Outdoors - ENTRY thread -...What is it? - CHAT thread...What is it? ENTRY thread ...End of an EraPoll - Doom and GloomDOOM and GLOOM CHAT 13-2...Outdoors - CHAT thread - ...DOOM and GLOOM ENTRIES 1...POLL - FruitPOLL - VehiclesENTRIES-FRUIT-Weekly Comp...CHAT-FRUIT-Weekly Comp 6-...VEHICLES - CHAT thread we...VEHICLES - ENTRY thread w...Poll - PortraitsPortraits - CHAT - Weekly...

Author Topic: Workshops and your opinions  (Read 2221 times)

Offline jools-elliott

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Workshops and your opinions
« on: August 31, 2011, 04:03:56 PM »
Afternoon all

I've posted this on a couple of forums in the name of research. I'd be interested to see people's responses to the below :)

1) The first and most obvious question is how much would you pay? I'm specifically talking about working in a group rather than one to one. As well, think about how much you would pay for a half day (dawn to midday/ Midday to sunset); whole day (dawn to dusk) and say a three day workshop.

2) The tutor's knowledge of the area. In some cases it is vital but in some areas of the UK the landscape does the work for you. How vital is it for you that the tutor knows it inside out? If the tutor didn't but you were in gorgeous landscape, would it matter?

3) Group size. Personally, I was thinking a maximum of three people. Too little or just enough?

4) What would you expect from your tutor? That he is an all round God of photography? Mr Technical or Mr Practical?

5) How far would you travel from location to location? Both in a car and walking.

6) How would you feel if you booked a 3 day course and all it did during the weekend was rain? Would you expect a full refund/ partial refund/ take a rain check?

7) Would you prefer it if the tutor didn't bring his own camera? There are two schools of thought on this and I've seen people who do both. What do you think?

8) Accomodation/ food. Would you expect it as part of the price? Would you prefer to arrange your own and the group have a central meeting point? This is an interesting one for me as due to the tax regime I am under here in France I can not claim back expenses on my tax return.

That's all I can think of right now. I'd be very interested in people's opinions.

Jools



Offline Jonathan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1273
    • PeopleByRyan
Re: Workshops and your opinions
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 05:00:34 PM »
Can I suggest Survey Monkey.....?

Anyway.........


1) The first and most obvious question is how much would you pay? I'm specifically talking about working in a group rather than one to one. As well, think about how much you would pay for a half day (dawn to midday/ Midday to sunset); whole day (dawn to dusk) and say a three day workshop.

>> I understand the economics of running courses so I'd probably expect to pay more than some people.  Small group/ 1 day £100 - £150.  Might go to £250 absolute max for right teacher and v small group..  Half day - 60% of that.  3 day 250%.

2) The tutor's knowledge of the area. In some cases it is vital but in some areas of the UK the landscape does the work for you. How vital is it for you that the tutor knows it inside out? If the tutor didn't but you were in gorgeous landscape, would it matter?

>> Not too bothered.  Their ability is more important to me.  But 'd expect you to know decent locations in the area.

3) Group size. Personally, I was thinking a maximum of three people. Too little or just enough?

>> For landscape courses 4 would be good.  6 max.

4) What would you expect from your tutor? That he is an all round God of photography? Mr Technical or Mr Practical?

>> Yep ;)  Very good photographer and excellent teacher.  Should know how to solve problems and also have enough technical b/g to cope.

5) How far would you travel from location to location? Both in a car and walking.

>> During the course?  (As opposed to at the start).  Wouldn't want to walk for more than an hour or drive for more than 30 mins.

6) How would you feel if you booked a 3 day course and all it did during the weekend was rain? Would you expect a full refund/ partial refund/ take a rain check?

>> Depends how this affected the course.  Maybe offer of a rain check at the start of day 1 (I get to choose) or partial credit towards another date if I continue.

