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What makes the best photography workshop experience?

At Image Seen we strive to offer the best photography workshop experience for our participants.

With more and more people offering workshops these days it can be really hard to choose which provider to go with, especially if you have never been on a workshop with them before. My workshop ‘recipe’ has been developed and fine tuned over the last 11 years, and from the feedback I’ve received, it seems to work. So, for those of who are debating attending a workshop but haven’t made the move as of yet, what experience are you going to have and why book an Image Seen workshop?

12 reasons to book a workshop with Image Seen

1. We endeavour to get you to the right places at the right time in the best conditions possible

Planning is key to a successful workshop and a massive amount of effort goes into this. I typically travel to a region 2-3 days in advance of a workshop to check and re-check locations as well as look for new opportunities. If there are coastal locations involved we also have to work with the tides, which makes it more complicated! Whatever the conditions, we adapt the programme accordingly, sometimes down to the last hour, to provide you with the best photographic experience.

2. We choose locations that will both inspire and challenge you

We try to ensure that the workshop has a good mix of locations that offer not only variety, but also plenty of challenges, so for example, you can practice doing long exposures or using filters. We will also encourage you to try new techniques. Locations are chosen that offer plenty for you to photograph, so it’s not just a one shot place, and you can also spread out and not get in each others way.

3. Small group sizes

My maximum number of participants is 8, and on some workshops it’s just 6. This is to ensure that everyone has access to the help they need, but also so that locations are not too crowded.

Image Seen Lake District photography workshop group
Image Seen Lake District photography workshop group

4. We aim to be there for you to give you help when you need it

Some people need a lot of help, others very little, and in fact some don’t really need any. Whatever your level of ability, I will try to ensure that either myself or my assistant is there for you and can adapt to your needs. We also aim to help you create the pictures you want, rather than force our ideas on you, or set up your composition for you. Last, but most importantly, you are our priority so, although we may occocasionally take an opportunity to grab a quick shot if the light is good, we will never favour making our own photographs over helping clients.

5. We believe in getting it right in-camera

In my opinion, the more you can get right in-camera the better the end result will be and the less work you have to do in post production ‘tidying’ your image up. Simple things, like ensuring the horizon is straight or checking around the edges of the frame to ensure your composition is as you wish it to be, to using filters out in the field where possible – these all make a big difference. Not only is the image more complete when it comes out of the camera, it’s also, I believe, a far more satisfying experience.

6. We will encourage you to slow down, take less photographs and more care

Less is more. Taking time over your composition, checking and re-checking your settings, ensuring your image is in focus and learning to read the histogram – these are all things we must do out in the field to ensure that the images we come away with are the best possible that we can achieve. No-one wants to have to sort through through thousands of images when they get home!

7. Minimal travelling time in favour of time spent photographing

Where possible, we try not to wasting time travelling to/from and between locations. I choose regions specifically because they have a lot to offer in a small area. That said, if we feel that a location further away is worth going to, or is particularly suitable in the weather conditions at the time, we will include it.

Image Seen North Cornwall photography workshop group
Image Seen North Cornwall photography workshop group

8. Image critiques

On the 2 day and longer workshops, we always aim to incorporate at least one image critique where we sit down as a group and look at some of the images we have produced. These sessions are there to give you feedback and help you identify any possible areas for improvement. Most people find these really beneficial and interesting.

9. Food and accommodation

It may not be the most important thing on a workshop but we all like to have a comfy bed, a decent shower, and to enjoy our food. I try to recommend hotels or b&b’s that offer good value and a friendly smile. You don’t have to stay in them, which is why they’re not included in the workshop package, so if you would rather stay elsewhere that’s not a problem. We have packed lunches; sandwiches in summer and hot soup in the colder months, and always plenty of hot drinks and chocolate biscuits available! Dinner is usually at a local pub or restaurant that offers a relaxed environment for the group to socialise.

10. We aim to make each workshop an experience; interesting and above all fun!

Most people’s objective on a workshop is predominantly to improve their photography, but to my mind a good workshop needs to do three main things; inspire, facilitate learning and provide enjoyment. Our workshops offer a chance to spend time in the company of like minded people, see some beautiful scenery, be out in the fresh air and also to enjoy some good food and a drink in the pub at the end of the day. Weather or light conditions may not always be as we would like; sometimes they can be awful but we will always try to keep a smile on our faces, encourage you, and do our best for you.

11. We ask for feedback

The post workshop questionnaires we send out give you a chance to give feedback on the workshop and also make any suggestions. Andy and I read them all, take notice of them and respond to them when it’s relevant.

12. A chance to showcase your work on Flickr

I have created a private group for every workshop region on the photo sharing site; Flickr, which you can join for free and upload some of your images to if you wish. This enables you to show your work but also view others from past workshops. We will also endeavour to provide you with feedback.

View our list of workshops and plan your next photography adventure

Image Seen Workshops

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