Arranging a one-on-one photography workshop

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Updated: 4.20.2016

Oregon Coast
I capture wave action on the Oregon Coast

Last September, I found myself holding onto Alan’s hand as I inched my way down a steep, sandstone path to a view of the ocean crashing against an Oregon cliff. Why? Because photographer, Marc Adamus, was leading us to the perfect location for an afternoon photo shoot.

How did we arrange a one-on-one workshop with this up and coming landscape photographer?

In the winter of 2007, Alan admired a photograph of Crater Lake, by Marc Adamus, that appeared on the cover of Outdoor Photography Magazine. Wanting to know more about him, Alan searched Google for Marc’s website, where he discovered that Marc leads photography workshops, including one-on-one sessions. So, an email conversation began which led to a photography workshop on the Oregon coast. Once again, I was able to come along as a non-participant.

Marc Adamus supervises Alan's shot
Marc Adamus supervises Alan’s shot

As always, the planning process began with a list of clear objectives. Alan requested sessions at off-the-beaten-path locations that would also be active, involving plenty of hiking and walking. Marc obliged with a plan that was perfect for our needs.

When we met Marc for the first time over breakfast in Lincoln City, he confirmed, again, Alan’s expectations of the sessions. Then, we drove to our first location, which turned out to be an “assessment” hike. Since Marc is young, fit and a former climber, he needed to gauge our baby boomer capabilities because most of the photo shoot locations would involve going off-trail.

Marc introduced us to amazing photographic opportunities that we probably would not have found on our own. One morning, Marc led Alan to a secret location to photograph at his favorite beach spot. Since that hike involved moving through rough terrain in the dark and scrambling down a seaside cliff, I skipped it.

Spending one-on-one time with Marc gave us ample opportunity to soak up his photography philosophy. Discussing the subject at meals, we covered all sorts of topics including the use of filters, processing photos on the computer, internet photography forums and tales of Marc’s photographic adventures in the wild.

Would we schedule another one-on-workshop? You bet. In fact, Alan will be meeting Marc at Glacier National Park in September. They’ll be hiking rugged terrain so I’ll sit this one out.

As an onlooker, my photography improved too
As an onlooker, my photography improved too

If you’re interested in scheduling a one-on-one photography workshop, follows these simple steps:

  • Find a photographer who’s work you admire
  • Research the photographer, asking for references or testimonials from former students
  • Make a list of what you want to accomplish in the workshop
  • Communicate your expectations to the photographer

Then, ask these questions:

  • Does the photographer listen to you?
  • Is the itinerary physically demanding?
  • Are you comfortable with the plan?
  • Are you clear about what is included in the cost of the workshop?


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