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Why Do Courses Cost So Much?

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Lawsyd, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Lawsyd

    Lawsyd Well-Known Member

    Few of us (especially if an amateur) know everything about every genre of photography, so it's nice to learn new skills from time to time. Well it would be if those running training workshops and courses didn't charge so flipping much. I've seen £250 for a day quoted in a popular tourist area for a one-to-one session. Nearer to home I've seen £120 as the price per head for a day training in a group at a local tourist attraction. If six people attend then that is £720 per day to the organization arranging the training. Most of us carry a lot of expensive gear around our necks when we go out to take photos, but it doesn't mean that we have a bottomless pit to spend on add-ons such as training. Of course I have freedom not to attend a course and, I have no doubt, somebody will tell me that if people weren't prepared to pay the prices quoted then the price may drop (market economics and all that). However I fail to see how exorbitant fees - for even a basic, beginners', course - can be justified.
     
  2. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    £120 for a day works out at £20 per hour. Would you get out bed to be paid that ? Oh and then pay tax, national insurance, kit, business rates, advertising, etc., out of that £20 per hour...
    Does seem expensive as a headline but break it down and you understand why it is what it is....
     
    Mikardo88, Gezza and Roger Hicks like this.
  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    On the other hand, your time is worth whatever you can persuade someone to pay you. Every deal comes down to a see-saw with the seller on one end and the buyer on the other.
     
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Exactly. They're not exorbitant. I looked at the possibility of running courses but decided not to because I couldn't get the cost down to the sort of level that I'd be happy to pay myself; and I figured that if I couldn't afford/justify it, I was probably not alone. Add in the expense of getting to wherever you're holding the course, and maybe a couple of drinks and a pub lunch, plus preparation and subsequent hassles from the student (some tend to think they own you after that one-off payment, or just because they've read one of your books) and £120 a day is silly cheap.

    Also, an awful lot of these courses are run by people even less knowledgeable, less experienced, less qualified and less known even than I.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Gezza likes this.
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Andrew,

    Not necessarily. Merely because you can persuade someone to pay you, it doesn't mean you're worth what they pay. Not just photographers, but bankers, CEOs, reflexologists and many more can be adduced to illustrate this simple truth.

    In other words, there are rip-off artists out there, and the lower the price (such as even £250 a day for one-on-one) the likelier people are to take a chance, which means the more chancers, con artists and ignoramuses there are likely to be who will rip them off, whether knowingly or through sheer Dunning-Kruger ignorance of how incompetent they are to teach.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Andrew Flannigan likes this.
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    You'd need a lot of customers per year to make a living out of giving day courses @£120 per head.
     
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  7. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    You're right. I was just pointing out that there's supply, there's demand and there's a point where the two meet (or don't). I agree that even £250 a day doesn't sound much for the work involved.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  8. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I think that the OP quoted £250 per day for one-to-one tuition £120 was for
    the group of six rate (£720) divided by six
     
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Yup - and you'd still need a lot of customers a year to earn a living.
     
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  10. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Incidentally Dorchester Camera club are running a seminar on street photography next week hosted by Damien Demolder. I think I paid £25 I expect there will be a big audience and it is also sponsored my Panasonic

    I am not a member of that particular club but a neighboring one and we get the literature of any fairly local events that might interest us So perhaps the message is join a camera club
     
    Lawsyd and Roger Hicks like this.
  11. Lawsyd

    Lawsyd Well-Known Member

    As I said in my opening post, that £120 isn't for one to one tuition - it's for a group session. Indeed, I suspect that if only one person booked on a course it would be cancelled due to lack of numbers.
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Pete,

    Exactly. I've done the numbers. Not only are there the aforementioned out of pocket expenses and hassles: there's also preparation. At a rough guess, one day's teaching = at least one day's preparation.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Does it matter? A group of six isn't six times as much work as one-to-one, but it's a lot more than twice as much. Also, where is the teaching done? Unless you have premises, they have to be hired. And you'll probably need to provide refreshments. Call it a minimum of £60 for the venue and £40 for refreshments (for six people, if all six pay up/turn up) and you're down to £620 for 3-5 days work: £124-207 per day. If only four pay/turn up...

    There's a big difference between a hobby (even a paying hobby) and earning a living.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  14. Lawsyd

    Lawsyd Well-Known Member

    If you are running the same course several times a year (say, monthly) and at the same location, there is only one lot of preparation to do. Any other preparation due, for example, to the different skill levels of those attending, or due to changing weather conditions can only really be done on the day. A decent teacher / group leader would be able to adjust the course ad-hoc without the need for advanced perparation.
     
  15. Lawsyd

    Lawsyd Well-Known Member

    There is no charge for the venue in the group example I quoted. It's a well known and well used tourist attraction close to where I live and it is their own staff putting on the courses.
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    You are an experienced and qualified teacher, then? I'm DES recognized and there's more work in teaching than most people realize.

    Certainly, the idea of staff putting on a group tutorial with no venue fee would help to keep prices down. But how many staff are taking part in this course? This means splitting the rewards several ways. And I would be quite surprised if the venue were not accounting for some sort of internal charging, including insurances.

    In other words, I'd still hold that the word "exorbitant" was completely misapplied.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  17. Lawsyd

    Lawsyd Well-Known Member

    Roger, ten years of running workshops for sole-trader businessmen / women, as well as for accountants & financial directors (albeit that I worked in the public sector) do for you? I'm also married to a teacher (she's out there right now earning an honest crust) should you need further evidence as to my credentials to 'speak' on the subject.
     
  18. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Yes if this is a monthly event by an organisation then financially it is a marginal activity. They probably have some internal criterion that sets the price or decides they do that activity or not.
     
  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    And what do you charge for your workshops?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  20. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    How much would you expect to pay pros in other professions for one-to-one tuition? Music teachers £30 per hour, maths tuition even more, golf lessons £50 per hour.
     
    Roger Hicks likes this.

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