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Why attending a workshop can help get your photographic mojo back

With the weather soon changing, it might be time to get out and attend some workshops.

The thing about being creative is finding inspiration and a constant stream of it. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Have you ever found that you have fallen out of love with your camera? Or ever feel like you’ve lost your photographic mojo? It happens to all of us, at some point or other.

But the good news is, there are some great classes and workshops around that can jump-start your creativity and inspiration.

Birds eye view of a location workshop
Bird’s eye view of a location workshop

Feel inspired

Often referred to as Writer’s Block (for writers at any rate), we lose our mojo, our creativity and our inspiration. Sitting and dwelling on WHY inspiration isn’t striking doesn’t help at all either. Sometimes we need some inspiration and attending a workshop or taking a class can be just the ticket.

It’s a great way to feel energized by borrowing inspiration from someone else. Borrowing someone else’s creativity, even momentarily, is often enough to spark your own inspiration again. I’m not talking about copying, just being ‘sparked’ by someone else’s ideas or way of doing things.

Feel encouraged

I don’t know about you, but we are usually our own worst critics, right? Sometimes working in a group environment like a workshop can be a fantastic boost to our self-esteem. You can get a real boost just by someone thinking you have a “great idea.” Or they like what they see on the back of your camera. Just being in an encouraging environment can be a boost. Learning something new or a new approach to something familiar. Also, that sense of growth and attaining a goal is a real boost.

Find motivation

Usually when everyone first arrives they are a little reserved. Perhaps you don’t really know anyone in the group, or maybe you’re feeling shy and vulnerable. I see it all the time. But once people start working together, bouncing ideas off each other, working as a team to create or achieve something … it can really get people excited and motivated in a class.

It’s fun to try new stuff. Akin to team-building exercises, you may feel a little silly at first. But once you hang up the scepticism and embrace the experience, it can be loads of fun. It doesn’t even have to be photography, why not try your hand at pottery or painting?

Camera capturing still life image
Camera capturing still life image

Realize your potential

Try a workshop for a whole new genre — something you may never have done before can be an amazing and liberating experience. There are no expectations and that can give you the freedom to really dive in and explore.

You may find you have a natural penchant for a genre you have not previously dabbled in. Perhaps it’s something you secretly enjoy watching others create, but have never tried yourself.

A group situation is often a safe space. I mean it’s a workshop, right? That means it’s a learning experience. No one expects miracles the second you press that shutter button. You are there to learn something new — take that away to experiment and play — with the knowledge of what you have learnt. To sit with this new knowledge until you are comfortable with it. For some people that happens quicker than others.

Learn from a role model

Learning from someone who is a leader in their field, or perhaps even just someone you admire, can be a rewarding experience. Especially if that person is open and happily shares tips and tricks, techniques and information with you. Someone who really knows their stuff.

Perhaps they can offer you access to equipment or technology you don’t normally have access to. Perhaps they have an extensive knowledge base and have access to them to answer questions on the spot, as they come up.

Learning from someone who is a creative thinker, a great educator and someone who challenges you can get you thinking. Finding an educator who can spark your imagination, bring your muse out, offer constructive criticism, offer insights and help in a safe environment can be an amazing experience. You have them right there guiding you, offering insights and new ideas to try.

Join a community and network

Often when attending a workshop, everyone else is there for the same reason, it is often rewarding in the community it can make. I have met people in workshops that I have connected with and have remained friends with long after the workshop has finished. It is about networking and meeting new people, access to new ideas, and opening up a new world of possibilities.

So next time you find your mojo waning, try looking up a workshop in your local area to get you back on the horse again, or perhaps try a horse of a different color! I certainly never started out as a conceptual portrait or still life photographer until I attended some classes and workshops several years ago. I fell in love with both genres and have never looked back. This is why attending a workshop can help get your photographic mojo back.

If you live in or visit Melbourne, Australia, I run regular workshops in my home studio or on location. Feel free to visit my Workshop listing page, but be warned they sell out FAST! I also have a list of self-paced online classes, while it’s not the same as attending a workshop, I also have a Facebook group, where the community really kicks in!

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Rafael Jones

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