Photography is an individual pursuit and at times it is natural to seek out company and guidance. It seems hard to find people nearby with the same interests (give me a shout if you live in the Bay Area!) and so it is natural to seek out photography workshops. The problem is how in the world do you find the right workshop? It quickly seems like anybody with a camera offers some kind of photography workshop.
To some degree I’m not sure how wrong you can go with a workshop. Any time you dedicate just to photography is a good thing so it is hard to go completely wrong. Start by figuring out what type of photography you are interested in learning more about: landscape, travel, portrait, etc. Then determine where you would like the workshop to take place, do you want to stay close to home or is there some place you have always wanted to go? This will greatly help you narrow down the search. Keep in mind that workshops will fill your time for their duration so I would encourage you to leave significant others behind or meet up with them after the workshop is over.
Once you’ve narrowed your list down look over the portfolio of the photographer. Does their work resonate with you? If it doesn’t move on. If it does, reach out and get to know them a bit. Introduce yourself and tell them what you are looking for. Ask for some contact info to previous attendees and find out if their experiences match what you are looking for.
When you finally get there through yourself into it. Chances are you will be pushing some boundaries but the more you push the more you will grow.
Finally, I would like to say that if you are at all interested in Street Photography and / or Cuba I cannot recommend Peter Turnley highly enough. I opted to combine my long time desires of seeing Venice and attending a workshop to attend one of Peter’s workshops in 2014. Simply put it was an amazing experience. Peter is a superb photographer and human being. For most of his life he was a photojournalist of the highest order and has some riveting stories to share. Days usually start with reviewing attendees photos and discussions / stories. There is then plenty of time to get out and practice what you’ve learned. There are a few other activities scheduled but for the most part it is all about trying to improve your photography and having a pro offer some insight to help you along your way. We had quite a spectrum of skill levels in our group so if you are an accomplished photographer of any level you will certainly do just fine. Attending one of his workshops is definitely an experience of a lifetime.