The Tuscany photo tour filled two of my travel desires. First, to visit rural Tuscany in a non-intrusive intimate way and two, to linger as long as I desired taking photos. My criteria were simple: no big bus, no 5 hotels in 7 day, no beaten path. Improving my photo skills would be a nice bonus. My hopes were more than fulfilled. Traveling with a small band of lively spirits with Drake and Randy as our drivers and guides was like being with family. We stayed in Siena and moved only once, to the farm at Pieve where we were greeted like old friends. And the grand dinner at Luca’s new restaurant was the experience that will never be matched.
As for accommodations,the breathtaking scenery was not just outside our door, but literally outside our windows. Our itinerary took us within a radius of just 30 km from our base yet seemed like more.
By covering less ground, and through photography, you can connect with place in a much more personal and creative way. Even though I am not an accomplished photographer, the instructors made me feel like one.
Just as gifted coaches make their sport look easy, Drake and Randy make photography and travel seem effortless. And the group, oh my. The shared laughs, the meals together, the food, the wine and Tuscany — I’ve found my favorite way to travel.
Molly Murphy, CA / May, 2016
We have enjoyed two Italy Workshops – Tuscany and the Italian Riviera – and we plan to take a third to the Dolomites. The tours are well organized, fun, flexible and a great learning experience. Participants are made to feel comfortable no matter what their level of photographic skill. Accommodations are pleasant and convenient. Drake knows Italy well and he also knows the best times and locations for the perfect photos. We highly recommend these tours for an enjoyable photographic experience in Italy.
The Cinque Terre and Italian Riviera workshop was an unforgettable experience. The towns we visited are gorgeous and rich in subject matter, and Drake and Randy’s intimate knowledge of the area really enhances the trip. Both are expert photographers who love to share their craft – and they are genuinely enjoyable to travel with! Logistics are well managed, including excellent hotel and restaurant choices. The pace is perfect, with plenty of time to photograph and ample time to relax and experience Italy. Overall, the workshop is a combination of a great learning experience and an awesome vacation. You will be inspired not only by the beautiful setting, but also by the images and knowledge shared by your fellow workshop participants.
If you love photography and love to travel, Italy Workshops will not disappoint. In addition to being incredible photographers, Drake and his team are just nice people! They have sponsored these workshops for many years and are extremely knowledgeable about where you need to be to capture the images you’ll be proud of when you return home. Regardless of how much you know – or don’t know – about capturing and editing images, they are patient and willing to help.
I have been to Italy twice, both times with Italy Workshops. First, I went to Tuscany where I fell in love with Italy’s landscapes, people, language, food and, of course, wine! The second trip was the Cinque Terre and Italian Riviera tour. My husband, who is not a photographer, loved both trips. There are plenty of opportunities for partners to explore or enjoy free time if they’d rather not be with the group the entire time.
Drake and his team know many of the locals. They also know the language and how to get around, which takes the hassle out of trip planning and allows you to focus on getting the images you want. Italy Workshops is a great value for the experience and you will walk away with cherished images and memories to last a lifetime.
Italy Workshops did a superior job of setting up the Tuscany workshop. Intimate places to explore – off the beaten path as well as the popular places – chasing, finding and capturing the light all along the way. The connections Drake has with the locals are invaluable. I quickly realized he is more local than not as he spoke fluent Italian, revealing his love for Italy and its culture. You will not experience Italy this way on your own. I am hooked and will be back again!
Denise M. Argiro, Stoneham MA
I joined the Tuscany workshop in search of inspiration and I certainly found it. But beyond that, I learned a lot! Sure, I expanded my technical skills, but more importantly, Drake and Randy taught me how to see things differently. The workshop provided a unique opportunity to really slow down and find beauty in the smallest – and sometimes the biggest – details.
What made the trip truly special was the small size of the group and the personal attention and guidance each of us received. As well, Drake’s knowledge of the area and his well-established relationships with locals made me feel like I was on my own private tour. Combine these things with amazing food and fantastic accommodations, and honestly, I can’t think of a better way to experience Italy. I can’t wait to go back!
Sheryl Argiro Bird, Stoneham, MA
My husband and I attended the Tuscany workshop. With Drake’s extensive knowledge of the area and his fluency in Italian, we experienced the very best of Tuscany, much more than we would have seen on our own. We photographed spectacular scenery and intimate Tuscan scenes. Not only did we travel to the perfect spots to photograph, we were excellently taught by Drake and his assistant Randy in the field, and with in-class instruction. It was the best learning experience I have had on any photographic workshop. Accommodations and food were exceptional. It was an absolutely fantastic experience in every way and exceeded all expectations. We’re looking forward to participating in another workshop!
