The Survival Guide weekend is a game changer, it’s designed around the idea that one weekend can change everything. John (and company) are known for breaking the rules, being innovative, and thinking outside of the box. This thinking, combined with immense industry and business knowledge, is what has skyrocketed his career. He’s here to share that, and this is not to be missed. Whether just starting out in the commercial photography industry, or ready for a new chapter in your career, the Survival Guide is an opportunity to delve in deep, and truly understand what it takes to become a successful commercial artist built on a solid business foundation.
Why do we call it the ‘Survival Guide’? We’ve heard too many artists say they aren’t business-minded, yet understanding that you are a business is necessary to thrive in this industry. To thrive, you need to know how to survive in unfamiliar territory. Let’s admit, ‘being an artist’ and ‘savvy business’ are not strong associations. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We want to unpack all that it takes to create a solid business foundation, so we have created this workshop to give you the tools to not just survive, but thrive. Come ready to rack John’s brain with all of your pressing questions. He’s been at this for 16 years, and has built something pretty great – he’s ready to pass that on. Here is a small taste of what to expect.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE WORKSHOP FEE:
DAY ONE | FRIDAY NIGHT:
We are starting this weekend off with a private catered dinner and time to mingle. Enjoy a delicious meal, while getting to know fellow artists, and hear John talk about his journey as a commercial photographer. Throughout the weekend, John will also meet individually with every participant for a one-on-one portfolio review. These will begin the first night!
DAY TWO | SATURDAY:
The second day will focus on understanding the commercial industry, how it is changing, and how you fit into it. We want you to think critically about your style, and identify what makes your art undeniably you, so that you stand out amongst the throngs of other artists in this industry. And we will discuss real world numbers for how to bid on those projects that come your way. Some of the finer details will be:
DAY THREE | SUNDAY:
The third day is all about building a strong brand and a solid business. We want you to become a brand, that is effectively conveying a strong message of artistic skill and confidence across all aspects of your business. Furthermore, we will discuss how to leverage your current and past successes into many more. And finally, we will delve into the details of how to set up your business to meet your financial and legal obligations. Further details are as follows:
This is an investment in your career. The tools and information you will learn from this weekend will not only pay off the next time you get an assignment, but this is information you will carry with you for the rest of your career. The difference between guessing and actually understanding how to market yourself and price your work can often be thousands of dollars per assignment. You will be more informed, you will make better decisions, and leave nothing to guessing the next time you meet with a client, or prepare a bid.
There will be a wide array of talks, group and individual assignments, time to network, 1:1 and peer portfolio reviews, and opportunity for creative fun.
If you are interested in attending the Survival Guide, please get in touch with Nichelle at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where we are hosting this next. We have done this workshop in Seattle, St. Louis, and Austin, and there will be opportunities in other cities in the future as well. If you are attending, Nichelle will send out information on hotels as part of the registration packet.
We are focusing on artists in the commercial industry (advertising, editorial, corporate, and the non-profit industries) looking to create a solid business foundation.
First, bring your brain empty so we can cram it full of business and marketing information! You will also need to bring your most up-to-date portfolio, your BEST of the BEST work, so you can have a one-on-one portfolio review with John, as well as group peer reviews on Day 2. We will be providing you a designed workbook to accompany the lectures, so don't worry about bringing a notebook. Cameras and other artist implements are not needed, though not discouraged if you would like to bring them along.
John is a bit of a foodie, so we guarantee the food is going to be great. With a catered dinner on Friday night, breakfast and coffee each morning, amazing food to gnosh on for lunch and snacks throughout the weekend, and happy hour Saturday evening, you will get a glimpse into one of John's passions: food! Plan to network with your creative peers from around the country and grab dinner on your own Saturday and Sunday nights.
This weekend is non-refundable. Due to the small class size, and inherent variability in this industry, we are unable to meet the requests that arise as there are fixed costs associated with this workshop. Thank you for your understanding.
"I wanted to get into commercial photography, but I didn't know where to start. This workshop gave me the tools and inspiration I needed. It taught me so much about the business-side of commercial photography and how to market myself; however, the most valuable thing I took away is that your photography has to say something about who you are as an artist."
"Survival Guide provides a solid grounding in the business of photography - including branding, marketing, and the dirty little secret in photography - pricing. But it's also a workshop that doesn't neglect the creative aspect of photography. Instead, it encourages you to think of yourself in new ways as a working photographer. It encourages you to refine your vision, both in how you make photographs, and how you market them. "
"Honestly, we thought it was fantastic. As a 2 person team, (photographer and business partner), we still found it super beneficial and in fact, I think it would be impossible for one person to go, and just 'bring back' the info. You had to be there to really get into everything. I think it also allowed me, as the business partner, to get a way better understanding and appreciation of the artistic side of what the photographer does, and understand better how much the assistant role and organizational role helps in allowing him the space to be creative. It really helped us both understand each other's roles in a whole new perspective."
"I described this workshop to my friends as an all-inclusive no-holds-barred immersive business of photography (but applicable to any creative professional) tell-all expose, that also happens to be put on by the coolest photography team on the planet. And you'll also leave the weekend with 17 rad new friends and a belly full of amazing food and (regardless of the city you are in) the best ice cream around."
"I was hoping to gain some kind of mentorship type relationship and the fact that you guys have the FB page and built this community was completely worth attending, just on it’s own. Just so after we leave the workshop, it’s not like we’re on an island all by ourselves."
"The most overwhelming side of being a creative (for me) is how to be realistic, professional, and run a business. Hearing and seeing the tools required to be successful is a huge weight of my shoulders. I would say that Survival Guide took away the unknown aspects of running a creative business that often paralyzed my growth. It has made me excited again to be an artist, and one that could make money and be happy. "
"The workshop was more than just enlightening; it actually put us in charge of own success, and aligned us with others who are doing the same thing. I absolutely feel that I (and any one of us) could easily shoot for a huge client. The exercises in the workshop gave me the confidence, power, and intimate knowledge to know how to be a high-level pro. Not just the craft behind the shots which I've already been doing for more than a decade, but the whole business end of things, that can seem overly daunting to a creative type. But sorting this stuff out properly allows you to enjoy the creativity that comes from the gigs, focus on landing them, and provide direction for your energies."
"Survival Guide is the hard won business knowledge that no one else has the GUTS to share."
"The workshop met my expectations because I needed help with every step that we covered. John explained everything in depth and took time to answer our questions. I loved all the personal assignments as well as the group assignment, where we had to put in a bid and explain our numbers. The workbook and handouts are awesome! I have confidence that when I am presented with a potential job, I won’t be undercutting the market, or myself, and I won’t look like an amateur. I already know that I will be referencing these materials for years to come."
"John’s workshop answered a lot of my questions -and questions I didn’t know I had, about the business side of commercial photography. He runs you through a job from start to finish. He starts with how to market yourself to the work you want, bidding for the job, running all the way to how to thank your client at the end of a great shoot. He shows you how to be the best photographer and business manager you can be. This isn’t to mention all of the real world insights he slips in. The information is worth it all by itself, but the relationships you’ll build and the fun you have will simply put the whole experience over the top!"