The Best Photography Workshops For All Budgets
One of the best ways to get out of a photography rut is to attend a photography workshop. There are so many great options choose from, and they don’t all cost 2 months rent. Without having to scout locations and plan itineraries on your own time, workshops present the opportunity to see and photograph beautiful, dynamic parts of the world you may otherwise miss.
You will meet like-minded people with a shared photography passion. Because many of these workshops are in small group form, you will be free to ask questions. Workshop leaders have typically celebrated photographers with a passion for sharing their knowledge. In addition to getting you to the best locations at the right time, they will impart expert technical knowledge. This knowledge will for your future shoots and help you elevate your portfolio. Instructors can help to hone your eye so you can understand how the things you are seeing will translate into a photograph.
Photography can be lonely at times, with no one to see your images or offer feedback. The workshop leader will be able to offer constructive critiques and post-production tips, and your peers in the workshop are an excellent resource to tap into for post-workshop feedback.
We’ve sifted through, quite literally, 1000s of photography workshops to find the best ones from San Francisco, to New York, to India and beyond at all price points.
Daniel Kordan is an award-winning photographer and Nikon ambassador. Each year he hosts multiple photography workshops and excursions around the globe. His website has glowing testimonials praising Korden’s skill, leadership abilities, and organization.
His 2019 workshops and tours (some of which are already sold out) are Chinese Landscape Photography, Baikal Lake in Russia, White Angels of Camargue, Svalbard: The Arctic Light, Chilean Fjords, Aurora and Ice Caves in Iceland, South Georgia Wildlife, Japan in Red: Autumn Leaves, Greenland Midnight Sun,Tuscany Majestic Landscapes, Patagonia, and the Lofoten Islands.
The workshops are comprised of an international group of seasoned and novice photographers, and everyone leaves with a thorough body of work. Learn more about the workshops and about Daniel Kordan here.
Known as Project Los Angeles 2019, this photography workshop will teach you how to use your photography skills to work with nonprofits. Each participant works under a nonprofit with (or they choose their own). Over the course of the 4-day workshop (February 20th-24th, 2019) you will work with your instructor to photograph the mission of the nonprofit. The workshop will also include nightly lectures, business skills training, and 1-on-1 personal editing sessions.
This workshop is a great opportunity to build your portfolio and put your skills to work. The lectures take place in the lovely Leica store in West Hollywood, and the cost to enroll is $1750. You can learn more or sign up for the workshop here.
International street photographer, David Coleman, hosts this workshop in San Francisco’s Mission District. You will learn how to capture the vibrant street art of San Francisco. Coleman will teach attendees the skills required not just to capture the colorful murals, but to use these murals as a backdrop for visual storytelling and compelling narrative. Street art has a history of being a used as political statement, and this workshop will give you the opportunity to learn about the history of the Mission District, and explore places you may not otherwise discover.
Great for photographers on a budget, tickets to this workshop costs just $129. Included in this price is three hours of small, instructed group session on the street. Also, you get a virtual one-on-one critique held a week after the workshop for Coleman to offer feedback and suggest edits using Adobe Lightroom.
The workshop is to take place on Saturday, November 16th, 2019 from 9am-12pm.
Photographer Pete Gordon founded Explorelight in 2009. The Explorelight workshops are run by known teachers, experts, and artists and explore landscape and nature photography. Though Pete Gordon is native to Ireland, his workshops have expanded to Iceland, Norway, Dolomites, Tuscany, Faroes, Montenegro, and Scotland.
Majority of the workshop trips have a 4:1 ratio of participants to instructor, so you will get quality guidance and one-on-one time. They also ensure single occupancy so you won’t be sharing a hotel room with a stranger.
Gordon has won countless prestigious awards, including the 2018 Irish Landscape Photographer of the Year. The workshops will challenge you and push you to get to “the best location at the best time of day” so you can go home with the best images possible. Their website is filled with testimonials and you can check them out here.