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
I found the Intimate Tuscany Villages workshop to be one of life’s great experiences. Drake’s local knowledge and photographic acumen were invaluable. I like a vacation with purpose and the workshop provided a full day of enticing photographic venues and a friendly evening social atmosphere. I was delighted to end the week with not only hundreds of excellent images but nine new friends as well.
Jim Pierotti CRA 30 yr. professional photographer
I had a wonderful time, I always learn so much from everyone. Thanks so much for the effort you put into these adventures. I will watch your schedule and look forward to another trip!
I am still in awe over our wonderful workshop in Zion National Park & Page Arizona. It was the most fun I have ever had in a workshop of any kind. The staff made every person feel very special and took care of us like we were their family members! I left feeling so blessed to have been with everyone at the workshop, staff and students. I learned so much and witnessed such beauty. I can’t wait to do it again!
When I went to Drake and Randy’s workshop I considered myself a fairly competent, budding photographer. The improvement in my images, both technically and artistically, was delightfully astonishing. Thank you.
I traveled with Drake and Randy to Italy last spring and it was such a great experience. I made some good friends and I learned a lot, too! When I found out that those friends signed up for Utah Canyons, I signed up, too. What a great trip we had – again! The leaders were terrific, the scenery was beautiful and I was able to check a few things off my bucket list. I can’t wait to do another trip with Drake and Randy. They have changed the way I look at photographing landscapes. You guys are the best!
I’ve been taking photos for many years, but I was sort of a speed shooter and editor, not really investing the time to capture the right photo. While working with Drake and Randy both in the field and in the classroom, I learned numerous best practices that helped my photos become more than just another file on my computer… now I feel confident displaying my photos in a home or office setting. I hope to travel with them again on future workshops to continue improving my hobby. Thanks again for the opportunity to hang out with so many amazing photographers in such a beautiful area of the world.
I came from Holland to Drake’s Utah Workshop, so I had pretty high expectations. All I can say is: What a breathtaking experience! We saw so many marvelous spots and were accompanied by very capable, kind and fine people. Drake’s staff arranged everything so well – they even brought their boat to go on Lake Powell. It doesn’t matter what level photographer you are or where you come from, Drake and his people can bring everyone to a higher level. If photography is your passion, this workshop is your ‘Mekka’! You really should experience it.
This was not our first experience with Italy Workshops. We had already done six workshops in Italy, including one with our children and their spouses. And, we plan to do it again! We love seeing the world with Drake while learning new skills.
We loved our photo workshop in France almost as much as the one in Ravello, Italy. The hotel in Fontevraud, with the wonderful smells, was our favorite. We had a large, comfortable room and loved the countryside location; the food there was delicious. Traveling by minivan worked well and we liked it better than a large bus. The size of our group was just right and the other guests were especially compatible. The selection of the areas we visited was everything we expected, and our photos are proof of that. The workshops were very informative and Drake and Joel were both knowledgeable and very helpful. We are in awe of the Loire Valley and now want to go back.
We have a new appreciation of subject lighting and the challenge of getting the perfect image is what we both needed. Marie is perfect for negotiating France. She is so knowledgeable and darling. Rod was always carrying our luggage and doing all he could to help us. The staff exceeded our expectations. The meals included in the package were fabulous in the restaurants. The picnics were fun and we ate too much!
The hotel in Saumur was beautiful as well. The Loire River was just across the street and we got some incredible night shots. We saw unexpected and wonderful places tourists wouldn’t ordinarily see.
Chuck & Kathie Horman
Drake Busath is a rare find in the field of photographic workshops. He is both an amazing photographer and a wonderful teacher. His knowledge of his venues makes for some incredible images, and his choice of professional partners to accompany the group is a great bonus. The workshops attract both serious amateurs and seasoned professionals. It’s always a great trip, with some great people!
Jeff Carsten, Professional Photographer
The Italy Workshop is weeks behind me and I am STILL enjoying and using what I learned in those intense nine days. I left home with some good basic camera skills but I returned home feeling like my camera was part of my body! My skill level took a giant leap forward in both taking photos well and post-production skills. I have come home with literally thousands of photos that I am giddy proud of! People comment to me that I “probably took some great pictures” and I laugh and tell them that I have dozens and dozens of winners. I’m not bragging about MY ability but on the instruction that I received that made it all possible.
