What Is A Photography Workshop

~ and why experienced photographers should continue to go ~

As a photographer you probably know what a workshop is. If that isn’t your profession or you’re very new to photography you may be slightly confused. What? A workshop for photographers? Why?

Well, first off, the “WHAT” is a styled shoot along with either more education or possibly even a portfolio review. The styled shoot portion is where a group of photographers can go to take photos of a themed wedding beautifully set up with the amazing help of local wedding vendors so that the photographers can enjoy a more relaxed timeline of a styled wedding that may be above the average bride’s budget. It is a great chance for photographers to get a whole day of gorgeous photos without the added concern of sticking to a wedding timeline (which may or may not stay on time) or avoiding family drama (which is never guaranteed at a wedding even if the bride wishes it were so). The shoot also allows the photographer to be able to personalize the photographs in their own unique way.

The “WHY” takes a bit longer to explain. I feel like even in the photography realm workshops can get a bad rap. The negative thinking is that they are only for amateurs or that if you’re an experienced photographer you wouldn’t need a workshop. But on both of those accounts I think that’s where they’d be wrong. When done right even an advanced photographer can enjoy real benefits to going to a workshop. Here’s my thoughts behind my reasoning:

1) Never Stop Learning –

There are always new things to learn whether it is just continuing to develop your personal style of editing your images or little tricks or techniques that you never even thought about that help you better serve your future clients. And don’t get me started on the never ending updates and new technology that is coming out with cameras! An example would be the exciting advances of mirrorless cameras and all that has to offer. It can really change how a photographer takes images just as the DSLR changed how previous film photographers took pictures. Film is even coming back but in a brand new way and with new techniques. So don’t be that old dog that can’t learn new tricks. Be open to learning from all stages and be humble when going so that you can continue to grow and refine your craft.

2) Meeting The Local Vendors –

As a Madison, Wisconsin wedding photographer I am trying to get to know all the amazing vendors around me. And even if you’ve been a wedding photographer for a long time and know great vendors, it’s always helpful to continue to network with new vendors and see what the latest trends are in the wedding industry. Having relationships with wedding vendors not only allows them to use your great images of their gorgeous service, but also allows you to create a relationship that is mutually beneficial to each other when either one comes across a bride looking for that specific style or service that you know would perfectly fit her needs. Being able to best serve our brides is after all our main objective!

3) Creative Angles –

By photographing in groups you may not get that perfect straight on shot that only a single photographer would normally get. Therefore; you really have to challenge yourself to get those gorgeous special shots from other angles and go outside your maybe normal routine safe shots. This adds creativity to your whole gallery and allows you to be more flexible for when things don’t go the way you think they will on a brides actual day. When you can be creative this also allows you to be a valuable second shooter for another photographer. Being able to add those special extras to the gallery is just what a main photographer wants from a second shooter (But I digress! The importance of a second shooter is for another blog).

4) It’s Fun! –

how often do you get to just show up and focus on only taking gorgeous images? If you have been in the photography business for any amount of time you realize that taking the actual pictures is such a small percentage of the whole business. Going to a workshop puts a lot of that other stuff on the side and allows you to just take pictures for the fun of taking pictures with no organization done by you! You show up, you learn, you shoot (maybe a little vying for that perfect shot amidst other photographers, but if you have great coordinators they can even remove that small stress away) and who knows, if you’re open to the possibilities you may even make friends with the other photographers and be able to be each other’s second shooter in the future.

So here at last is a (probably not so small) snippet of my captured images from the beautifully put together Bespoke Workshop located at a gorgeous venue just outside of Chicago. I am so thankful for all the work that the sweet and amazing hostess’ Rachael Kazmier (Grey Garden Creative) and Lindsey Taylor (Lindsey Taylor photography) put into making this workshop so effortless and wonderful (and if you are interested in joining a similarly well put together workshop I have it on good authority that they are in the works for a Bespoke Workshop II!).

I also wanted to give a shout out to all the vendors that were a part of this workshop and contributed to the overall look for Lindsey and Rachael:

Venue: @providencevineyard
Planner: @ohanaeventschi
Florist: @michaelamantarian
Rentals & Styling: @elementspreserved
Hair & Makeup: @hannahelisabethbeauty
Stationery: @paperloveclub
Bridal Gown: @jennyyoonyc
Bridesmaid dresses: @needleandthreadlondon

Shoes: @bellabelleshoes
Jewelry: @imperialjewelryco
Groom’s Attire: @theblacktux
Grazing Board: @sageandjam
Bakery: @ericakorencakery
Table Rentals: @dishanddecorvintagerental
Cocktails: @drinkunmuddled