So you’re running workshops for your photography business.

And you’re so excited to teach your students what you know about taking beautiful photos. But as you get prepared for the workshop, you find yourself going a little overboard. Finally, you begin to realize just how expensive the workshops are beginning to be.

The costs begin to stack up, and you’re frustrated because they are supposed to make you money, not cost you money.

Everybody who has hosted a workshop or class knows this feeling.

There are a few costs to watch out for when planning and hosting your workshop so you don’t find yourself losing money from it.

Here’s what to watch out for:

1. Location Costs

When you’re holding any sort of event – a workshop, a class, or even a seminar – one of the biggest budget busters can be the cost of the location of where you’re holding it.

You may find yourself reeling with sticker shock if you’ve looked into renting a hotel conference room or a space at a co-working outlet. To cover the cost of the location, it’s almost as if you have to double the cost of attendance!

But you don’t have to shell out a ton of money to find a place to host your photography workshop. In fact, there are a lot of free options, too.

First, consider what type of photography workshop you are holding. Are you teaching your students how to take landscape photos, or newborn portraits? That will determine what type of setting you need.

Then, look into free options for your workshops. If you need an outdoor space, inquire with the municipality if you can use a park or a gathering place for free.

If you need an indoor space, your local Chamber of Commerce may have some space. Check the Rotary Club or even the local libraries.

If you can find a free or low cost option to host your workshop, you’ll cut your costs dramatically.

2. Workshop Scheduling Fees

When you’re hosting your photography workshop, it begins to feel like most of the costs happen up front.

You pay for the location (unless you can find one for free!), equipment, materials, and advertising, and then the expenses stop trickling in…right?

But then you get hit with those workshop scheduling fees.

Every time somebody signs up for your workshop online, you have to hand over a portion of the profit. It’s usually not a huge amount, but it becomes quite annoying when you have a large group of people signing up for your workshop.

Cut this expense right from your budget by using a free workshop scheduling service. You don’t have to pay for every sign-up. You have other options!

3. Materials

Materials don’t cost that much, right?

A couple of handouts, a handful of supplies per attendee, and maybe some instructor materials. It can’t be too expensive!

But if you’ve ever hosted a workshop before, you know that despite the small price tag on all of the materials individually, they add up to quite a lot, especially as you begin to go a little overboard with fancy finishing.

I remember going to a cooking workshop a few years ago, and they handed out notepads, recipe cards, and booklets full of shopping lists and other materials they clearly spent a pretty penny on printing.

They were beautiful, and very professional, but can you guess what happened to those materials when I left the class?

I recycled them.

I remember thinking that it would have been great if they sent an email out to attendees with these materials as PDF attachments so we could use what we wanted and forget the other stuff. It was a shame to see that money they obviously spent go in the recycling bin, not to mention the environmental impact.

Instead of going overboard with materials in your workshop, provide only what is necessary and electronically provide the rest. Electronic materials are free, and they save you money and the environment.
Avoid the Cost Creep

You want to do the best you can with your workshop. You want to teach your students so they can fall in love with your craft the way you did, and you want them to come back for another workshop in the future.

This is noble and admirable, and while it’s important to always under promise and over deliver, remember this:

Your attendees are paying you for your expertise, knowledge, and instruction.

They’re not paying you for fancy materials, expensive workshop locations and for fancy workshop scheduling software that erode your profits.

So soften the budgetary blow by finding these things for free. Then you can focus on providing the best instruction possible to your students.