The photo workshop model is dead. At least it’s dead for me.
Are you really done teaching photo workshops? You are kidding right? Who is going to teach me to photograph now? Do you have any recommendations? Talk to me.
Read on. We are still here. Just in a more refined way. Like a really expensive whiskey.
We have given the traditional photo workshop model a decade-long try. While it has been a successful business model over that time frame, it has also been a HUGE burden.
The problem lies with the sustainability of the photo workshop model.
Photo Workshop Model
The photo workshop model begins with you, the client, paying a fee to join someone like me for a weekend to week-long trip to some location. Once you pay the photographer’s fee, you then need to book a hotel at the location, grab a flight, rent a car, and factor in food while traveling. This cost is thousands of additional dollars.
This one of the major reasons the photo workshop model is dead for me. I don’t want my clients to have to deal with this scenario.
Trouble in Paradise
Have you noticed how many photographers have $1000 workshops at different locations every weekend of the year?
This is because they are not charging enough money to create a viable business model for themselves. In addition, they are not filling the trips they have out there, because they have too many trips. This in turn has them continually adding other destinations to lure you back in.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to put together a trip in a single national park? Let alone a dozen of them? Every location needs a separate permit.
This is another reason the photo workshop model is dead for me.
Shit Just Give It Away
Have you noticed how much FREE content is available to the photographer from the photographer? This is another professional workshop instructor trap. Join our newsletter and get a free ebook! How many websites have massive popup scenarios touting that these days?
I believe that so many photographers have given away so many tips and suggestions for becoming a better photographer that the physical photo workshop is going to severely struggle. The end user can find just about anything “on the line”, so there is less and less need to spend thousands to have me teach them in person. I know this because I have talked to other photographers and to my clients. Photographers have almost created their own death sentence with their FREE content marketing plans.
So how do we fix this? Read on.
The Photo Workshop Model Instructor Dilemma
We are not there yet.
How many photo workshop instructors out there have any sort of educational background? Yeah we all went to school, but being a student does not a teacher make. I have heard about photo workshop instructors setting up tripods and having each student put their cameras on said tripod, proving that this is “the shot”. Really?
I also have heard about how many nature photographers have highlighted what they have added, subtracted, and tweaked in their original photographs. You know “Photoshopping”. No wonder why photography is so fucked.
This why the photo workshop model is dead for me.
New Directions Forgetting the Photo Workshop Model
If no more photo workshops, then what?
Well, it’s simple for me. I am moving in a new direction. I am still going to take people to amazing locations. However, I am going to now offer the closest thing to an all-inclusive experience as possible.
Basically, I want you to pay for your travel to and from our location. From there, I am in control.
“There’s the illusion, you never had control.”
Not that sort of control.
I want you to come for the experience.
The Control of Experience
If you come on a future photography adventure with us, you will receive just that, an adventure. Yes our trips are going to be about taking you to an amazing location, but we are also going to focus on the food you eat, the wine you drink, and the sheets you barely have time to sleep on.
A photo adventure is a journey that finds great photography subjects. Allows you to photograph those subjects in as many original and creative ways. By teaching you how to recognize what you are looking at out there in the field. Surrounded by like-minded friends.
We photograph together. Eat together. Drink together. And well, sleep, yeah that is still separately.
And why spend thousands on what we are offering? Because you get to do it with a photography professional who actually cares about your overall experience and the photos that you take.
I believe that by leaving the photo workshop model, I can focus on a better experience for you. An experience that is completely geared towards your needs, not ours. While I may be done with the group photo workshop model, I am not done inspiring our clients and friends. We are actually just beginning.
Our future destinations are ones that I or someone I know has a vast understanding of. We are not there because we wanted a free trip somewhere. We are there because we already know what a spectacular photo location it is.
A Little Toast to Ditching the Photo Workshop Model We Know
I am going to raise a cyber glass and toast all of you have joined us over the years. To ditching the photo workshop model and creating something more experiential. We will travel to locations old and new, but with a better appreciation of the photography, local culture, and how we interact and appreciate it all. An all-inclusive one that stimulates all of your senses. Because isn’t this how creativity explodes? By knowing what is there and then moving beyond it in a new way? I think it is.
Pro Nature Photographer
Driven to Inspire. A new online magazine is in development. Help us launch by donating now!