How do you Classify Photographer Experience Levels for your Workshops?
Most of the workshops will be at a middle experience level of either Intermediate or Advanced. You can be at a higher experience level than what a particular workshop is rated for, but not a lower experience level. No matter what experience level you are currently at, you can still benefit from attending any of the workshops except those aimed at beginners. Workshops for beginners are only for beginners. The reason photographers rated at lower experience levels are not allowed to attend workshops rated for higher experience levels, is so that they do not hold back any of the other participants. For example, let’s say a participant doesn’t know how to download photos onto his or her computer, and needs help with this most basic skill, this would take away limited workshop classroom time from the other paying participants, and it would not be fair to them. The experience level rating is not meant to belittle or unfairly classify anyone, but to help all photographers get the most out of each and every street photography workshop.
BEGINNER – Has been shooting with a serious camera, such as a DSLR or interchangeable lens mirrorless camera, for at least one year, and has a basic understanding of most of the camera’s settings. Knows how to download photos to a computer. Is familiar with Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements, and understands the basics such as cropping. Is familiar with a RAW conversion program such as Adobe Lightroom.
INTERMEDIATE – Someone who been shooting with a serious camera, such as a DSLR or interchangeable lens mirrorless camera, for at least 3 years. Has a very good understanding of most of the camera’s settings including shooting RAW and shooting in manual mode. Is proficient using Adobe Photoshop and a RAW conversion program such as Adobe Lightroom.
ADVANCED - Someone who has mastered all technical aspects of photography including camera, computer and software applications, and is at the point where nothing technical gets in the way of learning how to see better and grow as a photographer.
PROFESSIONAL - Someone who makes 100% of his or her living from photography, and has a deep and thorough understanding of all aspects of photography.
PLEASE NOTE: The Photographer Experience Levels have nothing to do with how good you are as a street photographer, but are only stated to determine your technical skill level and experience as a photographer in general. You do not have to have any street photography experience to take any of the workshops. This is why SPW exists, to teach street photography. Please email me if you need more clarification, we don’t want anyone to miss a workshop because of a misunderstanding.
What do I Need to Bring to the Workshop?
Extra Memory Cards
It’s highly recommended that you bring extra memory cards. Most photographers will shoot more during my workshops than they ever have before during such a short period of time. Memory cards are dirt cheap today, and there is no reason to be limited by not having enough of them.
What Type of Camera is Required?
Whichever is the best camera for you to shoot street photography with. It could be a mirrorless camera, a DSLR, a Leica rangefinder, etc., but I do recommend:
A camera with interchangeable lenses
A camera with manual override
What Software Must I Have on my Laptop?
Photo Mechanic (if you do not currently own Photo Mechanic, you MUST download a FREE 20-day trial version one week prior to the workshop HERE)
What is Photo Mechanic and Why Must I use it?
Photo Mechanic by Camera Bits is the world’s standard for captioning and editing photos for magazine and newspaper photojournalists as well as professional sports photographers. There is nothing faster and nothing easier. If needed, on tight deadline you can literally caption, classify and edit 1,000 photos within minutes before exporting them into Photoshop or Lightroom to make final adjustments. Photo Mechanic is imperative for this style of workshops because editing is a big part of the workshop. What Photo Mechanic is not. It is not RAW conversion software, it is not a photo archive, it is not a replacement for photoshop. Photo Mechanic is simple in it’s approach of captioning and editing photos. Finally, Camera Bits is a very small company with outstanding customer service and support. Once you use Photo Mechanic, most of you will want to purchase it.
What Software do you use Personally Everyday?
Photo Mechanic by Camera Bits
What Should I Expect During the Workshop?
The street photography workshops focus on shooting first. It is likely that you have never shot as much in such a short period of time as you will during the workshop. If you don’t shoot a lot, how can you ever improve? Athletes and musicians continue to train, and photographers should spend a lot of time shooting. Gary Monroe, a former photo professor of mine back in the early ’90s, who also happens to be an amazing street photographer, once uttered a very profound statement to our class: “You take better pictures when you’re photographing, than when you’re not photographing.” I never forgot it.
The second thing the workshops focus on is editing. Each workshop participant will spend time with me one-on-one editing his photos. Most photographers have never had a photo editor, or another more experienced photographer edit his photos. Self-editing is very difficult to avoid because most of us do not have access to a photo editor. Unfortunately we are emotionally attached to our own photos for many different reasons. When I help edit your photos, I will be removed from any emotional ties, struggles, hardships, bad weather, blood, sweat and tears or time you’ve invested in them. Because of this, it is much easier for me to be objective. Sometimes it is painful, but necessary for us to grow as photographers.
The workshops are very personable with small groups of 8-12 photographers. You should easily get to know most everyone in your group, and possibly make a new friend. Every workshop participant will have one-on-one time with me during editing. And if requested, you may also have one-on-one time shooting if you so desire. I will be out on the street shooting too, but my first priority is to help you. Sometimes workshops are held in large rooms with tables and chairs, and sometimes workshops with smaller groups are held in a hotel room or coffee house.
Which Workshops Require Early Registration and Early Hotel Reservation?
New Orleans Jazz Fest
Unlike all the other Street Photography Workshops, Bike Week, Biketoberfest and the New Orleans Jazz Fest are event driven. This means that the actual workshop itself not only relies on the event, but is part of it. 500,000 people descend upon the tiny town of Daytona Beach for Bike Week so the hotels fill up very quickly as do the hotels in New Orleans during the Jazz Fest. Without a place to stay, you will not be able to attend the workshop. Please trust me on this.
What is the Difference Between Daytona Beach Bike Week and Biketoberfest?
The length only. Bike Week is held for 10 days, Biketoberfest is held for four days. The weather is usually warmer for Biketoberfest. What you will see and photograph will be very similar.
Why do I Need to Pay a Deposit to Hold my Spot?
Because workshops can fill up quickly, it is the only way we can know exactly how many spots are still open. Once you pay your deposit, you will be notified via email and your spot will be reserved.
Why do I Need to Pay the Full Workshop Fee One Month (30 Days) Before the Actual Workshop Date?
This is especially important for the event driven workshops such as Bike Week, Biketoberfest and The New Orleans Jazz Fest because hotels during these events fill up quickly, and it becomes nearly impossible to find a replacement.
Do you Offer Refunds if I have to Cancel?
Refunds are only offered up to One Month (30 Days) before the actual workshop date. Once full payment has been made, we can only offer refunds if we can find a replacement for your vacant spot. Every effort will be made to find a replacement. With the Bike Week, Biketoberfest and New Orleans Jazz Fest workshops, we do NOT offer refunds of any kind once the final payment has been made because of the nature of these event-driven workshops.
Is there a Cancelation Fee?
There is a $20 cancelation fee for administrative costs.
Is there a Waiting List to Fill a Spot if Someone has to Drop Out of a Workshop?
The workshops are filled on a first come, first served basis. But spots are not reserved until a deposit of $300 is paid. After all the spots are filled, we will have a reserve list of possible participants in case someone has to cancel. This is also done on a first come, first served basis.
What Forms of Payment do you Allow?
We currently accept PayPal.