The Importance of Attending Workshops

Fishtown DLWS Workshop

I had the great good fortune of being able to attend three workshops recently that came to my area. In many cases I'm working in some capacity during these workshops either showing Adobe products or answering questions as an Adobe rep. However, lately I've been attending more workshops when I have the time and opportunity even if the workshop is not something that I'm directly interested in. The reason I've become more open minded about attending these workshops is because I haven't attended a workshop yet that I didn't learn something that was extremely valuable or something that improved my workflow.


David Ziser's Digital Wakeup Seminar


David Ziser came to Southfield Michigan one evening with his Digital Wakeup Seminar. Now I've known David for a few years and I've always been extremely impressed with his work. David is a Wedding Photographer and probably one of the best in the world. I have no interest in wedding photography! Have I ever shot a wedding before? Yes, that's how I know I don't want to be a wedding photographer! So why attend David's seminar? Although I have zero interest in shooting weddings, I figured that it wouldn't hurt to know how. The other reason is that I do shoot portrait and fashion photography and many of the wedding portrait techniques that David teaches will directly help me in my photography. I learned several tips that I will be putting to use immediately. If you happen to be in a city or near a city that David is coming to, you should absolutely make the effort to attend!


Scott Kelby's Lightroom 2 Seminar

Lightroom 2 tour Michigan

I know what you're thinking? "Don't you work for Adobe?" Yes, I do! As a matter of fact I not only work for Adobe, but I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom EVERY DAY! So why attend Scott's Lightroom seminar? Like any software, you learn to do things that you need to do. With practice you develop a workflow that works for you. However, with any app I've always said that no matter how well I know it or how often I use it, I usually ALWAYS learn at least one thing that I didn't know when I watch someone else present it. Scott uses things in Lightroom that I don't use regularly. So not only was it a refresher for me to see things that I don't use every day, but I picked up a couple of workflow tips to add to my own workflow. Scott is a very entertaining presenter, so in addition to the tips I also picked up a few new jokes that I will absolutely steal and use in my own presentations. 🙂


Digital Landscape Workshop Series


Although I primarily do portrait and fashion photography, I also have an interest in beautiful landscape photography. This is the type of photography that I probably know the least about. So If I have the chance to spend some time learning from legendary photographers like Moose Peterson and Joe McNally, I'm going to jump at the chance. The Digital Landscape Workshop Series (DLWS) came to Traverse City Michigan this week. Although I have to work this week, I figured I could at least do the sunrise (before work) and sunset (after work) shoots with these guys. When I arrived Sunday afternoon Laurie Excell was giving an excellent presentation on the best camera settings with plenty of examples. I didn't really capture anything the first morning that got me excited (not the fault of the workshop by any means), but I did learn quite a few things that will help me going forward. I can tell that the problem was me, not the location because Moose is is showing his shots from this morning as I write this and with each shot it makes me feel like we were in two different location. This guy really has an eye! We'll see how the rest of the workshop pans out for shooting.


Sunset in the woods


The Bottom Line


No matter what you may be into, chances are there is a "class/workshop for that." I've reached a point in my photography that I'm looking to take it to the next level. Sure I could just keep practicing and going by trial and error, but I choose to leap forward by spending time shooting with and learning from the people who's photography that I admire the most. I encourage you to get out there and learn everything you can about everything you can!



5 Replies to “The Importance of Attending Workshops”

  1. I really like this blog, but there is a lot of incestuous cross promotion among the Kelby stable of trainers that just feels wrong to me. I promote your book, you promote my seminars. Doesn’t Terry ever attend any workshops given by people not associated with his “buddies?”

    I attended David Ziser’s recent seminar in New Jersey and it was great. And I have been to some of Scott Kelby’s as well. But it just feels creepy when Scott and Terry and the others all pump up each other’s businesses.

    1. Wick, make no mistake about it. Scott Kelby, Moose, Joe, etc are my friends. So it’s quite natural that I would attend workshops and seminars given by my friends. I work for Adobe. So guess what, I’m going to be talking about Adobe products too! My blog is about the things I like and the people I hang out with. No apologies for that. If you do a search you’ll find that I gave just as much (actually more) promotion to the Mary DuPrie workshop I attended and I had never met her before that day. So I will talk about the things and people that I like. Again, it’s my blog so you should expect that.

      I think it would be creepy for me to promote things that I don’t use or people that I don’t like 🙂

  2. Terry,

    It is nice to hear what you had to say about the importance of attending workshops and the different variety you attended. I personally have been wanting to step up my photography as of late and find myself wanting to attend a workshop, more specifically, DLWS as it would allow me to get some hands on experience with the best in the business as each of the instructors specializes in different areas of photography. Hopefully, it will happen in next year or two.

    In regards to the last comment, I am glad you stuck up for yourself as I agree it is your blog and you can promote what you would like. There are always going to be people trying to bash someone else for cross promoting. You are getting valuable information out the the readers and the workshops you mentioned are from some of the best in the business. If it wasn’t you wouldn’t be promoting it. Well done and said.

    Have a great day Terry…BTW, thanks for helping with tweets about the Walk4Hearing Silent Auction on Twitter. I appreciate it.


  3. My mother always told me that you’re known by the friends you keep. Terry.. you hang with some great friends! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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