We all get a fresh start. That’s my favorite thing about celebrating a new year. The old year and its problems are gone. What’s done is done. It’s time to look forward. For photographers, it’s a chance to start over. It’s time to reset and get cracking. Here are five tips designed to help every […]

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I wish everyone a happy new year in 2012 – Goodbye 2011. We’re about to make it through another calendar! What’s next? Well first I’ll talk about me and then talk about you. You won’t see as much of me in 2012. (Stop applauding!) Photofocus will continue to publish daily, but you’ll see a few […]

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As I write this, I am co-leading a photo workshop with my pal Arthur Morris. Sometimes the participants don’t seem to get the most out of the experience. The old adage you get out of it what you put into it is very true. But here are some additional suggestions for really getting the most out of these trips.

a. Understand what you’re signing up for. Most companies offer workshops or tours. Artie is a rare breed in that he offers instructional photo tours (IPT). The IPT is a hybrid. In the typical workshop, you are mostly paying for a teacher. You should be able to ask lots of questions and expect answers. On a tour, the leader’s primary job is to get you to the best places to shoot, at the best time of day, offering you the best chance to get the best subjects. Artie offers a mixture of the two.

Make sure you’re traveling with someone who can actually help you achieve YOUR goals. There are now so many workshops and tours that chances are even your grandma teaches one. Look at the trip leader’s work and compare it with other established pros. Find out whether the trip is something that you can benefit from or merely a way for the leader to get his own photography trip funded by others.

b. Before traveling to the workshop/tour, carefully read and re-read all the leader’s materials – website, email, brochure, etc. If you’re traveling with an established leader who knows what they’re doing, the answers to most of your questions about the trip should be available online. Be sure that you’re traveling with someone who is a match for you in skill, experience and personality. Don’t take on more than you can realistically handle. Don’t sign up for an advanced, large-format B&W workshop teaching previsualization and the zone system if you barely know how to operate your 35mm camera and only work in color.
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