Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How much photography experience do I need to join?
No minimum photography experience is required to join a workshop. Experience level can range all the way from amateur to advanced, forming a diverse group of people who share a common passion for landscape photography.
What does a typical workshop day look like?
Several factors (weather being the biggest) play a role in determining our schedule during the workshop, so a detailed itinerary cannot not provided in advance. Your workshop leaders will evaluate the options every day and usually convey a plan to the group the evening prior.
As long as the weather is conducive to photography, our days start early and can be long. We’re generally out before sunrise and out again till after sunset. We do much of our shooting in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Around midday, we eat and rest a bit, at times using the activity lull to offer training on topics of general interest.
Will we have time for night photography?
Probably, although it depends entirely on the weather. In addition to the familiar golden hour shooting times (the hours surrounding sunrise and sunset), we enjoy sharing our love of night photography. If the skies are relatively clear, we will arrange night photography outings on at least a few evenings over the course of the workshop (but not every night). On moonless nights, we will be able to capture the Milky Way in its full glory, whereas, when the moon is up, we will focus on capturing the star-studded sky with a moonlit foreground.
What about transportation?
Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the workshop. Many of the locations we visit have limited parking spaces, so we always carpool to limit the number of vehicles and reduce our environmental footprint. Every morning, we will solicit volunteer drivers to take several of their peers to our daily destinations. We normally shoot within an hour’s drive of our motel, but the total distance varies depending on weather and the plan of the day.
Should I make my own lodging arrangements?
We always take care of reserving a block of rooms in advance, although you'll have to pay for your own lodging upon arrival. In most cases, you will not need to contact the lodging facility before checking in, although this may vary by workshop. There are places that still require each guest to call in advance to confirm the booking and leave a one-night deposit. We will spell out these per-workshop requirements in the workshop description.
What should I bring and how should I dress?
This is New England, so you need to be prepared for a variety of weather conditions. It’s always best to dress in layers so that you can add or subtract clothing as needed. A warm base layer, a fleece, and warm jacket are generally a good idea depending on time of year. You should also bring warmer clothing for the night sessions. Avoid cotton as it tends to get wet fast and stays wet long. It’s best to wear fast-drying and wicking clothing. Consider bringing the following items:
- ❏ Warm, comfortable socks
- ❏ Gloves (especially in autumn)
- ❏ Headgear for warmth and sun protection
- ❏ Warm jacket to be worn over a base layer such as a fleece
- ❏ Waterproof outerwear, like a rain jacket and rain pants
- ❏ Sturdy hiking shoes or boots
- ❏ Rubber boots to ford shallow creeks and ponds
- ❏ Sunscreen protection
- ❏ Insect and tick repellant
- ❏ Headlamp with extra batteries
Should I be concerned about ticks?
All New England states are at risk for Lyme disease. Participants should take precautions in the field and perform tick checks at the end of each day. Ticks are often found in tall grasses, brush, and leaf litter, so it’s best to avoid walking in those areas if possible. We also recommend wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts to reduce skin exposure. Your leaders will be carrying tick repellent that you can spray on susceptible areas of your skin and clothing.
What happens if we encounter bad weather?
New England weather is variable, which is also part of its beauty. It’s not uncommon for us to experience rain at some point over the course of a workshop. We continue to shoot under most weather conditions, with the exception of heavy rain and thunderstorms. In the case of overcast skies or light rain, we shift our focus to photographing along the forests, creeks, ponds, and waterfalls. At other times, we may take advantage of the inclement weather to return to the motel for informal training sessions on topics of general interest.
What are the payment terms?
A $300 per person deposit is required to reserve space in one of our workshops. The remaining tuition balance is due 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. Registered participants will receive an email bill with final payment instructions at least 60 days before the workshop begins.
What is the maximum group size?
Our workshops are limited to a maximum of 8 participants for optimum instructor-to-participant ratio and to ensure a top-notch intimate experience for all participants. We have no set minimum number of participants, so we can guarantee that the workshop will run regardless of group size, even if only one person is registered.
What’s included in the tuition?
The price of the workshop includes all fieldwork, group instruction, individual tutoring, entrance fees, ferries (when relevant), water and snacks. The tuition fee does not include travel insurance, meals, transportation, and lodging (although we take care of booking all the rooms).
What is your cancellation policy?
The $300 deposit is fully refundable if cancelled at least 60 days prior to the workshop. Otherwise, the deposit is non-refundable. The tuition balance (minus the deposit) is refunded in full for reservations cancelled more than 30 days before the workshop. Otherwise, the participant will receive a 50% refund, unless the spot can be refilled in time.
Do I need to bring a laptop computer?
Although not absolutely required, we do recommend that participants bring a laptop along if at all possible (equipped with the software you will need to process your images). This makes it much easier to review your photos and assist you in any post-processing discussion that may ensue.
What can I expect to learn at the workshop?
See the page on training topics for a list of subjects typically covered.
What camera equipment do I need to bring?
There is no hard and fast camera gear required for our workshops. See the page on camera equipment for our list of recommendations.
Is there a fitness level requirement to join?
Most places we visit are easily accessible and in close proximity to parking. But some locations may involve walking distances of up to a mile, and some trails may have steep and rocky portions. Also, the trails can sometimes be wet and slippery, so we recommend that appropriate footwear be worn at all times. We hope that you can join us on all excursions, but if you feel unsure of your ability to tackle a planned trek, you can skip that portion and we will make arrangements to meet up with you later in the day.
All participants are emailed a liability waiver and a medical questionnaire that must be completed and returned before the start of the workshop. These documents (kept in strictest confidence) allow us to assess the overall fitness level of the group in advance. Note that we may sometimes be up to 50 miles from the nearest hospital facility.
Do workshop leaders shoot alongside participants?
The short answer is yes, although it depends on several factors. Workshop leaders will sometimes shoot alongside the group, but our first priority is always to the participants, so we only shoot if the participants need little or no hands-on assistance. At other times, we may set up our cameras mainly to demonstrate a composition, feature, or technique.
What about meals?
Breakfast and dinner are planned around sunrise and sunset times, so actual eating times vary depending on time of year. We always eat our meals as a group because it eases logistics, plus it’s a good time to get to know each other. We take most meals in restaurants, but at times we may need to eat on the go in order to get you to the right place at the right time. Note that you will be responsible for the cost of your own meals during the workshop.
Where and when do we kick off the workshop?
The group meets at 4pm on the first day of the workshop. This leaves the early part of the day free for travel, especially for those participants who travel from afar. The gathering point is normally a motel room, but you will be sent more specific instructions in advance of the workshop. After basic introductions, we will go to dinner as a group where we get to know each other a bit more and discuss our general plan of attack for the rest of the workshop. The photography portion of the adventure begins at sunrise the following morning.