If you love wine and photography, then this workshop is for you. You will spend 5 days in Canada’s Okanagan Valley. In addition to amazing wine and food pairings. You will learn the nuances of sunset and sunrise photography, how to best shoot moving water, and you will likely have the opportunity to shoot the milky way, and try your hand at food photography. You will also be instructed on panorama photography and how to use filters for long exposure photography.
The workshop includes accommodation at a 5-star hotel, 5 dinners, 2 lunches, an opportunities to shoot at 14 unique locations.
Famed architect and photographer, Rick Hulbert, and Portugal-based photographers, Fernando Piçarra and Marion McCristall are leading the 2019 Pictours Portugal workshop.
The workshop only has 12 photographers and they have “expert photography instruction, hands-on in the field practice, lectures, and constructive evaluation of images.”
You will have the opportunity to shoot in Lisbon, along with the Atlantic coast, Aldea de Mata Pequena, and 18th-century limestone palace and the cathedral at Mafra. The workshop is from October 19 to October 26, 2019, and the fee is €3745 per person. This workshop fee includes “instruction in the field, lectures, and image reviews, a hotel in Sintra for 7 nights, airport transfers, all meals, and all entrance fees. Basically, everything will be taken care of besides airfare. You can learn more about the workshop and fill out a registration form here.
Sea to Summit offers unique photography workshops in all corners of the globe. As they state on their website, Sea to Summit workshops “are learning-focused, meaning that we make every effort to have you leave your workshop a better photographer than you were when you came in. Our workshops are designed to immerse you in scenic landscapes while providing a positive, small group learning environment. Rather than spend our time in a classroom, all instruction takes place “in the field” in amazing locations, and is fun, constructive, and personal.”
Their 2019 workshops have not yet been publicly announced, but their 2018 offerings included Death Valley, the California Coast, the High Sierras, New Zealand and Eastern Washington. Their workshop groups have only 8 participants and two instructors to ensure time for small group and one-on-one instruction.
With a 95% return client rate and seasoned instructors, Jennifer King Photo Workshops are appropriate for advanced photographers and those just beginning. You will learn new techniques and shoot in a unique location which has been found in advance by King and her team of experienced photographers.
The 2019 workshops are filling up fast, but there are still open spaces in the following workshop locations: Amelia Island, Florida, Merritt Island: Florida Birds, Scotland, The Smokies, England: Stonehenge & Cotswolds, South Dakota, Palouse, Mt. Rainier, Banff National Park, Acadia, and Iceland. There are still workshops for the 2019 season, so be sure to check King’s website for the latest information.
King also speaks regularly at photography summits and encourages participants to continue their education post workshop. You can finding pricing information and details for all workshops on the Jennifer King Photo website.
Named one of the 21 best photography workshops by Format Magazine, Andrew French’s workshops live up to their reputation. Andrew French is a famous lifestyle and portrait photographer and his work are in Time, Esquire, and Women’s Health. In this workshop, you will learn the history and art behind portrait photography, and receive “a hands-on demo of techniques that will guide you to conceive and shoot your own portraits.”
French includes tangible lessons in the workshop including how to work with light in a daylight studio. How to find spontaneous moments when shooting. This workshop is on January 26th and 27th, 2019 and attendees have the option to attend either one or both days. The single day fee is $495 and the two-day package is $850.
The Real Workshop (TRW) is specific to wedding photographers and will help you to develop practical skills and gain the confidence and creativity to jumpstart your business. It is taught by wedding photographers and videographers whose clients “are actual couples with normal venues and real weather and lighting conditions, so their tips and lessons will all be able to translate very seamlessly over to you and your real clients.” Simply put, the instructors have grappled with all the same struggles you as a wedding photographer are facing; poorly lit venues, dj lights interfering with your flash, late family members, and poor weather conditions.
