FAQ - Classes & Workshops

Beginning to advanced photographers are welcome to attend any workshop. Some workshops, however, may be specific to certain skills or experience level and may not be suited to your current knowledge level. Each workshop description lists a recommended skill level. Please read the workshop description and if you have any questions about whether the workshop is a good match for you, please contact me.

That’s always a tough call because no two photographers photograph exactly alike. Generally, unless specific equipment is recommended for a given workshop, bring the gear you’re comfortable carrying on a moderate hike, through airports, that you use often, or want to explore and experiment with. The workshop description and equipment list sent following your balance payment may suggest the type of lenses, filters, and other accessories that would be appropriate for the goals or location of the workshop, but it’s not a call for you to purchase anything specifically to attend a class, workshop, or trip. The list is provided to participants to help you prepare for an enjoyable and productive experience. Workshops are a good opportunity to try different equipment as well. There are several quality sources for  renting camera gear, bodies, lenses, etc. I can help point you in that direction if you have an interest.

Many Blue Planet Photography, LLC workshops and trips  include accommodation; hotel or vacation home rental, and may include some camping. Over the years, I’ve found it easier to arrange accommodation to keep the group together, especially if transportation is included. A shared vacation home allows the group to be more interactive and is usually a significant savings over individual hotel rooms when adding in the cost of restaurant meals. The type of accommodation and your responsibility is stated in the workshop description. You are not required to use the accommodation provided, but there is no discount for opting out. I do not mark up accommodation when it is provided.

Workshop fees cover instruction and the day-to-day operation of the workshop. Where applicable and to make registering for a workshop convenient for you, on-site transportation, accommodation, facility/vendor/guide/admission fees are included in the workshop fee. I do not mark up these costs. Any fees not included are stated in the workshop/trip description.

Please see the payment policy for complete information.

To ensure my ability to provide adequate guidance to everyone, there will be no more than 10 participants in any workshop I lead without a second instructor. Typically, workshop size is 4-6 participants which helps with flexibility and logistics should changes need to be made during the workshop, such as modifying the itinerary or moving locations to avoid or take advantage of changing conditions. Four is the minimum for committing to a workshop or trip, but on occasion I will go with fewer than 4. If that happens, registered participants will be notified of any price changes and given the opportunity to opt in or out.

I conduct two types of photography excursion: workshops and trips. A workshop emphasizes the learning experience in an interesting and challenging location. During a workshop, my goal is to help you improve your skill and awareness. My attention is on you, first, so I photograph only when you are comfortable on your own and for demonstration. You won’t need to chase me over the ridge to find me to ask a question. Whereas, a photo trip emphasizes location over learning and I will likely be photographing alongside you at each location. However, I enjoy teaching and even on trips there are opportunities for instruction and information sharing.

Certainly! I encourage you to bring previous work to show as it’s a learning experience for everyone as well when we look at the work of others (if you elect to show your work to the group). You’re also welcome to provide me with online links to your work or email a few examples prior to the workshop. This gives me a sense of your photographic preferences and skill level so I can be better prepared to assist you during the workshop. A questionnaire is sent to participants which also gives you the opportunity to tell me where you are photographically and the types of photographic subjects and subject matter you gravitate toward.

You’ll receive some general information in the workshop description, but I’m happy to answer any questions you have about the workshop, the location, expected weather conditions, equipment, etc. You’re welcome to contact me by email, website contact form, or by phone and I’ll answer your questions and respond to comments as best I can.

When I receive your deposit, I will respond with an email that I’ve received it. Between the deposit and balance payments you’re welcome to ask any specific questions about the workshop/trip, possible equipment, etc. and I will answer them as best I can.

When I receive your balance payment I will send you:

  • 1. A simple questionnaire to help me get to know you, your experience, and expectations for the workshop.
  • 2. A simple medical information form that provides me and medical personnel with pertinent information such as allergies (food, medication, bees), dietary preferences, prescription medications, medical and emergency contacts. This information is voluntary and kept strictly confidential. The medical form is destroyed when the workshop is completed.
  • 3. A liability release waiver. This waiver must be completed and received by Blue Planet Photography, LLC before or on the workshop start date or you cannot participate.
  • 4. A suggested equipment list that includes camera gear, clothing, and other items you might consider for the particular workshop you’ll be attending. If there are specific equipment or item needs, these will be listed. This is a suggested list and is not a requirement for you to purchase any equipment, clothing, or other items.
  • 5. I will coordinate with you when, and if necessary or requested, arrival and departure times to and from the gateway city/airport for the workshop if you are participating in the on-site transportation. Airport pickups and drop offs will be arranged with all participants to ensure the most convenient process. If pickup and drop off arrangements can’t be made efficiently, participants will be required to find their own transportation to and from the airport and/or workshop location. If transportation is not provided, participants must arrange their own transportation to and from the workshop location and on site. Car pooling/ride sharing is encouraged in that instance to reduce the environmental impact as well as keep travel logistics under control. I will help as much as possible with ride share arrangements.


During the workshop I may have handouts or other materials for you to read, review, discuss, try. These you will be able to take home with you.

After the workshop there may be further correspondence, image review via email or Zoom, or sharing via social media.

Most workshop days begin early and end late. The emphasis is on photography, so we will be exploring many different opportunities and situations of light and weather. You can expect full days of photography, but throughout the day there will be time for instruction, discussion (group and individual), image processing and review, journaling, and contemplating. There will likely be time for non-photographing activities like relaxing, napping, and general exploring. I enjoy engaging with the local community, and we will take meals at local restaurants when possible, but more often meals will be prepared at our accommodation. Since the emphasis is on photography, time for other sightseeing or shopping is usually limited. There are often many more things to do in the areas we visit, so I suggest extending your trip a few days before or after the workshop for non-workshop activities.

I select locations I like or would like to visit and I organize my workshops to provide you with a learning experience, not to provide myself with photographic opportunities. I use my gear in the field for instructional purposes and to lead by example. I may photograph during the workshop, but only secondary to assisting you. Observing me photographing a situation, perhaps walking through the process, is hopefully a useful experience for participants. Over the years I’ve recognized that, effectively, I can either teach or photograph, not both. Since my primary goal is to teach on a workshop, you will receive as much attention from me as you request.

To reserve a spot on a workshop or trip, you will need to pay the deposit amount listed on the workshop description. Following payment of the deposit, I will contact you regarding your preference for balance payment and, at the appropriate time, either email an invoice for the balance that can be paid online with a credit/debit card, or you may elect to pay the balance by personal/business check, cash, or bank transfer. Please see the payment policy for complete information.

All monies are non-refundable. Some portion of class and workshop deposits and fees is for non-refundable deposits and third party expenses related to the workshop, such as reservations (accommodations, classroom, equipment, car rental, etc.), permit and vendor fees, among others. If you cancel participation in a class or workshop, your remaining available registration balance, minus non-refundable fees, may be transferred toward registration in another Blue Planet Photography, LLC class or workshop under certain conditions. Transfer of fees to another class or workshop is not automatic and is decided solely by Blue Planet Photography, LLC. We reserve the right to transfer your fees to another class or workshop. Transferred funds must be applied to another class or workshop offered by Blue Planet Photography, LLC within 12 months of the start date of the original class or workshop. Participants transferring from another class or workshop will be registered for the alternate class or workshop if space permits. If you choose to attend a higher-priced class or workshop or if the fee has increased, the difference in price is the responsibility of the participant. Your registration is guaranteed only when we have payment in full. We reserve the right to change this policy at any time. If a class or workshop is cancelled by us, you may receive a refund minus non-refundable expenses. Trip insurance is recommended to cover cancellation or disruption for any reason.

If Blue Planet Photography, LLC receives deposits that do not meet the minimum number for a given class or workshop, participants who have paid their deposit will be notified and given the opportunity to continue with the class or workshop with an additional group surcharge or to transfer the deposit to another workshop/trip or class. The amount of the small group surcharge will be stated as part of the notification. In some cases, your deposit may be refunded in full or minus non-refundable expenses.

Gift Cards are non-refundable.

They are certainly welcome to accompany you to the workshop location, but unless they are a registered participant in the workshop they cannot attend any of the workshop-related activities. The intention of the workshop is for it to be a period of time dedicated to photography. Non-photographing guests reduce the number of photographing participants for transportation and accommodation, can impact the focus of the workshop and your level of participation, and can be a distraction to other participants. So I discourage non-photographing guests on most workshops. When they are allowed, it will be noted in the workshop description and a non-photographer fee listed.

Most Blue Planet Photography, LLC workshops include on-site transportation. I’ve found it easier for the group to engage in discussion en route and between locations, stay together when traveling, and offers greater logistical flexibility. You may rent your own vehicle if you prefer. Some workshops may not include on-site transportation. The status of on-site transportation is stated in the workshop description. I do not mark up the cost of on-site transportation if provided.

Cancellations or rescheduling of classes or workshops on the part of Blue Planet Photography, LLC may occur, resulting from certain foreboding circumstances beyond the control of Blue Planet Photography, LLC. We also retain the right to cancel or reschedule any class or workshop when inadequate enrollment makes the class or workshop economically unfeasible for our company or participants. In those rare cases, participants who have paid an initial deposit will be notified via email or phone and a decision made whether to continue with an additional fee to cover fewer participants. A full refund of the deposit, minus any non-refundable prepaid expenses related to the workshop or trip may be made by business check or applied to another class or workshop in the 12-month period following the original booking at the discretion of Blue Planet Photography, LLC. Blue Planet Photography, LLC will not be responsible for additional loss or expense incurred by the class or workshop participant and/or his or her non-photographing guests, such as airline tickets, airline cancellation fees, travel insurance, guide fees, and other related charges. Please be assured, however, that it is with the utmost consideration that Blue Planet Photography, LLC ever considers such cancellations.

Cancellations on the part of the participant must be made in writing or email and received by our office by US Mail, courier, or confirmed email unless otherwise stated in the class or workshop description. A phone call from the participant is also recommended to confirm receipt of his or her written cancellation. Travel, guide, and other transportation fees may not be refundable.

If a class participant needs to reschedule a class session within 48 hours of the session time, a $90 rescheduling fee will be applied at the discretion of Blue Planet Photography, LLC.

Please see the payment policy for complete information.

We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance as protection from unforeseen circumstances that may prevent or impact your workshop attendance. A plan offering coverage for medical and dental emergencies, lost or damaged luggage, missed connections, and trip cancellation is recommended to cover the most common incidents. Blue Planet Photography, LLC is not responsible for cancellation due to medical or family emergencies or reimbursement of non-refundable portions of the workshop fee such as airline tickets, accommodations, permits, vendor and guide fees, car rental, etc. Please see the payment policy for complete policy information.