About the workshops:
Our workshops reflect our philosophy about creative photography and aim to put the client at the centre of the learning process with a view to helping them reach the next level. We hope to encourage you to move out of your comfort zone and trust your intuition. We cap the number of participants at 10 to ensure adequate one-to-one tuition.
What our workshops are not:
Getting up at 4am for a misty sunrise (but we reserve the right to do so)
Tripods (but they can be)
Bagging the shot
Flitting from one honeypot location to the next
Equipment - the most important piece of kit you own is located six inches behind the viewfinder
What we hope they will be:
About developing intuition
Learning to see and think beyond the single image
Finding a creative voice
Although there will be plenty of time set aside for shooting, we will also spend time in a classroom-based environment. Analytical reflection is crucially important to creative development and lectures and critiques aim to help you develop these skills. Time will be spent reviewing work made during the workshop and talking about ideas and goals.
The workshop is less about techniques (though we will certainly be on hand to offer help and advice) and more about learning to see and develop one’s own vision.
Ansel Adams sums up our objectives succinctly:
"The true artist sees the world in the strongest possible way – let us say, the most penetrating and revealing way. The art of photography is the art of seeing and the effectiveness of photography depends upon the strength and integrity of this seeing. Hence, the so called rules of photographic composition are in my opinion invalid, irrelevant and immaterial – nothing but obstructions between spirit and the revelation of the world of nature and of man.
Triangles, S-curves, centers of interest, leading lines, etc. - these are accessories after the fact, Most great photographers violate “pictorial rules”. In fact I doubt if the term composition ever entered their minds in reference to their work.
They see. They visualize (each in his own way). And they produce. The astonishing thing is that vast numbers of people with cameras could do exactly this if they were given the required confidence and could develop an adequate technique. They might not all be great, but many could be very good - and they could also be very happy in their accomplishment!"
For some time now we have wanted to take our workshop tour concept a little further.
We have never been interested in simply chasing tripod hole locations and our current approach reflects that. However we also have an interest in helping people move beyond simply learning creative techniques. Those techniques - like the camera - while important to understand, are not the key to becoming an artist. That lies in expressing what is inside us in our own very personal way .
So it is our goal that these new ‘Creative Growth’ workshops will have a more intense focus on artistic development. We want to help you open your mind, to think with greater freedom, develop your own style, forge your own path. It is our hope that they will facilitate your progress as an artist and you will come away creatively invigorated and inspired.
‘Creative Growth’ tours will be a little different to our other workshops. Going out with the camera every day will still be at the heart of our initiative, but we will also set aside a part of each day to deliver presentations designed to stimulate your thinking. We will host group discussions dedicated to pushing creative boundaries and finding ways to progress as an artist. Positive, honest, group critique sessions of your work will feature as will processing demonstrations which will be recorded for you to download later. Some locations will include visits to art collections where we can discuss composition, light, colour and techniques, learning from the art of others.
To facilitate everything we want you to achieve on these tours, we will be selecting very special hotels, preferably those with some connection to the visual arts We will choose properties that can offer us a stimulating environment with an atmosphere conducive to learning, with our own room for the teaching sessions and in locations rich with inspiration.
We hope these tours will excite and creatively invigorate you. As always, we will endeavour to give our all to try and help you achieve your creative goals.
To be advised of all future Creative Growth tours, please visit our Contact page and tick the appropriate box(es).
CURRENT WORKSHOPS - see below
We are currently in the fortunate position of having our workshops sell out from our mailing list - very rarely do they get advertised on social media. The best way to gain a space is to sign up for the mailing list on our contact us page and specify the locations that interest you.
For everybody's convenience we wish to keep below the VAT threshold and for this reason we tend to list one tour at the beginning of each month (the threshold is based on a rolling turnover). However, we understand that people may be curious about the plans we have for future tours before committing themselves to a place on a new offering. Therefore, we detail below our plans for the coming year. Although we are reasonably confident the dates and locations will not change, it remains a possibility.
If you are interested in any of the tours below, we would advise you to email us in order that you can receive prior notification before the launch. Thank you.
The tours below are not yet bookable but will be launched in the coming months. Please click through below to advise us which tour you would like to be notified about. Thank you.
CLIENT FEEDBACK : A selection of feedback we have received - we so are lucky that our clients are the absolute tops and working together is invariably a joy for both of us. Thank you.
Many thanks to you both for a great few days in the Lakes this week and the follow-up notes and links. My hopes were to learn the basics of ICM and ME but came away having learned so much more, courtesy of your patience in guiding a beginner and answering my many, often basic, questions. Having browsed through the images a couple of times so far I have been amazed at the progress made and the fact that there are even a few half decent images, some even prompting a ‘wow’ reaction from my wife! John
Thank you both for an excellent and eye-opening session in the Lakes - for me, it was a fun and instructive introduction to alternative camera techniques and I look forward to experimenting further and researching around the subject, not to mention looking out for more of your work - James
Just a quick mail to say thank you for yet another great workshop. As always your planning and locations were faultless. I know how much hard work you put in even before you set eyes on a client and it shows!
So much appreciate by me. - Anita
Just wanted to say thank you for another great workshop in London on Wednesday and also for the download of the printing session – you have given me the courage to have a go at printing properly now I understand so much more about printer profiles and settings etc. You have a great talent for demystifying quite complex technical issues and explaining them in a way non techy people (like me!) can understand – I rarely printed my work before this workshop but that will hopefully change now - Jane
Just wanted to say thank you for such a rewarding workshop. A lovely talented group. Doug, your gentle enthusiasm for pushing creativity is quite something - Graham
I want to thank you all for looking after me so beautifully on Thursday and Friday. You were all faultless looking after us - Sue
thank you so much Valda and Doug, and for such a hugely enjoyable and informative day - Jayne
Dear Valda and Doug, Many thanks for a terrific trip. We were a very happy group, I thought, and seemed to gel with ease. A high level of noisy chat over coffee and meals is always a good sign! I appreciated your generosity with time and attention and have come back with renewed enthusiasm and fresh ideas. - Gina
thank you to both of you for giving us all such a happy and instructive few days. Everything was organised beautifully so that not a moment was wasted and every opportunity and location was utilised to maximum effect. You both gave your time and expertise graciously and I left this morning with renewed enthusiasm and inspiration. You even arranged the weather, (not to mention the disco bus)! Very many thanks to you both. - Dominique.
Thank you Doug & Valda for a wonderful workshop! For me it was a perfect mix of technical guidance and artistic inspiration ( with a good dose of fun to boot). All in beautiful surroundings, based in the cosiest of hotels with ever tasty grub (and a rather nice wine list)and with lovely folk to share it with. I learned lots and had a fab time, ’Til the next one, - Howard
Dear Valda and Doug Thank you so much for an absolutely awesome week. It was a perfect itinerary - a good mixture of planned time and time to play and try and work out how to do it all. A steep learning curve for me and an inspiration to see everyone else’s images. It was such a nice group of people and everyone happy to get along which doesn’t always happen… - Alison
Hi Doug and Valda. A huge thank you for last week! I am still revelling in all the sights and sounds and general experience. You organised it all brilliantly from the comfortable hotel to the wonderful finale of the light and sound display at the end. You both gave us so much help and new ideas which I shall work on. Thank you both for being ‘you’. - Alyn