Ready For The What If's To Avoid The What Happened's.
I started teaching in the field landscape photography workshops back in 2009, when there were very few of us offering them at all. Fast forward to today and everyone and their grandma is offering them. Back in "the good old days" of Flickr, people would throw shade (talk down to) other photographers like myself who were teaching, usually projecting a holier than thou approach to their photography that always made me chuckle a bit. Today, some of those same people teach workshops making me laugh even harder. Due to the relatively low operating costs, the ever-increasing number of potential clients and the obvious romance of getting paid to do what you love, running workshops has, for better or for worse become step B, right after buy a DSLR for many new photographers. Unfortunately, many of these new workshop leaders may be unprepared for the risks involved and unprofessional in the way they choose to operate their business.
It took a while for the Forest Service, National Parks and other popular areas to realize that photographers were getting paid to take students into these areas and that most of them were doing so with little to no preparation at all. In the early years, today's standards like liability insurance and commercial use permits were not exactly required. In fact, back then, most instructors didn't even have basic first aid training. Many didn't even hold a business license. These days, the permitting processes and legal requirements put in place for instructors are becoming more and more stringent and for good reason, as the risks to our natural areas and the students participating in these workshops are very real. More often than not, students taking their first photography workshop have never spent twelve hours straight shooting for one day, much less three or five in a row. They are most often in unfamiliar areas, in changing conditions and as we all know, accidents do happen. The question is, if something does go wrong would you be in good hands or left to circumstance?