Our photo school is situated in the Entre Deux Mers region of South West France. Entre Deux Mers translates as “Between Two Seas” which refers to the beautiful lush region between two of France’s Great Rivers, the Garonne and Dordogne. This area is full of a history, amazing landscapes and rich farmland, absolutely brimming with vineyards and crops such as sunflowers, all interspersed with chateaux, farms, mills and historic Bastide towns. There is, quite literally, a photograph waiting to be taken around every corner! The beautiful city of Bordeaux is just an hour away with its famous quays, culture and cafes.
Our breaks, which are delivered in English, are over three nights, usually a long weekend. We offer a structured itinerary that you can opt in and out of at will but typically includes a Friday tea time introduction meeting where we can plan our next few days, learn about each others skills and interests and introduce you to the area and facilities at hand. This is followed by a welcome four course dinner with your fellow guests and hosts. A popular part of our breaks are the early morning expeditions where we head off to take advantage of the early morning light. The weather will determine where we go but it could be to a local water mill and river in the hazy dawn sunshine, it could be a field of sunflowers or a vineyard or a chateaux at dawn. We may head to the local Farmers Market to capture the atmosphere of the bustling local traders and shoppers next to the river (maybe picking up a croissant or pastry along the way) before returning back to base for a late breakfast. During the day we will look at the way we can make the best of our images using software such as Photoshop or Lightroom and of course look at the images we have captured and how to learn from them. There are opportunities during the day to do your own thing or to stay with your Tutor who will be around for one to one chats as required. We will reconvene later in the afternoon for the day's second practical session which may be another excursion, or a studio session as the groups interest dictates, which will be followed by a leisurely group dinner with your hosts.
The next day after breakfast, we head out, usually slightly further afield to another great location, again based on the interests of the group but an example would a visit to St Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a charming town steeped in the history of wine production and stunning photo opportunities. Later that day we would download and process our images. There will be an opportunity to look at how you can get the very best from your pictures in Photoshop and how you can fix those unexpected or unavoidable problems that occasionally catch us all out.
Our aim is to make your photo break informative yet relaxing and when you book we will ask a few questions to help us understand a little about your photographic experience and interests so that we can include these as part of our programme. Our group sizes are very small so there is always time to include individual interests. We are happy to welcome photographers of all skill levels and experience. The itinerary is weather dependent and flexible to suit your own interests. Nothing is compulsory, so you can opt in and out of the group as you wish!
Mike and Kate Southon are your hosts, previously from North Devon. Mike has spent his career as a very successful full time professional photographer, college trained, very experienced in both taking a wide variety of images and also for his teaching experience. Mike has successfully completed adult education teaching qualifications and has an impressive list of fellow professionals who were once his students. Guests to our home will be made very welcome and will be able to enjoy all of the facilities of our Chambres d’Hotes and Photo School
We are pleased to recommend J&A Cameras and Photography, with shops in Barnstaple and Bideford. J&A are well respected professional dealers and perfect to offer expert advice to photograhers of all levels. They carry a wide range of cameras and optics, have a state of the art in-house lab, and are highly regarded and award winning professional photographers.
J&A are happy to offer information about French Photo Breaks and can handle all the arrangements for your booking.