What does a photo workshop teach us about achieving a successful and satisfying work-life?

Claudia Brose
3 min readJun 19, 2021
photo © John McDermott | mcdfoto.com | Venice June 2021

A week in Venice. Not for fun, but for work. But work was fun. Isn’t that how it should be?

The work was organizing and conducting a photo workshop. Sounds like fun to begin with, but it is nevertheless a lot of work (before, during and afterwards).

Why was this work — and so can be any other work — fun, productive, rewarding, successful?

If you Work With Attention you can achieve work that is satisfying and successful.

Paying attention, working and living with attention, means to care (to be mindful, thoughtful, considerate, kind and appreciative), to be aware of (to notice, to be awake, perceptive, observant) and to focus.

So, what were the key elements of successful workshop days in Venice?

Relationships and connection

Over time we built a relationship with the participants, connect with them throughout the year and they happily come back. We knew each other, they knew “the others” in the workshop. They felt being given attention to, in other words taken care of, appreciated and heard. By creating an atmosphere of trust, relaxation and connection.

Likewise, we built relationships with local people in event locations, such as Venice, to be able to offer a local experience. We connect with the place, its people and its culture. We take the time to pay attention to understand the environment in which we move.

This is important for any kind of business, especially when having projects or affiliations abroad. Business is not a transaction it’s a relationship.


If the customer, or participant, trusts you that you can and will help them to get better, improve their skills and grow they are happy returning customers and spread the word. You build trust. The participants trusted John, the instructor, that he will listen to them, that he will give them honest feedback with respect and will help them solve their problems.

And if you trust the participant or customer that they pay attention to you and are open for input and instructions you can create progress.

Claudia Brose

Writer, Event-Creator, Marketing Professional turned Rebel against a rushed world | Japan mad | Cyclist | Get my Newsletter Un-Rush claudiabrose.substack.com