Bad Photo Workshop Behavior

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This is a post from 2015, but I decided to post it again after reading an article by Tony Sweet about bad workshop behavior in the Palouse.

I've been teaching photo workshops for about 15 years. I enjoy teaching and meeting people who share their passion for photography. What could be more fun, for the students and for me?

All my photo workshop students are courteous to each other - and to other photographers we meet on site. I stress the importance of being polite on the first day of the workshop. It's just common sense.

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My philosophy: We are all in this together.

Well my friends, on my recent photo workshop to Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico I had an experience that made my blood boil.

Here's what happened.

We arrived on site, in the dark, at 5:30 AM. Several other workshop instructors and their students were already on site. That's all well and good. First come, first serve. That happens many times in very popular shooting locations.

Why arrive so early? The photo below that I took at sunrise says it all.

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As one of my students was setting up her tripod in an open, yet tight, spot, a photographer walked in front of our student and said, rather curtly, "That's my spot."

My student responded, "It's an open spot No one is here."

The very rude student from the other workshop said, "I was here first, I'm setting up my second tripod." (It was a tripod with a second camera and a $3,000+ lens.)

I was shocked. I said to my student, "Hang in."

I walked around for about two minutes and found a clear spot for my student. She got wonderful images - as did all of our workshop students.

As usual, after all our students were set up with "first class" spots, I set up my tripod in "coach," behind the students, and in some cases next to the students where there was room.

On a side note, I often take pictures on site and show the students the shot to illustrate a composition or lighting technique. After all, one reason photographers come on my workshops is to see how I shoot.

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The rude student could have said: "Let's try to squeeze in here together.  Let's get cozy. Let's try to make it work. We are all in this together." 

Here's another idea: "Her spot" was not her spot. If you leave a spot and come back in 10 minutes or 10 hours, it's no longer your spot. Right?

Post a comment if you like. I'd love to hear from you, especially if you have a "bad workshop behavior" story.

Of course, if you have a good behavior story, please share that, too!

Oh yeah, there was also a guy smoking a smelly cigar in the group. Not cool, especially at 5 AM.

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Explore the light,
Rick

Canadian Rockies Photo Workshop - 10 students, 3 instructors, lots of fun!

Simply put, this is the best value photo workshop to the Canadian Rockies. We take you to the best locations and have three instructors to help you with your photography and processing.

Plus, all this stuff is included:
A copy of my book, Exploring the Light
and
My on-line Master Landscape Photography class
and
My e-book Life Lessons We can Learn from Mother Nature
and
My e-book How to Get Motivated and Stay Inspired.

Get all this stuff before the workshop so you can hit the ground running.... and shooting!

Hope you can join the fun!

Click here to register.

Two-Part On-Line Class: Transform Your Home Into a Pro Studio

Transform Your Home into a Professional Studio Part 2 is live! It's my latest (and 13th) KelbyOne class.

Before you watch Part 2, see Part 1 - Transform Your Home into a Professional Studio. Start with the basics, then move on to some more advanced techniques.

You'll also find some portrait/people photography tips in my latest book, Creative Visualization for Photographers.

Explore the light,
Rick

Virtual Travel Photography Workshop - to your destination

Here's a cool idea for all those who ever wanted to do a photo workshop – but who also like the freedom of traveling alone or with a buddy . . . and who don't have the budget for a live workshop, which can be very expensive. It's an on-line virtual photo workshop where I help you via Skype – before and after your trip – make photographs rather than just take photographs.

I've been to about 100 countries and all the US National Parks, so chances are I have been to the location you will be visiting.

Here is how it works:
• We have a one-hour Skype session before your trip where we discuss your trip and I review your travel photographs.
• I need your Skype name and a link for a gallery of your best images.
• One-hour Skype session after your trip where I review your new photographs and offer composition, exposure and processing suggestions.

Cost for the virtual photo workshop is $199 payable via paypal. Shoot me an email to arrange your virtual photo workshop.

Explore the light,
Rick