3 Reasons to Partner with Local Businesses When Teaching Photography Workshops

I'm a photographer and workshop instructor. In the past year I've taught in five workshops on topics including: Long Exposure Photography, Introduction to Lightroom, Macro and High Speed Sync Photography, Portraits Photography and Landscape Photography. I'm a big fan of partnering with local businesses when teaching photography workshops. There are many reasons to do so, here are my top three. 

1) It's more fun

Teaching is fun. It's even more fun when you add an interesting and unexpected element into the process. For example, for my recent workshop on macro photography and high speed sync, I partnered with Silvio's Photoworks and a Torrance Brewery called Zymurgy. The location was inside the brewery. The students loved being exposed to a new place, and after the class, everyone could have a beer, relax and share in the photography community.  Not surprisingly, the class sold out, and the student reviews were off the charts.

2) Partnering increases your exposure

When I teach classes on photography I want them to be full, so I can maximize the value of my time, and my students can benefit from interacting with others in the photography community. When I partner with a camera store like Silvio's and a local brewery we get great synergy. You help their exposure and they help yours. It's a win win. 

3) Partnering generates good will and improves your brand

When you partner with others to promote good business, you generate goodwill. In the case of Zymurgy, I knew the owner, and we have supported each others events. This leads to cross pollination of customer bases and generates good will. I am a firm believer that having multiple streams of information coming to you makes you more aware of business trends and opportunities. Partnering improves your opportunities to learn and improves your brand. 

4) Bonus - Expand beyond local brands

I suggest starting out by partnering with local brands and then expand to include other brands in addition to the local brands. For example, when I teach my workshops I'll often reach out to companies I've partnered with before and ask if they would like to be involved. Perhaps they can provide some small branded products to participants. This increase their exposure and the students love to get free gifts. Something as small as a coupon, lens cloth or item to raffle. In the past I've been fortunate enough to have support from Tamron USA, Manfrotto and Pelican Products. Relationships take time to build, and if you are going to partner with a business be sure to give as much or more than you receive. Promote the companies on social media, give them credit for the help they provide. Take photos and send them out on social media and tag them. 

If you are interested in my workshops, send an email to me and join my mailing list by texting "photosbykag" to 22828.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! You can send an email to me by clicking HERE:

Kevin Gilligan is an award winning, museum displayed, landscape, portrait and sports photographer from L.A.'s South Bay. He teaches private and group workshops.

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