Don’t know if it is just me but it seems that there are loads of street photography workshops set up here and there lately. I am not sure there have been so many of such before, actually I doubt so.
OK, street photography is undeniably trendy today. But I find the idea of learning street photography through workshops somewhat weird.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the economic aspect of it. If some renowned and pro photographers can make decent bucks whilst having some fun then good for them. By the way I insist on “pro” because I am much more perplex when such (payable) workshops are organized by amateur photographers. I may be wrong with that (or too much conservative) but to me it is like they are eating someone else’s bread. Of course there are some gifted amateurs who know more about SP than many pros, but a workshop is not only about showing your skill (that is self-promotion and ego-building). The way I see it is more about sharing experiences on multiple aspects – not to speak about preparing the workshop itself. I don’t know if I can learn much about the on-the-field practice of street photography from – say – Nick Turpin. But I would probably learn a lot about things such as gear, post-processing, printing, editing etc… all sorts of things that require an experience that I believe professionals (who care for their reputation) have over simple amateurs. In other words the experience of participating to such workshops is more likely to be successful and fruitful with professionals rather than amateurs, for multiple reasons. Unless…
… unless you are after something else. Actually I feel that the interest for such SP workshops has probably more to do with networking, or the idea of “community” rather than about street photography itself. To me street photography is basically a solitary practice, or better said an highly idiosyncratic process. You might learn from other artists body of work (of course), but when it comes to evolve in public space with your camera it is really something personal. By the way a large part of the interest of it resides precisely into that – as opposed to waiting for somebody to teach you how to become a street photographer – if that makes any sense.