Photography holiday

South West, Dordogne, France

7 days from
per person

Average user rating

Holiday Itinerary

This wonderful rural landscape is the setting for your 6 night photography holiday and offers a unique experience with beautiful accommodation allowing you to focus on developing your photographic skills.

Get away from the hectic everyday life, and enjoy the wonderful world of French cuisine, professional hands-on photography classes and excursions to places packed with history and beauty where you can refine your art.

You will learn how to use use light, exposure, depth of field and composition in order to take beautiful photographs in all conditions, as well as learning editing in order to enhance the image taken.

As well as learning the fundamentals of photography, this holiday is a real opportunity to develop your creative instincts and to experience the beautiful Dordogne region and its culture that dates back to prehistoric times. Your hosts and tutor know the best places in the region to help you get the best shots whatever your subject may be - whether you’re after art, architecture, people or landscape.

During this memorable photography holiday, your tutor, Mairi, a professional travel photographer, will be on hand to organise every element of your break. She will be staying at the Manor with you, and whenever you want to work on your photography skills, she will be there to guide you. Your hosts will be serving up classical French dishes for you, using home-grown and local farm produce to give you the finest taste of the region.

Your accommodation is in the lovingly restored 18th century stone manor house, which has been impeccably decorated. Each room is spacious, bright and has ensuite facilities. Your room will have outstanding views of the surrounding countryside that include a swimming pool and secluded gardens, along with walking trails that begin right outside your door.

Get the most out of your camera and learn the art of photography in rural France, enjoy the warm climate and hospitality, beloved regional dishes and wine, stunning surroundings, and take home images from this beautiful area to treasure for a lifetime.

Who is it suitable for?
- Suitable for all photography skill levels from beginner to advanced
- Minimum age 18 with no upper age limit
- All types of cameras are welcome
- You are free to borrow the printer and laptop if needed

I'm travelling solo - can I join?
- This photography holiday make a great singles holiday
- Courses have a maximum of 8 people in each group and singles are very welcome as you'll meet others with a passion for photography and there are NO single supplements

When can I start?
- This holiday starts on selected Sundays in Spring (sold out) and Autumn
- Photography holidays are for 6 nights / 7 days
- If you wish to stay for extra nights, please email us to check availability for your preferred duration and we will do our best to accommodate you
- All holidays are on request so please email us and we’ll check availability for your preferred day of arrival as quickly as possible

Holiday iitinerary
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows...

Arriving on Sunday afternoon, you will be welcomed to your luxurious B&B by Mairi and your hosts, Kerry and Tomas, and given time to explore and relax in the house, gardens and pool before meeting and getting to know your other group members over evening drinks on the terrace followed by dinner.

Each day will begin with a sumptuous buffet breakfast in the wonderful dining room overlooking the pool and gardens. After breakfast, join Mairi in the studio at the Manor where she will provide expert guidance on taking photographs relevant to the theme of the day, regardless of whether you have professional level equipment and skills or a compact camera and enthusiasm!

The group will be led into the field on practical and enjoyable outings around the glorious countryside, gardens, chateaux, villages, towns and markets of the famous Dordogne region, including Sarlat, Le Roque Gageac, Domme, and the gardens of Eyrignac and Marqeysasac. Transport will be in a comfortable mini bus, though you are welcome to use your own transport or even opt out of the trips as you wish.

After a wonderful morning of photography and socializing (and perhaps practising your French!), you will return to the estate for lunch, or have a picnic lunch 'en plein air' to maximize your French experience. On the day you visit the medieval town and ancient market of Sarlat, you can meet up for lunch at the famous ‘L’Adresse’ restaurant,
or you are welcome to make your own discoveries.  The afternoon programme allows you to continue to take photos and discover new vistas with Mairi; wandering ancient streets, taking a boat trip on the Dordogne river, lazing around beautiful gardens or just having some free time at home to chat and practice your art. 

Mairi will always be available for late afternoon 'open workshops' to help you download, edit, review and provide friendly advice, professional tips for your own portfolio of photos for your friends and family back home. Or else you can walk, swim, read, chat or snooze till drinks on the terrace and another wonderful dinner at the house or at the Black Duck for an arranged set menu.

