I always get this question thrown at me whenever I meet up with fellow trainers or friends and to me the answer is very simple - why charge? If you can get the answers to this question, then you will see that my thoughts are in direct opposite to that line of thinking. It is actually getting quite frustrating to be asked this question over and over again.
Why charge? Well a lot of people will argue why not? You can make money out of it. And that is the million dollar question. Are you out to make money or are you out to share your knowledge out of passion? To me if you're doing it because of money then that will be your main motivator whereas if you're doing it out of passion for the said subject, then its a whole new level altogether. Passion drives you further in terms of seeking for more knowledge and in return, you gain more insight into skills and techniques that would not have been possible through force learning. There will also be a huge difference in terms of how the content is delivered in comparison with a paid class and one that is delivered out of sincerity to spread knowledge. This is undeniable.
Another common misconception is the idea that the participants or the audience will learn to appreciate paid training as compared to free ones. Again not true. When I teach, everyone is equal in the class be it if you've just bought your camera yesterday or you've had yours for 50 years. Everyone is equal and I hold nothing back in my lectures. Some older generations have a tendency to teach 80% of what they know and keeping 20% in fear that the student will surpass the teacher. What a bunch of dimwits! If you do not have someone to challenge you, how can you strive to learn more and improve yourself? Always be open and you'll be surprise at how much you can learn from your students. Bottom line, everyone is equal...we're all humans and everybody dies one day so please wake up from that 50,000 feet high chair that most of these 80/20 people sit on.
At the end of the day, I love photography and my main aim is to help beginners to overcome the mistakes that I've made previously. My dream is to have more and more capable photographers coming out from Penang and who will do the same in teaching and spreading their knowledge to the wider audience. If there is one common direction, the foreseeable future looks bright indeed or in photography terms, flash power ratio 1:1.