- Great Basin School of Photography
- Tuttle Cameras Photography Workshops
- Creative Photo Academy
- Aperture Academy
- David W. Shaw Photography Workshops and Tours
- Jennifer King Photo Workshops
- Arctic Exposure Iceland Workshops
- Susie Reed Sedona Photography Tours
- Photo Workshop Adventures
- Lenses to Enhance Creativity
- Advanced Exposure
- Architecture Photography
- Street Photography
- How Lenses Work
Photo by pixdeluxe via iStock
Each year, we do a "top photography workshops" list...
Now that there are far fewer restrictions on travel due to the pandemic, the top photography workshops will continue to fill up fast.
With that in mind, I thought I would help you plan your photography outings with a quick look at some of the top workshop options available today.
What's so great about the photography workshops that I list below is that they offer an enormous variety of options. You can travel at home or abroad. Visit iconic locations or off-the-beaten-path locales. In each case, though, you'll benefit from small-group instruction from incredibly talented photographers.
So, without further ado, let's get to my picks for the top photography workshops!
Table of Contents: Top Photography Workshops to Attend
Great Basin School of Photography
Base Fee: Varies by location
Workshop Leaders: Jeff Sullivan & Lori Hibbett
When you go on a photography workshop, you want to explore beautiful locations, but you also want to learn. That's precisely what you do on a workshop with Great Basin School of Photography!
I've had the chance to get to know Jeff and Lori and see that at work in the field. I can tell you first-hand that they are incredibly knowledgable photographers, gifted teachers, and excellent tour guides.
What I appreciate most about the tours from Jeff and Lori is that they do all the work. They do the research. They scout locations. They have an intimate knowledge of each location. What does that mean for you?
It's simple - you get to experience a photo workshop that's run like a well-oiled machine!
With the knowledge that Jeff and Lori have amassed over the years, they know the best times of day and the best times of year to visit each location.
What's more, they know where to take you that other tour operators don't. That means you can explore the iconic spots, but you also get to the off-the-beaten-path locations, too.
There are tours in a variety of locations throughout the year as well. You can explore Death Valley and Yosemite, Nevada and the Eastern Sierras, and experience the ghost town of Bodie, California at night.
Whichever location is your pleasure, you'll find that you're put in a position to find success and that you'll learn things that help you take your best shot.
Whether you want to photograph deserts or wildflowers, ghost towns or soaring mountain peaks, Jeff and Lori have you covered!
Base Fee: Varies by location
Workshop Leader: Scott Setterberg
I don’t know about you, but when I head out for a photography adventure, I don’t want to worry about anything other than getting my best shots.
With the all-inclusive photography tours from ColorTexturePhotoTours, everything is handled for you so you can concentrate on capturing the beauty around you. Whether you join workshop leader Scott Setterberg in Costa Rica, Oregon, or Washington, you’ll find that you’re pampered with stays in luxurious hotels, fine food, and, of course, gorgeous scenery!
Regardless of the workshop you choose, you’ll be part of a private tour that’s limited to a handful of participants. In fact, ColorTexturePhotoTours limits availability to just four people!
In this small group setting, you can maximize your time with Scott to learn photography tips and tricks for improving your photography. Likewise, with such a small group, it’s easier to get to know your tourmates and develop friendships that last far beyond the last day of the tour.
When you’re not out in the field shooting, you’ll be transported from one location to the next with comfortable travel in a private transport.
You’ll also get to enjoy workshops at the hotel where you can learn how to improve your digital workflow with Lightroom tips from Scott. Of course, sharing photos and getting feedback on your work is part of the experience as well.
I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Scott over the last year or so, and he constantly impresses me with his drive to provide the best experience for his clients.
Though some tour companies take liberty with what “private” and “small group” and “luxurious” actually mean, ColorTexturePhotoTours offers the real deal.
It’s just you, three new photography friends, and an expert photographer leading you from one spectacular location to the next!
Tours are ongoing throughout the year, so be sure to check with ColorTexturePhotoTours for details on upcoming workshops.
Tuttle Cameras Photography Workshops
Base Fee: Most classes are free
Workshop Leaders: Varies by class
One of the most significant barriers for people to participate in a photography workshop is the expense - many workshops cost thousands of dollars. Not all of us have that kind of disposable income.
Additionally, not all of us can take a week off work to fly to some far-flung location for a workshop.
Is it worth the time and expense? You bet! I’ve been to several workshops over the years, and the time away from work and being deeply engaged in improving my craft has been awesome.
