Essaouira

ESSAOUIRA  PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY |  4 - 8 MAY 2022 ** AVAILABLE **  | £1475

TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAYS FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS | ESSAOUIRA

Hip Essaouira, on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, is an enchanting, laid-back alternative to the frenetic melting-pot of Marrakech. The town’s name means “little picture” in Arabic, and it’s a painter’s dream location, with a vibrant blue-and-white medina, enclosed by fairy-tale, sand-coloured ramparts and imposing stone gates.

Join us for five days exploring Essaouira’s 18th-century UNESCO-listed Game of Thrones set; and see why its chic whitewashed, blue-shuttered houses, thuya wood workshops, art galleries and French meets Moroccan cuisine are quickly making this the style pick for travelling creatives.

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“Creative Escapes are a good option if you want a dedicated learning holiday. Group sizes are small, meaning there’s more 1-on-1 time with tutors, less competition for spots to shoot from and plenty of supportive group critiques.
Creative Escapes – the name says it all!”

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Travel Photography Holidays for all skill levels | Highlights.

The tiny enclave of Essaouira juts out into the Atlantic like an island about to break free. In fact, people here describe it as not like Morocco at all, but rather a place dancing to its own languid rhythm: open-minded, free-spirited and curiously separate from the rest of the country. Come discover Morocco’s low-hassle hippest coastal town, wander through the spice-scented lanes and palm-lined avenues of the fortified medina – head inland to a luxury oasis – and craft a collection of perfect contemporary travel photographs.

For aspiring travel photographers, you’ll …

Exclusive private shoot with local fire dancers as the sun sets over the citadel ramparts
Experiment with reportage-style black and white photography in the souk, to give your piece an edge
Reveal the textures of 200 years of sea and sun in the myriad alleyways of the medina
Learn how to shape sunlight to add polish to your portraiture and documentary shots
Shoot cover shots of locals artisans at our pop-up outdoor studio
Get the inside track from planning through production to print
Learn to maximise your shooting, and get the shots you want every time
Try out techniques used by pro travel photographers to make your work stand out from the pack
Learn how to bring together single images into a cohesive series
Sequence your shots, so you can do this every time you visit somewhere new

Travel Photography Holidays for all skill levels | Itinerary.

Just 10 minutes from the airport lies the UNESCO-listed city of Essaouira, once home to Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens, now to a heady mix of locals and artisans, artists and entrepreneurs across Europe, drawn by it’s unique styling, chic chilled lifestyle –  and more than 300 days of sunshine each year. It feels more Ibiza than Morocco, and from myriad tiny passageways and fragrant souks, to small boutiques, bars and delicious eateries, there’s something here for everyone.

On arrival, you’ll sip your first of many mint teas, spread out in your riad abode, and join us on a tour through the backstreets to get your bearings, lunch on the freshest catch in the quay; a fine introduction to this laid pack part of Morocco.

We’ll start our journey to travel photography superstardom by getting an insight into techniques used by some well known travel snappers, discovering how they make their work stand out from the pack, what tricks they use to get there, and formulate our own recipe to shoot the coming days.

There’s just time for some sundowners on the rooftop of the Taros bar, before sampling the first of many crazy quality meals in this secret seaside retreat.

We’ve already scouted the best locations in the medina for your travel series, so we’ll sneak away from the main trails and show you the real city, introduce you to the oh-so-friendly locals here, hitting the markets, barbers, hammams and fishing boats to source that killer story.

You’ll start with the opening shot, setting the scene and revealing your location, but from different perspectives – bringing new quality to your work. Along the way, you’ll ‘free shoot’ so the story develops naturally, allowing you to create plenty of options to make it easier to construct your final piece.

Come dusk, we’ll set you up in one of our fave locations for that perfect sunset shot, the cornerstone of any great travel story, and give you 1-to-1 guidance so everything you’ve planned actually happens.

The trend in print media is to intersperse more reportage, edgy style to editorial series, we’ll explain what that means, what it looks like and how to bring contrasting styles together so they look like one. You’ll program your camera into B&W mode, with an edgy visual balance, so the shots look timeless, perfect for capturing gnarly textures, real scenes – the authentic view of Essaouira.

Towards lunch, we’ll escape out to the plush Jardin des Douars, a luxury hotel cum lunch/swim spot, with fab hammam. You can relax here all afternoon, nestled in crafted botanical gardens, take a swim in the pool and catch some of the 300-days of rays that befall this Atlantic resort.

There’s just time for a cocktail in the bar designed by famed architects then dinner at Umia, reserved 3 months in advance to guarantee a table!

