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minniev
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Questions about Workshop

Post by minniev » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:51 pm

I've been approached to lead a half-day field workshop and they want me to include some time at the dam shooting the birds. (I have warned them sternly that the birds do not do my bidding and they go where they want when they want). This is a group of about 20 people with everything from cell phones as primary cameras to full frame. I have very little idea how to set a price, plan the schedule, figure out logistics.

Any helpful hints would be appreciated.

It won't be until late October so I have some time to work on it.
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PietFrancke
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Post by PietFrancke » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:59 pm

some thoughts
1) this is me... I would not do this, sounds like a nightmare. (but could be a lot of fun depending on your personality)
2) Price according to how many people you wish to deal with. Upping a price could result in a more manageable group - a zero price is a lot of good will and can be a lot of fun. (Fun is more important than money, but money can be used to control group size perhaps)
3) Think about what your goal is.. both for yourself and for the workshop. Are you teaching cool bird/dam composition?
4) Consider a "day after" workshop, where you get some of their results (in advance of the After-Workshop). And you show them some photoshop tools and post processing - perhaps you could do an image per person (in advance) and show before/after results.

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minniev
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Post by minniev » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:45 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:59 pm
some thoughts
1) this is me... I would not do this, sounds like a nightmare. (but could be a lot of fun depending on your personality)
2) Price according to how many people you wish to deal with. Upping a price could result in a more manageable group - a zero price is a lot of good will and can be a lot of fun. (Fun is more important than money, but money can be used to control group size perhaps)
3) Think about what your goal is.. both for yourself and for the workshop. Are you teaching cool bird/dam composition?
4) Consider a "day after" workshop, where you get some of their results (in advance of the After-Workshop). And you show them some photoshop tools and post processing - perhaps you could do an image per person (in advance) and show before/after results.
Thanks Piet. I will probably be sorry. I hate the logistical part. The teaching I enjoy, I've taught one thing or another all my life.
I am not sure of THEIR goals, but mine will be to teach them to see the birds in a creative way.
I do think a post- version of the workshop will be something I'll offer.
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Post by Duck » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:45 pm

I run workshops al the time and personally love teaching to groups of photography enthusiasts. I will be more than happy to work out your particular details with you during our time at Monhegan but here are some tips for all who follow this thread.

If this is a workshop being requested by an organization (camera club?) you need to ask what it is they are expecting from you. What are their goals for their members. What are their expectations of results. This will give you an insight as to whether you are the right person or not, but since they approached you then they already feel you are. I find that often there is a disparate notion about what they want and what you think they want. While I always try to over deliver, I found when I first started doing workshops that I would overthink the project and created more work for myself.

For me, pricing is dependant on several factors;
  • Who are you targeting? Hobbyists and amateurs will have a different motivation than more serious photographers who are looking to up their game. One group sees the workshop as a fun distraction while the other would look at it as a means of furthering their education. Who you target will also affect what kind of content you deliver as an instructor.
  • What is the local going rate for similar workshops? Look to other photographers who lead / have led similar outings. Camera clubs and local camera stores tend to be the best source for these types of workshops and they tend to have established pricing based on experience.
  • What is your value? This one is harder to answer as we tend to place a lower value on our own worth than someone else would. There are a few points you can use as a guide; what is your investment in producing this workshop? What is your investment in your own education and experience that led to you being an authority on this topic? What expenses need to be covered by the time you are investing in this workshop that would normally be covered by the same amount of time working elsewhere? Remember that you need to factor your preparatory work leading up to the workshop into the price.
Once you have an idea of what the organizing group wants for the event it makes it easier to start planning the workshop. Over the years my workshops have gotten more streamlined because, as I mentioned, I would overthink the process and try to account for every little point. Today I simply write out a loose outline and rely on my knowledge and expertise to stay on track with that outline. One word of warning is that time tends to fly fast and it's easy to put in too much into a workshop. The last thing you want to do is rush through the final part of your presentation because of time constraints. If possible, do a test run of the different parts of the workshop (even if it's mock trials just by yourself) to get a sense of timing.

Here is the outline for the two hour workshop I ran this past weekend. The goal was to give an introduction to digital photography and get people to be less afraid of their cameras.
  • Brief introduction
  • Explain Exposure Triangle
  • Introduce the concept of working "Back to Front"
  • Explain ISO
  • Discuss Subject analysis (turtle or hare)
  • Explain Aperture / Aperture Priority
  • Allow group to practice this concept
  • Explain Shutter Speed / Shutter Speed Priority
  • Allow group to practice this concept
What is not explained in that list is the subtleties and intricacies that come with running a workshop. This includes listening to the attending members and their questions and addressing those concerns in your presentation. In other words, being flexible. Taking random surveys that gauges the group's level of knowledge that allows you to add or subtract things from your presentation. This avoids two things, going above people's heads or boring them with stuff they already know. However, finding that balance isn't easy to understand at first. For me, I have a bad habit of trying to fit in too much information.

Lastly, what is also not in that list is to 'have fun'.
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
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minniev
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Post by minniev » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:14 pm

Thanks Duck, these are great guidelines. Some of these questions I already have answers to, but others not. My worst dilemma right now is the very thing that attracted this group to want to use my services: they adored the dam bird images. Though I quickly told their leader than I could not guarantee any dam birds would appear on any given date, and that even if they were present, there is almost zero likelihood that anyone including myself will walk away with a frameable dam bird, they are persisting.
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Post by davechinn » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:51 pm

Minnie, I have nothing to offer, but it looks as thou Duck has provided you with some excellent suggestions and I'm gonna enjoy hearing it first hand while at Monhegan Island.
Dave
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minniev
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Post by minniev » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:53 pm

davechinn wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:51 pm
Minnie, I have nothing to offer, but it looks as thou Duck has provided you with some excellent suggestions and I'm gonna enjoy hearing it first hand while at Monhegan Island.
Dave
I'll be begging for advice from both of you!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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