The photographic advice and the unique sites we visited affected me photographically and otherwise. It was interesting to view the images of the other workshop members in the critiques. I very much enjoyed the village experiences, especially since they were not typical “touristy” sites with large groups. The area was quaint, the people were friendly and the sites were very nice. Overall, the experience was exceptional, the Italians warm, and the group friendly and kind.
We look at light entirely differently now. We used to be postcard picture takers and traditional tourists, but no more! We felt like we learned a lot on the first trip with Italy Workshops, but our pictures the second time were much improved.
Thanks again – and looking forward to the next trip!
This workshop was a delightful experience. I enjoyed being in the company of wonderful people in a splendid setting. We were free to shoot at our own pace and our level of experience without constraint. The critique sessions were very helpful and constructive. With Drake and Randy I understood the true essence of photography: creative imagination and passion combined with the sense of observation. In reality, you are constantly competing against yourself like a true artist or a passionate golfer. Photography is indeed a wonderful art of expressing yourself with light and lenses.
Shooting photos in the wonderful villages of beautiful Tuscany was most inspiring. We were witnesses to the real Italian life surrounded by centuries of art and history under the warm Tuscan sun. My favorite and most unforgettable experience was my visit to the Abbey of Sant ‘Antimo near Montalcino. The spiritual impact of this romanesque place of worship is immense in its beauty and simplicity.
The workshop was well balanced and organized. I felt comfortable and welcome.
This workshop gave me lots of inspiration to keep taking better pictures. I definitely feel more confident than before the workshop. I loved the “Village Experience” approach to seeing Italy. It was quieter and more “real” than the crowded touristy places. My favorite experience of the week was interacting with the locals and getting a true “behind the scenes” look at Italian life. I loved this group, it wasn’t too big and quickly became well functioning, easy to talk to anybody, a safe place to learn and fail without getting too self-conscious.
There have been some experiences in my lifetime that have such a profound effect on me, I know I will never forget them. One of them was this past June in Tuscany with you. A few of us were walking through this tiny town, the aroma of honeysuckle vine was everywhere! It was the most wonderful aroma and filled our senses. It was so quiet there – I felt like we were in some magical place. We went to the top of the village and stood on a ledge and watched the most incredible sunset come and go. I remember thinking to myself – “I never want to forget this moment and how I feel right now.” I think of that night often and how incredible it was to be there and experience such a perfect, beautiful night. Thank you for sharing your talent, time, enthusiasm, and knowledge with me. I feel so blessed to have been able to experience Italy with Drake!
I joined Drake and the awesome group of participants in 2006 at the Tuscan Workshop. To this day, that week remains one of the most inspiring, transforming and unforgettable times of my life. I yearn to go back. In fact I was booked to go back the next year but my Mom got ill and I had to cancel. I can’t wait to go back.
If you want an experience that will imprint your heart forever, this is one to consider. Besides the attributes I checked, Drake is all of the above. He is one of the most knowledgeable photographers and kindest, most encouraging teachers I have ever known.
Dear Drake & Crew,
Thanks a million for the memories, beautiful villages, landscapes and a whole lot of fun people to travel with. My sons John and David will never forget…
We saw and experienced places we would never have seen had it not been for you.
Thank you for all your patience and longsuffering on the workshop. I truly can’t believe how much attention you gave each of us, how excited you got for us when we wanted to learn something, and how you never treated any of us like the beginners some us are! I had such a blast at the gelato shop and on the sunset excursions working one-on-one with you; I hope I didn’t monopolize you so that others didn’t get the same opportunity. Thank you for generously sharing your equipment AND your knowledge/experience, and then following up after we all got home with information on where to get the gear you used on the workshop. I’ve never had workshop instructors show such genuine interest in the participants – you provided something truly special.
Being able to learn from pros in the classroom and then have one-on-one help in the field, to see how they see and then shoot a scene, was an incomparable learning experience.
It was the experience of a lifetime. Thanks so much!
Drake not only is a master photographer, but also amazing at setting up photography workshops in various, beautiful places. They are small and intimate enough to give even the most inexperienced photographer all the attention necessary to feel successful. I thought I was a fairly good photographer before I went on the Italy trip (I should stop listening to family and friends!) but I am now light-years better than I was. Thanks, Drake. The only problem with going on one of these trips is that coming home to reality is numbing! Great fun!