Hi. Thanks for your post. I believe jimmy said it best,
All workshops cannot be all things to all who attend.
The ones you mentioned are all great avenues, including Dave's, as I've seen Dave in action and he's an effective teacher. You might also try Robert Sanders, David Mecey, Jerry Avenaim, and Greg Gorman to name a few others--Greg is not glamour based, but very effective in lighting. I'm not sure if Christian is still teaching, but he's another great teacher along with Rich Warren.
As an example, I provide one-on-one personal instruction, I've done over 25 sessions this year including to one person, who not only took three days of personal instruction, but recently attended our Virgin Islands Exotic (weeklong, Nov. 2006) workshop and will be attending our "one-day" special workshop here in San Antonio the day before the National PPA convention here. That individual, Mark (aka as sirrduke2010
on G1) had already attend other workshops, but enjoyed coming back so much, he's already signed up for our France workshop.
That's personal premium instruction, the Virgin Islands, a one-day workshop and now France. All those workshops are so diverse and different, but yet they all will cover the necessary fundamentals to improve your photography and hopefully you move toward fine-tuning your style.
Same with Doc Kahn (aka icuphotography
on G1), he's been to the Virgin Islands, two-days of private instruction, one-day workshop in San Antonio, and attened my weekend workshops in San Antonio, Chicago, Atlanta and I'm sure somewhere else. Also now a great friend, loyal and even my family loves him. Oh, and he owns an ABR800, he brought it to my San Antonio workshop and we had fun with it. (grin)
Roger (aka R_Fredrick_Smith
on G1) is an other example who posted here, he's been to my IGBN 2-day weekend workshops which are bigger, less shooting, but great values with great models and make-up, yet he also went to a recent Virgin Islands workshop.
John O (aka photoshooter
) went to the Virgin Islands and Maui with us, and as he stated, I hopped in a golf cart with him and Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough and I lugged the equipment inside old military tunnels, up a hill, down a hill and helped him with his shots. Not to take away from his photography, but the fun part of the entire experience was each time he'd meter a shot, before he'd state what the meter read, I would tell him the exact exposure. While I was having fun witht this, and probably more lucky guesses than anything, I nailed every exposure, inside and outside, with and without flash. We still laugh at it today.
There are many others out there like Paul Hu, Doc Robert, Vic, Wijtek, Wojtek, Citter, Carl, etc., who've been to more than one of my exotic workshops along with attending my weekend one too, some even with private instruction and the one-day.
While a few may say they didn't like the weekend workshop experience, that's to be expected with any workshop experience, though those are far and few between and yet you still many that will swear by them and the experience they had, I have many that have come to over a dozen of them. It varies on each individuals needs.
Alan B (aka jetboy
on G1), went to two Virgin Island workshops, including the last one, Maui, at least 10 of my 2-day workshops, and even attended my 3-day workshop for the Julia Dean School of Photography in Los Angeles. I might add, Alan is not only a great photographer and attendee, but helps me a lot like an assistant and was also published in my glamour photography book by Amherst and he has work in book two as well as many of my past workshop attendees.
I do offer every attendee the opportunity to submit images for possible publication, albeit, it's always up to the photo editor and editor from my publisher, but we've had many, even Gordon Jones (aka GalleryG
) who is now internationally published as his first Virgin Islands workshop garnered him a full page in my book of a Playboy model and the same image was published in a European photography magazine five weeks ago. I might add Gordon first attended my workshop in Atlanta and he now hosts my workshops in Portland and is a great, no even better, true friend of mine.
Ralph Haseltine (aka RalphH
on G1) he's recruited over half of the 50-plus photographers that work for his real-estate photography business right here on G1, he's an admin here and right there with Gordon, one heck of a friend and pal. I first met him three years ago at my Cozumel workshop, since then he's hosted many workshops in Chicago for me--and goes out of his, like Gordon, to ensure there are no problems--even has a limo take us to the airport! He's been to two Virgin Islands workshops, including the last one and our Maryland Mansion one-day shoot. He's also attended my two-day workshops in Atlanta. Here's a man who's been internationally published not only in my book, but with 12-tearsheets for the Page Three
feature of the South Afrika
version and sister paper of the London Daily Sun
Michael Dean (aka Michael H Dean
) another person very similar to Ralph and Gordon. He's not only our host for at least a dozen Philly workshops, I met him at my very second workshop ever held. Since then he's been to Los Angeles, San Antonio, Atlanta and other workshops and has even accompanied me and helped at Photo Plus Expo in NYC and Photo Marketing Association annual event. He also was our Maryland Mansion host--nope, not his mansion, just friends with the owner. Michael is also in my book and the upcoming one too.
I could give you examples all day long, even then I can assure you there are those do not like my workshops for whatever reason and I've seen that at with other workshop hosts, as jimmy said, you can't please them all, but most of us give 110% to make sure it's an ejoyable experience. I cover many things and you can follow-up and reinforce it with my book as photography cannot be taught in 2-days much less two-weeks. Brooks Institute of Photography has a 4-year program for photography.
Speaking of, many local colleges or art craft centers off good and fairly inexpensive classes. Look to see if you have a local Camera Club and what they have to offer.
I recommend you look at your budget first as there are a great many other workshops out there too, even folks that are not on this site like Greg Gorman, Workshops at the Maine Photographic Workshops, Santa Fe, Julia Dean in LA (I teach there too), Palm Beach Photographic Center (I teach there too), Photo Plus Expo in NYC (more seminars than workshop but great experience, I speak there too), FotoFusion (next month, same as Photo Plus, I also speak and do a beach seminar there) and the list can go on and one.
Since you are focused in what you want, I recommend something like an Exotic workshop verses a weekend event. Those types of events the model/photog ration is only two photographers with one model, so it's a more hands on approach and we get more time, from sun-up to sunrise, we don't close our doors at 5 p.m., we all stay together for a week, max of ten photographers, and we keep it very personable. In fact, we include one free weekend workshop with each Exotic workshop you take, France is two free ones. So you can actually get both in that manner.
I'll also make a note, I've had my cell phone number for almost 14-years now, and unless something goes haywire I have no reason to change it. I always hand out my cards at the workshops with that and my office number, my attendees know they can call me anytime, and if I'm availble I will take the call as I believe in customer support even after the service.
One other thing, those that attend workshops by Hensel sponsored photographers like David Mecey, Greg Gorman, Robert Sanders, Focus Workshops and my own, are entitled to a free beauty dish (a $249 value) with certain purchases. I also provide other sponsored benefits, a great way to get some of your investment back.
You can see some of the other workshop promoters here, http://www.henselusa.com/shooters.html
Ultimately it will be your decision, but you're on the right track by asking and making an informed purchasing decision. I hope that helps, wishing you the best and Happy Holidays! rg sends!
(So far my workshop attendees have had two book opportunities to be internationally published, many have achieved this status and more!)