So, you’re thinking about coming along to one of Paul’s photography workshops and have some more questions? We hope the answers are covered below – but if they’re not, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Why do you offer all-inclusive pricing?
Building on years of experience, there are several factors involved in making sure you get the best out of your time with Paul on one of his workshops. Photographic tours can involve a lot of travel, early starts, late evenings and the need for quality sleep in between. Where other companies may offer a “budget” alternative, we believe our workshops offer the very best experience:
- Conveniently located, quality hotels mean you’re close to the action (with less travel time to get to shoots each day) as well as being surrounded by facilities that budget options are often missing.
- Group transportation means we can minimise time between locations and ensure every photographer is always safe. It also gives you the opportunity to learn from other photographers, not only Paul, throughout the workshop by bouncing ideas around from the comfort our climate-controlled vehicles.
- Healthy, hearty, eating is important when shooting in the wilderness or hiking between locations. By including all food and drink in quality restaurants at each location, we take away all of the stress of finding different food options each day and night. We handle all of that for you, including any dietary requirements.
- Sole occupancy rooms allow you the best possible night’s sleep, as well as the privacy you may want from time to time when travelling around as a group. While others save money by using shared accommodation, we’re photographers too and know the value of having your own space.
Can I bring my wife/husband/partner/friend/child?
Partners and friends are warmly invited onto each workshop – in fact, it can make for an even better experience, travelling with someone you know well. With that in mind, as long as they are also over the age of 18, we offer a discount per person on booking if the friend/partner option is selected at checkout, choosing to share a room.
Please let us know how you would like your accommodation configured (two beds or one double) after booking.
Can I bring a partner/friend who is not a photographer?
Of course! Not only are our workshops a great opportunity for photographers to capture some amazing landscapes and cityscapes, they’re also a fantastic way to explore a country or region. Non-photographers are more than welcome to join us at any or all of the shooting locations (and they often find they enjoy taking photos themselves, too). Activities are also available in each location for non-photographer friends and partners if they choose to take some time out, and we provide itineraries in advance to help with planning.
We offer a discount per person on booking if the friend/partner option is selected at checkout, choosing to share a room.
Please let us know how you would like your accommodation configured (two beds or one double) after booking.
What, exactly, will I learn?
Each individual will take something different away from the trip, but in our experience people leave having learned a lot more than they ever imagined they would. The aim, by having you shoot with Paul for the duration of the workshop, is that your skills, technique, understanding and knowledge of how to capture the best of these great locations expand to ensure you leave with an impressive portfolio of unique landscape images to take home. His goal is not simply to “show you how to take this shot”, but to give you the tools and experience you need to be able to do the same in any location you visit in future.
You will learn about light, filters, your own equipment, trip planning, “what not to do” (as well as what exactly to do) in certain situations and also have time with other like-minded individuals who want to improve their photography through sharing and debating ideas.
Why should I book with you?
Unlike many other operations out there, Paul is not a “photographic tour factory”.
Of course there are many other companies who offer photographic tours and workshops to individuals worldwide – some are cheaper, some a lot more expensive, but we’re hoping you’re interested in this workshop because you like Paul’s style of photography and want to learn a little more about how it’s done. As a working commercial photographer, Paul has to constantly innovate and create unique shots of places that many others have visited and captured before, and it’s that experience that he brings to these workshops which make them unique. Paul has tutored many individuals in the past with a naturally supportive teaching style, but has no intention of spending week after week teaching the exact same shots to different groups of people. Each workshop is unique, and is designed to explore the unique angles that some of these locations can offer when steered in the right direction.
As a photographer, Paul is very accomplished, shooting for many commercial clients worldwide. As a teacher, he truly enjoys helping others learn. As a travelling companion, he’ll make sure you have an experience of a lifetime that you’ll fondly remember forever.
What equipment should I bring?
As a general rule, you should aim to bring:
- Required: DSLR/mirrorless/compact system/medium format digital camera with manual controls
- Required: A selection of lenses, or zoom, with a range equivalent to 16mm wide up to 100mm, on a 35mm basis
- Required: A sturdly (but collapsable to a small dimension) tripod
- Required: Several memory cards – always bring twice as many as you think you’ll need!
- Recommended: A cable/remote shutter release
- Recommended: Circular Polarising filters for your selection of lenses
- Recommended: Neutral Density Graduated Filters (3 stop) and ND Filters (between 3 & 10 stops)
- Recommended: An air-blower for removing sensor dust
- Optional: Spare batteries (always handy!)
- Optional: Laptop computer (Paul will have his, but always better to back up your own files and edit on your own gear)
A more detailed equipment and recommended clothing list is sent to all registered attendees as part of the booking confirmation. If you don’t have that equipment, don’t panic. In reality, we will make sure you get the best out of whatever equipment you bring along – don’t worry about it if you don’t have a 16mm wide lens, there are always different angles to be had! If you have any questions on equipment before booking, however, just get in touch and we’ll try to help.
I have a Canon/Nikon/Sony/Hasselblad/etc – is that OK?
