Q: For whom are your workshops?
A: My workshops are intended for beginners, or "newbies" if you will. Most workshop attendees are those who bought a nice camera thinking it would magically take perfect shots right out of the box, and then realizing that's not the case. Photo enthusiasts who have some experience and who want a refresher are also welcome to attend. In most cases, it's a good idea to take Workshop 1 before taking Workshop 2. If feel you feel you can tackle Workshop 2: Lighting with your External Flash right away then go ahead and sign up. If you're not sure, just ask.
Q: What topics are covered in your workshops?
WORKSHOP 1: Introduction to your Digital Camera
Manual Exposure Mode and Beyond
How to see light
Demystifying the image histogram
An introduction to flash
WORKSHOP 2: Lighting with your External Flash
The external flash available for your camera is a versatile lighting tool. With just a few additional relatively inexpensive items you can turn your flash into a creative lighting tool that will give you professional results. You do not necessarily have to bring a flash with you to participate in this workshop - part of this workshop is buying advice.
How to make the physics of light to work for you.
Creative use of white balance
What to do with more than one source of light
Using your external flash or speedlight on camera.
Using the flash off camera: rigging, remote triggers, light modification, just to name a few things.
Lighting for different types of subjects such as portraits, product, events.
Buying advice for speedlights and accessories
What to pack in your bag to cover various lighting situations.
Q: I haven't purchased a camera yet. Should I buy one first or arrive without a camera?
A: You can still learn a lot by taking Workshop 1 even if you haven't purchased a camera yet, but of course the "hands-on" part won't be as rewarding. One benefit to attending the workshop before buying a camera is getting buying advice as part of the learning experience. If you intend to take the workshop without a camera, let me know when you register as I may be able to bring an extra camera for you to use.
Q: What type of camera is appropriate for these workshops?
A: Generally speaking, if you can manipulate the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO you have an appropriate digital camera.
You will probably want to have one of these types of cameras:
Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR)
Digital Single Lens Translucent Mirror (DSLT)
Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILC)
That's a lot of cameras! If you're not sure if your camera is suitable, just email me and ask.
Q: I have a "point & shoot" or similar compact camera. May I attend a workshop?
A: The workshop is not ideal for many of these cameras as many of them do not have full manual exposure control. You're certainly welcome to take the class but understand that some workshop information may not apply to your camera.
Q: What makes your photography workshops so different?
A: Modern digital cameras are complicated affairs with lots of extra features which, in my opinion, just serve to confuse users rather than to help make better photographs.
My workshops are small for individualized attention. Sure, you may find a one day workshop for less, but you will likely be one of 40 or more people in the room. I limit my classes to 10 students and the class is held in a photography studio, not a hotel conference room.
Q: What should I bring to the workshop?
Generally speaking, bring:
1. Your camera and lens(es).
2. Fully charged camera battery - and an extra one if you have it.
3. Your camera's instruction book. If you have lost that, you may be able to download a PDF version from the manufacturer's website.
4. Memory card(s).
5. Bring any photos you want to talk about. These could be images for which you have questions on how to improve, photos that make you think, "How did they shoot that?", etc. You can bring in prints, tearsheets from magazines, or digital files.
6. Pen and paper for taking notes
7. Your thinking cap and an eagerness to learn.
Q: We only have one camera between the two of us. Can we share one camera?
A: Sure, you'll be fine sharing one camera. There will be enough time for each of you to operate the camera when doing exercises.
Q: Are there any takeaways or handouts?
A: You will receive a handouts and/or a booklet with an outline of the presentation. You will also receive email support after the class if you like.
Q: Is there a minimum age for workshop attendees?
A: There's no minimum age per se, but I ask that if anyone under the age of 18 be dropped off and picked up by a parent or legal guardian. Any youngsters attending should be mature enough for the workshop environment, and have enough grasp of math to do fractions.
Q: Is there a waiting list if a workshop has filled?
A: There's no waiting list.
Q: What's the minimum number of students needed to run the class?
A: The minimum is 5 students. If the workshop is canceled due to low enrollment, you will receive a full refund.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: Credit and debit cards (via PayPal), and money orders (US Postal or major bank) are accepted.
Q: What is the cancellation and rescheduling policy?
A: If for some reason you won't be able to attend, you are eligible for a refund if it's at least one week before the workshop date. If cancellation is within one week, funds cannot be refunded, but you may apply your payment towards the next workshop. If the workshop is canceled due to low enrollment, you will receive a full refund.
All photographs and site design © Tom Weis