But if you want to improve your craft and learn from experts in the field, you don’t have to fly anywhere. Heck, you don’t have to drive anywhere! With Tuttle Cameras’ photography workshops, you can hop on Zoom, learn all about photography, and improve your skills from the comfort of your own home.
Best of all, many of the classes offered by Tuttle Cameras are free! It truly is the best of both worlds - no monetary output and no travel required.
Tuttle Cameras got its start in 1946, and since its inception, it’s been a leader in the camera industry. This shows in their Zoom classes.
An expert photographer leads each course and takes you on a deep dive into the selected topic. And speaking of topics, you get a wide range of courses to choose from. For example, past courses have explored:
And that just scratches the surface…
Other courses examine landscape, botanical, night sky, and macro photography.
Tuttle Cameras offers a different lineup of classes each month, so there truly is something for everyone. Plus, many classes are an hour long and occur in the evenings to not interfere with the workday.
Tuttle Cameras has removed all barriers for expanding your knowledge and skills in photography with these free Zoom classes. And if you’re local in the Los Angeles area, some classes also have in-person components. If you want to attend the in-person class, note that they often have a limit on students.
Learning about photography has never been easier. Tuttle Cameras' photography workshops are a great alternative if you want to take a class but don’t have the time or money to go on a week-long photo tour. Heck, since many classes are free, you can take as many as you want!
Creative Photo Academy Kenya Safari
When: July 30 – August 9, 2022
Base Fee: $10,900
Workshop Leaders: Mark Comon and Oscar Mwangi
For more than 30 years, Creative Photo Academy has been at the forefront of photography education, offering everything from photography classes and photo walks to full-on photography workshops and multi-day adventures all over the world.
And unlike some photography companies, Creative Photo Academy doesn’t just focus on one kind of instruction. Instead, they offer workshops and tours in all manner of photography genres, from landscape to portrait photography and just about everything in between.
They can offer such a wide range of learning opportunities because they have award-winning, internationally recognized famous photographers leading each course. That means that you not only get the chance to learn more about photography and improve your skills, but you also get to learn from professionals that are at the top of their game.
One of Creative Photo Academy’s most popular workshops is the Kenya Safari, which they lead in conjunction with Simba Marara Expeditions.
Led by Mark Comon and Oscar Mwangi, this premier safari will take you into the heart of Kenya where you’ll be able to photograph the incredible diversity of wildlife and see spectacular landscapes in a National Geographic-style outing.
As any top-flight tour should, the Kenya Safari includes deluxe accommodations, incredible meals, and local transportation.
With abundant wildlife in the area, there will be no lack of jaw-dropping wildlife sightings while on the trip. Combined with the opportunity to meet locals and learn about their customs, this is truly a can’t-miss chance to travel to one of the world’s most incredible places!
There's even an optional gorilla trek that precedes the Kenya Safari where you can witness (and photograph!) gorillas and chimpanzees.
When: Throughout the year
Base Fee: Varies by class
Workshop Leaders: Varies by class
When you’re looking for the best photography workshops to attend, one thing you probably look for is variety. Well, variety is precisely what you get with Aperture Academy!
If you’re a beginner photographer and need direction to take your images to the next level, Aperture Academy’s intro workshops are just what you need. Study landscapes, portraits, or general basics. There’s even a teen summer camp!
Are you on a tight schedule and don’t have time for an extended workshop? Try Aperture Academy’s one-day workshops.
Varying from three to six hours, these workshops offer you the chance to develop new skills or hone existing ones in a condensed time frame. You can explore San Francisco at night, learn macro photography skills, and visit Big Sur, among several other fine options.
What about longer workshops? Aperture Academy has you covered there, too!
Join a two to four-day workshop and explore epic locations across the U.S. With workshops from Texas to Wyoming, California to South Carolina, there’s no lack of choice of where you can go to learn from expert photographers in the field.
Additionally, these workshops are offered at points throughout the year. You can learn how to photograph Yosemite in the winter, Colorado in the fall, or the Valley of Fire in the spring. These are but three examples to whet your appetite.
If you want an even longer adventure, Aperture Academy’s Sojourn Series workshops put you in the field for multiple days. There’s a four-day Grizzly Bears of Alaska trip, an 11-day Iceland workshop, and a 10-day Africa workshop in Kenya, to name but a few options.
No matter which workshop you attend with Aperture Academy, you’ll get expert instruction from award-winning teachers. Learning takes place in a fun, relaxed, and supportive small-group environment. You’ll get plenty of individual instruction while also having the opportunity to support and be supported by others in the group.