7) Would you prefer it if the tutor didn't bring his own camera? There are two schools of thought on this and I've seen people who do both. What do you think?

>> I'd expect them to have one but not to be shooting for themself.

8.  Accomodation/ food. Would you expect it as part of the price? Would you prefer to arrange your own and the group have a central meeting point? This is an interesting one for me as due to the tax regime I am under here in France I can not claim back expenses on my tax return.

>> Food - I'd expect provided.  Accommodation - just give me a list of recommended places and any deals you've negotiated.
It's Guest's round

Offline Cathus

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
    • http://blog.glnphotography.com
Re: Workshops and your opinions
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 06:43:45 PM »
I went on a Joe Cornish course last year. It was a present, I probably wouldn't have paid that amount myself but it was a 50th pressie from the wife & was for around £450 for 2 days.

I travelled about 200 miles, it was in North Yorkshire and spent a night in a  B&B, which was included in the price, though I paid for an extra night so I got there the evening before the course started. Breakfast was included, as was an evening meal in a pub.

First day was an intro inside then a day out on the moors and an evening doing the sunset. We travelled about 30 mins from the base.

There were 6 people on the course & two leaders. Whilst they did take their cameras, they only used one of them to demo their craft - they were large format Ebony cameras which we had a look through for abt 20 mins, the rest of the time they wandered amongst the students observing and giving help when required.

I learned quite a bit on the first day as Landscapes isn't really my thing. I didn't learn very much on the second day as this was dedicated to processing the shots in Photoshop & I knew a lot of the stuff they showed already.

Hope that helps

Offline hevans

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 435
  • Sigh....why me again??
Re: Workshops and your opinions
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 10:04:10 AM »
1) The first and most obvious question is how much would you pay? I'm specifically talking about working in a group rather than one to one. As well, think about how much you would pay for a half day (dawn to midday/ Midday to sunset); whole day (dawn to dusk) and say a three day workshop.
For a group, I would expect to pay between (€/£) 100-250 for a day course. Depending on logistics, of course (models cost extra, lunch included, studio rental, etc.).
Quote
2) The tutor's knowledge of the area. In some cases it is vital but in some areas of the UK the landscape does the work for you. How vital is it for you that the tutor knows it inside out? If the tutor didn't but you were in gorgeous landscape, would it matter?
The teaching abilities are paramount. If they don't know their subject, then their teaching ability will be low (ability is a combination of knowing what you're teaching and ability to communicate, inspire and enthuse the students)
Quote
3) Group size. Personally, I was thinking a maximum of three people. Too little or just enough?
I think 6 is ideal - you get to get inspiration from others and benefit from different view points, but still small enough for individual instruction.
Quote
4) What would you expect from your tutor? That he is an all round God of photography? Mr Technical or Mr Practical?
a good mix of both, and the ability to teach. Gods are usually terrible teachers.
Quote
5) How far would you travel from location to location? Both in a car and walking.
to get to the course, I've travelled from NL to Malvern (Ok, we were staying in the area anyway, but adjusted our dates to meet the workshop). For a one-off course, though, no more than 1.5 hrs drive. This depends on the student and course subject (I wouldn't expect to do mountain landscapes in Holland, so a longer drive is par for the course).
Quote
6) How would you feel if you booked a 3 day course and all it did during the weekend was rain? Would you expect a full refund/ partial refund/ take a rain check?
I would expect the instructor to have a backup plan and provide a comprehensive list of things to take, e.g. rain gear, good walking boots, etc and essential/recommended/optional/useless items.

I would also expect the instructions to be clear about what to expect (length of hikes to location, physical requirements) and under what uncontrollable conditions the course would be cancelled. If the course was unilaterally cancelled (instructor fell off a cliff, hurricane), I would expect the option of a full refund or raincheck.

With the weather, obviously if it's landscapes, then there's a problem, although it is very rare that it rains continually - even on a grey, miserable rainy day it is dry far more than it is raining. A greater problem would be a weekend of brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies - clouds to tend to give atmosphere to landscapes.

