Stephen’s 40th Birthday surprise – photography holiday in Dordogne

“What an utterly fabulous experience for both me and my partner. The location is idyllic for R & R and very picturesque. The hospitality, perfect. The relaxed teaching style mirrors the environment and the content is geared to match any level. If you’re thinking about doing this… just book it

One of the best parts about my job is reading all the great reviews we get for the fantastic variety of inspirational holiday courses we have. When Stephen’s review popped up in my inbox I couldn’t wait to follow up with him and find out more about what made his photography holiday in France so special. Here’s his answers:

1.    Did the photography course meet your expectations?
My girlfriend booked the trip as a surprise for my 40th birthday and I had little detail other than landscape photography in France. Needless to say I was quite excited but unsure what to expect…whatever I did expect; the course, the location and the hospitality were far beyond what I could have hoped for. Gareth and his wife really took the time to make sure both of us were well looked after. IMG_0034


2.    What was your accommodation like?
Homely, welcoming and the wood burner was a real draw. The cottage has all necessary amenities for a relaxing break in the French countryside.


3.    What did you learn on your course and what was your favourite technique?
I learned so much on the course, from composition set up in total darkness, use of filters, assessing histograms and their importance, shooting in RAW format, using Lightroom and Photoshop and a whole lot more. Hard to say a favourite but if I’m pushed it was the setting up for dawn shoots


4.    What was your instructor like?
A really genuine guy who  loves photography and is really keen to help anyone who is interested. Gareth really knows his stuff and teaches in an enthusiastic and easy to follow way. He’s even happy for me to stay in touch and ask him more questions if I need to. I will be!
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5.    What was your highlight of your course and why?
On the second day we went to Beynac for the dawn shoot. Using what I’d already learned, the first set up shot I took before dawn ended up being one of my favourites.  It’s not perfect for print but it’s just such a dramatic shot as you can see.


6.    Would you recommend this photography course to others?
Yes, Yes, YES! I’d go as far to say that I’d recommend this to people who aren’t even that interested in photography. Seriously though, as I said on the feedback I gave, if anyone was thinking of booking this for themselves or as a gift for someone, don’t hesitate… just book it.

Have you got a special someone’s Birthday or Christmas to plan for? Find out more about our inspirational  holiday range from cooking and wine holidays to jewellery making holidays… we’ve got it all so take Stephen’s advice and “just book it“!