On the final evening, dining will be at the charming Lescaleyrou restaurant just 15 minutes away where you and your new friends can relive the highlights and experiences of the past week. Departure will be on Saturday after breakfast.

Your photography tutor
- After studying design in ceramics and glass and teaching at Brighton University, your passionate teacher, Mairi, worked abroad with her husband in Spain, Japan, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain
- Throughout her travels, her camera quickly became her artistic tool of choice, and photography the medium through which Mairi could capture the essence of markets and temples, deserts and mountains, people and events, textures and designs
- Mairi started selling her photographs and was then lucky enough to be offered exhibitions, which in turn led to a number of commissions that included photographing families, construction projects, charity organisations, commercial work, a Sultan’s horses, a King’s planes, and most wonderfully, Queen Elizabeth II’s state visit to Oman in 2010, as official embassy photographer
- Mairi often attends workshops and courses to broaden her photographic range, and even has extended her photographic images into new areas such as prints and fabrics
- She regularly leads photography workshops and photo walks in Bahrain and the UK, and the beautiful Dordogne region

What will I learn?
- Understand and use your camera’s key functions more effectively (controlling exposure, depth of field and focus)
- Understand and show how the use of light and composition/framing creates more striking images and effects
- Download, edit and store your images using common photo editing programs such as Lightroom or Photoshop
- Each day will have a different theme and an aspect of photographic composition to practice as well as a technical element to concentrate on, eg. aperture priority, shutter speed
- Build a network of fellow photographers to critique and share your images with after the course

What should I bring?
- Bring any camera you feel comfortable using, along with any other equipment you have that you would like to learn more about
- A laptop if you have one
- Please bring suitable footwear for walking as you will be spending a lot of time exploring the different areas

Where will I be staying? 
- You will stay in a magnificent 400m² 18th Century stone Manor house in the heart of Perigord Noir near Sarlat which accommodates up to 15 people
- Relax and unwind in the private 15x7m heated swimming pool and sauna
- You will also have access to 20 hectares of beautiful secluded private gardens
- The accommodation is located 12km from Sarlat and 13km from the famous Lascaux caves
- You will be a 5 minute walk from the nearest restaurant
- The house is newly renovated with stylish, quality materials and furnishing throughout
- Accommodation is for 6 nights / 7 days
- Check-in from 5pm on day 1 and check-out at 10am on day 7
- Please note: this accommodation does not have disabled access but walk-in showers are available

Manor house
- There are 6 ensuite bedrooms with air conditioning
- All rooms are to a 5-star standard
- Prices are per person and based on one person in a private double ensuite room

Beaux Reves villa
- Once the rooms in the Manor house are full, guests will be placed in the villa next door for the same price as the comfort room in the Manor
- All rooms are 5-star and have ensuite bathrooms
- Guests will still be able to enjoy the facilities of the Manor house and will join those in the Manor house for all meals
- There are 3 air-conditioned bedrooms

Restricted mobility access
Please find below some information regarding the accommodation and location of the holiday which may be useful when deciding if this is the right holiday for you; should you have an further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help
- We generally do not recommend this location for those with restricted mobility, as there is no wheel chair access nor rooms on the ground floor
- All showers are walk-in
- If a person is able to walk but has 'some' restrictions, this location has no cobblestones and should be fairly easy going

Are meals included?
- Orange juice, a selection of teas and freshly brewed coffee, fresh baked patisseries, homemade jams, fresh fruit salads, cereals, yogurts, cheese and cold cuts, along with eggs any way you like

- Lunch will be a buffet which will include homemade quiches, salads, local cheeses and cold meat

- Your evening meal will consist of 3 courses and include fresh, regional dishes such as Coq au vin, Lasagne, Boeuf Bourguignon, and Poisson au curry
- Please note 2 dinners are not included in the price and they will be taken in local restaurants

Special diets will be catered for with advance notice, but please do request this at the time of booking

What can I do in my free time?
- In your free time, you can relax in the extensive grounds of your Manor house, or walk through the French countryside; there are stunning  marked walking routes from your front door
- Visit the beautiful local towns of Sarlat and the Montignac as well as the stunning villages of the Dordogne valley all within easy reach
- There are also 150 world heritage sites in the area renowned for prehistoric caves and cave dwellings
- The area is also very popular for cycling or canoeing; please see your host for details