Italy Mentoring Workshops

In Travel, Workshops and Events by David5 Comments

 

It’s no secret I adore Italy, and teaching the craft I love in such an intoxicating place is high on my list of things I am grateful for. Last year I offered one chance to join me in Italy, this year I’m offering 3. Join me for a week in one of three great Italian cities this fall.

Each of these weeks is an intensive, 4-person workshop designed to explore your creative process, hone your photographic craft and create a cohesive body of work. You will explore, often on your own, the streets of these astonishing cities, share meals together, engage in honest critiques of your ongoing work, and be challenged to push yourself by someone who cares deeply about your art and won’t take no for an answer. And at the end of the week you’ll present a 12-image body of work.

What will this week really be like? Late nights talking about life and art and craft over Italian wine and great food. Hours walking in the changing lights on Italian cobbled streets with your camera, looking for your muse. Coffee with me while you discuss your work and laugh, or cry, about challenges and victories of creative work passionately pursued. People usually do a little of both. Because if you aren’t willing to both laugh and cry about it, it’s probably not worth going all that way for.

Each week is USD$4900 and includes meals and accommodations. You’ll find more information, and the online application, on the workshop page.

This will be an intense week and is by application only.

There are 12 spaces available (a maximum of 4 each week), so get your application in as soon as you know one of these workshops is a possibility for you. The online application form will ask you to write something brief about why you want to join me in Italy, and it’ll ask you to submit a portfolio of 10-12 images (JPG, 1200px on the long side) so I can get a sense of who you are and where you’re at.

 

“Joining David on his Venice workshop goes down as one of the most pivotal experiences of my photography career and it’s not because of his intimate knowledge of this beautiful city. Rather, it was because of the special bond that formed between the mentor and the student during an intensive week of pushing your boundaries and your creative abilities. It’s in the particular, personalized way that David challenges you to grow that makes this investment pay back with dividends.”Brian Matiash

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Comments

  1. As would I. The trouble with workshops such as these is that – due to their prohibitive cost – they are only really an option for the reasonably wealthy. I imagine they net the workshop leaders a fair amount of profit. Not that I’m for a minute suggesting David runs then to make money – I value his creative output and admire his commitment to creativity in photography, and am sure he could make money it plenty of other, easier, ways if he wanted.

    Regardless of motive, these workshops are just too expensive for me, and for many others. Which means that it is only the wealthy who can afford to expand their creativity by paying for the privilege of meeting and working with David in person.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have an image featured on David’s YouTube channel. And I’ve recently appeared in a Reader article on DPReview. I don’t think my work is anything to shout about. But I do think I have some potential that, if I had the opportunity to go on a workshop such as this, I would be able to nurture into something more. But it is just not, financially, a viable option for me.

    1. Author

      Thanks for the feedback, Steven. I would like to offer you a different perspective however. I don’t think the trouble with these workshops is that they are only available to the wealthy. It’s that they don’t align with your current financial situation and choices. You’ve photographed in Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia, Barcelona, New York , and Morocco, to name just the ones I remember from looking at your website. Anyone who travels that much has the choice of what they do with their money. And anyone who’s seen that much of the world knows this one truth: you are already wealthy.

      Everyone of us using cameras and lenses and traveling the world has the responsibility to acknowledge our situation, be grateful for it, and make the best choices we can for ourselves and for others. You are wealthy, Steven. You may not be able to afford a workshop right now and still do the other things you want to do, but please don’t turn this into a question of the rich vs the poor, because we are all on the wealthy side and the poor deserve better than that. Surely you’ve seen this as you’ve traveled. Your camera kit costs more than much of the world makes in a year. Most people will never get on an airplane.

      I offer this perspective for two reasons. First, I think a shift in your perspective might be helpful. This isn’t about who has more resources, but about the choices we make concerning them. No, the workshops might not be accessible to you at this point in your life, but one day they might be. The second reason is larger than that, it’s the global perspective that will help you live and act with gratitude and the knowledge that as long as you are as wealthy as you are you can help others.

      To your last point that it’s only the wealthy, by which I assume you mean the “wealthier than you” – that can “afford to expand their creativity” I have to remind you that there is a world of free resources out there, and there are great teachers putting their stuff online for free (I have a couple hundred different podcasts, 4 free eBooks, and 1500 blog posts – that should keep you busy) – and that ultimately your creativity will best flourish not with high-priced tours or workshops, but out there, on your own, putting in the work, paying your dues, and making photographs you love. You are already doing that. Don’t for a moment think that your current finances and choices means you can’t get where you dream of being. If my photographs were as good as yours are when I was your age I’d be much further along now.