The hands-on education you get on an Aperture Academy workshop will fuel your creativity and spark your passion for photography. The skills you learn will last a lifetime, and enable you to take photos that are much improved from a creative and technical standpoint.
All you have to do is pick a workshop to attend!
David W. Shaw Photography Workshops & Tours
Base Fee: Based on Workshop Location
Workshop Leader: David W. Shaw
What makes David W. Shaw Photography Workshops and Tours unique is that Dave is not just a seasoned professional photographer, but he is also a biologist with undergraduate and master’s degrees in wildlife biology.
His knowledge and understanding of wildlife and ecosystems put you closer to the action, and his passion for protecting animals and wild places will inspire you to use the power of photography to help lead conservation efforts in your backyard and the world over.
But it’s not just his background in biology that makes Dave’s workshops and tours a worthwhile endeavor.
Dave strives to create experiences that challenge you as a photographer, facilitate your growth behind the lens, and educate you on natural history elements of the areas you explore.
In the context of a small group workshop, Dave will take you to unique and extraordinary destinations from an autumn trip to the Kenai in Alaska to the plains of Botswana, Fat Bears of Katmai to Argentina's Secret Tropics. While on your journey, you’ll get plenty of one-on-one attention from Dave while also having time to get to know your workshop-mates.
What’s perhaps even more impressive is that Dave selects off-the-beaten-path locations for his workshops and tours.
So, not only do you benefit from traveling with a small group, but the destinations to which you travel won’t be overrun with crowds of tourists and other photographers.
In that regard, these nature photography workshops and tours are as much about connecting with nature and learning more about the world around us as they are about becoming a more skilled photographer.
It’s for this reason that we’ve selected Dave’s outfit as one of the top workshops to attend in 2021-2022!
Jennifer King Photo Workshops
When: Dates vary
Base Fee: Varies depending upon location
Workshop Leader: Varies
It's a long list when you consider all the great things about Jennifer King Photo Workshops...
For starters, there are workshops for every kind of photographer in every kind of location you can imagine. From the badlands of South Dakota to the Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone National Park to Death Valley, you can develop your photography skills and learn from some of the best photographers in the world, all the while exploring some of the most breathtaking landscapes you can find.
If it sounds awesome, it is! Jennifer and her team spend countless hours planning each trip, scouting locations, and making arrangements so you can have a stress-free trip and spend your time becoming a better photographer. There's a reason why 94% of Jennifer's clients come back for more!
These workshops aren't just fun trips, either. Instead, they're designed with skill-building in mind for photographers of all ability levels.
Each day, workshop leaders work one-on-one with each workshop participant in the field and during class sessions.
That includes constructive critiques of each attendee's images, that way you know exactly what's working and what needs to be addressed in your shots.
And since these workshops are limited to small groups, it's not like you'll be fighting for time with the instructors.
If you're looking for an adventure and a chance to take your photography to the next level, Jennifer King Photo Workshops is the place to do it!
Arctic Exposure Iceland Workshops
When: Workshops are held year round
Base Fee: Varies based on tour
Workshop Leader: Varies based on tour
Being from Southern California, I don’t get many opportunities to explore glacier fields, walk along black sand beaches, take in awe-inspiring waterfalls, and enjoy the Northern Lights. And while I see snow on the distant mountain peaks during the winter, I never actually get to play around in it.
That’s why if there’s one place I’d love to see and document with my camera, it’s the Arctic...
More specifically, Iceland is on the top of my list of places to explore with my camera. By the way, Canon 5D Mark IV is my most favorite camera, check it out.
If a trip to Iceland is on your bucket list, Arctic Exposure has the workshops for you!
Though Arctic Exposure has workshops all over the Arctic region, their Iceland tours - which occur year-round - are their most popular.
With professional photography guides to lead you on your tour, Arctic Exposure gets you to the most gorgeous places in Iceland where you can take in the breathtaking scenery, learn how to more skillfully use your camera, and discover ways to process your images to create the best possible photos.
And by gorgeous locations, I mean these workshops take you to iconic spots in Iceland like Reykjavík, Thingvellir National Park, Vik, Snæfellsnes, the Golden Circle, Glacier Lagoon, and the South Coast, just to name a few.
But what sets these workshops apart is that Arctic Exposure gets you off the beaten path as well. That means that you can explore lesser-known areas with your camera (and get away from tourists while you’re at it!).
