Dear Golden Girls,
I am just starting to turn my photography hobby into something more serious and I am on a very tight budget. I'm very curious about workshops, but honestly, and please don't get offended, I feel like they are kind of a waste of money. Wouldn't it be better for me to spend money on new props or equipment? Are workshops really that important?
Penny Pinchin' Photog
We want to first start by saying congratulations on deciding to turn your hobby into something more! We are sure this is a very exciting time for you!
Jumping into the photography world can be overwhelming... especially in the beginning! It's a new adventure and you want to soak up as much information as you can! You subscribe to all the photography magazines, memorize the B&H catalogs, and dig through so MUCH information online. These are all awesome tools to have right at your fingertips... but it's also easy to get lost or feel alone!
One of the coolest things about attending workshops, is that you not only hone your skills and learn new things, but you also meet and network with people that are in the same boat as you. The friendships you make can be essential when you are looking for a second shooter, have an unexpected camera malfunction or need a suggestion for a new location.
The short answer to your question? Yes, workshops can be pricey but the information you receive and the connections you make are priceless.
If you are on the fence about attending a workshop because of the price, look for a small workshop in your area. (You might even find some free meet-ups or shootouts!) We would suggest testing the waters with a simple beginner workshop!
We know you are on a tight budget, but if you invest in yourself and your education, you can't lose!
And while having new equipment is always nice, you might want to remember that skill is something you acquire by practice... not by purchasing new shiny toys!
Plus, if you start buying equipment just because you think it will take your work to the next level, you might end up with something you never even needed in the first place! We've been there. Purchasing some random photography related item (i.e. a kit lens, an off brand lens, some crazy complicated gadget... who knows?!) and then later realizing they didn't work for us at all and we kinda wasted our money.
When you attend a workshop, you have the opportunity to meet other photographers and ask them about the equipment you have your eye on! You can get their opinion on that lens that's on your wishlist. Some workshops even have rental companies present to let you test-drive equipment on the spot!
Obviously, we are big proponents of the benefits of attending workshops and that is because we seriously believe that hands-on experience is truly the best way to learn. When you're at home watching a video or reading a book, you can't really stop and ask someone for help. When you're at a workshop, surrounded by people who share your passion, you can stop and ask for help or clarification... or even a hands-on demonstration!
We at Golden Girls believe in creating a safe and fun space where no question is too little and no dream is too big. There are no silly questions! We all started at some point and we are here to help!
Of course, we would love to have you attend a Golden Girls Workshop in the future! We have some fun events planned, including an Editing 101 Workshop this weekend and a Photography Basic Workshop next month!
If you're ready to dive in, here are a few tips to help you find a workshop that suits you best:
- What skill level you are at? Look for workshops that will help you at your current level. If you are at an advanced level, look for workshops that focus on things you are currently struggling with.
- Do your research! Check out the photographer(s), work and look for any reviews on past workshops. Make sure to choose a workshop where the host has the style you aspire to be, or at least the same type of photography you are interested in.
- Know the cost and make sure you can afford it. You don't want to put too much of a burden on your finances. The stress alone will be too much and you'll put too much pressure on yourself to make your money back quickly. Workshops can start at $50.00 and go all the way to $2,500! (Yes, some workshops actually cost that much!) Golden Girls believe in keeping the costs down as much as possible because we've been there! We know what it's like to be on a tight budget.
Good luck... and remember to keep learning!
If you have a question for Let's talk Tuesday, shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org!