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  1. #31
    jp498's Avatar
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    I am interested in lifelong learning. I learn a lot by myself, and there are some things I'd prefer to learn workshop style.

    We forum readers spend a lot of money on photo stuff, and that is even is even more critical for the non-rich workshop aspiring creative people. We can easily waste serious money far exceeding the cost of a workshop trying to learn a new system, buy the wrong gear for a task, waste months or years going about something in a less than optimal ways. In such cases, it might be better to find a quality workshop on the topic, spend some money, and get fast tracked to what you are trying to learn or improve. Meeting new people and the social opportunities are a result of the eager attitudes of learning and sharing and teamwork that melt together rather than the reason for going. If you want to meet new people, I'm sure there are ways to do that without leaving town.

    I'm sure there are some workshops not worth the money. I'm sure there are many people who attend workshops ill matched to their needs. And there are workshops that meet and exceed certain learning needs.

    For travel oriented workshops; so what if they attract or are for rich folk? If someone is able to travel the world anyways, why not spend it with people who are photography oriented instead of being the guy/gal holding everyone up because of your photography obsession? There are cheap ways of attaining the same result, but the legwork and research is too time consuming for many people who are more able to come up with spare cash than spare time.

    Gatherings I'm sure are great options too for meeting some needs.

  2. #32
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    With all due respect and with the expanded background and living situation you have posted here, all I want to do is tell you that there are priorities in life.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow

    Not sure where you're going with this but anyone that has studied human behavior or Cultural Anthropology knows about Abraham Maslow's chart.

    I didn't bother looking at the chart. I've seen it several times.
    I'm 61 yrs old. I didn't get here by not having priorities in life
    .


    What I hear you saying is: I don't have the skills to be a professional photographer. I met someone who is and would like to be like this person.

    Way off base here. Too many assumptions and guesses.

    I attended photography classes and and had bad experiences there. You would rather go it alone than be in a group without direct instruction focused toward your needs. You think you have a plan but the money spent must be on a guaranteed experience.

    There are no guarantees in life and nothing is free.

    You might me envious of those who are successful. You resent having to pay for expenses even though it is a part of the workshop logistics. You came here looking for advise from professional artists. You may, that's may believe it's all presentation and marketing.

    I'm not going to dignify the above/below comments with a response.

    My advice, take it or leave it is: We welcome you here to discuss part or all of you life. There is the Lounge for the Arnold comments and California, we do see the news and know what dire conditions exist in California. Many people are being hurt and hurt bad, it's a near Depression in some parts of this country right now. If you are the one who has no shelter and nothing to eat and no heath care then it's a Depression for you.

    You are not alone, not that it helps to say so, honestly millions are sitting down to next to nothing to eat and the prospects of losing their shelter, they are trying to figure out what happened, what to do and what it will be like when and if things do get better.

    The United States is a hard country to be poor in. We are based on money, money, money. You must think of how you will live on a day to day basis, even if that means moving to a state where the employment is better. Running away is not the term I would use, I would say you need to seek better employment and a better chance for a future.

    Too many people work for the government in California, it over staffed and crowded with workers even though as an economy it ranks up there with nations.

    This is a comment made by someone that is obviously misinformed. Maybe if you took the time to do better research, based on California's population, California government employees rank among the lowest per capita of most states.


    There are other problems with the states policies but that's another story, or many other stories.

    "Yep - its called special interest groups and lousy politicians"


    The bottom line is, if you can't make a living there then you must move to a place where you can. Maybe you will return at a later date in a better position.

    You ever try getting another job with comparable pay at 61?

    Your frustration is evident by the comments about a mentor and remarks about paying for what most of us consider a part of the package in workshops.

    The only frustration I have would be with these types of comments. There's an old adage: "If you have nothing good to say, then don't say anything."

    I for one decide to split a room with someone who I met and like very much on the next workshop. I haven't done that before but why spend if you can share expenses. There is no loss of pride in that, it's good economical sense. I may even buy a lunch at a grocery store so I don't have to eat an extra meal out. It's smart to watch the pocket book.