The simple answer: YES!
By definition, a camera (regardless of manufacturer) is designed to take pictures in the same way as almost all other cameras out there. Yes, some have advantages in terms of sensor, frame rate, ISO, etc – but in essence, irrespective of the make and model of your camera, the same principles apply when it comes to capturing a great image. Paul actually owns cameras from Phase One, Canon, Nikon, Sony (and even Seagull!) and has used many others from Hasselblad to Pentax. Regardless of the make of camera you bring along, as long as it has the basics as detailed above, we’ll be able to help you get the most out of it.
What about clothing?
As a general rule, taking photos means you get colder than you would normally be on the same day walking around. You’re going to be stood still for a lot of the time while shooting, and those two magic time periods of sunrise and sunset tend to be when the cold air is around.
- If your chosen workshop is in the summer, then shorts and t-shirts are great – but remember we’ll be walking over uneven ground, so a good pair of shoes with ankle support is a necessity at all times.
- In winter, layers are key. A lightweight down jacket can also be a great addition, one that packs really well into a small space but provides good levels of warmth in the night air. A good pair of gloves are essential (preferably with touch-screen fingers, to save you needing to remove them every now and then) as well as a few disposable hand-warmers.
- In all cases, you need to be prepared with a waterproof coat (just in case) and a camera bag that can also withstand light rain. While we are very unlikely to actually photograph during a heavy storm, there are occasions when you can get caught in one on the walk there and back.
A more detailed equipment and recommended clothing list is sent to all registered attendees as part of the booking confirmation.
Can you arrange transport to the venue?
Every workshop has a “base” location, which is where the accommodation has been booked and everyone is expected to be there on time for the beginning of the workshop itself. Emergency contact details will be provided should anyone experience any issues getting to the venue, but it is the individual’s responsibility to get there and back from their own home. Once on the workshop itself, we provide all transport and will be travelling as a group – parking will be arranged at the base location for the duration, for those who drive there from home.
In our experience, some photographers also choose to extend their stay by a small amount either side, to explore more of the locations we’ve been travelling around. By using your own transport to and from the base location, this leaves the flexibility to do so while keeping the price of the workshop itself as low as possible for those who don’t want that flexibility.
Will you help with travel and visas?
If you’re attending from another country, in most cases you can enter the workshop’s location on a tourist visa basis. We can help with arrangements and give limited advice, but all visa and international travel issues are the responsibility of the attendee so please ensure you will be able to enter the country where the workshop is located before booking.
Do I need insurance?
Each attendee is responsible for arranging their own travel and health insurance where applicable. Paul carries worldwide insurances for commercial photography as well as public liability, but you should always carry your own policy in case of cancellation, injury or a generally unexpected situation occurring. It is worth, also, considering equipment insurance – there are many great companies out there who can help. As with all landscape photography, there is always a small risk of equipment damage should something go wrong. Again, we can advise on this if it’s something you want to look into further – just get in touch and we’ll try to help.
What if the weather is bad?
That really does depend on your definition of “bad weather”. Take a sunset, for example – a sunset captured during completely clear skies can actually result in quite a dull image, we need clouds to add texture and interest. Also, some of Paul’s most appreciated shots have been taken during what many people would consider “bad weather”.
Obviously, if there is a sand-storm or hurricane in progress, we stop shooting for a while, but in general we’ll aim to make the best of all weather with shots that either capture the fantastic colours or powerful textures in whatever sky we’re given. By planning each day’s itinerary together with Paul, along with his local knowledge in each destination, you’ll be involved in the detailed decision making of what location to shoot in what conditions – and this is all part of the learning experience when it comes to landscape photography. In general, while “these things happen”, we’ll make the best of every situation if and when it might occur.
Can I shoot film?
Of course! Film shooters are more than welcome to come along, but we do need people to be aware of the following limitations:
- We may not have enough time in each location to get film processed after every shoot
- Due to this, it is difficult for Paul to help critique on final image quality throughout the workshop as-we-go
- Scanning options may not be available for any post-processing workshops that Paul offers over the course of the trip
Do I have to shoot every sunrise/sunset/night?
Do you have to? Of course not.
Do you want to? That’s up to you!
We completely understand that some people might want “a morning off”, and others might want to make alternative arrangements for some evenings over the trip. For that reason, things are relatively fluid when it comes to how you spend your time with us – the only thing we request is that you absolutely must be at the rendezvous point as we depart one location for the next, unless we’ve arranged to meet back at base. If there’s a day where you want a relaxed morning, feel free to take it – this is your time on your workshop. We’ll be shooting every day according to the promised itinerary, but this is absolutely a trip focused on you, so if you want some time out, just let us know.
Will there be any free time?
Absolutely, yes. Depending on the workshop length, there will either be daytime breaks, or a “rest day” for longer workshops where everyone can have a break from shooting from sunrise to sunset (and beyond).
Of course, as above, if you want to take some extra time out during the trip you are welcome to skip some of the shoot locations, but this is entirely your choice.
I have a medical condition/limited mobility – can I still come?