The light here, mixed with fine sea spray gives an almost painterly effect to your shots; this morning we’ll head off to multiple locations to teach you light shaping, with the stunning natural light, huge reflectors and shoots, and finally master that flash you’ve been carrying around. These light effects add a quality to your image, and can be used for still life, portrait, documentary styles.

Come afternoon, we’ll have a number of ‘appointments’, pre arranged shoots at various locations, to try out your new lighting and polish your portraiture skills further. We’ll reveal the art to the cover shot, and guide you at every step. Towards dusk, we’ll head to the beach and shoot long exposure fire dancers, as the sun turns scarlet before it disappears off the horizon.

Our flight leaves late today, so this morning we’ll sequence our images to complete our series, discuss options for post production, printing, and review as a group in a grand final show. There’s just time for lunch at our favourite lunchspot, a spot of shopping to get fine leathers, silver, handmade jewellery boxes and the ubiquitous spices, then a short hop to the airport for the flight home. Essaouira is quite unlike anywhere you’ve been too, almost stands in a country of it’s own, and guaranteed to have you coming back for more.

Photography Holidays for all skill levels | Details.

4 – 8 May, 2022
Available

5 days. 4 nights. Starts and ends in Essaouira.

£1475 / £195 single supplement

Price includes 
4 nights accommodation at listed hotels (or similar), including breakfast
5 full days tuition from our UK-based professional photographer
All airport transfers, plus all transportation around the area
Day pass entrance to Jardin Des Douars
Multiple 1-on-1 tuition sessions

Price excludes flights, lunch and dinner.

 

Ryanair fly direct to Essaouira twice a week, with prices starting at £67 each way. The transfer into town takes about 10 minutes and most days shoots are withing walking distance, so there is almost zero travelling on this trip.

"Thank you for an amazing adventure! I learnt so much and had such an incredible time! Creative Escapes is a fantastic company, the whole experience was excellent - from initial queries about the trip, throughout the booking process, and of course - the days away. Great balance of photography, learning, and having fun!"


Sophie Bradley, Southampton


Sicily

SICILY PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY |  6 - 10 OCTOBER 2021 ** 1 PLACE LEFT **  |   4 - 8 MAY 2022  ** AVAILABLE **   |. 5 - 9 OCTOBER 2022 **AVAILABLE**  |  £1375

PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY | SICILY ESCAPE 

Shrugging off its size limitations, Sicily reveals bustling cities, dramatic coastlines and mountainous countryside. This have-it-all Mediterranean island is Italy in microcosm – a dazzling diversity of landscapes and cultural treasures – gently soothed by palm trees and scented orange groves one minute, and exhilarated by exotic architecture (and divine food) the next.

Come experience five days of un poco di tutti (a little of all), shooting epic landscapes at Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, black and white reportage at Catania’s famous La Pescheria, before landing in the punchy capital Palermo, with a glut of gutsy galleries and ornate churches, linked by a spaghetti-tangle of mediaeval streets – and discover Italy like it used to be.

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“Provided all the inspiration needed to turn a happy snapper into a fully-fledged photographer on a photography course including expert tuition and challenging local assignments. Now back home, I hold my camera differently now – no longer a scary piece of equipment, but a tool to work with to create an image. That’s a lasting holiday souvenir.”

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Photography Holidays | Highlights.

A historical feast with 300 days of sun per year, spectacular landscapes, and a vibrant culinary scene, Sicily is becoming one of Italy’s buzziest destinations. It’s the perfect location for photography holidays .

There’s something for everyone here, the perfect location to come learn the basics of photography, get under the skin of the island, hang out with some like-minded people, and bring home some killer snaps of your adventures.

The largest Mediterranean island off the southern coast of Italy has a rich history as a nexus of global trade (dating all the way back to the ancient Greeks). Sicilian culture, from the food to the fashion to the art, has been influenced by a unique fusion of forces—the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, you name it. Whether it’s fine wine and good food, ancient ruins or majestic beaches you desire, Sicily has it all.

For photography holidays beginners, you’ll …
Learn how to use your camera from Auto to Manual, within 3 hours
Capture the sunset on the tiny island of Ortigia, apero in hand
Learn the art of black and white photography at Catania’s famous La Pescheria
Snap landscapes at the summit of Europe’s largest volcano
Test out your reportage skills in cinematic Palermo
Shoot portraits of locals at our pop-up outdoor studio
Complete the journey at one of Europe’s most picturesque beaches

Sicily Photography Holiday : Itinerary.

An hour drive south of the airport finds sun-baked Syracuse – an entire city listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Basking in balmy spring temperatures – thanks to its rich legacy of Greek and Roman architecture – we’ll head over to the old town and through a maze of winding streets and crammed piazzas to the tiny island of Ortigia.