    Good for you.

    I'm not sure that you understand that most of the members here are not "Professional Photographer" who earn a living solely from selling their work.

    Gee -- No kidding!

    A hands up or down from the member would be needed here.

    If you believe that advertising and marketing is the ticket then consider instruction in business classes if you are lacking. Photography is a business if you are to pursue it professionally. To consider otherwise is fantasy.

    Do tell!

    There is a spectrum of individuals here from beginner to professional. Many who consider themselves amateurs often have a higher knowledge than "professionals". They have never stopped learning and have acquired a high degree of proficiency.

    Don't think badly of those who's comments you read here you don't agree with. Even though we understand the strain you are under you have to know that the ability to accept criticism is paramount, especially in Art. It is a part of the process.

    The best of luck,
    Curt
    "Well, Curt, I'm really gonna give you a break on this one. But one word of advice. Keep your day job. Psychoanalysis and Behavioral Psychology are not your forte."


  3. #33
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    How do you know Curt isn't a Psychiatrist? Lots of doctors are into photography. Anyway, what he told you is largely true. Priorities. Photography should be near the bottom for someone who lost her job and declared bankruptcy. Hell, I'm a fulltime professional, and its still not MY #1 priority in life (My son is; I have custody of him and he has no one else in the world to care for him...photography is a distant second to him). I suspect you have a lot more things in your life that ought to take priority over photography.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

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  4. #34
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
    How do you know Curt isn't a Psychiatrist? Lots of doctors are into photography.

    "Based on Curt's responses, I wouldn't make that assumption."

    Anyway, what he told you is largely true. Priorities. Photography should be near the bottom for someone who lost her job and declared bankruptcy.

    I'm not a her -- and I don't recall saying that I lost my job. Are those assumptions you're making?

    Hell, I'm a fulltime professional, and its still not MY #1 priority in life (My son is; I have custody of him and he has no one else in the world to care for him...photography is a distant second to him).

    I suspect you have a lot more things in your life that ought to take priority over photography.
    My priorities are my mortgage, my cat and me. Period.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
    The problem is, no one is going to buy your prints and pay you the kind of money that you'd need to finance a workshop selling one or two prints unless you're already well known as an artist. In that case, you don't need to attend a workshop, you'd be qualified to teach it. Workshops are playtime for rich amatuers and a way for professionals to fleece the rich. Professional fine art photographers (that is to say, those who sell prints regularly) don't go to workshops. They're either self taught, or they went to art school or a university art program and got a fine arts degree.

    How do I know? I'm a full time professional artist. I earn 100% of my living selling my prints, licensing my photos, and occasionally doing commercial work. I learned the basic technical stuff while earning my art degree at Indiana University and taught myself by practice everything else. Workshops are overpriced and basically involve paying to spend time in the presence of someone famous so you can brag to our friends about it.


    I have to take issue with several things you've said. First your statement that workshops are for "rich amateurs and a way for professionals to fleece the rich" is not only insulting but just plain wrong. While one needs some discretionary income to take a workshop, and many of those that do have those resources, there are also simply people who are considering a long term career in photography, as well as people such as myself long time professional photographers who want to learn or experience a new technique.
    After more than 30 years as professional I took a workshop at ICP on making mural sized prints. And most of the people in my class were art school students or art post graduates also looking to learn a new method.

    And as for professionals looking to fleece people, the people that I know who give workshops, they are REAL full time professional photographers, are experts in their areas and do their best to pass on those hard earned skills to others in an enjoyable and enlightened way. They are serious about their obligation to their students and are not looking to "fleece" anyone. The unfortunate reality is that with the mass amateurization of photography there are others out there giving workshops who are NOT qualified by either training or experience, are not true professionals, and do not actually impart any real or valuable knowledge to their students. As with anything let the buyer beware.

