You know what’s wrong with most photo workshops? Even those being held in Paris?
They’re often designed exclusively for extroverts.
Not that the louder voice or larger camera always wins, but group dynamics are organised with extroverts in mind. Much like all of our business world and education system. You know what I mean: endless overcrowded meetings designed to suck the lifeblood out of creativity and innovation (which introverts excel at), forced group learning in class … The mumbo jumbo goes on, feeding on the delusion that extroversion equates to performance.
Sounds frustratingly familiar? Well, I have great news, because we’ll be doing things differently.
But first, let’s give some credit to the traditional approach!
Group dynamics are an important part of any workshop and collaborative learning is far more empowering than the tuition of a single Master. If you need proof of that, just take a look at the photographs created by the members of “star photographer workshops”. All are lesser variations of the Master’s vision. Most probably go against the natural grain of the attendee.
Whereas well-organised brainstorming always brings out more than the sum of the parts.
And, far more importantly, photographing in pairs or small groups is tremendous fun! Philippe and I engage in the guilty pleasure as often as our busy schedule allows and it is so much more fun that photographing solo. And an extra large dose of pleasure is derived from comparing the very different photographs our time in common has yielded. It’s hard to imagine beforehand just how different our work is going to be, given the same subject matter and lighting (and gear, since we share liberally). It’s always a giggle-fest mixed with “Aw, man, why didn’t I see that?” slaps on the thigh when we stop for a drink and review one another’s camera.
Even for two lone-wolves such as us, nothing beats the sheer fun of photography as a duo.
It’s such a blast that Paul Perton is flying 11 hours to join us and, were it not for an injury, a fellow photographer would have joined us from far away down-under to participate.
Even if you feel like a loner and prefer to work alone, you owe it to yourself to try the experience. Find yourself a partner in crime and spend a couple of hours on a photo-oriented walk. Better still, join us in April. You’re just an email away 🙂
However, all these positives don’t imply that every single workshop minute has to be group-time.
Photography is an introspective art. It may reassure to work as a group, but when the subject is in front of you, the final photograph results from a silent dialog between the scene and yourself.
Great photographers rarely hunt in packs. Great photographs aren’t always made in large parties.
So here’s how we’ll be balancing things during the Spring in Paris workshop. We’ll alternate between these four types of shooting:
Reviews back at the hotel. About that. About our sleeping accomodation … a digression about the best laid plans of mice and togs.
Hotel Chopin cannot accomodate us, they have no rooms for collective work with projectors. Instead, we will be staying at Hotel 34B which is currently in the top 1% on Tripadvisor out of almost 2000 Paris hotels. This will have no impact on the workshop price.
Plus the main point of Hotel Chopin is the adjacent passageway, which is just a stonethrow away from our new digs. Altogether, a nice trade-up, then, with no loss of convenience.
But back to our main story.
Our promise to you, whether you be a introspective soloist or a community hub, is to help you make the best of your personal style while benefiting from the advantages of working with a group. We understand the need to be alone, we understand the benefits from collaborative thinking. And we’ll taylor the individual balance to every participant’s wishes.
And, again, DS editors (3 of which will attend) could hardly be more different in their approach and production, so you’ll find talking to each a very complementary experience.
We want you to learn and benefit but, mostly, we want you to have a great time and look froward to seeing what you’ll show us that we didn’t see.
We’re counting the days and look forward to meeting you there, the extrovert and / or introvert photographer. Enjoy life and grab the 3 last spots while they last!
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