Destination Travel Workshop: Pay What It’s Worth To YOU

Darwin and I like to experiment. And we’d like you to join us in an experiment that might seem a little crazy at first (or an incredible deal!). For this year’s Destination Travel Photography Workshop June 25-28, 2012 at Island Lake, we’re going to take our professional fees out of the cost and let participants pay what they think the workshop is worth at the end of the weekend. We know times are tough, and sometimes you can’t afford to take that class or book that holiday or buy that special vacation for your significant other. Well, we still have space in this exciting workshop, so if cost has been a factor for you, now’s your chance! Here’s how it works:

Darwin and I are going to run the workshop no matter what. Participants who have already registered will get the same deal; all you have to pay are your accommodation and meals charged by Island Lake, who is giving us an great deal. You could attend this four-day workshop for as little as $433! That’s just over $100 per day and includes all your meals and accommodations plus a wine tasting event  in a luxury lodge on a private reserve. You can’t beat that! Check out the updated prices here.

The program is the same, and I’ll go into a few more details below, but this is definitely an opportunity that we can’t do with every workshop we offer, so don’t miss out. The lodge is located just outside Fernie, British Columbia, on a 7000 acre private forest. From old growth cedar to lush undergrowth, the place is very private and ecologically unique. Here are a few more images from the lake just below the resort:

The Lizard Range, Island Lake, British Columbia, Canada

© Samantha Chrysanthou

Last year when we were scouting the place and arranging the details of the workshop, we saw a black bear on this lake at the far end of the picture here. Apparently a mother moose and her calf are also frequent visitors to this tranquil scene! And fresh flowers are coming up and everything is so green and lush!

Forest trail, Island Lake, British Columbia, Canada

© Samantha Chrysanthou

Forest trail, Island Lake, British Columbia, Canada

© Samantha Chrysanthou – same scene, horizontal framing. It's lush in June!

You might be wondering why we’re attempting such a crazy project. Well, we’ve found that the photography industry is in a constant state of flux. New products are entering the market all the time, and it’s hard to know how to price your offerings. For example, more and more eBooks are being made by photographers teaching you how to make pictures, yet no can even agree yet on how to call them — is that ‘eBook’, ‘ebook’, ‘e-book’ or ‘E-Book’? By doing this little experiment, we hope that we’ll have a better idea at the end of this workshop how much people feel is fair value for this style of photography instruction. By the way, if it seems a bit intimidating to price your own workshop, don’t worry; we’ll put our original pricing (with percentage breakdowns like 75%, 50%, 10% etc.) at the front desk as a guideline at checkout. You pay us only what you think the value of our instruction was worth and your ‘donation’ will be anonymous to us!

Lizard Range, Island Lake, British Columbia, Canada

© Samantha Chrysanthou

So what are some of the classes that we’ll be teaching? This is a really comprehensive workshop designed to get you quickly on your feet as a photographer when traveling. We start out with Story Trumps Technique and show you why a story with impact will survive minor technical faults. We’ll also be going over practical, hands-on skills such as using your camera controls creatively, effective lens choice to tell a story and basic outdoor lighting for portraits. And because we’re at a resort with incredibly talented chefs who source a lot of their produce from nearby farms, the workshop wouldn’t be complete without a quick and dirty lesson on food photography on the fly! All this work is bound to make you thirsty, so a little wine tasting will help rejuvenate any tired energies! In all, this package of photography skills will have you bringing home memorable images from your future travels so that friends and family will be able to grasp the spirit of your adventures. Head to the information page here.

Island Lake also has a beautiful cookbook of their recipes (which you get as part of the price), and Darwin and I are going to pick a few dishes to make and photograph for the blog, so watch for that if you’re a foodie!

We hope that you will be able to join us June 25 – 28, 2012 (coming up soon!) for our little experiment. It’s a terrific opportunity to participate in an intensive, educational but fun workshop that is also programmed to be like a little holiday — and you’re in charge of the price! See you at the workshop. If you can’t come, tell a friend, this is a fantastic deal. We believe in it so much we are willing to do the event for free!

Lizard Range, Island Lake, British Columbia, Canada

© Samantha Chrysanthou

Natural spring, Island Lake, British Columbia, Canada

©Samantha Chrysanthou

Lizard Range, Island Lake, British Columbia, Canada

©Samantha Chrysanthou

About the Author

Photographing the incredible beauty of natural things, filming quirky videos, trying new foods with unpronounceable names, curling up with a good book, sharing ideas on how to live lighter on the Earth...these are a few of my favourite things!


  1. Stephen
    April 27, 2012

    Kind of like a busker performance? ;-)

    • Darwin Wiggett
      April 27, 2012

      Yes, have camera will busk! I may even where my tutu and sing Neil Young’s “Old Man”; that is worth something isn’t it?

  2. Sean A.J. Simmons
    April 27, 2012

    Always the trail blazers! What an opportunity you have created for anyone wanting to get to that next level. I certainly have benefited from your excellent instruction. Best of luck, wish I was available to join in. I lived in the area for a couple years. There is no shortage of stunning photo ops. I’ll help spread the word.

    • Darwin Wiggett
      April 27, 2012

      Thanks Sean,

      We really think anyone that comes to this workshop will get a boost creatively and technically; plus get great food and rooms!

  3. Mike Kap
    April 27, 2012

    Wow I wish I was not wrapping up another school year with my grade 4′s in June. Certainly something I would have signed up for.

  4. Gary Groeneveld
    April 28, 2012

    Sounds like a great deal for any photographer that loves to learn new ideas from two of the
    best photography instructors.
    I will see if I can get the time off from teaching. Feel free to experiment on me.

    C.T.S. Resource Photography Teacher

  5. Bill Lubben
    April 28, 2012

    Sounds great. Hope you repeat this workshop in this location in 2013. My wife and I would really like to take part, but can’t this year do to a trip scheduled for the following week. Your agenda sounds like a winner.
    B. Lubben

  6. oopoomoo Update on the Destination Travel Photography Workshop June 25-28, 2012 at Island Lake
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    [...] workshop at Island Lake (remember, we’re experimenting with pricing and this workshop is now ‘Pay What It’s Worth’!), Darwin and I decided to cook up something from the Island Lake Lodge cookbook. Here is an image [...]

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  9. 専門店 テーラードジャケット 正規
    December 17, 2013

    Wow, this post is nice, my sister is analyzing these kinds of things,
    therefore I am going to inform her.