Quote
7) Would you prefer it if the tutor didn't bring his own camera? There are two schools of thought on this and I've seen people who do both. What do you think?
I would prefer he brought his own and allowed the class to use it. This gives the student the opportunity to see what's possible with higher spec equipment and when it really makes no difference. On the T. Wallace experience, we had the opportunity to use Hassleblad H4s, which was a fascinating experience, particularly with the differences between DSLR and medium format, e.g. depth of field as well as obvious lens and sensor qualities. The reason you go on a course is to learn and experience things that you normally don't.
Quote
8) Accomodation/ food. Would you expect it as part of the price? Would you prefer to arrange your own and the group have a central meeting point? This is an interesting one for me as due to the tax regime I am under here in France I can not claim back expenses on my tax return.
For a day course, I would expect lunch to be included (pack lunch if on a location that requires hiking).

For a multi-day course, I would expect accommodation to be included in the package. At the end of the day, the students get together for dinner, discuss the day's lessons and experiences (the learning continues) and get to know each other.

The object is to get the students to interact. Eating from the same pot is a very strong bonding experience.

I've been on two one-day courses, one with Frank Doorhof (studio and model), and one with Tim Wallace on location. Both very different courses and different styles, and both I left with more insight than I arrived.

What neither provided (and there are huge logistic and commitment difficulties with this) was post-production feedback. You go on the course, you take the photos and view them through the viewfinder, you then go home, play with them in photoshop to provide the final product (Ok, both courses stressed getting it right in camera). It would be very nice to have an evaluation of the finished product and advice on improving it. Something like submitting your best one or two shots to the instructor for critique/evaluation and advice. The problem with this is it leaves the course open-ended, which is never financially sensible for a fixed price arrangement.

H.

Offline greypoint

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1041
Re: Workshops and your opinions
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 10:36:32 AM »
1. I suppose the amount is proportionate to the level of interest in the subject matter and perceived value for money. If someone offered me the chance of a really good workshop for wildlife in a great area with an expert and the chance to see and photograph something  I would'nt normally get the chance to then I'd possibly think £100 plus  would be good value. On the other hand I would'nt have the slightest interest in paying a quarter of that to shoot pouting 'glamour' models in a studio  8)
2. Knowledge of the area would be good in order to get away from the more cliched locations.
3. Group size might depend a bit on whether it was a group of friends or strangers - although I'm the worst person to ask as I try to avoid anyone else with a camera when I'm out and about.
4. The tutor should be able to explain things at the level needed for the experience of the pupil - ie not too technical for beginners or too basic for the more experienced.
5.I hate travelling so again the worst person to ask as I would'nt want to go more than an hour or so - don't mind walking though
6.Weather is a difficult one although a certain amount of tuition could take place whatever the weather - might be a good idea to have contingency plans for more sheltered locations.
7.You'd assume the tutor would have a good level of equipment so it would be helpful if only to show the effect of specialised lenses etc.
 Food - not bothered either way. If accommodation was needed then at least a list of recommended places to stay.


Offline ABERS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2195
    • Black and White Images by Alan Abercrombie
Re: Workshops and your opinions
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2011, 07:07:01 PM »
Before considering the price I would be interested to see some sort of structured syllabus and what level of expertise was needed to attend such a course.

If you are going to buy a camera you want to know exactly what it will do for you, I would expect the same if I was going to buy a photographic course. What will I learn and how will it help me?

A booklet with some 100 or so such courses was issued recently with the B+W magazine, can't remember where I posted the fact, it may have been on the PR forum.
Most of them comprised a classroom session and then a wander around the local countryside.

"The tutor's knowledge of the area. In some cases it is vital but in some areas of the UK the landscape does the work for you. How vital is it for you that the tutor knows it inside out? If the tutor didn't but you were in gorgeous landscape, would it matter?"

