In the field of photography, there are heaps of learning opportunities to choose from. There is no shortage of educational experiences ranging from one-on-one mentoring to huge auditorium filled conferences. But how are you to know where to spend your time and money? Here are five questions to consider when selecting your educational experience. 

1) Where are you in your business?

There is never a point in photography where you stop learning from others. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a new shutter-bug, there is always something new to learn and grow from. If you are brand new in your business, it would be good to start with a beginners conference. Something that hits all topics from shooting to building a brand. If you’re senior in your business, it would be pertinent to pick one or two specific things to improve on (like film or off camera flash) and select a workshop that is single skill focused. 

2) What is the best way that you learn?

Some people are great online learners! There are courses where you can throw on your yoga pants and learn digitally from the comfort of your own home. However, some need hands on learning experiences or face to face instruction. Keep in mind the size of the workshop and your learning style. 

3) Would you like to shoot for your portfolio? 

Some workshops have styled shoots accompanying the ticket price. If you’re a seasoned photographer not looking to build experience or portfolio with styled shoots, then you may want to avoid these! They often cost extra and some workshops will not let you share images until after they have been published. Furthermore, some hosts will be the lead shooter on the session and you may not get the chance to pose or get the shots you want!

4) What is your budget & where is it located?

There is an educational experience for every budget! Keep in mind how much you are willing to spend before choosing your workshop. Since there are so many out there, you could go broke trying to attend them all! You can check out my review of United from 2016, contact me directly for mentoring and look up the learning experiences like United, WPPI, Creative at Heart, The Hybrid Collective and many more!

5) What are you hoping to gain from the experience? 

Try to go in to every workshop, mentorship or conference with at least three goals in mind. It could be gaining a new connection, learning a new shooting technique or an actionable step on how to grow your business. Sometimes all the information can be overwhelming so try to stick to only three goals! 

There you have it folks, the top questions to consider when choosing an education experience! Keep also in mind that since many event planners use Eventbrite’s online registration service, that website lists the most important conferences in your area and across the country!