First, should you attend one? Absolutely! There is always room to grow as long as you are open to learning. I know that personally I never want to stop learning and growing as a photographer. There is so much to learn; perhaps a new technique, perspective, or practice.
I will never “know it all”—that’s what makes it so interesting. It doesn’t matter how good you are, you should always be open to learning new things, new techniques, or new ways of looking at things.
Keep an open mind to the possibilities and you’ll continue to grow. This relates to everything in life, not just photography.
Generally, when you take part in a photography workshop, tour, or retreat, you’re going to be getting together with a group of people that share the same passion as you.
Everyone will bring something different to the table—you will learn from some and others will learn from you. Taking part in any of these should be fun!
So, how do you know which one is right for you?
Workshops tend to have a more structured atmosphere. They can be about the technical side of photography as well as the artistic side, and learning what it takes to develop your “style.”
It should challenge you to improve your skills and capture great images, while visiting a beautiful location.
Although I do state that participants have a basic understanding of how to operate their cameras, our workshops are about education. Sometimes, however, it’s hard to help when you’re not sure what a participant needs.
That’s why it’s important to let your leader know your questions or concerns so they can be sure to address these and give guidance where needed.
Photography tours are usually a bit more casual in nature. Tours tend to be more focused on the destination with a significant amount of photography included.
For instance, on my Iceland Tour, we fully immerse ourselves into the Icelandic culture while staying at a horse farm.
This gives you an opportunity to step away from the everyday and to discover a different perspective. It’s a chance to connect with another world and use photography as a means to explore.
Depending on the tour, you may have the opportunity to discuss your work privately. If you would like this kind of attention, be sure to ask upfront. Most of the time, however, instruction is on the go and not very intense.
While the definition of a retreat varies, what retreats do have in common is that they’re a getaway from your daily routine so that you can bring a new perspective and energy back to your everyday life.
This is the most chilled-out trip, where we find one location to base ourselves out of as we photograph.
Most retreats will have a theme. For instance, during my Ladies Riding/Photo Retreats, riding is a major portion of this trip. The ranching lifestyle is the theme for our annual Dryhead Ranch Retreat.
No matter which trip you choose, and with whomever you choose, my hope is that you will feel recharged and inspired at the end of the week.