PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS 101: Chapter 3. How to Find Your Market


Practical advice: let your market find you, don’t find your market.

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For example, everyone told me that it was impossible to make a living from street photography. That assertion was false.

In fact, I have made a very good living from teaching street photography workshops.

The thing with doubt: of course people are gonna say that “X” is impossible, if it has never been done before.

It was impossible to build an electric car that was cool, sexy, and affordable. Elon Musk did it with the Model 3. Now it seems so obvious.

Therefore, whatever your photographic passion is… there is probably a market for it. Better yet, if nobody else is doing that type of photography workshop you’re interested in, it is probably a pregnant opportunity.

Let the world conform to you

My philosophical belief,

Let the world conform to you, don’t conform to the world.

This is called being a “non-conformist”— something that people praise in principle, but in reality, people HATE non-conformists.

Lesson: Don’t be ashamed of how you are different, or how you see the world differently. Rather, revel in it, and promote it.

The world is your oyster

Ok, let’s do a fishing analogy.

The world is made of a lot of lakes, with lots of fish. You don’t want to “over-fish” a certain lake, or there will be no fish to catch.

If you want to make a sustainable, long-term business from teaching photography workshops, or curating experiences— you need to become international.

As an American, my world view was very small and limited. When I teach workshops, they are very popular abroad. In Asia (Tokyo, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Hanoi, Saigon, ), in the Middle East (Dubai, Istanbul), in Europe (Berlin, London, Zurich, Prague, Stockholm, Amsterdam).

In Northern America, popular cities include (San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Toronto, Vancouver.

Don’t limit yourself to one geographical area.

Think big, and international.

Expand or die

A theory, in our capitalist pursuits, we need to EXPAND MARKETS to survive and thrive.

For example, Japan’s economy is slumping because their views on the international market were small. Japanese businesses thrive inside Japan. Sony, once a dominant force, has lost their market share. Samsung and South Korea is taking over, because they are aggressively expanding internationally.

Even big tech companies like Apple are trying to penetrate China with iPhone sales.

My theory,

Thrive or die.

It isn’t enough to just “survive” in today’s economic climate. Rather, we need to THRIVE. Because the more you thrive in your business, the more you can help others with your profits.

High margins

I go with the Apple philosophy— teach fewer workshops and experiences, and have higher profit margins.

To have a higher profit margin,

  1. I keep expenses low (I bundle my travels to certain geographic areas, don’t stay in fancy hotels but Airbnb or staying with friends).
  2. I charge more money for my workshops.

The secret formula to profitability:

Low expenses, high income.

Most of us try to seek high income, but we keep our expenses high. It doesn’t matter if you earn $1,000,000 a year. If your expenses are $1,000,001 a year, you’re poor.

For myself, I always fly economy, or what’s cheapest via

For accommodation, (for cheap hotels) or Airbnb, or sleeping on the couch of my friends.

When renting out a venue, keep the costs low.


I am grateful I get a LOT of help from friends and family.

For example, my manager Neil Ta does all the heavy lifting for me in terms of logistics and planning the workshop. Cindy helps with logistical details too. And if I’m teaching a workshop in a foreign city that I’m new to, we usually have a person “on the ground” who is local to help us out… with location scouting, with venues, and on the ground logistics.

I have in my experience, the secret to a good workshop is 80% logistics. Where to shoot, the schedule and timing of activities, as well as where to eat lunch and dinner, and where to get coffee.

So I suggest when you do workshops, don’t do it all yourself. Try to seek help from others.


My strength is teaching, sharing my passion, and writing. I’m very bad at planning workshops, or almost anything. So once again, huge thanks to Neil, Cindy, and all my countless friends all around the globe who have helped me. Much love.

And for you friend, if you seek to make a living from teaching workshops, over a long period of time, don’t think small…think biggie.



ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP  by HAPTIC INDUSTRIES // Portrait by Benjamin Thompson

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Lamborghini by Eric Kim


Table of Contents

Learn how to make a living from your passion:

Photography Business 101

How to Make Money with Photography

Photography Marketing 101


How to Hustle.

Entrepreneurial Principles

How to be a Full-time Photographer

Photography Blogging

How to Teach Photography

Social Media

How to Save Money