Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few questions that are often asked:
Do I Have To Be An Experienced Photographer?
My workshops welcome students of all levels. With more than 30 years of photography teaching experience, I can help you grow in your photography whether you're an advanced expert or a complete beginner. Because of our small (never more than 7 students) groups, the workshops are like a small photo school.
What Kind of Camera Do I Need?
Whether you're an absolute beginner with a simple camera or an advanced photographer with the latest and greatest gear, you can have a great experience on one of my workshops. Before we all leave for Italy, I provide you with extensive equipment suggestions and tutorials, so you'll have a great sense of what to bring along and what to leave at home. If you need advice on acquiring a camera, I can help you with that, too!
In the end, it's the photographer that makes the image, not the camera - so you could even participate with your phone camera!
There Are Other Similar Workshops That Are Less Expensive - What Gives?
My goal for you is to not have to think about anything but immersing yourself in photography and the Italian culture. To that end, we really try to take care of everything. Once you arrive at our meet-up point, you won't have to worry about meals, lodging, transportation, guides, tips.... any of the "travel minutia" that gets in the way of making the best photographs you can make.
You might find other workshops where the up-front cost is low, but participants have to provide their own transportation, lodging, meals, etc, etc, etc. In the end, the cost ends up being the same as my workshops - or more.
Participants on my workshops frequently comment on what a great value they are: "It was a really GREAT experience from top to bottom. The things we saw, the guidance you provided, the food... just incredible. If someone wants a first class tour combined with an exceptional learning experience, I can't imagine finding a better package. In fact... I think you provide excellent value even without considering the photographic aspect of the trip." - workshop participant Dave J.
Does Jeff Photograph During The Workshops?
I'm a photographer, so... yes! But, the photography I do during a workshop is usually directed toward helping you learn something about photography. I work alongside you to help you see better, think through the subjects in front of us and get better images. In other words, I don't take away from your workshop time to make my images.
Do You Provide Travel Details Before The Workshop?
Yes! In the months before we leave for Italy, workshop participants receive extensive pre-planning information on things like Italian travel, Italian culture, photo equipment, software tips and tutorials, packing guides and much more. I also provide you with detailed itineraries and maps. Plus, you get a link to download a 60-page eBook that incorporates a wide variety of photography and Italy travel information, tips, tutorials and more.
What Are Meals Like During the Workshop?
Italian food is, well... eating in Italy will ruin you for Italian restaurants just about anywhere else in the world. The cuisine varies from region to region and menus are always based on what's fresh and in season then, so as the workshops move around Italy, the foods we eat change, as well. My workshop participants often say that they spent the week photographing and eating well.
All the hotels we use during workshops provide a buffet-style breakfast, typically with coffee, juices, pastries, yogurts, breads, meats, cheeses and cereals. Depending on where we are, lunches are usually a quick panino (sandwich) or a pizza, sometimes a pasta - you get to choose. Dinners (which Italians eat later than Americans - usually 7:30 or 8:00PM) are almost always ordered by workshop participants off of a menu, so you can choose what you want. There is always plenty of great local wine with the meal, along with bottled water. Many of the menus are translated into English, but if they aren't, we can provide translation for you.
Can My Non-Photographer Partner Come Along?
Of course! We welcome anyone who wants to join us. I can provide a discount on the cost of the week experience. This discount varies depending on the workshop and the lodging and transportation needs for the week; contact me for more information.
Do I Have To Bring A Tripod?
You do not have to have a tripod, but I always recommend that participants bring one, and I cover their use during the workshop. They are also especially useful when we are photographing in low light levels (in the early morning or evening, for example). If you don't have one already, prior to the workshop, I provide suggestions for reasonably-priced models that won't let you (or your camera) down.
What If It Rains?
Into every life, a little rain sometimes falls. Of course, we hope that it won't, but sometimes it does. We usually don't let a little drizzle interfere with our day trip plans, so we typically don't stay in when it rains. We can, however, be a little flexible, and we adjust as needed when the weather interferes. I will say that some great workshop student images have been made during rainy days. Bring an umbrella.
Should I Bring A Laptop?
Yes, please. We do critiques of the images that you and other workshop participants create during the week. Being able to download your images to a laptop and edit out a group of images for us to review is very helpful.
While we don't do a great deal of post-production work during the workshop, I do provide instruction in post-production workflows both before and during the workshop. Most all of my workshop participants use Adobe Lightroom to organize, edit and adjust their images, though other software packages work, as well.
What About An iPad?
While the majority of workshop participants bring along a laptop, I've had a few students who have used an iPad for image download and editing. This works reasonably well, so long as the extra time needed to download images to the tablet is taken into consideration.
My Question Isn't In This List!