A funny thing happened on the way to our inbox….

We get testimonials after our workshops and we’re thankful for all of the feedback we get.  The other day we got an email containing a testimonial from a student on our Venice workshop.  Kim was a first time participant at PB and we love to hear how “newbies” react to our workshops.  Her submission read more like a blog post so we thought, “what the heck, let’s do it as a blog post!”  For those of you who are still wondering what it’s like to join us on one of our adventures, here’s one woman’s take.  Check her words and some of her images below.




Canals, Croissants and Espressos…Oh and a picture or two.


About a year and a half ago, I was working in a cafe in Montana when one of my regulars starts talking about how he’s teaching this photography workshop in Venice the following year. Without asking any details besides the date, I said “I want in”. Fast forward a year and a bit later and I’m standing in line to board the Water Taxi that will take me across mainland Italy to “The Floating City”.


This workshop with Tony and Tim was not what I was expecting, it was MUCH better!


Each morning we met as a group and walked to our shoot location together and then Tony would give an overview of the area and highlight what was so unique or fun about said location before we all scattered. Both Tony and Tim walked around the location finding students one by one;  lurking in dark alleys waiting for that “perfect moment”, or staring into canals like zombies waiting for the ripples from the last garbage boat to quiet so they could get that reflective shot. They would check in on each of us to see if we had questions or to see what images we had captured so far. Sometimes they would ask questions like “What about the scene captured your attention?” or “What is the “Hero” in this photo?” or sometimes just simply “No”.


Tony and Tim have this way of pushing your creativity and imagination further than you thought was possible without saying too much, they find out what style is unique to each individual and they really feed into it, encouraging you to explore all the possibilities and help build confidence which shows and brings in that “Wow Factor” in your finished work.


The feeling of being overwhelmed with everything around me was my biggest challenge during the week; so many things going on, so much movement, color, sound, I wanted to capture it all! I wanted to be able to show people back home what Venice was really like outside of your normal tourist attractions. This resulted in some very “meh” shots to begin with, but once I started to slow down, find my spot, get my camera set, and just wait, wait for the moment to come to me, that’s when my photography started to change. The true feeling of Venice and what it’s like to be Venetian started to show through my shots.


I learned new techniques for street photography, and settings for my camera that I didn’t even know were possible, that helped me become more bold in my captures. Scenes that I normally wouldn’t approach I was suddenly placing myself in the middle of them with more comfort and purpose.


We walked all over Venice and back again…and again over this week long workshop and it started to feel very much like home. You find your favorite Caffe, your favorite bar for the Aperitivo hour, your favorite canal to dine next too, and in each spot they start to recognize you and you start to build a relationship with the local Venetians.


This workshop is truly unique as are Tony and Tim. They meet you where you are as a photographer and encourage and guide you in your work. They’re funny, they’re kind, they’re kind of weird, and they know what they’re talking about and teaching!


Kim Cook


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