Photography Retreats 2019

Beginning in April - December 2019

 

We are currently building exciting new photography retreats to choose from in 2019. We are adding in a few Paris weeks, end of May at the Camargue Provençal Gypsy Festival with the Wild Horses, the Lavender Harvest in Valensole mid-July, a gorgeous excursion to The French Riviera in mid-September, then adding in bonus trips to our Cap Ferret retreats to the Cathar Castle in Carcassonne in the South. Possibly a mini 4 day retreat to Honfleur in the North of France. One of our favourite things about hosting these retreats is the opportunity to share in everyone's story.

 
 

 
Cathedral Lisieux .jpg

Overview

• Explore one of our scenic destinations with a resident of France as your guide
• Experiment with your camera(s) in relaxed setting
• Travel in a small group with a local English and French speaker
• Share image stories with other photographers
• Learn to present your work for the appreciation of an audience

• Share meals without having to edit the camera talk
• Develop connection with your fellow travellers
• Learn valuable insights in our positive group critique
• Photograph Unesco World Heritage sites and hidden gems in France
• Let you tastebuds have an adventure with regional french cuisine

 

2019 Retreats 

Cap Ferret/ST EMilion - 2500 - 2700 Euros *per person.

Bi weekly from 1st of April - Last week of May and again from End of August - December

Capture the light in the10 sleepy villages of Cap Ferret with our photography sports retreat property as our basecamp. Daily adventures off property exploring the area and meeting our local experts and friends at different times of day by the beach, the colourful oyster cabanas, the light house, the WW2 german bunkers, and the ancient gallo roman ruins nearby. Don't worry, we make sure you have an hour or so of personal time every day to edit, email, or nap during mid-day sun.  Wrapping up every evening with a group image sharing on the big screen, critique and *cocktails in our classroom or weather permitting, poolside. Then we continue on to a group dinner in the casual dining room upstairs in the main house. Our last outing of the week is a day-long excursion to the beautiful Unesco World Heritage village of ST Emilion, lunch in a highly recommended bistro on the outskirts of town, and after, a photography-op tour/*tasting at one of the many family owned Vineyards of some of the worlds finest wines. Our retreats are designed to provide a convivial atmosphere of sharing and friendship in our camera communities worldwide.

*Cocktails/Mocktails or organic smoothies *Wine tasting is optional

Camargue -ST Maries de la Mer Gypsy Festival and Wild Horses of the Camargue - Email us for pricing

End of May 2019

It is said that the festival began in 1448 officially but others state it was at least the 6th century before. Sara, Queen of the Gypsies is said to have waded in the Mediterranean water to help pull the boat full of Marys to the shore. (The Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary Salome, Mother of John and James, and Mary Jacobe, with Lazarus and Maxime, after they fled the persecution of Christians in 0042 AD. Legend has it that Mary Magdalene was also aboard and pregnant.) During our visit we'll be able to photograph the Manadiers astride their beautiful white horses, Gypsy jazz bands, musicians in the streets playing for the dancers, and the procession to the sea to symbolically send the boat into sacred waters once again. This is a once in a lifetime event and not on the normal tourist attractions destinations. We'll make contact with our local guide to hopefully photograph the wild horses (horse sitings are not guaranteed). We'll take in the historical city of Aigues Mortes and the producers of Fleur de Sel since 1856. We'll stop in at Les Baux, the most dramatic 10th century fortress to see in Provence. Its said it is visited by more tourists than the Louvre every year. It's also the legendary haunt of witches, spirits, and the most exciting visual outdoor 3D light show in France. We're still working on this excursion and we're looking at stopping by the Roman Aqueduct in Uzes, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Roussillon, and ST Remy de Provence and the Chateau Romanin. We'll firm up these details and let you know when it available to book. We'll meet in Nimes and depart from Nimes for this excursion.

 

Valensole and VerdOn Gorge - Email us For Pricing

Tentatively July 17 - 23, 2019

For Lavender lovers and lovers of colour. Arriving on the 17th in Marseille, we'll make our way to our temporary basecamp at a picturesque 17th century rural inn or a modern luxury vineyard estate. We will return here nightly for our shop talk and sleep. Our first day out we'll have a visit to the Chateau Greoux-les-Bains, and wandering around town photographing the unique architecture, or back to the inn for personal time or a jet lag nap.  We'll enjoy some kayaking or boating on the Verdon Gorge with its sun bleached walls carved and rendered smooth by the clear blue water. (water housing or waterproof bags for your camera gear is recommended). Day 3 will be the Lavender distillery tour at the Ferme du Riou or Distillerie Les Coulets where the traditional methods of distilling are still in use, and field photography, and a possible private tour of a honey farm and a sunset or sunrise photo-op of lavender fields beside sunflower fields with traditional farm buildings in the background.  Sunday will be all Lavender, all day, in all ways in Valensole for the Lavender Festival happening on the 3rd Sunday of every July. We'll stop in at the Notre Dame de Senanque Cistercian Abbey, founded in 1148. It is a fully functioning Abbey and not a tourist destination so respectful silence is mandatory, and there will be no photography during the services but before and afterwards is quietly accepted. We may also make a stop at Distillerie Les Agnels for its Organic Lavender bathing pool if its in our path during our tours. 

