2011 Workshops

I’ve been posting 2011 Workshops updates on the Cowbelly Facebook Wall all evening, and decided to just compile them together here.

I have updates and changes to Cowbelly and Passport Workshops!

First, on the Passport Workshops front:

1. We don’t plan to have the date or location set until late 2010 or early 2011. Nichole and I both have so much on our plates right now and need to focus the rest of the year on our (non-photographer) clients. If you are interested in being the first to know when the date + location of the Passport 2011 Workshop is released, please send me an email to workshops@cowbelly.com, with ‘Passport Workshops email notification’ in the subject, and I’ll place you on our email notification list.

2. This month Nichole and I will be building a new dedicated website for the Passport Workshops. In the future, you will be able to find all updates on the Passport Workshops at www.passportworkshops.com. Our new email address for Passport Workshops will be info@passportworkshops.com. (Please note these aren’t active yet and won’t be until November 1st at the soonest!)

3. Like our NYC workshop this last August, the Passport Workshop will be open to beginners through intermediates. Due to demand, we are considering adding another single day onto our trip for a one-day intermediate/advanced workshop, which would be open to more intermediate and advanced pet photographers and take place on a weekday. (We know you full time pet togs can take a day off because you work for the very best boss- yourself!).

If you are an intermediate/advanced pet photographer and would love to come and learn from us, please let me know. We’ll need to structure the content in a different way, depending on the needs of the group, and want to make sure we are doing a great job teaching to those who are closer to our level. We’re not sure if we’ll do it yet, it will depend entirely upon demand. We plan to keep the group small- perhaps between 8-12 people.

3. We will continue to teach an optional 1-day Commercial/Editorial workshop, which will continue to be for 8 people max. But I need to make it clear that the Commercial/Editorial workshop is not for those who are JSO. It’s designed for intermediate and advanced pet photographers who have *solid* experience working with and shooting (other people’s) pets. What do we mean by solid? We mean: consistent, ongoing shooting for clients in various settings for a minimum of 2+ years. We’ll expect each attendee to answer yes to the following statement before they register: “You feel confident in your abilities to produce outstanding shots in any situation with any pet under any lighting conditions under any deadlines with any shot list.” We’d rather have an unfilled group than teach folks who aren’t truly ready for the greater risks that commercial and editorial work carry. Consider us your pet photography nazis on this. 😉

4. Starting next year, if we can get our act together, we will be implementing our Passport Scholarship Program. We’ll offer admittance to one attendee at no cost, provided they meet specific criteria. What criteria? Essentially a criteria of need and hardship. We’ll define more in early 2011. (No sob stories until then! lol)

5. We may decide to offer another additional day of 1-on-1 shooting + portfolio/marketing materials/branding review (open to anyone- non-weekend attendees alike), but this remains to be seen as well. But we know there is a need for it, so we’re working on a way to make it happen. In sum we’d like to have 3 additional days that would benefit different people- days that could be purchased individually: 1) portfolio review/1-on-1 shooting, 2) advanced workshop, 3) commercial + editorial. Man, reading this, I really wish I had something like this 5 years ago!!

Now, on the Cowbelly Workshops front:

1. Along with the single Passport Workshop co-taught with my lovely colleague Nichole in a city that isn’t Seattle, I will be teaching ONE and only one Cowbelly Workshop in Seattle next year to a maximum of 15 people (but possibly only 13). As always, these workshops are designed for beginners and those who have been in business a short time (up to 12 months). It will be sometime in one of the warmer weather months, which for Seattle means June-September. I hope to announce the date by February 2011.

2. I’m considering teaching an intermediate/advanced Cowbelly Workshop to more intermediate + advanced pet photographers in the future. I don’t think that will happen in 2011, but I wanted to put the vibe out now to see how many people would be interested. The content and structure would be different, it would be 2 days instead of 3, and most likely take place in a different (West Coast) city, to give me a little break from my own city and also open up the time(s) of year this might take place. If you are interested in attending an intermediate/advanced Cowbelly Workshop please let me know and I’ll add you to the notification list. This would be for a maximum of 8-10 people. I’ll structure the content based on what that specific group would want to learn from me.

