Workshops vs Tours

With such an expansion of the number and type of photography events available for aspiring photographers to participate in, the true nature of these events can sometimes seem a bit unclear to those thinking about participating. When I was organizing my first events in 2014, I realized someone finally has to draw a clear line between events that were intended as coaching/teaching equine photography experiences, and those which were less structured (though still well organized) photo sessions for my photographer friends and colleagues to join me on.

There are dozens of events organized each year for equine and equestrian photographers. Most of them are referred to as workshops, which I’ve found is not always is correct in terms of what the host or organizer is actually providing for his/her participants. In my understanding (which is often shared by many other fellow photographers), a workshop is an event where the host will share his/her knowledge and experience with participants in order to help them develop their photography skills. This is achieved through collaborative practice shooting and some theoretical support.

Unfortunately, many events are not actually focused on true teaching of photography. This isn’t surprising for me, as not everyone actually wants to pass on their secrets and tips to aspiring photographers. Many of the presently offered “workshops” are often not much more than a simple gathering of photographers, where the organizer leads sessions and is paid for providing models and other activities. Some of these workshop events are extended to a few days, and include visiting a few different locations. While I do offer this type of event myself, I prefer to call these “photography tours”, although I do continue to offer workshops as well.

In order to help you distinguish between my Tours and my Workshops and answer some FAQ’s about each type of event (including the terms, conditions and expectations for each of these types of events), I’ve put all of the nitty-gritty into a table for easy reference. As always, I welcome your questions and feedback should some details remain unclear.


