Thinking of taking a Meg Bitton workshop and would like to get a better idea of what to expect? Then welcome to my Souls.Imagined musings. I am a planner by nature (& profession!) and know I like to prepare before I take a workshop as it helps me get the most out of my learning. So now I have a few Souls.Imagined workshops under my belt I thought it might be helpful to others if I wrote about my personal view on what being in a Meg Bitton workshop is like.
I know I am not the only photographer who has long cherished a love for the images taken by Meg Bitton, there is just something about the way she captures childhood that makes my heart sing. And as my main photography focus is capturing the childhood of my little lad Theo it was inevitable I would end up on a Souls.Imagined workshop one day. That day was in autumn 2012 when I became a student on her Souls.Imagined.Boys online 2 week workshop and started taking steps into the next part of my photography journey. Since then I’ve carried on that journey through taking both Souls.Imagined.You and have just finished one of Meg’s 1 week Mini workshops.
What to expect (based on my own experience)
Just like when you take a 301 level workshop on Clickin’ Moms be prepared to throw your normal routine out of the window for a while. This might mean keeping the kids up late so you can shoot in the golden hour, piling all the clutter up in one room so there are no distractions and living on oven ready food for the week so you’ve more opportunity to shoot and edit.
You’ll have a couple of days to bed in as the 2 week workshops have a gentle start whilst Meg assesses your work, asks you questions and starts to tailor her individualised teaching for each pupil, I personally didn’t start shooting until the Wednesday and then I didn’t stop until the Friday of the following week.
Meg’s critiques on your images will be powerful, insightful and short. Meg is a woman of few written words but she chooses those words so well. Don’t expect a sugar coating on the critique so don’t get all defensive and tune out, suck it up and SEE what Meg saw in your photo and learn how you can improve the next image you take. That makes it sound harsher than it actually is, I agreed with everything Meg said about my photos and wouldn’t have learnt half as much than if she’d just said ‘cute kid’.
Meg will not show you how to become a photographer just like her, there is only one Meg Bitton in the same way there is only one you. Meg will help you develop on your own unique path. That’s not to say Meg won’t pass on a few little helpful tips of things she has learnt on her own journey but I say this again, do not take one of these workshops if all you want to do is become a Meg clone.
That leads me into my next point Meg’s workshops are the type where making excuses why you can’t try something are just that – nothing but excuses. It took me a long time to realise that the problem was not the light, my lens choice, my small cluttered house or the weather. It was me I was the obstacle in the way. I hate failure but trying things out (which sometimes I won’t do again!) I have always learnt something new, helpful and often surprising.
Do read the threads of the other participants in the workshop like Meg encourages, their work may be totally different from your own and they may be on a different path but their light bulb moments may just be the spark you were looking for yourself.
Whilst there is a common thread running through all Meg’s Souls Imagined workshops the content does vary across them and being clear about on what will be covered in each workshop is worth doing before you part with your dollars. Some of the 2 week workshops have a little bit of editing guidance included, most do not. Therefore if learning about editing is your key aim then do choose one of the editing workshops. The 2 week workshops are full on and intense for about 10 days and the 1 week mini’s are more gentle with just 1 shooting challenge and don’t cover as much as the full workshops. Think of the mini’s as appetisers rather than main courses. Personally I long to go to an in person workshop as I bet you’d get dessert there too!
Lastly, my most important point – enjoy yourself! Meg’s workshops are great fun and just remember the more you put in the more you’ll gain in return.
And of course this post would not be complete without me showing you just a few of the many photos I have taken during these workshops.