Additionally, Arctic Exposure focuses on the culture and history of this tiny island nation. In that regard, a tour with Arctic Exposure isn’t just about seeing beautiful things and learning more about photography; instead, it’s an experience of a lifetime in which you come away with a greater appreciation for the people and the landscapes of Iceland.
These tours are all-inclusive, with lodging, meals and local transportation included. And by transportation, I mean that you get to ride around in this thing:
That, my friends, is the baddest Mercedes Sprinter Van you’ll ever see!
With a lift kit, 46-inch wheels, beefy tires, and differential locks, these vans can handle just about anything that Iceland throws at them. That means that you can still get to remote locations like waterfalls, ice caves, and glaciers, even in the dead of winter. There’s even Wi-Fi and USB chargers for each seat!
Gorgeous scenery, lessons on photography, opportunities to learn about local history, tours available winter, spring, summer, and fall, and amazing transportation...what more could you ask for in a photography tour?
Susie Reed Sedona Photography Tours
When: Private tours can be scheduled year round
Base Fee: Varies based on number of people and length of tour
Workshop Leader: Susie Reed
The Sedona, Arizona area is one of breathtaking beauty and incredible history, making it an ideal subject for a photography tour.
There is no lack of spectacular scenery there, from soaring rock formations, to breathtaking sunsets, to archaeological sites, night skies filled with stars and much more. That’s why it’s a mecca for photographers!
Whether you’re a brand new photographer who wants to learn the basics or a seasoned pro wanting to explore Sedona for the first time, Susie Reed will help you do so by providing individualized instruction and sharing her deep knowledge of the area.
While some photography workshops hurry you along in large groups, Susie has a completely different philosophy. Her tours are private. She often takes out individuals or just a few people at a time, which enables her to work closely with photographers and help them quickly up their learning curves. What’s more, Susie believes in really experiencing the places you photograph, so while you’re out shooting you’ll get plenty of time to immerse yourself in the wonders of Sedona's magnificent red rock country without feeling rushed to get to the next stop.
Susie takes photographers to little-known and picturesque locations that most say they’d never find. While there, she helps them develop stronger photographic skills away from the hustle and bustle of crowded hot spots. If there are specific places you want to see and experience Susie will tailor your tour to your specifications and if you only have a short time in Sedona she’ll help you make the most of it.
Susie’s passion for photographing Sedona’s landscapes, vortexes, Indian dwellings, and rock art began in 1993 on her first visit. For the next dozen years she kept feeling drawn her back until she finally decided to move there from Sausalito, California in 2005. Through the years she’s gained unique wisdom and insights about Sedona that she shares on her tours, which she learned by doing extensive exploring and from Native Americans, shaman, archaeologists, Forest Service guides, docents and others she’s met and worked with.
In addition to sharing her intimate knowledge about Sedona, Susie provides photography instruction on her tours to those who want. She helps photographers of all levels with a wide range of gear get better in a surprising short amount of time.
Whether you need help with camera settings or exposure bracketing, how to use filters, shoot panoramas, or use post-processing to bring your images to life, Susie’s approachable, encouraging style and easy-to-understand instructional techniques will help you achieve your photographic goals. It’s no wonder that Susie’s tours have five-star ratings on TripAdvisor and Google!
For the experience of a lifetime, consider visiting Sedona and joining Susie on an epic photography adventure you won’t soon forget.
Photo Workshop Adventures
Photo by izhairguns via iStock
Base Fee: Varies based on tour location
Workshop Leader: Varies based on tour location
If a photography workshop in Europe has been on your to-do list, it's hard to beat the variety of European-based tours offered by Photo Workshop Adventures.
You can explore all corners of the continent with your camera - the UK, Greece, Norway, Italy, and all points in between.
What's more, photography workshops are offered year-round, so you can tailor your experience to the time of year. Catch Cinque-Terre, Italy in the spring, visit Switzerland in the late summer, and experience Norway in the fall.
Photo by Brzozowska via iStock
No matter the location, you'll enjoy a small-group experience - or you can choose a private tour, if you like.
All tours are guided by experienced photographers that know the best locations for capturing the breathtaking and varied beauty of Europe.
Additionally, these tours include incredible cultural experiences, wonderful food, and world-class accommodations.
With options to travel in more than 50 different countries, Photo Workshop adventures certainly gives you the variety you want when planning your photography adventure.
Photographers of all skill levels from beginner to semi-pro are welcome to join these casual, photo-centric tours. You'll learn while you explore Europe - not in a classroom!