So, out comes the annual guide book and you’re thinking about which photography workshop to go on next year. How on earth do you choose between the many companies all heading to the same destinations with what certainly looks like similar photography opportunities?
With your life-long dream (or your camera club spec) in mind, you have your theme, you spot an ad and then start ‘Googling’ it – but then help! how many different companies are doing courses, photo tours, photo workshops or photo holidays there and how do you even start trying to choose?
First of all, what’s the difference between a course, a photo tour, a photography workshop or a photo holiday? It seems the terms have become rather vague …
Clearly a ‘course’ is full-on tuition – it’s all about theoretical learning and is often in the classroom – usually for a short period of time and mostly not on location.
A ‘photography holiday’ or ‘photography tour’ does what it says on the tin – it’s a holiday with photographic opportunities throughout the day - without necessarily taking into account the best light & time of day.
A ‘workshop’ involves some theoretical learning but is coupled with exceptional photographic opportunities and experiences with more ‘hands-on’ tuition during the shoots – the itinerary is therefore flexible depending on the time of year, the weather & light – you won’t be doing the shoot that only works with a gorgeous sunset if there isn’t one!
So start by knowing what you hope to achieve from your trip and then read the itinerary to ensure what is on offer is what you want as the wrong ‘label’ for a trip can be misleading!
After that, there are two simple rules. The first is ‘go local’!
Book with the company that is actually based where you want to go. You absolutely cannot fault on-site expertise from a locally based company which has the best contacts in its every day activity. Why go to any country with a ‘foreigner’ like yourself? Choose a company that is situated within the local community and you can’t go far wrong.
The second is ‘select a specialist’ - do you want to book with a company or photographer who goes all over the place with no expertise in any one particular area? Pick a company that specialises in what you want to do.
Feedback from people who recently joined Create Away for a workshop in the Camargue were all unanimous – either they chose Create Away in the first-place because we are the only photography workshop company actually based in the Camargue – or they said they had a significantly better experience than they had before, in the same region, for the same reason.
So choose well, pack your camera and see you soon!