Workshop F.A.Q.

I put everything I’ve got into making my photography workshops a life changing, memorable experience for every student. I get a lot of questions from students who are trying to decide whether or not to sign up, so I thought it would be good to catalog the most common questions here in case you have some of the same questions. I’ll add more as they come in!

The cancellation policy is located at http://jamesb.com/workshop-cancellation-policy.

This policy covers cancellations from both students and the instructor(s), as well as deposit and refund information.

The biggest factor that affects the price of a workshop is in the “What’s Included” and “What’s Not Included” sections of each workshop page.

If we include hotels or meals in the tuition, the price will obviously go up so a more expensive workshop usually means it will be more all-inclusive.

Whether or not we include hotels and/or meals usually depends entirely on the type of workshop we are doing and how difficult it will be for students to book their own accommodations or pay for meals.

On road trip workshops for example, we are typically staying at 3-4 different hotels during the workshop, so it’s easier for us to just book the hotels so students don’t have to go through the hassle.

Another aspect that will cause the price to go up is the amount of days the workshop will cover.

Yes, absolutely! It is actually a requirement by most national parks that instructors be CPR and first aid certified, so we have to keep our certifications current in order to obtain permits to shoot in the parks.

Each instructor also carries a first aid kit in their backpack the entire time.

Yes, we do. Although the process of getting these permits is often tedious and drawn out, it’s a necessary process that ensures the workshop will run smoothly without any problems.
This depends on the workshop but my modus operandi is typically to have smaller and more intimate groups. The group size can be found right at the top of each workshop page.
Post processing time will be dependent upon time and conditions outside. We usually schedule 2-3 post processing sessions throughout the workshop, along with a critique session at the end.

This gets tricky on certain trips because we’re usually at incredible, bucket list locations so it gets hard at times to justify siting in the hotel looking at computers. If conditions are great outside, if shooting sessions run long, we may cancel some of the post session.

Well, yes and no. We encourage students to bring a laptop because we will always do some post processing and critiques. If you’re only interested in shooting, don’t have or don’t want to bring a laptop, it’s certainly you’re choice!
After talking with clients over the past few years, I truly feel this is what sets our workshops apart from others. When photographing any location, your instructor(s) will be right there with you the entire time. We’re there to answer questions, help with camera settings, give feedback or help set up creative shots. You’ll never see an instructor disappearing to go get his/her own shots.
We’ve put a lot of thought into this, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both mindsets. Ultimately, we decided that there is more value in the instructors having gear with them than not. With gear, we can set up shots and let students see how the instructor works. They can walk students through the entire process and what they’re thinking, take the shot, show the result and then move out of the way so the student can replicate it.

There is of course a fine line between using a camera to help students and using it to build the instructors portfolio and neglecting students who need help. This is a line we do not cross and will not cross. That said, every workshop is different and every group of students is different. If there are students who need a ton of help, the instructors will be there to help whenever needed. If the students are self-sufficient and don’t need much help at all, the instructors might take a few more shots. Everything is done in balance and based on the specific needs of that particular group.

Transportation provided means that we will have a vehicle (or vehicles) big enough to carry all students comfortably with their camera gear from location to location. However, we do not cover transportation before or after the workshop, or on certain workshops between hotel transfers. Here are some examples to help clarify…

  • Students will need to get themselves from the airport to the workshop meeting location.
    • Sometimes the distance between the two is only a few miles and this can be achieved with a taxi. Sometimes, it’s a few hours and a car is needed.
  • Sometimes, we will switch hotels during the workshop. Our vehicles are typically big enough to carry each student plus their camera gear. During a hotel switch, the vehicles are typically not spacious enough for all students, their camera gear, and their luggage. Some students bring a ton of luggage and we never know until we get there.
  • Finally, students need their own car in case of an emergency. If you get a call from family member and, God forbid, need to rush home, you won’t have a way of getting back without your own car. We just can’t justify bringing a workshop to a halt because one student needs to get back to the airport or something of that nature.
Typically stock a cooler in the trunk with water bottles to drink. For food we typically provide small bags of chips, energy bars, etc.