Guest review: Louise reveals what a photography holiday in Umbria is really like

While travelling around Europe, Louise pursued her passions for photography and Italian culture by trying something new on our week-long photography holiday in Umbria.

Despite never having done a holiday like this before, she had a fantastic trip thanks to cultured photography tutor Patrick, new friends, and the breathtaking Italian landscapes and towns along the way.

But let’s find out what she really made of it all…

Were you initially looking for a photography holiday?

No. As part of taking 2 months off work and already having booked another tour that included seeing different parts of Europe, I wanted part of my holiday to include staying in one place and really getting to know that town as well as learning something fun.

I have always enjoyed photography so when I was looking through the options, a photography course really made sense.

group lunch on photography tour

A quick stop for a bite to eat and some vino!

Why did you choose this photography holiday in Orvieto in particular?

I had travelled to Italy before but never really got to see the regional areas. When I looked at where Orvieto was situated and read the notes about the places Patrick would take us, I was sold.

How did you find booking?

The booking process was really straight forward. I took a bit of a risk in booking this type of holiday as I don’t know anyone who has done anything similar. I did all the bookings online and where I had questions people at NotInTheGuideBookscame straight back to me.

What was your photography tutor Patrick like?

Patrick is really interesting; he has lived a very out of the ordinary life and is well travelled. His passion for Orvieto is really apparent and infectious.

His approach to teaching was quite relaxed with us, however, I think it would really depend on the group. If people want an intensive ‘photography only’ course, this probably isn’t for them. But if they want to improve their skills in a relaxed setting and get shown some beautiful parts of Italy, then I recommend it.

Umbrella trees and Orvieto at dusk

Umbrella trees of Umbria and Orvieto at dusk in the background

What type of camera did you use?

I have a Nikon D3100 SLR camera. We shoot in raw which takes up a huge amount of memory. I had a total of 32GB of memory and used it all!

I would suggest bringing a laptop so that photos can be uploaded to a hard drive every night so that memory cards can be reused.

What was your favourite location to photograph and why?

We took many day trips outside of Orvieto, which were beautiful. However, each day driving back to Orvieto we would stop at different vantage points to try and capture Orvieto in the sunset. It really is a picturesque little town and when the sun hits the Domino which is gold, it is really breathtaking.

What was the best photography tip you learnt?

I had spent way too long using my camera in auto mode, so for me, learning how to use manual mode and playing with the shutter, light and depth of field settings was a highlight.

Have you been practising with your camera since you returned home?

Photography holiday guests at roman ruins

Louse and guest at Roman ruins

I have. However, I do tend to revert to auto mode when I know I need to capture something quickly!

Patrick gave us a crash course in Photoshop and the process of editing photos, so this is something I also want to build on so I can improve the photos I took on my travels.

Would you take another holiday with NotInTheGuideBooksin the future?

Yes I think I would. I would be interested in both yoga and cooking too.

What would you tell people considering booking this holiday? Any top tips?

Bring a laptop and a hard drive, as mentioned above.

Ask questions. How much you learn is really up to you as Patrick will really teach based on people’s interest in the subject.