It does go beyond a minor misstep. And, after spending more than $20,000 on “workshops’” I despaired of ever finding one that lived up to the leader’s “personal statement” professing love of art and photography. If I felt as these “personal statements” imply, I wouldn’t be able to contain my enthusiasm about the things I love and would communicate them to the people paying me. Yet workshop after workshop was nothing more than a tour, with the leader pointing to some location while frequently going off somewhere else to photograph for himself, often with a favored “fanboy” from a previous workshop. Perhaps most egregious of all was a third photographer who used the workshop to extol his virtuosity and sell $8,000 in prints.
So I don’t think the behavior I described in my first post in this thread is unique. We have to be vigilant with anyone we’re not certain of.
I despaired of ever finding a true workshop led by an ethical person who could and wanted to teach and convey useful insights. I found such a person in Craig Tanner, and he was happy to share the names of other photographers he respected.
I’m reluctant to state actual names in this case, but I’ll give a puzzle. Photographer #1 lives in Arizona near Sedona, and his last name is, phonetically at least, the same as the name of an ethnic group favored by Russians and Poles for military service in the 19th and earlier centuries. This people still exists, and their name is often used in a pejorative sense by those who feel that they and their ancestors were victimized by them. Photographer #2 is based in Santa Fe, NM and in the past has been more frequently associated with large format B&W photography. His name sounds more like Kim Kardashian than Tony Sweet. Photographer #3 contributes to this very site, so I refrain from providing any clues as to his name.