Yesterday, Andy and I went to the photography workshop from the groupon that we had purchased waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in October. When we bought the groupon, it was alluded that the class was about composition, portraiture, and “capturing emotion”. Sweet, we said! We both felt portraits were our weakest photography aspect.
Which is pretty hilarious, considering I’ve done two (two!) weddings. I’ve gotten better, but still.
I suffer from event anxiety, and as Sunday approached, I was in full on psyching myself out mode. I was awake early, left early, was there early, etc.
However, it was all for naught.
My first clue that things were not quite what I was expecting were the sheer numbers of people pouring in. A workshop, in my mind, was maybe 30, 50 people, interacting with the instructor and their cameras and learning.
This was a 200 seat “lecture”/time share presentation (we’ll get there in a bit).
My second clue was looking at the ($21.95 value!) booklet and the table of contents listed things like “What is aperture?” “What is shutter speed?” Which is fine. I mean, it’s good for people to learn that. But, I kind of took an entire 10 week course with Jess a couple years ago about just that. Andy is photography-savy, too. We weren’t looking for a how-to-use-your-DSLR class.
My third clue that this ($600 value workshop and safari for ONLY $60 with groupon!!) workshop had no food. Seriously, if you had actually paid $600 and showed up and there was no coffee even and all the people they had “working” were volunteers from previous classes, wouldn’t you be annoyed? I mean, I paid $60, so whatevs, but for $600, I expect coffee, pastries, and lunch!
My fourth clue was the bio of the guy, who claimed to single-handedly have revolutionized wedding photography and then everyone copied him and isn’t he GREAT?
Andy showed up, and we proceed to be snarky for the next four hours, and then bail after the “workshop” section was over. I drew a lot of doodles in my booklet, and filled in the worksheets to keep myself occupied.
However, we did both learn about the depth-of-field preview button on our cameras (mine is Canon, Andy’s is Nikon, so we had to look it up for our respective cameras). That’s probably worth $60 😉
The last hour or so of the class was the guy and his “lovely assistant” trying to convince us we should come on a horse-photography safari in Montana! And then my initial thought that this felt like a time-share presentation came true. They weren’t talking prices, though, so I looked it up on my phone. $3k for a weekend.
Speaking of money, let’s presume that the entire class bought the groupon. $60 a pop for 200 people. That is $12,000. Sure, there’s rentals and travel and printing the books, but they had no paid workers and no food. That is a lot of money for very little work. If we extrapolate and pretend that everyone had actually paid $600, that is $120,000 for one day of “lecture”. What. The. Heck.
Andy drew a mustache on the picture of the guy on the cover. I think that is an adequate summation of our estimation of the class.