The preparations for my workshop have started and are continuing in full swing. I have to get my work together, get my camera together, finish getting all the gear I might need, make sure the laptop is running ok, clean the house, do the laundry, etc. etc. It’s a never-ending stream of “do this before you leave” that just builds and builds until the point of the workshop, that point when you collapse on the plane, just seconds before the pilot blurts out, “and we’re now cleared for takeoff.” Make no mistake about it, the workshop experience can be the most rewarding and fun thing a photographer gets to do, but it’s also some of the most grueling. To make everything perfect, to make everything run like clockwork, you have to do a lot in the days leading up to the workshop, and that can be quite difficult.
I was reminded today that I did not make all of my travel arrangements, for example. I forgot to order the blue van-the van that takes me to the airport the morning of my flight. *Sigh* So many little things, so many things to remember, to do before this or that, it can make you feel like you’re running on empty. But, since I’ve done it before, I know that it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a great experience, once I get out there. Once you are there, under the light, and the sky, with the models, and the compact flash flowing, the shutters all freely clicking away, it feels like magic, really it does. I wish everybody could know that feeling. The feeling of working on location, the feeling of a shoot that goes really well, the feeling of getting to do it all, to live it, to make the passion happen, not just sit behind at a desk, waiting for some opportunity. There’s something very gratifying about working on location that, if you’ve never done it before, you don’t really quite understand how it feels. I don’t get to do it often but, when I do, I sure do enjoy it.
It’s hard work, yes, it can be really hard, but it’s also very rewarding. It’s getting to move from the “I think” into the realm of the “I do,” even the “I did,” and that precisely that is why I think it’s so rewarding. It’s seeing the vision, crafting the vision, shooting the vision, and bringing it all to life. It’s a steady stream that goes from “I think this might make a good shot” to “here’s a portfolio of my recent work” and it moves so quickly, like the blink of an eye really. When you’re on location, working like this, things really move and flow at such a blinding pace.
Now, I know, over the course of the next few weeks, leading up to my workshop, you’ll hear me bitch and moan, complaining about this or that, how I forgot this, or I’m running around to get that. Yes, it will be a pain, and yes, you’ll probably grow tired of hearing my rants (almost as much as I will grow tired of ranting to you!) but, in the end, at the end of the day, when you sit down at that desk and you process those shots, the workshop experience, no matter how painful it might seem leading up to it, it’s *so* worth it in the end.
I really wish that every photographer could take some kind of a workshop, master class, or get to study in the field this way at some point in their careers. Honestly, it makes all the difference in the world. It’s shooting in its finest hour, unabashed and unbound, for all the world to see. It’s immersion, it’s learning by doing, it’s bring it all to life in real time.
To those beginners out there, if it sounds like I’m bitching now, yeah, maybe I am a little bit. But, I’ve got one final thing to say on the subject. If you’re thinking about doing a workshop, if the thought has ever crossed your mind, I’d have one thing to say to you, and only one thing: DO IT! You won’t regret it, I promise.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got lots of preparations to take care of, so I must get back to work.
Until next time…