      I hope you take this feedback in the spirit in which it is offered.

      1. Hi David,

        Thanks for taking the time to respond. I think a couple of the points I made were poorly articulated, and I’d like the chance to clarify them.

        DD: You’ve photographed in Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia, Barcelona, New York, and Morocco, to name just the ones I remember from looking at your website. Anyone who travels that much has the choice of what they do with their money. And anyone who’s seen that much of the world knows this one truth: you are already wealthy.

        SM: True. I wasn’t trying to suggest for a second that I am part of the majority of people on this planet for whom poverty is a very real and desperate life situation, and for whom many life choices are closed off. If that is how my original post came across then I’d like to reiterate that I am very aware of – and grateful for – how lucky I am.

        I suppose I was simply drawing the distinction between those of us who can take a budget holiday in a far-off place, versus those of us who can afford to join a several-thousand-pound photography tour. I suppose I was making the point that it does take a certain level of wealth to be able to access these tours, and that this is a shame in that wealth doesn’t respond to level of potential or creativity in photography. I would like to believe that it’s possible to make that point whilst also acknowledging that it’s a relative argument and that I, in the grand scheme of things, am extremely lucky – and very aware of that fact.

        DD: Everyone of us using cameras and lenses and traveling the world has the responsibility to acknowledge our situation, be grateful for it, and make the best choices we can for ourselves and for others. You are wealthy, Steven. You may not be able to afford a workshop right now and still do the other things you want to do, but please don’t turn this into a question of the rich vs the poor, because we are all on the wealthy side and the poor deserve better than that. Surely you’ve seen this as you’ve traveled. Your camera kit costs more than much of the world makes in a year. Most people will never get on an airplane.

        SM: Yes, I completely agree and if I made it sound as though I am ungrateful or unaware of how incredibly fortunate a position I am in, then this was wholly unintended. I do think it’s possibly to acknowledge how lucky we all are and yet still critique wealth-gaps and issues within the western world. But I should have caveated my original post with this acknowledgement.

        DD: I offer this perspective for two reasons. First, I think a shift in your perspective might be helpful. This isn’t about who has more resources, but about the choices we make concerning them. No, the workshops might not be accessible to you at this point in your life, but one day they might be.

        SM: I do think there remains a point about the level of wealth required to join a photography tour such as this. I think it closes off an opportunity to many up-and-coming photographers that they could greatly benefit from. But I also appreciate that you are running a business, not a photography charity, and that substantial costs are involved in running these tours.

        DD: The second reason is larger than that, it’s the global perspective that will help you live and act with gratitude and the knowledge that as long as you are as wealthy as you are you can help others.

        SM: Again, I should have acknowledged this point from the outset in my original post. I certainly wasn’t intending to suggest anything otherwise. Obviously the argument I’m making is an extremely relative one, and I should have defined what I meant by ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ in far, far clearer terms.

        DD: I have to remind you that there is a world of free resources out there, and there are great teachers putting their stuff online for free (I have a couple hundred different podcasts, 4 free eBooks, and 1500 blog posts – that should keep you busy) – and that ultimately your creativity will best flourish not with high-priced tours or workshops, but out there, on your own, putting in the work, paying your dues, and making photographs you love.

        SM: True, though in my mind a workshop where I could interact with a photographer that I admire in the field – ask questions, watch process – would ultimately be more valuable than a lot of the resources available online (and again this isn’t to denigrate the quality of online resources, which – including your own – can be of exceptionally high-quality, it’s just to acknowledge that photo tutoring in the field, one-to-one (or five-to-one or whatever) will always offer something that internet tutorials and resources can’t).

        DD: Don’t for a moment think that your current finances and choices means you can’t get where you dream of being. If my photographs were as good as yours are when I was your age I’d be much further along now.

        SM: I’m extremely flattered by this last point, and I’m not sure I agree! But thank you.

  2. As someone who has run workshops in Italy, albeit in a different region, this looks like a tremendous opportunity. I get your point Steven, but the thing is that people like David can charge that much because of the quality of his images and the experience that he provides. Looks like a good one!

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