3. I will be adding an additional 1/2 day onto the single Seattle workshop next year, so it will go from 3 days to 3.5 days. It will be Thursday from 1-6pm, and Friday through Sunday from 9am-6pm. This is over a year overdue, and now that I have taken the schedule information off the website I can do it (whoopee!). The extra time is needed, but sadly yes, will require an extra night’s hotel stay and a possible nominal increase in the registration fee to cover the extra expenses (nominal meaning- not very much). “More time!”, has been the most common request I’ve received on my eval forms so it really needs to be done. I can tell you guys, it’s DAMN hard to put 7.5 years of knowledge into 3 days. It’s a wonder I pull it off at all. Especially considering I have the memory of the gnat and the focus of a 2 year old. But that’s neither here nor there. ……… now where was I?

4. Oh yes! I will also be adding in my own ‘business review’ service to pet photographers, starting in 2011. You can call it ‘portfolio review’ if you like, but it’s more than that, because the goal will be to take a look at multiple elements of a person’s business, and help them determine what to change/where to go from here. My plan is to include portfolio/image review, or what I like to call “keep/toss” (which images to keep in a gallery and which to toss and why, including suggestions on how to edit a shot to make it better), and business essentials/branding review (business name/logo/tag line/branding/promo material feedback). This will be done through email and by phone, and will be available to anyone, whether or not they attend a workshop. I won’t offer this service until 2011, because I don’t have time to develop it right now, but expect it to be an option next year. I will only take a few photographers per quarter, and schedule them on the same day or set of 2 days, so this will be a super limited offering to those who really need it.

5. I will be opening up the Cowbelly workshops to photographers who live and/or work in Western Washington, as long as they work and live 50+ miles from Seattle. (In the past it used to be all of Western Washington). The reason why they aren’t open to folks in the Seattle area may not be for the reasons people think. It’s not because I personally don’t want competition, in fact it would benefit me to have MORE great pet photographers to refer clients to who can’t afford to work with me, BUT, there are already over 28 professional pet photographers in the greater Seattle alone, far more than any other city in the country. To say this market is over-saturated would be an understatement.

I’m so passionate about seeing each of my attendees become successful, and part of that is having a great feasibility + competitive analysis from the get-go, which is difficult if not impossible in this area. The other thing is, I respect my local competition, many of whom I consider friends. They might not ever say anything to me, but I don’t think they would be too thrilled at me training additional direct competitors year after year, given how many pet photographers are already in this area. Now if I was only teaching tips on how to photograph your pets it might be different, but I’m handing over my business on a platter in my Workshops- carte blanche- and it’s far more than just having fun shooting together.

Anyhoo! If you live in Western Washington in say- Bellingham or Olympia or Vancouver or Port Townsend or Longview or wherever, and would like to attend a Cowbelly workshop, give me a shout and I’ll put you on the email notification list for 2011. Whoopee!

6. Which brings me to my final point: IF you would like to receive information on any Cowbelly workshops stuff or any additional services for photographers added in 2011, PLEASE email me at workshops@cowbelly.com and tell me you’d like Cowbelly Workshops info (and/or Passport info), so I can place you on my email notification list. I have been known to email interested parties before releasing information to the public, so it’s really important that you do this if you want the most timely info out there. I promise to email you when I have details to share. 🙂

Oh, whew, that’s it! I’ve told you everything I know! Please don’t bug me until 2011 with more questions! Thank you photographer, for reading my tome. And yes, I love you, I really do, but now I’m going to ignore you for the rest of the year. lol

I’m off to go take care of some private clients and enjoy my dog for the rest of 2011. Have a fantastic week!

since no post is complete, here is one of Enzo during our super fun group shoot at the September Seattle Cowbelly Workshop


4 thoughts on “2011 Workshops

  1. D’oh! I feel horrible! I wish I’d read this BEFORE I sent a myriad of questions to Jamie’s workshop in-box. So sorry! (And patiently waiting until 2011!)

  2. Haha, that’s my mug with that hat on the purple wall. The workshop was a blast and a great learning experience. I’m looking forward to what you have in store for the future Jamie!

  3. I LOVE Enzo!
    Thanks for all the updates.
    Those 3 additional days sound like great ideas.
    I’d love to see a day that’s formatted: demo & group shoot, processing lab, image review & critique.
    Enjoy the rest of the year!

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