    And your further generalization that all professional fine art photographers are "either self taught, or they went to art school or a university art program and got a fine arts degree". Is also inaccurate as many also assisted well established photographers and learned that way as well. In my case it was college and assisting, and among my peers that was a common route and few of us would argue that we learned more in school than by assisting.

    And lastly your quote of, "Workshops are overpriced and basically involve paying to spend time in the presence of someone famous so you can brag to our friends about it." Maybe that would be your motivation behind taking a workshop, but from my experience those that take workshops want to actually LEARN something.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by apconan View Post
    nope, chris is right. i'm sure it came out exactly as he intended.
    if you didn't take photo in college, there are limitless ways to learn a variety of techniques. any self-respecting teaching program doesn't call themselves a 'workshop', because workshops have now become synonymous with scam. "Pay me $5000 to accompany me to Iceland! Does not include airfare, accommodation, or expenses! In fact, includes absolutely nothing!"
    Workshop is NOT synonymous with "scam". Call it a class, call it a school, call it a workshop, the name of the learning session does not matter. What matters is the caliber of the person teaching that class. Where it can be a scam is when someone with minimal photographic knowledge feels they are qualified to teach others for a fee, THAT is a scam.

    And as for photo trips to Iceland, etc. Many of the people looking to take workshops or classes do so on their vacation time which is limited. Those same people often like to travel and like to travel to photo rich environments. And just how is it wrong for a qualified professional photographer to offer classes or workshops that meet the combined needs of those people? Bill Schwab, an APUG regular and professional photographer offers workshops in Iceland and from what I've heard from those who have attended they felt it was well worth it. As for the cost, people charge what they need to make it economically viable for them to give the workshop and the market will determine of their pricing is reasonable. To generalize it as a "Scam" on your part is judgmental and just wrong.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcmarc View Post
    Chris Crawford stated it perfectly. I also feel the same way about portfolio reviews. These are where one pays big $$ to have a photographer from a prestigious photo agency or a curator from a art museum look a sample of your work and then give you their opinion. While I'm not a pro, I'm very happy with how my work is growing and expanding with lots of trial and error experience along with a couple of great teachers at local city colleges where I took a couple of classes.
    I have to agree with you about portfolio reviews. While there are those that employ truly qualified people to give those reviews, many use people who are desperately in need of a a good portfolio review themselves. I can not begin to tell you how many times I've received the same solicitations for portfolio reviews that many of you get only to see that the reviewers are at best mediocre photographers and non professionals. I think if you're a lousy photographer, you are the LAST person who should be giving image related advice.

    When I started out in photography there weren't "reviews" as a mass marketing tool. You simply called photographers or artists or curators who you respected and asked if they had time to see your work and give you advice. You'd be amazed at who I got to see my work and give me lasting and valuable feedback from. And it was free. So my advice, call or write an artist you truly respect and ask them for a review.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Splenetic rants aside, workshops can be little more than celebrity worship and/or CV building in any field. In photography, as elsewhere, there's motivational/aspirational spew and then hardcore, hands-on sessions where, without considerable experience/know-how, you're clueless, embarrassed, and out a large chunk of change. It's a self-selection process for either experience and both types of workshop satisfy a need.
    I think you're wrong. In all my years as a pro, NO ONE in a position to hire me or give me assignments cared about my CV, they ALL wanted to see my portfolio. Photography is one of the few fields where in less than 5 minutes you can actually see if the person knows what they're talking about. All you have to do is look at their work. And in picking someone to learn from, look at their work too.

  9. #39
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    The only time I am asked for a CV is when I apply for a teaching position, but that is because it is the standard for academic resumes.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Davis View Post
    The only time I am asked for a CV is when I apply for a teaching position, but that is because it is the standard for academic resumes.
    Greg teaching is a whole different thing in accredited institutions. There a CV is a must, but for assignment work and work shops it's all about the skill level and that is evident ion a portfolio. And even with formal schools if you are a noted artist or an established master you'll get teaching offers regardless of your CV.

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