Seems strange but I would expect the tutor to be able to help produce a decent picture whatever landscape you were in. Why would it be necessary to visit sites that everyone else visits?

Offline jools-elliott

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Workshops and your opinions
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2011, 08:03:26 PM »
Thanks for the replies so far. Sorry I haven't come back to anyone as of yet. Been at the parents in law.

Aber, just quickly. I think it's getting more difficult to find places that haven't been done unless you start looking overseas. The UK is well covered from top to tail with workshops in the most popular places.

However, I will say that I intend to take people to lesser known parts of France. So far, I believe that there are a number of places that haven't been done to death and I intend to exploit. High on my list is Burgundy. It has a number of things going for it and it's something that I have started to get to know.

Classroom session is difficult for me due to various reasons. One of those is because of the tax status I have in France. At the moment, I am registered as self-employed under the auto-entrepreneur system. Under this I have to pay tax on everything and can not claim anything bac such as fuel costs, accommodation etc. It's a difficult balancing act. Hopefully, once I get to know the tax system better over here then I can offer up more things.

I have a schedule in mind for courses. It's one of those that when you look at other people, sometimes you see it and sometimes not. In the absence of a fuller schedule, I have put on my site specifics such as composition, placement of tones/ exposure, filtration etc as some of the things that will be learnt.

Offline Simple

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 684
Re: Workshops and your opinions
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2011, 02:11:36 PM »
I found all this very interesting. Thanks for asking the questions and answering them. Hopefully the little business I help running is starting with Workshops this autumn, now the wedding season is rolling to an end. With the latest government cuts no more funding was available at the college for Adult Education, so now that whole department is rolled up and there is a gap to be filled. So Jools-elliot, thank you very much, very timely posted. The main concern with courses, I find, that you should have a clear idea of the starting knowledge of the client/learner. The whole course should be tailored to and build upon their knowledge. 6 people is 6 different starting points. For learning value, the person who needs explaining Apertures and shutter speeds can progress in the eg. carpark. The amateur enthusiast guy will be bored stiff listening to an explanation of DOF and wants to shoot these mountain scenes.
I  would for that reason recommend that potential customers for the workshops are given a small questionaire to fill in so that you as course leader can create groups/courses suited to the client. IMO courses trying to do everything will have to have very small numbers or are less efficient.
Jools-elliott, I would love to go to France and to one of your workshops so keep us informed about your progress.

Offline jools-elliott

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Workshops and your opinions
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2011, 02:56:20 PM »
OK, I now have some time to respond to the genorosity that folks have displayed.

Price wise. I have pretty much settled on my one day courses with an optional dawn shoot. Other courses of two or three days will vary depending on location and my own outlay. The only exception for my price is my trial workshops this October.

Locations. As I said in my post last night, this is always going to be a tricky one. Many of the popular places in the UK have been done and unless you are willing to walk into the middle of a mountain range somewhere then you'll always have overlap and familiarity. The only way I can avoid that is with the French side. So much here but not done to death, thankfully ;)

Group size. Economics wise, it seems that 5 people is the magic number for me.

Technicial vs. practical. I am Mr Practical with some technical chucked in. I'm not someone who goes to the nth degree to learn the ins and outs of a cat's bum but what I do know, I know! Because of it, it's the reason I keep getting work from the mags.

Teaching wise, I do know my subject as it's pretty much what I breathe!

Distance travelling. I should have been clear that I meant during a workshop, how far from location to location. The general consensus from the majority of people I've asked is 45 minutes. And that is also from a well known tour company too.

Rain check. OK, business is business and you have to understand that there are some costs involved that must be covered. However, when I get a moment, I'm going to put up a rain-check clause. The three day workshops have a non-refundable in any case. This is pretty much par for the course with the majority of people that offer up courses. However, I think it prudent for any student to have some kind of insurance.

