investment (ROI), you might spend $1,000-$2,000 on a single physical lens. But with that same amount of money, you yield much greater ROI by enhancing the way that you use all your existing gear. Furthermore a good tutorial/workshop/education keeps you growing, pushes you to think differently over time, and constantly provides a long-term return on your investment. So it's not a "one-shot" deal.

If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them (charles@lucima.com). You can also check out my private fashion photography workshops as well as my group fashion photography workshops. Cheers!

1 comment: