I first started workshops in Tuscany in 1993, outside the village of Buonconvento. The farmers still worked with the oxen below the living quarter where I built the darkroom out of an apartment with sinks of stone, doors of heavy wood, terra cotta floors and fireplaces so large, there were benches to sit upon on each side. Magic was out each window and there was a peacefulness I have never felt since in a location. Local Italian woman came to cook and each morning we would be awakened by the tinkling bells of the sheep. Maria became “mia momma” and though I could not understand her Calabrian dialect she waited each year for my students to come photograph her. It was the highlight of her life perhaps, a simple woman bought for two cows and a pig. The property manager would ride up on his horse carrying an armful of sunflowers along with a prosciutto ham and bottle of wine. Magical moments for sure.
I know one can never truly go back, but this area of Tuscany is still so special for me. I invite you to join me in a similar workshop down the dusty white roads through the rolling Tuscan hills. In these times of turmoil in the world today, you can step out the front door of our property to find peace.
There will be a number of portrait sessions with locals, dancers or figure models to take advantage of the beauty of this location, including working in our private swimming pool. Breakfast and one fabulous meal a day is included in the fee. They are either prepared by local ladies at our farmhouse or part of a field trip to special locations/restaurants that I know so well on this side of Tuscany. You also have access to your own kitchen if we want to return with wine and Pienza pecorino cheese to enjoy the peaceful vistas outside your apartment.
My Italian partner lives in Buonconvento where bicycles line the streets, all unlocked. No doubt, every photograph you have seen taken of Tuscany was made nearby in this land full of sunflower fields, vineyards and rolling hills. This is infrared heaven and we will discuss working with infrared. You may want to convert a camera before you arrive.
Days will be spent on field trips or in model sessions. Sharing ideas, discussing life, print presentation and great wine will all be part of this workshop. Each student will be asked to prepare a slide show to present in the evenings so that collectively we can discuss your work. This is a perfect workshop for companions or spouses, included in all activities except model sessions.
We will visit the Mozart Vineyard, Il Paradiso di Frassina, where they play music to the vines in a landscape that will make you weep or become a landscape photographer, a glass of Brunello in hand. We'll field trip to nearby villages in the Val d'Orcia and work in the special light on the edges of the day, stopping in town squares to watch the parade of people similar to a Fellini movie...part fantasy, part earthiness...la dolce vita.
Workshop includes, 7 nights accommodation, breakfast daily plus one other meal each day, wine tasting, multiple instructors and critiques. Cash/check price $3600 Companions $3000. Model fee collected at time of workshop depends on how many sessions with models we have. Deposit $1000 to hold your space, balance due May 1. Paypal from my website if you use family and friend option. Contact me for me details on the single or shared accommodations at our private hamlet location which includes three farmhouses. $250 single supplement. Enrollment limited.
Fly into Rome 3 hours away) , Pisa (2 hours) or Florence (1.5 hours). Rent your own car or make arrangements with me. You are responsible for airfare and getting to the location. We can provide information on trains or taxis and will help organize car shares if you ask.