In general, as long as you, a doctor, and us, are comfortable that we have the means and capability to support you should something go wrong (and you have insurance cover) there is generally no problem. There are some practical issues – so if you need an oxygen tank to breath normally and require a mobility scooter, a hike through Death Valley or down the Purbeck hills may not be the best idea – but in general, the workshops are not designed to be a strenuous workout, they’re intended to be as accessible as possible while still visiting some great locations. If you so have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us before booking.
How fit do I have to be?
Once upon a time, Paul was very fit. He ran marathons, and trained in the gym twice a day. For many reasons, those days have faded away and while he’s more than able to hike up a hill in record time to “get that shot”, to call him an athlete would be a bit of a stretch! So, as long as you are moderately fit, are of sound health, and have no problems with temperature differences and a few hills, his workshops will be fine for you too.
How does payment work?
To secure your place, just click on the “book now” button at the bottom of your chosen workshop detail page. You have two options when paying:
- Pay the non-refundable deposit amount only, with the balance being due 10 weeks prior to the start of the workshop.
- If you’d prefer (or if you’re within 10 weeks of the workshop start date) pay the full amount now, in one payment.
Once you’ve paid the deposit for your chosen workshop, we’ll get in touch to discuss your individual needs, send you some more information about pre-trip planning, and give guidance on any final details.
We require all payments to be made in full 10 weeks prior to the workshop beginning. To protect the initial outlay, we operate the following cancellation policy:
- Cancelled more than 10 weeks in advance = Loss of deposit, remaining balance fully refunded.
- Cancelled between 10 weeks and 7 weeks in advance = Refund of 50% of full payment amount.
- Cancelled between 4 weeks and 7 weeks in advance = Refund of 25% of full payment amount.
- Cancelled within 4 weeks prior to the start of the workshop = Loss of full payment amount.
The policy above is in place to protect not only the other photographers on the workshop, but also our prices in future. Places on the workshop are 100% transferrable (but please check with any transport ticket restrictions) so if there is a chance you may no longer be able to attend, please do get in touch as there may be someone on the wait-list who will happily take your place.
What are the hotels like?
We choose the best hotels in each location based on the needs of our photographers and proximity to the shoots we have planned. Ideally, this will involve 4-star accommodation or above, but please remember our workshops are often in places which are sparsely populated and “off the beaten track”. We always make sure that every hotel has internet access, private bathrooms, a great night’s sleep, as many facilities as possible and is one that we’ve experienced ourselves before.
For sleeping arrangements, we’re photographers too, and know the value of a good night’s sleep (that, as well as how many power sockets we each need to charge our devices!). With that in mind, all single bookings made will result in accommodation being booked based on sole occupancy of one room. Where a discount has been applied for two participants booking together, a twin or double room (on request) will be provided for these customers to share. For more information on specific accommodation for a workshop location, please get in touch and we’ll be able to help further.
How much time will I have 1:1 with Paul?
You’re booking a workshop with Paul, and our goal is to give you as much 1-to-1 time with him as possible, ensuring you leave with the skills and knowledge you need to get the best out of every shoot in future. We do not substitute photography tuition with other teachers, and each day is filled with hands-on practice with Paul as well as tutorials (for those who want them) on post-processing after each shoot.
Our aim is to make sure everyone leaves each viewpoint happy with the shot they captured, and Paul is there to do exactly that. Throughout each day, Paul will be there with you during every shoot, as well as each briefing beforehand, offering 1-to-1 time out in the field to help with settings, composition and reinforcing the discussions that were had prior to arrival at the location. A lot of learning actually happens “on the way” as we all discuss the shots already captured and start planning the next, but for the duration of the trip, Paul is absolutely there for each attendee to make sure they get the most out of it.
And that is why, unlike others, we only run workshops with a maximum of 6 people!
On one-to-one or small group custom workshop days, you can expect the entire shooting day to be spent with Paul’s undivided attention, focused purely on helping you to achieve your best shots from each location.
What does a typical day’s schedule look like?
Sunrise and sunset are often seen by photographers as offering the best light for landscape photography. While it’s possible to shoot some fantastic images during the day and night, we’ll be aiming to maximise our time at each location during the all-important “golden and blue hours” either side of the sun hitting the horizon.
Each shoot day actually begins the night before – briefing a sunrise isn’t best done first thing in the morning as our brains haven’t always quite clicked into gear before the sun hits the sky.
At each location, Paul will give hints/tips and technique advice (as well as help with any changes that need to be made to give your shot an added edge) and after everyone has finished shooting, a debrief will happen. Throughout the day, Paul will work with you on the shots you’ve already captured in order to generate a portfolio of great images to take home. Over the duration of the workshop, we will also offer specific sessions (for those who are interested) on post-processing and the advanced use of filters before the nightly briefing ready for the next day’s shoot.
How do I book?
Take a look at the workshops that are currently available, select the workshop you’re interested in and click the “book now” button at the bottom of the page to confirm your place. All bookings are subject to our standard terms and conditions, available to view here.
Any other questions?