Workshop Update – Upcoming Changes, New Direction
It’s been a challenging and interesting few years in the workshop business. This year, 2023, we have slowed down our on-location workshops to just a few. This is due to a number of things.
We have seen our bookings slow down. Many photographers are anxious to travel again after several years of pandemic restrictions being lifted, and life is somewhat getting back to normal—or is it? In the past, we would do workshops almost every month at great locations and have no problem booking them. However, that business model has changed.
Those that want to travel are being more cautious. Traveling to any destination these days brings along its own challenges, like undependable air travel, jammed airports, and much higher costs than in pre-pandemic times. We have all seen the photos and recent news stories. Now, to be sure you are at a location without the chance of flight cancellations forcing you to miss your trip, people are arriving a few days early and even setting later departures to ensure they don’t run into problems. Of course, this brings with it added costs.
Also, many locations are very crowded. Don’t even think of doing a National Park visit in the summertime. Traffic jams, reservation systems, and more make for a less-than-fun experience. I don’t see that letting up anytime soon.
COVID issues are still very much prevalent, and traveling in crowded airports and being in close proximity to workshop attendees doesn’t help the situation if someone becomes ill. Last year, a few attendees and I caught COVID at one of my workshops. While we were land-based and folks were able to get home by car travel, nonetheless, folks had to contend with being infected. My recommendation, no matter what, is to get vaccinated. I believe that at least helped me and others avoid much more serious symptoms and led to a quicker recovery.
Other issues that have arisen are new regulations. Starting over the next couple of years, Norway’s government will be imposing some serious regulations for the Svalbard region. Svalbard, over the last ten years, has been one of the best workshops that we have offered. We have had the opportunity to photograph amazing landscapes as well as walruses, whales, arctic foxes, and the amazing polar bear. New regulations are about to change how close we can get to wildlife, which will, as a result, not make a very conducive set of conditions to photograph these amazing animals and landscapes.
Plus, I am getting older. While I really enjoy running workshops and taking photographers to these fantastic locations, it does get harder as you approach the seventy-year mark. I still have high energy and do these, but honestly, when I return from a trip, I’m exhausted, and it takes some time to recover.
This year the workshops we are doing are the Palouse, Greenland, and Faroe Islands. I feel these are pretty special locations and haven’t yet suffered the overcrowding and difficulty in travel that other locations have.
At this time, our Palouse workshops (two back-to-back trips) are sold out. I have been considering adding another vehicle and instructor—Michael Durr, PXL’s video producer so that we can add four more people to each workshop. If this sounds interesting, please drop me an email. If the interest is there, we will notify you. Pricing and information can be found on our Rockhopper Workshops website.
We are going to Greenland too. There are no crowds in Greenland, and we have a whole very cool yacht type of boat just for us to explore this amazing location. We have one berth and an owner’s stateroom available. As a photographer, this is a must-see location. It will astound you! Please note that as I published this article, the Greenland Workshop has sold out. Please send an email to me if you want to be put on a standby list. Also, we will most likely run two of these workshops next year (2024). Dates will be forthcoming.
Finally, Steve Gosling and I are returning to the Faroe Islands. This is an amazing group of islands that once again has seen the hordes of tourists you will find elsewhere. Plus, the landscapes are to die for. We ran two sold-out workshops there last year. We have only one scheduled this year. I guarantee you a great experience on this trip. We have a few spots left for this workshop, so I would suggest booking today if you are interested. As always, feel free to contact me if you have questions.
What I am excited about is something new I am going to launch very soon.
I have traveled all over the world and have been with some fantastic attendees as we photographed some of the most beautiful locations there. Many of these attendees are repeat clients. When we meet again, I ask what they did with the images from the last trip, and most of the time I am shocked by the answer of, “Well, I didn’t do anything with them.” Maybe they processed a few and put them on social media, but almost everyone didn’t make one print or even consider making a print project, collection, portfolio, or book.
I hope to change that as we move forward. I will soon be announcing a three-day fine art printing workshop to be held at my new studio in the Indianapolis Art Center. I have a great, large studio that is perfect for these workshops. The Indianapolis Art Center is an amazing building and will be perfect for this.
We will teach you how easy it can be to make your own prints. We have two Canon printers and two Epson printers and can print 44-in. width prints. We will introduce you to all aspects of the printing workflow. We’ll discuss and show different solutions to photo projects, from folios, folio boxes, and print tins, as well as book publishing. We’ll look at making your own calendar and other display solutions. There will be a visit to a master framer, who will demonstrate how to frame a print for the wall properly, and we will tour Roberts Camera, where you’ll see one of the finest camera stores in the country. (Bring your checkbook!)
I will also be teaming up with a close friend, Jeff Schewe, to offer online and in-person print critiques and portfolio reviews. This will be a great chance to have your work reviewed with friendly criticism and insight to help you become better at your craft.
I will offer custom and private workshops where we will tailor a workshop just for you. We can work with you to choose one of the many locations we have been to or new ones and plan a whole adventure for you.
In addition, we will offer one-on-one mentoring. This can be a combination of online and in-person coaching to help you achieve your own personal goals as a photographer.
I have been doing photography for over fifty years in various positions in the industry. Every day I wake up as excited about my day and what photography holds in store for me as I did when I was eighteen years old. Photography has been very good to me, and I want to share that with you.
Let me help you get what you want from this amazing art form—photography.
Over the coming weeks, we will publish more details about all of this. I have never been so excited about these new possibilities. I hope to see you be part of this.
Photography is my passion and has been for 47 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site as well as Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.