TRW also hosts what they call “excursions” which are “tightly packed two-day mini-workshops.” Though you will be in gorgeous outdoor venues for most of the excursions and workshops, TRW makes sure you have the chance to shoot less ideal, and badly-lit spot to prepare you for the real deal of wedding photography. This workshop has the title of the Best Workshop for 2018 by Junebug. They offer discounts for pairs of photographers attending together.
The Real Workshop for 2019 is in Asheville, NC in July 2019 (exact dates TBD) and costs $1300, and The Real Workshop Excursion will be in Salt Lake City on January 4-5, 2019. Single admission for the excursion is $600.
This Princeton, New Jersey workshop will teach you how to be a better photographer. They offer group and corporate workshops, classes, photo field trips, and private instruction.
Their classes and workshops include “Working with a Live Model” “Mastering Composition: Beyond the Rule of Thirds” and “Make Better Pictures with your iPhone” just to name a few of their many diverse offerings.
Perhaps their best-known workshop is the three-part “Portrait Photography From Start to Finish.” You are welcome to attend one or all three of the workshops which include portrait photography basics, shooting portraits, and the polished portrait. Attendance for all three sessions held (November 6th, 11th, and 18th 2018). They have a discount rate of $395 that you can check out today.
Their students have excellent things to say about the workshop and the instructors, with one student writing “Princeton Photo Workshop instructors really love photography and, just as importantly, love to teach. They have encouraged me to stretch my boundaries and get out of my comfort zone, and my photography has improved immensely because of this. I highly recommend any of their trips or classroom instruction.”
You can see all of the Princeton Photo Workshops here.
Twig and Olive is a Madison, Wisconsin studio specializing in editorial weddings, portraits, and newborn photographies. They offer both in-person and “e-Workshops” which are a wonderful resource for photographers on a budget.
Their “Colossal Workshop” is one of their most popular offerings and 3 acclaimed photographers teach it and they are, Erin Hoskins, Alli Peck and Doug Weittenhiller of Twig and Olive.
The workshop will be in Chicago on July 8th and 9th, 2019 and will focus on the three major things you need for a successful photography business. The workshop costs $550. Their other workshops focus on wedding, family, and newborn photography and you can read more about their offerings here.
The spectacular Faroe Islands are located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Norwegian Sea. It is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes and light you may ever see. You will have the opportunity to shoot “towering cliffs, peaceful beaches, tiny villages, gushing waterfalls and much more.”
The workshop is led by Erez Marom, an award-winning landscape photographer. His work has been in leading photography publications including National Geographic Book.
There are still a few spots available for this 7-day trip which takes place November 9th-15th, 2018. You can check out the amazing video which was filmed in the Faroe Islands during a scouting trip.
If you can’t make this workshop, Marom offers several workshops each year and other 2019 workshop offerings include Desert Storm: Namibia, Tales of Arctic Nights: Greenland, and Earth, Wind, and Fire: Ethiopia.
National Geographic will offer 3 separate trips to Yellowstone in the winter of 2019. Each of these 6-day photography workshops will be lead by one of the following experts, Andrew Coleman, Ronan Donovan, and Jonathan Irish. You will begin your trip in Bozeman Montana, before heading to the Lamar Valley. Then, followed by the Grand Canyon and Old Faithful, Yellowstone and Gallatin Canyon, and finally back to Bozeman.
Yellowstone offers the opportunity to shoot snow-covered landscapes while capturing native wildlife. The wildlife includes elk, bison, coyotes, and the “elusive gray wolf.” You will visit Old Faithful geyser without the typical crowding, and have access to “gem-colored mineral pools.”
Yellowstone in winter is a photographer’s dream and the crisp white background lends a stark contrast and tranquility to each image. Beyond learning about photography from world class experts, you will have insider knowledge on the reintroduction of Yellowstone’s wolves and “meet a cinematographer who has produced films on the park and its wildlife for National Geographic.”
Dan Ballard is a renowned landscape and travel photographer. He has photographed over 60 countries and has sold images to The National Geographic Society and The Travel Channel. His work is created “from a profound desire to share a sense wonder for the world with others. His introduction to photography began with a love of travel, transpiring into a vibrant passion for creating photographic art.”
