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Portrait Retreat

Portrait Retreat / Masterclass in Tuscany

7 days, 6 Nights          From $2950       May 3-9, 2020

Travel, study and dine with some of the best minds in the portrait industry, in the most inspiring place on earth.  Your business will never be the same.

Stay at our favorite 15th century hilltop resort with private apartments.  Each day we’ll workshop for 2-3 hours, then explore the charming villages and world famous landscapes of the Val d’Orcia.

Leave the tourist crowds behind and savor the real Tuscan lifestyle along with local specialties and wines… all a part of your own Personal Renaissance.

Intimate Tuscany Photo Tours and Workshop Itinerary Map

Arrive in Florence and meet up at the airport.  From there we’ll drive by private coach to our home away from home in southern Tuscany,  30km south of Siena.  

We recommend arriving a day or two early to visit Florence and acclimate to the time change.  Stroll the Uffizzi Gallery for the best collection of renaissance art in the world.  See Michaelangelo’s David and better yet, his inspiration, Donatello’s David in the Bargello.  Climb the Duomo and shop the fashion district and markets. Or simply people watch in the piazzas and busy streets of Firenze.

Tour Itinerary

First Day of Tour - Artistic photo of Siena Passeggiata

Day 1

12:00AM Meet Florence Airport

Bus to lunch Colle di Val d’Elsa

4:00 Check in Pieve a Salti

7:30 Welcome reception- aperatavi

8:00 Group dinner 


Optional Landscape shoot (Sunrise 6:03)


10:00 Portrait Workshop in the conference center

1:00 Group lunch

2:00 Day trip to hilltop towns / vineyards / monasteries 

7:00 Landscape shoot   (sunset 8:18 PM)

8:30 Dinner on own in town

Day 3

Early shooting on your own


10:00 Portrait Workshop

12:30 Day trip to hilltop towns / vineyards / monasteries 

6:30- Landscape shoot   (sunset 8:18 PM)

8:30 Dinner on own in town

Pieve a Salti Road - Photo Tour Day 4

Day 4 |

Landscape excursion shoot (Belvedere)


10:00 Portrait Workshop

12:30 Group lunch

2:00 Day trip to hilltop towns / vineyards / monasteries


7:00 Landscape shoot 

8:30 Dinner on own in town

Italy Photo Tour Day 5 in Montechiello

Day 5

Sleep in or early shooting on your own


10:00 Portrait Workshop

1:00 Buffet lunch by the pool

2:00 Free afternoon

Tech talk / Spa time / Horse riding

Shuttle hourly to nearby Buonconvento for shopping/shooting

7:30 Dinner in Buonconvento (on own)

Photo Tour Day 2 in Val d'Orcia

Day 6


9:00 Portrait Workshop

12:00 Day-trip to hilltop towns / vineyards / monasteries 

7:00 Landscape shoot  

8:30 Farewell dinner at Fattoria Pieve a Salti

Italy Photo Workshop Day 7 in Buonconvento

Day 7

Early shooting on your own


10:00 Wrap up and sharing (slideshow of the week’s events)

12:00 Checkout

Lunch in Buonconvento (on own)

3:00 Leave for Florence

4:30 Goodbyes at Florence airport.

OPTION: Continue on with us to the Italian Riviera, the Portofino Coast and the Cinque Terre.  Drake Busath will guide this 5 day extension in paradise.

The Masterclass

About the curriculum and schedule

Masterclass Sessions

After breakfast each day we’ll gather in the conference center for lectures, slideshows and hands-on demonstrations dedicated to the portraiture of children and families.  These sessions will last 2 hours and then we gather our gear to visit the most charming villages and hill towns known to man.  Some you’ve heard of like Siena and Montepulciano, others are barely on the map so we’ll have them all to ourselves.

The Guest List

The remarkable Allison Tyler Jones and her husband Ivan will join us for this retreat.  Allison, beyond being a premiere teacher, has built a very  successful studio business in Mesa, AZ.   She walks the walk.

About the next instructor

About the next instructor

Drake Busath will host this retreat, sharing his 35 years experience with Busath Studio & Gardens, and his love of photographing in Italy.

Past Instructors include portraitists Michael Taylor and Tim Walden, editing  guru Kevin Kubota, landscape specialists Randy Collier, and Dennis Hammon, photojournalist Jeff Allred, night-scape specialist Royce Bair, Italian pro Luigi Barbano and writer Dr. Ray Ownbey.

Sign up to learn about guest instructors to come!

Drake Busath

Your Host

Drake Busath, M.Photog. Cr, has hosted hundreds of photographers on week-long workshops in all of Italy and parts of France.  Having lived in Italy as a young man he speaks the language and has cultivated relationships over the past 35 years, people who help us to experience the culture more deeply.

Drake loves to share his favorite places and knows where to be and when  for great photographs.  He also likes to eat, so get ready for some great meals!  More about Drake

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Camera Should I Bring?

No camera snobs are tolerated here in Tuscany, so any camera is acceptable.  It’s recommended however that you bring a wide angle (35mm equivalent of 16mm or 24mm) and a portrait length lens  (35mm equivalent of 70-200mm).

A sturdy but lightweight tripod is a must for this tour, if you want to join us for landscapes in this magical emerald green rolling landscape.

Travel light!  Love some of your heavy gear home.  You’ll enjoy being more stealth and carrying less weight.

