As a landscape photography workshop instructor, I’ve always been open to feedback and criticism on the workshop experience. I’ve also been on the listening end to numerous complaints about other workshops from my students over the years. This information has not only been beneficial in improving my workshops, but can be a great resource for photographers who need help choosing a landscape photography workshop that is right for them.
Avoid Commercial Workshops
Big companies are usually synonymous with big groups and big buses. While traveling in Iceland, I’ve witnessed too may photography tours hitting all of the overshot super-iconic locations with large groups of around 20-30 people. Imagine trying to capture each landscape while being shoulder to shoulder with a crowd of other photographers. Even National Geographic photography expeditions will host workshops in oversized groups like these. Be aware.
Group Size Matters
The maximum number of students I have in a photography workshop is 10 and often 6. Any more than that and there will not be enough time for one-one-one instruction. Small groups help create a positive experience where you can naturally converse, ask questions and share ideas. By keeping my groups small, we are able to react quickly to changing conditions and seek out the best locations.
Seek Out Unique Locations
A big reason for taking a landscape photography workshop is to challenge yourself and improve your skills, right? Let me put it this way, going to super iconic locations is the absolute easiest route. Instead of shooting the same images that millions of others have already taken, focus on creating original works of art. There are endless unique landscapes waiting to be photographed once you get off the tourist route. You should choose a workshop that allows you to do that.
Double Check Instructor Experience
Look for an instructor who is going to spend a significant amount of time working with you one-on-one. I’ve heard stories about instructors who focus more on their own shots versus helping their students. Make sure you read testimonials and are sure that the instructor spends time with everyone teaching. Also, don’t choose a landscape photography workshop just because the instructor has a huge following online. Double check their experience to make sure the work backs the profile.