After a late lunch of gnocci al pistachio on alfresco tables set out on a tranquil cobbled square in front of Syracuse’s 13th-century castle, we’ll unwrap our cameras, and learn the art of photography, learning how to use your camera on fully manual in 3 hours, unleashing it’s potential and the beginning of your journey as an accomplished photographer. We’ll celebrate our new skills with an apero, watching the sun set over the Mediterranean. Benvenuti a Sicilia!

Up early, we’ll head to Catania, to La Pescheria, the city’s exuberant fish market – and try out some Cartier-Bresson-styled black and white documentary shots – sharpening our observation, timing and storytelling skills.

With little time to stop for lunch, we’ll swing by the Via Etnea, and pick up some local arancini, and cigar-sized cannolo, crisp light pastry stuffed with sweetened ricotta – passing Taormina, an achingly beautiful town with sweeping views over the Gulf of Naxos, and onwards to Rifugio Sapienza, the base camp on the south side of Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest stratovolcano at 3,350m. Here, we’ll take a funicular to 2,450m and then a 4X4 jeep to the very top – just in time to try some soft light landscapes over the crater, and learn insider professional techniques to make your work stand out from the pack.

This morning on our photography holidays 2020, we’ll cross the spine of Sicily, through hilltop Enna and into the set of Cinema Paradiso at Cefalu – admiring the postcard-pretty honey-hued stone buildings, mosaic-adorned cathedrals and oh-so-lovely beach – before a short hop to Palermo in time for lunch, a to-die-for spaghetti vongole washed down with chilled Pinot Grigio.

In a tiny piazza, we’ll reveal the secrets behind low key street photography, before reviewing our hard earned images over an apertivo. Later, we’ll hold the first of our 1-on- 1’s – chance to meet individually with your tutor to further refine your skills.

We’ll help you pick out the best of the days shots, give further insight into further defining your style and give you specific tips to help you develop. Come evening, we’ll venture into the old town, and see why Palermo is one of Europe’s most vibrant places to eat, drink and have fun.

We kick start the day with a traditional gelato brioche before diving into the Dickensian alleyways of La Vucciria – meaning ‘loud voices’ – where hawkers deliver incessant chants from behind stands brimming with mounds of olives, blood oranges, fennel and artichokes.

For photography holidays beginners, we’ll try out the art of portraiture; picking a spot, setting up a pop-up studio, and trying out your skills on authentic, always friendly locals. As ever our tutor will be on hand to guide you to greatness, then some free time to roam the magnificently dishevelled streets of Palermo and soak up the atmosphere in one of Italy’s finest cities. After reconvening and a final review of all of our best images, we’ll pick one of the hidden piazzas in the centro storico and dine the night away.

Flights leave late today, so we’ll head an hour west to Scopello, one of the most important Sicilian rural estates. This ancient monumental settlement, enclosed by old perimeter walls, is located around a stunning bay, where majestic rock towers make the seawater look like a lagoon. The day is yours to enjoy in the Zingaro coastal reserve: paths rise through untouched hills with wildflowers before dipping to pristine beaches otherwise only reachable by boat – cameras in hand to shoot these stunning landscapes in majestic light.

We’ll hit the markets en route to grab some fresh fruits, cheeses, meats and local wine, and hold our final 1-on-1’s to review your progress over five stunning days in still one of the most untouched parts of Italy. To close our photography holidays beginners, we’ll head back early evening to the airport and catch our flight back home, complete with a bag of brilliant photos, fun memories and a newfound passion in photography.

Sicily Photography Holiday : Details

7 – 11 October, 2021
Only 1 space left.

4 – 8 May, 2022
Available.

5 – 9 October, 2022
Available.

5 days. 4 nights. Starts in Catania and ends in Palermo, Sicily.

£1375 / £195 single supplement

Price includes 
4 nights accommodation at listed hotels (or similar), including breakfast
5 full days tuition from our UK-based professional photographer
All airport transfers, plus all transportation around the island
Guided tours of Ortigia, Palermo, Cefalu and Scopello
Cable car and 4X4 Jeep to the summit of Etna
Welcome aperos on the first night
Multiple 1-on-1 tuition sessions

Price excludes flights, lunch and dinner.

 

EasyJet and Ryanair fly to Catania and Palermo direct from London, with prices starting at £45 each way.

"Thank you for an amazing adventure! I learnt so much and had such an incredible time! Creative Escapes is a fantastic company, the whole experience was excellent - from initial queries about the trip, throughout the booking process, and of course - the days away. Great balance of photography, learning, and having fun!"


Sophie Bradley, Southampton