The tutor and his camera. Always a tricky one. It's 50/50 on this.

Accommodation/ food. As explained, my tax status deals this a bit of a blow. However, it's not uncommon to not have it provided. Looking at one of the major tour providers, you will often get breakfast but not lunch or dinner. With all the dietary requirements out there, it's usually easier. I know from experience as 1) I'm vegetarian and 2) my dad has recently been dealt coeliac disease.

Delving further into accommodation. On the French side of things, I have been gathering the necessary information to get things into order. Lists of hotels in areas that I am thinking about.

Very soon, I'll be going head first into the proper advertising of my services. Been negotiating with one of the mags and I managed to get a good price.

And Simple. I'm just about to up a Paris weekender. It's somewhere I know well enough for photography. It's also nice for me as it's only an hour by TGV from where I live :)

Offline ABERS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2195
    • Black and White Images by Alan Abercrombie
Re: Workshops and your opinions
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2011, 03:18:16 PM »
There seems to be a split here. Are we talking about a course for learning photography, or, a photographic safari?

As Simple points out you can teach the basics in the most mundane of locations, you don't need roaming herds of wildebeest to learn which end of a camera to look through. I learned my basics in a converted fire station in Richmond.

Then we have the Photographic Safari where the leader escorts you to more exotic locations. We have a group in our club that regularly embarks on these and for weeks after we are all inundated with pictures of Route 66, the back streets of Cuba littered with Oldsmobiles and rotting Chryslers, and Monument Valley. The latest flavour of the month appears to be Eastern Europe and pictures of mustachioed peasants in derelict farmyards standing by a rubber tyred horsedrawn cart, with Mrs Peasant in a headscarf grinning from ear to ear with the occasional tooth showing.

So Jools and Simple you have two distinct markets. I'd go for the second option, your fare and travelling expenses can be built into the ticket price of everyone else!

Good luck with your ventures, hope everything turns out OK  :tup:
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 03:20:09 PM by ABERS »

Offline jools-elliott

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Workshops and your opinions
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2011, 03:23:35 PM »
Thanks Abers.

I'm in the band of taking people out in the landscape to learn. There is nothing better than being there at dawn/ sunset in an inspiring place.

I have a friend who likes landscape photography. He was going to places that were just plain rubbish. Our first meeting was on the coast overlooking Beachy Head at dawn. After that, it was off into the South Downs. Needless to say, he saw the error of what he was doing and his mis-planned adventures!

 

latest Posts

Subject Board Views/Replies Member Date & Time
xx Outdoors - ENTRY thread - Weekly Comp 20/09/30 - 27/09/20 International Weekly Comp Entries 100/3 anglefire Last post September 27, 2020, 10:11:12 PM
xx What is it? - CHAT thread - Weekly Comp 26/09/2020 - 04/10/2020 International Weekly Comp Entries 10/0 Jediboy Last post September 27, 2020, 07:20:03 PM
xx What is it? ENTRY thread - Weekly Comp 26/09/2020 - 04/10/2020 International Weekly Comp Entries 10/0 Jediboy Last post September 27, 2020, 07:17:48 PM
xx End of an Era General Discussion 105/6 anglefire Last post September 27, 2020, 02:28:15 PM
xx Poll - Doom and Gloom International Weekly Comp Entries 179/5 Jediboy Last post September 26, 2020, 09:30:50 PM
xx DOOM and GLOOM CHAT 13-20/092020 International Weekly Comp Entries 214/6 jinky Last post September 22, 2020, 09:54:12 AM
xx Outdoors - CHAT thread - Weekly comp 20/09/20 - 27/09/20 International Weekly Comp Entries 140/4 Oldboy Last post September 22, 2020, 12:03:31 AM
xx DOOM and GLOOM ENTRIES 13-20/092020 International Weekly Comp Entries 140/3 Oldboy Last post September 21, 2020, 11:51:45 PM