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Smart is one of the leading online photo courses available and as a result we often have a work closely with photography workshop providers as well as providing our own photo workshops as part of the program.

On this page we have put together the ultimate guide to photography workshops including information on what a workshop actually is, what type of workshops we offer, why a workshop could be good for you and finally, a list of current workshops available around the world.

We hope the workshop guide goes a long way to helping you choose the best photography workshop for you and experience photography in a whole new way.

What is a Photography Workshop?

To start with we decided it was best to put together a brief description on what a workshop actually is as there is often confusion between workshops, classes, courses and degrees.

A workshop is defined as “a meeting at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project” therefore a photography workshop would follow the same pattern with the focus subject of course being photography.

Photography workshops can focus around many different aspects of photography. It might be that a workshop is focused around a genre of photography or even a specific photographers approach to that genre.

Most workshops are focused on a specific element of photography and tend to me advanced than covering beginner areas. An example of this could be in ‘Master light and join us on our advanced flash workshop’. This workshop would very specifically focus on flash lighting meaning you more than likely already need some experience within the photography field.

A photography workshop could be the ideal environment for you to focus specific skills and become a better all round photographer.

Does Smart offer workshops?

When you are one of the biggest photography training providers there is often an assumption that you will offer workshops that supplement the group. Smart understands the need for practical photography workshops and as a result, has plans to run several large scale workshops across different countries throughout the year.

In the meantime we have put together a small list of upcoming workshops and other great resources where you can find out more about the different kind of workshops available to you.

Why a workshop could be good for you

First and foremost, photography workshops aren’t for everyone. Whether or not a photography workshop is right for you depends on how you like to learn and whether or not you value more theory based or practical learning. In our opinion, workshops are a great combination of both, plus a brilliant opportunity to put any theory based learning into practice.

Most workshops tend to revolve a workshop instructor or leader. They will often set the outline for workshop and guide you and other students through the process.

Traditionally most workshops begin with theory before continuing onto a live shooting scenario. Here the class leader will take a few shots, teaching along the way, before asking you to try for yourself. Once the live session has been completed its back to the classroom to review and analyse the results. Most importantly looking at how your shots could be improved.

Workshops tend to have multiple attendees with class sizes ranging from just 5 students all the way up to hundreds of attendees. They can be a great place to interact with fellow photographers giving you a chance to discuss various photography related topics and of course, make new friends.

Choosing a course that is suited to your needs is the first step in deciding whether workshop based learning is right for you. A small group of students allowing you to interact with the course leader while experience live shooting might be perfect for you. Attending a larger workshop with much more theory based learning might be better for other people.

A great tip would be to make a list of exactly what you want from your experience. This should help guide you when making a decision on whether workshops are best for you.

Specific Skill Set or Location Learning?

Traditionally most workshops will be in one of two formats. They will either cover a specific skill set such as ‘Master Your Flash’ or cover a general location such as ‘Winter in Yellowstone National Park.

Choosing the right type of workshop is crucial in developing your personal photographic ability.

If you are keen on developing specific skills to help improve your over ability then searching for skill set workshops is probably right for you. You will find courses on a variety of different subjects including developing your style, learning how to control light or even learning how to market your own studio. The range of different workshops available is vast and you should always be able to find a workshop that can help you improve.

Location dependent courses such as a London street photography workshop is obviously very dependent on your location. Many budding photographers looks to enrol on a workshop while on vacation. If visiting the Rocky Mountains then the chances are there will an array of workshops focusing on different locations or topics such as, ‘Learn how to take stunning images of Bears living in the Rockies.’

Finding a location based workshop that you find particularly interesting in a great way to gain experience and even develop your skills a little further.

Upcoming Workshops and Ways to find them

Below we have put together a couple of workshop related lists.

List one provides information on specific workshops that are coming up and should not be missed. This list is based on previous experience and word of mouth from previous attendees.

The second list looks into online resources that provide information on upcoming workshops. Visiting these websites will allow you find a range of amazing workshops while being able to compare and contrast each workshop and decided which is best for you.

Upcoming Workshops

Cuba by Land & Sea: National Geographic
“Take to the Caribbean aboard the Harmony V on an expedition that draws together Cuba’s colorful culture and its rare marine wonders. In colonial cities from Havana to Trinidad and Cienfuegos, meet artists, musicians, historians and more who are safeguarding Cuban traditions and shaping them for the future”

Winter in Yellowstone: National Geographic
“Yellowstone in winter is a photographer's delight: mineral pools burn through the snow, revealing their gem-colored depths; waterfalls freeze mid-spill; and elk and moose stand out clearly against the glistening white landscape.”

The Galápagos Archipelago: National Geographic
“The Galápagos Archipelago, Darwin's living laboratory, is home to an abundance of wildlife. Isolated from the mainland for millions of years, it is that rare wilderness where animals have no instinctive fear of humans.”

Faces of the American West: Craig Varjabedian
“Join award-winning photographer Craig Varjabedian and co-instructor Tye Hardison to focus on environmental portraiture with model-released cowboys, cowgirls, ranchers, and Native Americans.”

Bring Your Photography out of the Darkness: Rich Clarkson
“Take your photography to new heights with the nation’s top photo lighting experts. Learn how you can vastly improve your photography and make more money by incorporating lighting equipment into your shoots.”

Ways to Find Workshops

National Geographic:
Eloquent Light:
Aperture Academy:

Find a Photography Workshop Near Me

Smart will soon be launching a great feature, ‘Find a Workshop Near Me’. The feature will allow budding photographers to find upcoming workshops in near their location.

Users will be asked to enter a postcode or city that will then reveal a list of local workshops arranged by distance. Each workshop will also include information about the workshop and its organisers.

Keep your eyes peeled for the new feature.

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