I have to admit, attending a photography retreat sounded like one of the most exciting things I might ever have the opportunity to do! Maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much time raising 4 kids these past few years. Maybe it’s because I only have a handful of people to talk to about my love of photography. Maybe it’s because the idea of packing a suitcase & flying solo (for the first time in years) with nothing but my thoughts & an audio book was literally too good to pass up. Whatever the reason, I very excitedly decided to attend a photography workshop this summer & spoiler alert – it was everything I hoped it would be & more. If you’ve been considering something like this, here are 4 reasons to attend a photography workshop.
- No.01Embrace Your People
I love photography. I love talking about photography. My husband & family don’t necessarily love hearing about all that. If you’ve ever had your spouse’s eyes glaze over as you wax on about your thoughts on composition & light, you might know what I mean.
One of my favorite things about attending the photography retreat was, I was meeting my people. We all had our cameras out. We all compared gear. We all took a million shots of dinner, held things for each other like cups or reflectors & chatted for long evenings about composition, editing & light. And no one got even a teeny bit irritated when one person held up the group because they were so enthralled in a tiny patch of light.
- No.02Learn Something New
Maybe you consider yourself a quite seasoned photographer but I’m willing to bet there’s something you don’t know. I feel like photography is one of those areas where there’s always something new for you to learn, whether it’s a technique or a tip. Part of the beauty of meeting new people is that everyone does things a little different.
Maybe you’re hoping to learn something specific from the person hosting the workshop. Personally, when I attended my workshop, I wanted to see how our hosts approached a shoot, how they styled & how they maintained a cohesive editing style. I knew exactly what I hoped to learn but even if you aren’t as specific, just being open to a new opportunity will definitely teach you something. Being able to ask questions from the source of someone you admire is priceless!
As a bonus, super fun thing, at the workshop I attended we were actually taught natural, indigo dying & weaving from the glorious Maggie Pate (photographed above).
- No.03Challenge Yourself
While I definitely wasn’t a beginner when I attended the workshop, instead of sticking to my normal shooting routine, I decided to try some new challenges like manual focus! I was totally amazed at how that changed everything & got me completely out of my comfort zone. I’m not shooting everything on manual focus now but it was really fun to try something that challenged & pushed me to think & be more present & intentional when I was shooting. I would have never even considered manual focus if I hadn’t been introduced to it at the workshop.
So even if you’re convinced that you’re completely comfortable shooting the way you do things, I bet it’s worth it to challenge yourself with something you’ve never considered before!
- No.04Photograph a New Subject
It’s safe to say I feel pretty confident shooting food. Even on my worst, most frustrating days I can typically pull a shot out that I’m happy with. But I did have this fear of – can I photography anything else? Honestly, I was worried. I didn’t know if I could.
Attending the workshop gave me so many new opportunities I wouldn’t have had in the comfort of my own home. I was able to shoot people, landscape, street scenes. Not only was it a fun exercise but it was also a boost of confidence to know that I can in fact, take great images of other things! Go figure!
If you’re a portrait photographer, consider a food photography workshop! If you’re a food photographer, consider a workshop where you’ll have other subjects to focus on as well.
In case you’re curious, this is the workshop I attended. While I can whole heartedly recommend this one, if food isn’t your thing, I’m certain there are tons of other workshops geared towards your particular interest.
Have you ever attended a photography workshop or retreat? What was your experience?