Last week I delved into the horse photography workshop from the point of view of the attendee. This week, I’m writing about what you need to know about the horse photography workshop itself.
If you haven’t read Part One of this 2-part blog post, you can read it here.
As a reminder, this post focuses on Horse Photography Workshops, not Equine Photography Tours. Tours will be covered in a future post.
Oftentimes, horse photography workshop and tour hosts use the words “workshop” and “tour” interchangeably. But, there is definitely a difference between the two. And it’s important to know that when you are evaluating if an event is going to suit your purposes.
For a workshop, the host will provide the location, the subjects, and will provide some type of education during the event.
An equine photography tour, on the other hand, is an event in which the host sets up the opportunity for you to photograph something but you are on your own for the actual photography process. No education is provided. The host is just providing the location and the subjects but what you do with it, in the end, is up to you.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about what you need to know before signing up for a workshop.
Horse Photography Workshop: Things to Consider
If you remember from last week’s post, we discussed the importance of considering things such as your budget, time, needs and interests when evaluating an equine photography workshop.
Here are a few other things that should be considered regarding the actual workshop itself.
Horse Photography Workshop: Host
Who is the host of the workshop? Do you enjoy their work? Do you like their style? Do they have the technical skills and knowledge to be teaching others?
Given that anyone can just call themselves a “workshop host” these days and throw together an event, it’s important that you evaluate the host of the event in advance before deciding that you want to learn from them.
Review their portfolio, check out their website, stalk them on social media, read some testimonials from previous event attendees, interact with the host, ask them for a list of previous workshop attendees to contact, or email them some questions to find out more information.
Do you enjoy talking with them? Do they answer your questions in an upfront and honest manner? Do you like their work? Do they photograph things you are interested in photographing? Do they demonstrate photography skills that you find worthwhile to learn?
Horse Photography Workshop: Attendees vs. Instructors
It’s important to know how many attendees are coming and how many instructors will be on-hand.
Why? Here’s a good example, let’s pretend you are a newbie photographer and you have never taken your camera off auto. The workshop you sign up for has 18 attendees and 1 instructor.
Another photography workshop you are considering has 20 attendees and 3 instructors. Assuming that all the instructors are equally able to teach, you are probably going to get more one-on-one instruction from the second workshop.
Knowing in advance who the instructors will be and what the student/teacher ratio is can be very helpful and make sure you are not disappointed with your experience in the end.
As each workshop and host is different, it’s important to find out how many opportunities will you have to photograph during the workshop?
Will you be shooting twice a day? Three times? Do you only set your camera down for meals or do you have large amounts of time where nothing is scheduled and you will be on your own?
Knowing in advance how many opportunities you will have to shoot will also help you to evaluate if the experience is the right fit for you.
Horse Photography Workshop: Always Read the Fine Print
Depending on the workshop, you will have to sign a variety of paperwork prior to the event. You also may receive some paperwork. This might include the following things:
Release of Liability
You will most likely be asked to sign one or more releases of liability. The workshop host, the venue or facility, and in some cases, the state may require a release of liability while you are participating in the event.
Make sure to read the contract before you sign it. You need to be aware of any promises made on your behalf or anything that you might be agreeing to.
Common things may include you allow the workshop host to post behind-the-scenes pictures on their website or social media that might include you.
The contract might also restrict what you can do with your images. For example, if you wish to sell your images as prints but the contract does not all for image sales. Make sure you know what you are signing.
Depending on your planned end use for your images, model releases may be an extremely important thing for you to have.
If you plan on selling your images, you will absolutely need model releases.
Not all workshops provide these so make sure to ask the workshop host in advance to verify that they will be given if you that is something you are going to need.
Horse Photography Workshop: Value-Added Instruction
Value-added instruction is instruction outside of shooting time.
During those times when you don’t have your camera, are you listening to the workshop host give a lecture?
Are there additional speakers coming in to talk about things like marketing or running a business?
Are you working together as a group on editing images each on your own individual laptop?
Or are you just on your own to entertain yourself until the next shooting time?
Value-Added Instruction can also include tangible things. Does the host provide instructions for you to take home? Or a list of equipment you might find helpful? Or perhaps attendees get access to a special Facebook group that allows for editing instruction after the workshop?
Horse Photography Workshop: Meals, Hotel & Travel
Does the cost of the workshop include meals, hotel, and travel costs? Or maybe in covers some meals or some hotel nights? Know in advance what is included in the cost of the workshop and how much you are going to be out of pocket overall for is important.
Many workshop hosts will set up Facebook groups for attendees so that is a good way to find travel buddies – sharing a car or a hotel room can be a great way to reduce your costs, plus, you might end up with a good friend out of the deal.
I once shared a car and hotel room with another workshop attendee who I had not met prior to the event. We managed to get lost in a totally different state from the actual workshop. Getting lost with a buddy is an adventure. Getting lost by yourself is not nearly as much fun. We still laugh about it to this day.
Also, meals can be a great way to get to know your fellow attendees or to pick the brain of your workshop host about things you want to know or learn.
Evaluating your Options
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is part two of a two-part series on Equine Photography Workshops. If you want to go back and read part one, you can do that here.
If you would like to grab the Evaluation form that I use to Evaluate Workshop Events, download it here.