Coaching Yes - the main difference (and most important) between our Workshops and Tours is the element of teaching and education.
Workshops are conducted for the main purpose of coaching, sharing knowledge and gaining experience. Students develop their photography skills and practical knowledge about working with horse models during photo sessions, theoretical lecture and classes about photo processing.
No - during the Tour, your host is not obligated to coach. Photographers who feel comfortable and confident their photography skills are invited to join me during my annual travels, during which I am focused on gathering photos for my own needs. Of course by watching other photographers during photo sessions there is also a valuable
opportunity to follow and learn. Most photographers are willing to share some tips with other participants during tour events.
Number of days Apart from individual coaching and special workshop requests, Workshops for international group of students take 4 days, including the first day of theoretical masterclass, 2 shooting days and the last day, which is dedicated to post processing skills. Each Tour includes 8 shooting days. Occassionally, there may be shorter weekend Tours offered in a particular area/region/stud.
Maximum number of participants 10 participants is absolute maximum for our Workshops. 6 participants at our 8 day Tours, and 6-8 participants during our weekend Tours
Online posting of gathered photos Permitted - every participant is more than welcome to share their work online or in their private portfolio. Event and host credit, as well as horse name and owner/stud
name are required .
Permitted - every participant is more than welcome to share their work online or in their private portfolio. Event and host credit, as well as horse name and owner/stud
name are required .
Commercial usage of gathered photos Not permitted - we provide help in creating final images through sharing tips, theoretical knowladge, experience, help with creating the setting, assisting with setups for your best frames during photo sessions, guiding you through post processing, and helping with selection of your set of photos. I do not allow for commercial usage, nor do I allow these photos to be used in photo competitions, etc.  Permitted - because each participant works independently creating their on their own images (no official/structured coaching
support), you are allowed to use your photographs for commercial
purposes as well as for other like contest entries etc.
Required equipment Participants must bring their own a DSLR camera, 70-200mm lens (or similar) and a laptop with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom software installed. Please bring with you a DSLR camera. Conditions mostly allow
for shooting with a lens 70-200mm, 300mm, 100-400mm and sometimes 200-400mm. A wider lens (around 35mm or
50mm) might be useful as well. Don’t forget to also bring a laptop or other device to safely store your photos from your memory cards.
Number of provided photo sessions Basic Workshops plan provide 6 photo sessions (different set
ups, location and type of photography). Sessions are offered over a total of 2 days.
14 photo sessions are provided (2 sessions per day, wiith the exception of one day in the middle of tour, where wee plan only 1
session in order to provide a longer break time).
 What photos you can expect
 to gather
Workshops with me provide you at least 6 different types of photos to study from, including some from those listed below:
•  horses in motion
•  portraits on black background
•  portraits on natural background
•  photo session with human and horses models
•  session in different location to show how to work with horses in places where we can’t let them loose
•  stud/sale photos of horse
•  experimental play with detail and light
Tours provide an opportunity to photograph horse breeds local/native to the area we are visiting. To set our images apart and make them as special and unique as possible, we photograph the horses mostly in nature. Care is taken to provide good backdrops showing the uniqueness of where we are visiting, and this always the priority when planning each Tour. 
The majority of each Tour is spent photographing horses at liberty (motion, portraits). When visiting regions/countires with a rich or historical horse culture, we also aim to provide some sessions with riders in traditional attire, or photo sessions at historical locations.
How many photos can students/participants
expect to gather
Workshops are focused on quality shared knowledge and practice with the teacher. To provide best examples and enough time to practice, there are only a few horses to photograph in each type of studied subject/setting. Students can still capture a great deal of photos, but the variety of images will be somewhat limited. During each Tour we try to gather as many photographs as possible during 14 planned photo sessions. Each session is different. Some of them will provide a large variety of horses, as individuals or as a 
herd. Some sessions will be focused on photographing only the best stallions/individuals at the stud/location.
Can student/participant request certain kinds of horses or set-ups? Rather not - sessions during workshops are set up according to an exact plan to provide opportunities for students to practice their skills in planned situations. Yes - sessions during each Tour are organised and lead by the organiser, but all participants are welcome to share their ideas for best images results.
Accomodation included in price Depends - if workshop place/stud provide rooms at location, then yes. If stud owners don’t have guest space, then accommodation is not included in price. Yes - price always include accommodation for 8 nights (or 2 during our weekend Tours). We provide accommodation mostly in at least 3 stars hotels, but it is not always guaranteed.
Do participants have to share
Maybe - it all depends what kind of accommodations may be available at the workshop location/stud, and if we're able to use those accommodations. More information is always published when each workshop is announced. No - we arrange for individual room accommodation whenever possible, although there are rare occasions when we are not able to guarantee this.
Alimentation/meal included in price Depends - if Workshop place/stud provide rooms at location, we will also provide meals during the Workshop. No - each day as a group we visit restaurants or pubs/tapas bars for our lunch, and we enjoy breakfast and supper at our hotel, or at a nearby restaurant. Every participant must pay for their own meals - we do not split the bills.
Is transport included/provided? Mostly no -  at some Workshops, we might offer transport between arrival/departure locatons and lesson locations, but we are not obligated to do so. If transport is not included, we may still offer to help with tips regarding how/when to arrive at the starting location of the Workshop destination. Yes - travels only within Tour days, between sessions location and hotels, as well as pick up and drop of transport is arranged. 
Distance to travel If accommodation is provided by the stud where Workshop is held, then we will not have to travel at all. This varies at each Workshop. Travel distances vary on each Tour. Each day we visit different places; some may be closer together than others. Please be prepared to potentially spend a lot of time in the car as we travel from place to place throughout the visited county/area. On journeys of more than 2 hours, we will plan to take a break midway through our travels.
Time off between photo sessions/events During each of the 2 shooting days there is planned time off for lunch
and to take a break. Exact length of breaks depends on the weather. If the weather is forecast to be sunny, we will plan to photograph early in the morning and in the afternoon-evening hours. Breaks will be planned for midday, when the strong, direct sunlight is at its peak. On cloudy days, the photo shooting program will start later and finish earlier, and the midday break will be shorter.
Some of our days will be less filled up with sessions and traveling in order to give you chance to take a rest. During our 8 days Tours, there is always one day planned with only one photo session to give participants a chance to sleep in and take a longer rest from early morning sessions. Whenever possible and if participants are willing to explore the area and local history, we will happily accommodate a visit to the area’s attractions. Taking part in these non-photographic excursions is not mandatory! When we’re not in a photo session or traveling, everyone is welcome to enjoy their free time as they wish.



by Kasia


Excellent outline of what to expect at a workshop and a tour. Much appreciated!!

Laurie Thomson, Saturday 8th September 2018 09:28:14 AM

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