I discovered CreativeLive.com a few weeks ago and I am not exaggerating when I say that it has revolutionized the way that I approach my photography business.
CreativeLive is a studio based in Seattle and it brings in industry leaders to give talks and teach on their niche. There is usually a small studio audience (you can sign up to partake if you’re in the area, I sense a trip to Seattle in my near future) and during the initial presentation students can also participate online. The course is videotaped so that it can be downloaded or watched on demand at a later date by future (paying) students or replayed on CreativeLive as part of their “on air” program (free version).
Here’s the best part….many of the classes can be watched for free! Kind of like auditing a class in college. In fact, I highly recommend watching at least one free course before signing up for a paid workshop. Pick a course that you’re interested in and see if that instructor has any other classes available for free. That way you can see if you like the instructor before you invest in the course (student reviews are also available). Most of the presenters that I’ve watched have been outstanding but there were a few that didn’t capture my interest in the same way. For instance, I am not a wedding or engagement photographer but I will watch anything that Jasmine Star has on CreativeLive. She’s amazing. She’s one of the best wedding photographers so she talks a lot about shooting weddings but her energy and her overall message applies to any kind of photographer or business owner. Do you remember those “I’m not a surgeon, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night” commercials? That’s how I feel after watching Jasmine’s courses – “I’ve never shot a wedding before but I’ve watched hours and hours of Jasmine Star doing it so of course I’ll be your wedding photographer next weekend”. I’m kidding of course, I wouldn’t actually sign up to be someone’s wedding photographer. But at the same time if I needed to do it I think I could rock it out thanks to all of her amazing tips.
Other photography webinars that I attended and loved were “The art of flower photography with Kathleen Clemons”, “Create art through photography with Art Wolfe”, and “Incredible engagement photography with Pye Jirsa”. I actually have 6 pages of notes from those workshops alone! Those are just some of my favorites. I’ve watched a lot more than that, I’m too embarrassed to list exactly how many free courses I’ve binged on. Obviously I especially love the photography inspired talks, but there are five buckets that courses fall into so there are literally interests for everyone. I’m a complete novice when it comes to website design, but that free printable hot air balloon photography guide that you get just for signing up for my newsletter? I just learned how to do that on CreativeLive this weekend. Yep, even I could set that up after watching a social media course.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger, a traveler, or an Etsy shop owner- there are courses that will make you better at whatever your niche is.
CreativeLive Subject Groups
Photography & Video
Art & Design
Music & Audio
Craft & Maker
Money & Life
Each morning I check to see what workshops are playing “on air” (free!). Typically something from each subject group will be available. Since I’m in the Eastern time zone they usually start at noon. Sometimes I switch back and forth between a few of them when there are multiple courses that I’m interested in. I usually have one playing in the background as I work or process images. You don’t even want to know how many hours a week I’m spending on CreativeLive. Sometimes at night I’ll pour a glass of wine and watch, leading my husband to declare it my “photography porn”. I wonder if I can deduct the cost of the wine as a business expense? Hmmm, need to check to see if CreativeLive offers any tax advice workshops.
The only drawback to the “on air” is that you can’t pause, rewind, or fast forward. So if the free workshop is a multiple day original broadcast you’re probably only going to get a portion of it unless you pull an all nighter. And if you’re interested in any of the class handouts (some presenters offer ebooks, worksheets, etc as part of the official course) you’ll need to ante up and pay the course fee. That also gets you the downloadable videos of the entire class. Costs vary depending on how long the courses are and from what I can tell, they are worth every penny. There are also bundles that combine multiple courses in the same subject, like food photography or travel photography, for a lower cost. But when you consider that you’re able to hear from some of the industry leaders without having to pay for a full conference, hotel room, or airfare it’s crazy affordable. And the good news is that CreativeLive often has sales going, in fact they have a 50% off sale going right now, follow the link below for more information.
I’ve RSVP’d for the upcoming “Shooting for stock photography with Geo Rittenmyer” and there are a few other courses that I’m debating about purchasing . Obviously I’ll be signed up “Branding Strategies to grow your business with Jasmine Star”. So what are you waiting for? Go sign up for your free CreativeLive account and get started by clicking the blue “watch now” button below!!
I love CreativeLive so much that I joined their affiliate group, after I’d already emailed most of my photography friends about CL, oops! And I have to admit that I’m a little annoyed with my so-called friends (relatives even!) that had known about this gem of a site and had never shared it with me (looking at you, Maddie). Sigh, better late than never I guess. If you sign up after following my link and take a paid course I would get a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra but those CreativeLive planners are genius, of course I would use that to sign up for more CreativeLive courses! But there are so many courses that are free that you can hone your skills without spending anything and I’ll still be happy that I shared the CreativeLive love!
P.S. Don’t forget to download the free app so you can watch the courses on your smartphone or tablet by clicking on the quick link to the right!