Should I Bring a Computer

Participants who are very comfortable with their computer are encouraged to bring it along. Editing your images during the week can enhance your learning experience. We currently use Adobe Lightroom CC for our on-screen reviews sessions. You will learn new LR editing methods and workflow shortcuts during classroom reviews and critique. Even if you’ve used Lightroom, we highly recommend brushing up before the workshop by watching the free tutorials available on

If you are not fluent downloading and managing digital images, you might consider leaving the computer behind and just focusing on camera work. You can still submit images daily for review, and perhaps find more time to learn about your camera and develop a discerning eye. (Not to mention sleep happily while others are editing into the night)

Observer Participants may be beginner photographers, attending all instruction and field trips, but not required to submit photos for critique. This is a fun way to learn without pressure. You’ll still photograph the same things and we’ll still want to review your work on the back of your camera and offer individual instruction in the field.

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“I learned as much in a week with you two as I learned in two semesters of photography classes.” Read More

-Jeri Petersen | Tuscany

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” I was delighted to end the week with not only hundreds of excellent images but nine new friends as well.” Read More

– Jim Pierotti CRA, 30 yr. pro photographer | Tuscany

Tuscany Photo Workshop Reviews

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“It was the best learning experience I have had on any photographic workshop … We’re looking forward to participating in another workshop!” Read More

– Linda Purnell | Tuscany

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“We have enjoyed two of Drake’s Italian photo tours—Tuscany and the Italian Riviera—and plan to take a third. The tours are well-organized, fun, flexible and a great learning experience.” Read More

-John and Kay Norvell | Tuscany and Portofino Coast

Tuscany Photo Workshop Dates

Tuscany | May 3-9, 2020

Arrive: May 3, 11:00AM – Florence airport (FLR)
Depart: May 9, 3:00PM – Florence airport (FLR)

Group Size:  Max 15 per group.  Three groups.


$2950 / Participant (double occupancy)
$500 / Single supplement for private room

Portofino Coast and the Cinque Terre Extension | May 9-13, 2020

Begin: May 9, 3:00PM – Florence airport (FLR)
Depart: May 9, 3:00PM – Florence airport (FLR)

Group Size:  Max 20 participants


$1750 / Participant (double occupancy)
$500 / Single supplement for private room

* These trip starts and ends in Siena, Italy. You can arrive in any major Italian city, but Florence or Rome is recommended. By train, Siena is 2 hours from Florence, 3 hours from Rome, 5 hours from Milan or Venice.



Ground travel by minivan from Siena , returning to Siena.
6 nights accommodations.


First night or two in the historic center of Siena,  with the best view of the city right off your balcony.

The remainder of nights in private apartments at Fattoria Pieve a Salti, a working 15th century farmhouse complex, fully remodeled with new A/C, TV, amenities including indoor and outdoor pools, spa, restaurant.


  • Luxurious breakfast each day at the farm
  • Dinner or lunch each day as we travel.
  • Wine tasting at famous Tuscan cantinas


Workshop tuition, including on-screen reviews of your daily work (voluntary) and one-on-one photographic instruction in the field throughout the week.

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Trip insurance (recommended)

Also not included are crowds, slow moving tour guides and lectures on the history of plague 🙂

Payment Schedule

  • A reservation fee of $500 will hold your spot
  • 50% of balance is due 120 days prior to your workshop
  • The balance of payment is due 60 days prior to your workshop


We use hotels rated 3 or 4 stars, always with private bath. Rooms are assigned in order of reservations received, so early signup is recommended. Ask about premium rooms, at some workshop locations for an additional supplement charge.

Single Supplements

Fees are based on double occupancy. Single supplement may be added for participants who wish to have a private room to themselves. Supplements vary depending on the hotels used. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room with another participant, please let us know and we’ll do our best to match you with a roommate.

Cancellation fee schedule 

  • There is no charge for cancellation within ten days of booking your workshop.
  • After ten days, reservation fees are non-refundable but may be applied to a future workshop event.
  • Cancellations less than 90 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 25% of the total workshop cost.
  • Cancellations less than 45 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 50% of the total workshop cost.
  • Cancellations less than 15 days prior to workshop incur a cancellation fee of 75% of the total workshop cost.
  • No partial refunds will be given for unused portions of a workshop.

We highly recommend that all workshop participants purchase trip cancellation insurance independently.

Cancelled Workshops

Italy Workshops reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason whatsoever, including insufficient signup, logistical problems that may impede a workshop, hotel closures or acts of God. (We have never yet had to cancel a workshop.)

Refund of all fees paid shall release Italy Workshops from any further liability. Italy Workshops is not responsible for any expenses incurred by workshop participants in preparing for a cancelled workshop. In the case of insufficient signup to make a workshop feasible, notice and refund will be sent 120 days prior to the workshop.

Photographic Release

Italy Workshops reserves the right to photograph and film its trips in entirety. Participants should be aware that images of them may be used for promotional purposes or joint marketing efforts with third parties, without remuneration.

Reserve Your Italy Workshop Experience Today

Group sizes are extremely limited. Please reserve early.

You can reserve your spot by filling out the form below,
or by calling us at 801-364-6645

Hold My Spot

    How many people in your party?

    An invoice will be sent to your email for $500/person reservation fee.