There are many paths you can take as you venture towards becoming a better photographer. You can go online and read articles (like this one) and watch YouTube videos and tutorials. You can find a few good blogs, like The Strobist, and subscribe for all of their updates. You can even open up that ol’ camera manual and read up on some of those camera features you’ve never used. Those are all wonderful ways to help increase your learning – but you can often find yourself overwhelmed in the amount of information you’re sifting through only to find little of it is of value.
Many new photographers automatically dismiss the idea of attending a photography workshop because they think it’s expensive.
That’s one of the reasons why there are so many mediocre new photographers out there.
Let’s flip things around and talk about wedding photography workshops (or any photography workshop for that matter). CreativeLive is an amazing site that broadcasts a huge variety of photography related workshops online for free. Yep, you read that correctly – FREE. Sure, you can choose to purchase them afterwards so that you can watch them over and over again, but you can stream them live for free which is truly amazing. Many professional wedding photographer offer photography workshops; either individual or group. The cost of these workshops varies depending on the photographer, the content, the location, the number of people attending and – honestly – the popularity of the photographer. A world-famous photographer will charge more for their workshops than a local photographer will but you’ll have one awesome experience with them!
Continuing education in the photography industry is necessary regardless of your skill level or amount of experience. You can be the most creative person in the world but if you cannot properly execute your idea you will never be able to fully communicate with your work.
So you think you’re so smart? Many photographers have a difficult time with being humble in the face of success and don’t always realize that there are other ways to achieve something – perhaps ways that can lead to additional skills and inspiration. Some people are afraid to learn more things because they are afraid of having to unlearn information from the past. They’re afraid that if they learn a new way of something something that it will void all of that past work – this simply is not true! Always remember that learning is like building blocks; use it to add to your existing knowledge – but always approach the learning with an open mind.
In fact, even if you think that you’re the best and that you couldn’t possibly acquire any more skills, do yourself a favour and once a year simply humour yourself and attend a conference, go to a seminar or find a workshop nearby. You’ll be amazed at how you feel during and after!
I’ve mentioned a variety of educational pathways in this article including do-it-yourself reading and interactive seminars and workshops. Although some continuing education options are more costly than others, those who do their learning in an interactive environment like workshops often build their skills much faster because they are having a chance to get involved in their own education.
Regardless of the path that you choose, continuing education in photographer will always keep you at the top of your game.