Many of Dan Ballard’s 2019 photography workshops are already sold out, which speaks to the quality of his leadership and the caliber of his landscape photography.
There are currently still spots available in a few of his 2019 workshops including Colorado Wildflowers workshop (June 19-21) Senja, Norway (August 8-11) Wyoming’s Wind River Range, Colorado Off Road (September 20-22). Other workshop locations in 2019 include Antarctica and the Moab desert. You can learn more about fees and workshop details here.
The 6 day, 7 night photography workshop will take you through beautiful Newfoundland. You will have the opportunity to photograph coves, cliffs, lighthouses, fishing villages and icebergs. Many photographers particpate on the trip because of the abundant wildlife. Newfoundland is famous for its puffins, bald eagles, orcas, dolphins, and a huge variety of shorebirds.
This workshop will teach you the fundamentals of camera settings. How to hold your camera correctly to get the shot you want. How to correctly plan a shoot, and what gear and equipment will best serve your needs. The small group (capped at 8 photographers) assures a 4 to 1 client to student ratio.
This photography workshop costs $4995 and will be held June 23rd-29th, 2019.
PhotoManhattan is a great resource for New York-based photographers on a budget.
They offer classes and workshops for all skill levels and schedules; some workshops meet just once for two hours, and others are a series of 5 sessions. PhotoManhattan has a constantly evolving list of classes. Some of their current offerings include seminars on “iPhoneography” or Street Photography, and sessions on Digital Photography, Photojournalism, and Photoshop.
You can also snag a Groupon deal to use toward photography workshops with PhotoManhattan.
Though Colby Brown did not start professional photography until 2006, he quickly became well-known and loved in the industry. He specializes in landscape, travel, and humanitarian photography. He also is a Sony Artisan of Imagery, a Wacom Ambassador, and an X-rite Colorrati. His workshop experience began with leading workshops in South America with National Geographic. More than a photographer, Brown is a humanitarian. In 2011, he founded Giving Lens, an “an organization that blends photo education with support for various NGO’s and causes around the world. TGL helps fight for child education, clean drinking water projects, species preservation, [and] women’s rights.”
He now runs worldwide workshops, and also offers online workshops for “post processing” guidance. Discover Cuba is from March 13th-20th, 2019. You will have the unique opportunity to photograph one of the most colorful and vibrant countries. Which has, for years, been off-limits to US travels. From the classic cars to the cobblestone streets, beautiful lights and colors and striking mountains of the Vinales, Cuba is a photographers’ dream.
All of Brown’s workshops have small, personal groups. If you can’t make it to Cuba, Brown will also be leading 2019 workshops in other locations.
Bryan Peterson is co-founder of the “world’s number 1 photography school” The Bryan Peterson School of Photography. His clients include American Express, Kodak, UPS, Citibank and more, and he has published eight instructional books on photography.
His workshops are highly sought after, and focus on “developing a vision, learning to ‘see’, composition, lens choice, point of view, as well as a full understanding of and knowing the clear difference between a correct exposure and a creatively correct exposure and the absolute ease of knowing when and where to call upon your portable flash.”
Peterson’s workshops are very small with a limit of 4 people. Also, most of his 2019 workshops are sold out.
From November 10th-19th, 2019, he will be leading a workshop in Rajasthan and Delhi, India. One of the draws of his workshops is that they cover many genres of photography. One trip includes landscape, people, street, and architecture.
Jack Graham workshops are open to all skill levels. It is important, however, that you understand your camera and have a grasp on “ equipment, cameras and menus, as well as the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO.”
Grand Teton National Park comes fully alive in the fall. Also, attendees will have the opportunity to capture the striking colors, snowy mountains, and the abundant wildlife. Animals including moose, elk, swans, buffalo, and coyotes.
The Grand Teton photography workshop will take place from September 26th-29th, 2019 and the cost is $1149.