Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Preparing For A Photo Workshop
A workshop is an excellent way to improve your photography. When you’re well prepared, you’ll get the most out of the experience.
Photo workshops are hard work, and generally the harder you work, the better the return on your investment. So if you have any dietary, physical or personal limitations (such as a fear of heights), it’s best to notify your workshop leader in advance. He or she will be more than happy to offer alternatives that ensure your satisfaction without impacting the rest of the group.
While a workshop shouldn’t feel like boot camp, I generally get my groups in position 30 minutes before the “official” sunrise time and shoot through sunset (and sometimes after dark)—rain or shine. Even with a midday break this makes for a very long day. Factor in the walking or hiking to locations, all the time on your feet once you’re there, heavy gear, the thin air of high elevation, not to mention the wealth of information for your brain to process, and you can understand the physical and mental fatigue in store.
Though fun and great images are a wonderful antidote for fatigue, it doesn’t hurt to prepare your body and mind a bit. If you lead a fairly sedentary life, walking a mile or two a day for a week or two before your trip should be enough (unless your workshop leader has specifically advised you that more strenuous activities are in store). And if you require a certain amount of sleep or are a reluctant early riser, you may want to consider advance preparation for the new time zone. And break in those shoes!
Before your workshop you’ll probably receive literature with everything you need to know. Read it thoroughly; more than once doesn’t hurt. If anything is missing or unclear, don’t be shy about asking. As a workshop leader, I promise it’s much better to answer a lot of questions in advance than it is to have a surprised or (heaven forbid) an unhappy workshop participant. Investing in just a little preparation time is the best way to get the most out of your workshop and to ensure that you return with images, skills, memories and friends that will last a lifetime.
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