Why do we do workshops?

In the last six months, we’ve done four photography workshops.  Starting last month, our goal is to do a workshop monthly.  We are developing four types of classes:

  • Photography basics
  • Photography advanced
  • Photoshop basics
  • Photoshop advanced.

Last month, it was photography basics.  We had 40 people show up with camera and notepad in hand.  The cameras ranged from point & shoot to a few high-end prosumer models.  Our participants were old and young.  Everyone had a shared interest in photography.  Our goal was to give a foundation of knowledge that they could build on.

The class lasted about two hours (next time, we are going to have an intermission).  Every person that came seemed very interested and excited about what we covered.  The workshop is pretty structured because we’re teaching a lot of material.  We’ve tried to make it as interesting and captivating as possible.  Here are some highlights:

Of course, we have refreshments. Learning requires energy. Energy requires sugar. :)

I noticed that there are a lot of jackets in the room. Either that’s the style or we have it cold in the studio. It’s probably a style because I felt completely comfortable.

As we go, we take the time to be sure EVERYBODY understands how to control the basic functions of their camera.

This is me showing how to shoot with a couple of pistols. The B&W makes it more dramatic and scary.

Another shot of the attendees in rapt attention; hanging on my every word.

Here I’m giving someone a high-five. She left me hangin’. Perhaps because of the crazy eye.

She is clearly pondering the profound comment that was just made (by me).

Daniel was there - trying to help. You can tell that this woman is disappointed that Dan is helping her rather than the master (me).

Here’s Dan and Sara posing. Actually, they’re not. That’s just how they stand by each other.

One question we get a lot is, “Why do it?”  It’s confusing for people that we aren’t charging for this – people are willing to pay for it.  Also, we get asked if we’re afraid that we’re training our future competitors.  If we are training people that will be able to take pictures of their own children, isn’t that one less customer?

So, why do we do it?  Two reasons.  First, we enjoy these workshops.  It’s fun to interact with the public.  The people that come are always fun, interested, and appreciative.  It’s cool to get with people that have our same passion for photography.  Second: we do believe that doing this for the community will benefit FotoFly.  Maybe not directly, but we are letting people get to know us.  We’ve found that helping people is the best way to build relationships with them.

We know that our company will succeed if we build real relationships with enough people.  We are lucky as photographers because we have a huge opportunity to do that in every session.  If we were selling shirts or copiers, the chance of building a lasting relationship is not as easy.  It’s easier to build that relationship with parents when you are jumping on the ground, tickling their two year old so that they will have an image that shows the real personality of their child.  Trust me, parents find it endearing.

So, our workshops are just one more way that we can build a lasting relationship with you.  Our company will succeed or fail one relationship at a time.  However, this isn’t just a long-term financial strategy.  We don’t really think about that.  In the moment, it really does just feel good to serve and that’s as good a benefit as any.

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15 thoughts on “Why do we do workshops?”

  1. And the same humor that is in this blog was a part of the workshop! SO hilarious and by far the most informative workshop/class I have participated in, looking forward to more :)

  2. I haven’t been in yet for photos, but the fact that you offer these classes for free makes me want to come in even more than I did before! Thank you!! I can’t wait to attend a beginner class (when will it be?!) and to get my family in your studio.

  3. I have not come in for pictures yet, but this attending your workshop and the personality that I saw during the workshop has made me decide that I would not want anyone else shooting photos of my baby! I can’t wait for the more advanced photography class and to bring my baby girl in for her 1st birthday photos!

  4. It is so difficult for me not to use sarcasm when speaking to or about you…

    Your studio is AMAZING, your photographers are second to none and seriously, your customer service leaves nothing lacking.

    And your friends are top notch.

  5. I so agree with your last post on here! I feel that from all your fun posts on facebook and the great time we had during our photo shoot, that my family will be long time customers!!! Im soooo excited to come to your workshops!

  6. Aunts find it endearing as well! My family (Dad, Brother, Sister and her family) had our first EVER family picture at Fotofly last month. This was a big deal for me. There is a hug age gap between me and my brother (17 years!) and my sister is right in the middle. My brother will be 18 next week and I like to joke that we waited nearly 18 years for someone as great as the staff at Fotofly to finally get a picture done. My 2 nieces (3 and 1) and my nephew (5) were with us and it was a great experience. I’m so grateful for the photographer (I can’t remember her name :/) who was willing to take our pictures even though one of the kids had the chicken pox. My sister and I went back to Fotofly this past week with the baby to get her 1 year pictures and Daniel was the photographer. The baby had not been feeling well for a few days and wasn’t her normal bubbly self but the pictures he got are AMAZING! He was so patient with her! And her mom and aunt and brother and sister…… He didn’t even flinch when we promised that if we played her favorite song that she would smile.. So out came the iphone and soon Michael Jackson’s ‘Dirty Diana’(yes that is her most favorite song) was soothing her tears and Daniel was dancing trying to get that smile. He got a few :) We will most definintly be back to Fotofly. Hopefully next time no one is sick ;P Until then we will keep telling everyone we know about you and entering all of your contests on FB for a chance at winning a disk so we have another excuse to bring 3 of the cutest kids the universe has to offer down for photos. Thanks for everything!! We love you!!

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