I have been around photography and photographers for more than three decades. For the last 13 years I have enjoyed solely running landscape workshops; the previous 20 were spent editing photojournalism on UK national newspapers.
Successful photography workshops don't happen by accident. They are the result of experience, planning, knowledge and, perhaps most importantly, a tutor's ability to teach and inspire.
When I began leading landscape workshops full time in 2005 I soon learned that a good photographer doesn’t always make a good teacher. More than a decade on, and after leading 200-plus workshops, I feel I have now developed my teaching skills enough to create experiences that are unique, fun and inspiring, while also providing a framework for instruction, learning, and self-expression.
I'm keen to make the distinction between a structured workshop as opposed to a photo tour. These days there are plenty of trips on offer that will rush you around from location to location, perhaps with ten or more photographers in the group all jostling for position, many trying to take the same shot as the person stood next to them.
I prefer an alternative and more individual approach that involves a significantly smaller number. In my case it’s never more than five.
Over the years I have found this smaller group size ideal as it allows each person to have the time and space to develop their own photographic style while also learning new technical and compositional skills.
I build review sessions into the itinerary so we look at the images each photographer has made out on location. During this critique the group share and explain their different approaches and ideas behind their work, giving the others new ideas to take out with them the following day.
The consequence of opting for an individual rather than generic approach is that each photographer then makes a rewarding set of photographs that are unique to them and not copies of everyone else in the group.
More importantly, they leave with a higher level of individual expertise than when they arrived. Plus the creative pleasure of self-expression achieved from their photography long after the workshop has finished increases too, which is what I think it's all about in the long run.
This individual teaching, combined with the satisfaction that comes from using your imagination rather than lining up to imitate all the others, attracts more than 100 photographers each year to my workshops, with many returning as they look to develop their photographic style further.
These photographers have been kind enough to explain why they return in the feedback section below. If what you read appeals to you, please get in touch and I'll look forward to you joining us out on location and taking the next big step on your personal photographic journey.
I had a great time with you and the group on Skye. In fact, this is the best workshop I have attended to date. You are very resourceful, well organised, and motivated me (and everyone else) to do the best I could. Thanks for your guidance and I look forward to taking another workshop with you in the near future.
Orchid Fung, Isle of Skye December 2017
I really enjoyed the workshop last week. I found the review session at the end of each day very beneficial and a definite help in appraising images as to what works and why, so thanks for that, it was definitely an added bonus of the workshop.
Chris Ducker, Isle of Skye December 2017
Thank you for such an enjoyable, stimulating and thought provoking course and also for your encouragement and patience. I learned so much. You have a natural ability to teach, and you probably don't realise yourself how inspirational your teaching style is.
Given the expertise of the tutor, the full day program, the individual attention to each photographer and the well chosen locations - then Garry Brannigan's workshops are simply the best value for money anywhere.
I wanted to say a huge thank you for the past few days. I have learned such a lot and have been filled with enthusiasm. Thanks again for being supportive and giving me the confidence and belief that I have the potential to produce some good images.
I have spent my professional life either receiving or planning and delivering professional development courses; Garry Brannigan's workshop was probably the best. Actually, probably could be deleted from the sentence.
Thanks again for an absolutely fabulous workshop. It was a marvellous few days in every way: as ever brilliantly organised, lots of support and helpful feedback, impressively comfy berth, good conversation and food.
I very much like the small group size and I really appreciate the individual attention you give to each person and the way in which you encourage everyone's unique eye on the landscape. I also find it immensely helpful that you are prepared to say not only when an image has worked and why but also when you feel it hasn't, and why. This feedback has been invaluable in the development of my own photographic eye. I have come away from this latest workshop inspired and with an increased confidence in my own image making.
Books and DVDs had left me exasperated and had created more confusion than clarity, so I appreciated your common sense understanding and clear explanation of important matters. I liked the relaxed atmosphere and the way the teaching was based upon the needs of each individual as opposed to a generic plan for all. Thank you for an introduction to grown-up photography. The workshop was worth every penny.
The workshop was undoubtedly value for money. This was my third and I have signed up for a fourth, which speaks for itself.
Thank you for such an enjoyable workshop. For you to have inspired so much creativity in me despite the best efforts of the weather is nothing short of miraculous. I have discovered a whole new way of looking at my photography and can't wait to develop my technique. If I could, I would join you on another one tomorrow! Thank you once again for such a wonderful experience.
I wanted to thank you again for yet another excellent workshop. There is no doubt that your workshops are the best I have been on.
I have to take my hat off to you Garry as this workshop has again highlighted for me how much time, effort, consideration and determination you give to your workshop. In particular how much time you dedicate to researching locations for all weathers, conditions, lighting and times of day. You seem to know just where to take us to make the most of whatever weather and lighting we get and that must have taken a vast amount of your time in a location such as Inverpolly. I really appreciate this aspect that you bring to your workshops.
Just want to say a very big thank you for a most wonderful time. It was hard with the weather, but you kept us all motivated and keen and pushed us all into making some great shots! You work so very hard and have such patience and enthusiasm. The days we had together will be with me for a very long time, to inspire and motivate me.