 

Paris 1 SPring Retreat - 1 Fall retreat - Email us For Pricing

We'll tour the best kept secrets of Paris with our native Parisien guide and translator Emmanuel. Latin Quarter, Montmartre, Sacre Coeur, the Louvre, Musee D'Orsay, walk the Bords de Seine, photographing all the way. Visiting Notre Dame, our favourite street vendor for crepes in ST Germain, and the Opera Garnier. We'll photograph all the highlights, making stops at some unusual vantage points that only a native of Paris might know. A visit to Pere LaChaise to photograph the angles of light in the most famous cemetery in all of Paris, and a treat of an evening comedy show "How to become Parisienne in an Hour". There will be a personal 1/2 day morning so you can retrace your steps or head to the catacombs on your own. We recommend going early in the day as the line ups for tickets at the catacombs start 09:00 hrs and the line up grows blocks by the minute so earlier is better than later. There are many hidden gems in the city that are not in the guide books. We hope you'll come along for the surprises, experiences, and new friendships. Optional river dinner cruise to catch all the major sights in one elegant evening.  We are working on the best dates to co-ordinate with the annual Paris Photo Expo in November so you can spend a few days in camera heaven with all the latest gadgets and toys to fuel our passionate eyes. Let us know if you're interested in attending the November retreat as tickets for the expo can be purchased at a discount early in the year. 

French Riviera Mid September 2019 - Email Us for Pricing

Antibes is our daily jumping off point, from there we will head in all directions to explore the history and water culture of the Cote d'Azure with cameras ready. Picasso Museum, Thursdays Fresh Market in centre of Old Town Antibes.  Not far from Antibes to the west is Juan Les Pin with its azure coast cove of colourful bateaux moored in a row, and the Fortress and narrow streets of Cannes and ST Tropez. To the East and inland, The Perfume Museum in Grasse and a magical sunset in Eze. We'll head out on a fully crewed sail boat to tour the coastline to Monaco for an afternoon of photographing the facade of the palace, marinas, and architecture from the water view. We'll have dinner in Monaco and return by boat in the night to experience photographing the coastline lit up from the water. The ruins at Cap Roux and if enough are interested we'll add on 3 extra days in Corsica ( please note it is a 7 hour ferry crossing there and back to mainland. )

*Mini Retreat to Carcasonne after Cap Ferret - 200 EUros extra per person

Add an extra day on to your Cap Ferret Retreat with an early day trip to Carcassonne to spend the day photographing by the canal and the narrow cobbled streets of the Cathar Castle. 

*4 dayMini Retreat To Honfleur/Trueville/Deauville After Cap Ferret and Carcassone - Please EMail us for Pricing

One of our favourite areas of the North of France, We'll make our temporary basecamp at a boutique Inn in the centre of Honfleur. Spend our days wandering around this incredible postcard perfect harbour town, Deauville and Trueville. The trip also includes a stop at the Cathedral in Lisieux, and the City of Ruoen where Jeanne d'Arc is said to have spent her last days. We may include a trip to the home of Monet in Giverny depending on how the scheduling works. From there it is possible to catch a 1 hr train ride into Paris and spend some extra time exploring the City of Light on your own. 

 

Prepare for your Retreat

We ask that you bring whatever camera gear you are comfortable hauling around for a full day, and a laptop for editing. We provide free wifi 24 hrs a day. Two camera bodies are suggested, as well as a wide angle lens,  2.8 is best but 4. is good too,  24-105mm lens (kit lens is okay if thats your whole inventory), longer lens of 200mm (70 - 200mm zoom) or higher if you can carry it. Also consider a monopod or a lightweight tripod for the landscape. Just to note, flying with monopods and tripods can be tricky, please pack that in your checked luggage, (you won't be disappointed) Polarisers and filters are always a good idea. This is only a suggested equipment list, if you want to shoot with your phone camera, that is okay too, however you will need to provide a way to show your images at our nightly wrap up viewings. We would also suggest a notebook and pen for keeping track of your images or jotting out image ideas. 

Important note; French cell networks are relatively in-expensive but your home providers roaming charges may not be. Check with your provider for a travel plan, but most phones work well on wifi on the property. 

For clothing suggestions, a selection of light layers for the weather changes are best and some light rain gear. (April or October retreats are fairly cool in the early mornings and late evenings so think maritime gear.) Hiking boots/hiking sandals/sneakers are preferred for most of our days, but you might want to add in some lightweight flip flops for the beach and inside the property (or shower shoes) . The property is equipped with a large heated swimming pool, a small but well stocked weight room, as well as our proximity to the beach, so a bathing suit and/or work out gear is a good idea. We provide beach towels. We have a #skypepilates instructor if you'd like to book a remote pilates session(s)during your stay as well as spa treatments off property.

Please bring whatever personal items you need to get through the week of adventures. 

Passport and appropriate travel documents required. North American and British guests need only present a passport at the border entry with details of your intended destination. All other countries please check with your local french embassy.

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Each Itinerary comes with its own site specific amenities, and exclusions. For all excursions except Paris, your accommodations, attraction tickets, and local ground transportation fees are included. Details will follow with our pricing guide. Please note: Tips are not included and are at the discretion of the guest, please be kind to your housekeepers/drivers/tour guides. We also accept donations to the #SURFDOG project in lieu of gratuity.

For full booking terms and conditions please click here.


CANCELLATION POLICY

Once booked, we do our very best to give everyone the best experience possible. We reserve your seat and pay our staff, chef, and hotel deposits whether you make it or not. We can provide a partial refund of 75% up until 90 days prior to the start date and 50% up until 60 days prior to the start date. After 60 days prior to the start date no refund will be provided, but we would suggest offering your spot to your friends or family. You are always welcome to use your deposit to help a veteran attend our Sports Retreat.