In reading through some of the Proof blog entries, I ran across a mention of a workshop in the post: Stories of Rural America. Pictures Making Sense.
I enjoyed the post and the photos. At the end, they mentioned the Missouri Photo Workshop. I went to the link, read the requirements:
To apply, please download and complete the following application form. Be sure to include a brief letter about why you want to participate in the Missouri Photo Workshop, a résumé, and a reference letter from a professional journalist, photo editor, or educator outlining how he or she things you would contribute to and benefit from the workshop. Additionally, we request that you include a portfolio with twenty (20) images (prints or CD). See application for more details.
Over the next few days, I pondered the requirements. What was, I thought, exactly the goal of this workshop? Was it to teach photojournalism to someone who wanted to learn, or was it just a bit of pretentiousness to make the workshop seem more valuable? Why would I need to have a photo editor, journalist, or educator recommend me? The portfolio, perhaps I might be able to understand, but even then, if you want to teach someone a new skill, why not just say: Hey! You have to have a firm grasp of how to use the camera, we’ll teach you the rest. Why all the rest of the ‘fluff’ (In my opinion).
I did a bit of Google searching, found some more photojournalism workshops, and they all seemed to follow the same pattern with letters of reference, be a promising student, provide a portfolio, etc. I did find one, oddly enough, in San Miguel de Allende, but it was very expensive, that didn’t require all of the ‘pedigree’ to join in.
Any ideas on why these requirements might be valuable? Perhaps I’m missing something.