luxury workshop FAQs

So, you're thinking about working with Paul to design your ultimate photography workshop and have some more questions? We hope the answers are covered below - but if they're not, don't hesitate to get in touch!

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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. Getting the best photographs out of any location 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, luxury 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.
  • Dedicated climate-controlled transportation means we can minimise time between locations and you are always safe. It also gives you the opportunity to learn and collaborate with Paul on the decisions taken during each day to get you to the best spot for the ultimate photograph.
  • 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.
  • Finally, selecting the best room options in each hotel allows you the best possible night’s sleep. While others may save money by using shared or low-cost accommodation, we’re photographers too and know the value of having your own comfortable space.

Can I bring my wife/husband/partner/friend/child?

As a result of our workshops being completely bespoke to your needs, 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. We have a minimum age limit of 18 for insurance purposes, but your workshop is exactly that - your workshop. We recommend a limit of up to 4 people in a single group, and tailor-make your experience to be the perfect adventure whether you're travelling solo, with a partner, or as part of a group of friends.
Please let us know how you would like your accommodation configured (two beds or one king) 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.

Please let us know how you would like your accommodation configured (two beds or one king) after booking.

What, exactly, will I learn?

Each photographer 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 to share and debate ideas as you review images together along the way.

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 and groups 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 his 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. Your workshop is unique to you, and is designed to explore the unique angles that your chosen locations can offer when captured in the right way.

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 sturdy (but collapsible 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
  • Recommended: Spare batteries (always handy!)
  • Recommended: Laptop computer (Paul will have his, but always better to back up your own files and edit on your own gear)

What about the Phase One camera option?

Through his unique relationship with Phase One, Paul is able to offer the use of the very latest in Medium Format camera systems for use during your workshop.

Comprised of the latest camera, high-resolution (up to 151 megapixel) digital backs and a range of exceptional lenses, this equipment can offer unsurpassed levels of image quality for every capture you take.

Should you wish to avail of this service, we can discuss the exact list of Phase One equipment that will be suitable for your specific workshop and advise on any additional costs and considerations prior to booking.

I have a Canon/Nikon/Sony/Fuji/Phase One/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, Rollei 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.

Don't forget, you also have the opportunity to shoot using the very latest Phase One medium format equipment for a small additional charge - delivering the pinnacle of image quality which is unsurpassed in the digital camera world.

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, after a short spell of activity and movement, 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 along with an outer layer as backup - 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?

In short, yes!

Every workshop will have a "base" location, which is where the accommodation has been booked and you'll meet with Paul to start your adventure. From that point, everything is included, along with luxury travel between the places on your itinerary. Many customers choose to arrange their own transport to the starting point, but we can also assist with this if required. Emergency contact details will be provided should anyone experience any issues getting to the starting point, and it is your responsibility to get there and back from your own home.

Of course, one of the other advantages of a bespoke workshop that's designed around you, for you, is that should any issues occur we can be flexible around your needs in order to maximise your time with us should the unexpected happen.

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. We can assist with additional transportation options at the start or end of your trip, if required, with local knowledge of the best way to get what you want from those valuable extra days.

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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 your own responsibility 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, medical needs or a generally unexpected situation occurring.

It is also worth considering equipment insurance – there are many great companies out there who can help and we can make recommendations if needed – 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, movement and interest. Also, some of Paul’s most appreciated shots have been taken during what many people would consider “bad weather” or just after a storm.

Obviously, if there is a significant 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 sessions 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. It’s your trip!

Do you want to? That’s up to you!

We completely understand that some photographers might want “a morning off”, and others might want to make alternative arrangements for some evenings over the trip. For that reason, things are completely fluid when it comes to how you spend your time with Paul – 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 you 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 can work with Paul to reschedule or alter the plan for that day and this is entirely your choice.

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I have a medical condition/limited mobility – can I still book?

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, we can build an itinerary to be as strenuous and challenging, or calm and relaxing, as you want. 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, you’ll be absolutely fine.

How does payment work?

We’ll work with you, one-to-one, on your exact requirements and tailor-make a workshop around your budget. You’ll work directly with Paul on the specific locations you want to capture, transportation options between locations and the time spent in each place to build the day-by-day breakdown. For this activity, we charge a small design fee which is refunded against your total workshop charge if you choose to book.

This allows us to then provide you with a detailed quotation for the entire workshop with no hidden extras, which you can then place a deposit (or "Stage 1" Payment) against, to book and confirm your trip.

After booking using our secure payment link online for your deposit, there will then be a further “Stage 2 Payment” to finally secure your adventure, due 10 weeks prior to the start date of your workshop

Due to the custom nature of our bespoke workshops, we make commitments on your behalf to travel providers in your chosen location which are often subject to their own cancellation policies. As such, we operate the following cancellation policy:

  • > 10 weeks before the workshop start date = Loss of deposit and design fee amount only
  • 5 – 10 weeks before the workshop start date = Refund of 35% of full payment amount
  • < 5 weeks before the workshop start date = Loss of full payment amount.
  • *note – non-payment of the Stage 2 Payment instalment will be treated as a cancellation unless prior arrangements have been made.

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 or 5 star accommodation (or better!), 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 is the best combination of facilities, connectivity, a great night’s sleep and extensive dining options, and is usually one that Paul has personally experienced before.

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 private workshop with Paul, and that means he’ll be accessible to you for entire time you’re on your photographic adventure. We ensure you leave with the skills and knowledge you wanted, to get the best out of every shoot in future. After shooting, you’ll also have the option to spend time post-processing your images together with Paul each day, ensuring your shots come back as a work of art – ready to proudly hang on your wall.

A lot of learning actually happens “on the way” as we discuss the shots already captured and start planning the next, but for the duration of the trip, Paul is absolutely there at your disposal to make sure you get the very best out of your time together.

And that is why, unlike others, we only run private, bespoke, photographic adventures!

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 technical advice (as well as help with any changes that need to be made to give your shot an added edge). 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 on post-processing and the advanced use of filters before the nightly briefing ready for the next day’s shoot.

How do I get more information and book?

We’d love to hear from you and understand your plans – with workshop destinations and budgets to suit all levels of photographer, we’re sure there’s something special we can design around your individual needs. To get in touch, or make a booking, please feel free to email or use the form below to send us a message:

Any other questions?

As always, just get in touch and we’ll try to help. All workshops are provided subject to our standard terms and conditions, available here.

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