2024 Photography Workshop in Venice


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5 days, 5 nights

SOLD OUT: Sign up for the waiting list HERE to be notified if a spot becomes available.

September 24-29, 2024

(or shorter 2 day intensive workshop available plus personal planning for those who wish to continue on a vacation of Italy… ask me!)

One-on-one photography tour for beginners or advanced photographers!

Share a room with a friend or family member to save additional $500 each:
Only $2,480 per person for double occupancy!!!
Or $2,980 per person for single occupancy

With it’s beautiful canals, stunning palaces, romantic gondolas and ancient hidden alleys, Venice is begging to be photographed. It’s a city of unparalleled beauty and one of my favorite places on Earth. This 5 day, 5 night tour and photography workshop will be guided by Spike along with international photography instructor Marc De Tollenaere.  Marc is a distinguished Leica Ambassador and licensed tour leader in Venice, where he has lived for over 20 years.

We will visit all of the classic locations and you’ll be taught how to perfectly photograph each scene. But we will also dig deeper into the hidden corners and shadowed courtyards where the real heart of Venice beats. You will come home with an extraordinary collection of images and you’ll learn new techniques that will last a lifetime.

With a group size of FOUR people, you’ll get personal attention to ensure you are comfortable with your camera and always getting the shot! This Venice photography workshop focuses on detailed personal instruction to get you more comfortable with your camera. It’s for any skill level but we focus on amateurs and hobbyists who want to learn more about their camera and how to use the settings to get off the “automatic” setting. Any camera is welcome – even just an iPhone!  You’ll learn a few new tricks no matter what you’re shooting with.  You’ll learn about composition, long exposures, using filters, night photography, documentary storytelling, high contrast black & white, raw “street life” photography and much more.

And it’s not JUST photography: we planned a tour that allows you to experience and enjoy Venice! We won’t spend the whole time behind cameras… our group will visit great restaurants, learn about historic sites, and of course, sample the incredible food and wine. You’ll enjoy the slow food experience known as “Cicchetti” as we walk the winding alleys to some of my favorite spots!

This trip is perfect for solo travelers, couples, family and friends. (In fact, two people save $ by sharing a room!)  For a photographer, Venice is one big adventure. You’ll never forget your time in Venice with Spike and Marc!

Tour Details

This tour is specifically planned for those who want to capture Italy’s beauty and come home with amazing images. We have been scouting photography locations for over a year for this tour!  We will wander its unique network of picturesque waterways and get lost in a world of exquisite architecture on foot and by boat. You’ll see ornate cathedrals, sleepy squares, bustling markets, endless bridges and hidden cafes. Marc will take you off-the-beaten track to discover the most charming (and less “touristy”) Venice and will be at your side to help you achieve your photographic goals. As a resident, he will give you access that only the locals get of historic alleyways, homes and businesses so you can capture true Italian life while learning some manual camera settings. Spike will take you to the colorful neighboring islands of Murano and Burano where you will learn how to tell a story with your photographs as we visit glassblowing & lacemaking workshops. You’ll witness the local craftsmen working on their uniquely Italian products using techniques passed down through the generations. And of course, we’ll board a boat to view Venice from its sun-speckled canals. This is just a taste of what we have planned as we continue to build this amazing photographic adventure!

Whether you are an experienced photographer or this is your first time using your camera, our guides will be able to coach and educate you. But this is not a “class.” We believe the best way to learn new photography techniques is to explore and shoot! We will get you to the best locations at the best times of day for beautiful images… and then teach you a few tricks with your camera’s manual settings. Questions are encouraged.

We will also have plenty of time to take in the sights, shop, relax, and enjoy the incredible food and wine before returning home with an incredible collection of photos and memories.

Sign up HERE to be notified if a spot opens up.

The Venice history timeline spans more than 2,000 years.  If you’ve never been to Italy before, Spike would be glad to help you build a tour of Italy from here for a full taste of Rome, Florence, Tuscany, and more. Email for details. 

Why September?
Summer in Italy is crowded, expensive and hot! But September is very pleasant with an average of around 77°F.  Arguably the best time to travel to Italy, the crowds thin out which mean less people in our photos! Plus, the harvest period begins, which in Italy, means the food scene explodes with everything from truffles to olives, grapes ripe on the vine and more!

Please Note: This tour will involve a lot of walking, you should be physically fit to be on your feet most of the day (and able to handle your own luggage to & from hotels and airport).  We regret that this tour is not designed to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or mobility limitations due to conditions beyond our control: Venice is a city stuck in time and many of its old buildings, bridges and alleys are not fully accessible.

Minimum Age: 21 (or age 16+ with parents)

Departure & Return Location

Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE).  Your flight should depart the U.S. on Sept 23 to arrive on Sept 24 before 2pm so you can make it to our welcome dinner. We will depart to return home on Sept 29.

Price Includes:

  • 5 nights hotel accommodation
  • Transportation by private boat & vaporetto
  • Meals (4 dinners, 5 lunches and 5 breakfasts)
  • One-on-one instruction from a professional photography instructor
  • Fun, engaging & knowledgeable tour guides and instructors
  • Entrance fees for tours & attractions
  • Online & printed tip sheet for photography
  • Welcome gift

Price Excludes:

  • Airfare (but I'll help you plan it!)
  • Transportation to/from airport
  • Excessive alcohol (a complimentary drink is included with dinner each night)
  • Camera or Photography Equipment
  • Room service fees & personal expenses

Sponsored By:

Daily Itinerary TBA

This tour will be customized to your desire, to be sure we photograph everything you hope to see in Venice. Some of the places we will visit include the Rialto Market and Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Square, Basilica and Campanile, Liberia Acqua Alta, Teatro La Fenice, Ponte dell’Accademia, Chiesa di San Zaccaria, the Grand Canal, Fondamenta Zattere Ai Gesuati and Squero di San Trovaso. We will photograph the islands of Murano and Burano, We will see Venice’s beautiful alleys, canals, piazzas (squares) and bridges. We will taste the regional food/wine and celebrate “aperitivo” and “cicchetti” with the locals. We will go out several times per day to photograph in the best light conditions and even split up into two groups with Spike and Marc. And of course, we will also schedule time for you to see and experience Italy as a visitor too, not just a photographer!

Venice Photos by Spike
Photos by Marc De Tollenaere

DOCUMENTS NOTE: You must have a passport that is valid at least 3 months beyond our visit (aka Dec. 30, 2024 (or a visa to enter Italy if you’re a U.S. green card holder). Refunds will not be given because you did not secure a valid passport or visa in time for this trip. Please ask if you need clarification on travel documents.

LIMITATIONS NOTE: For this trip. we require you to be reasonably fit in order to casually walk from location to location. We also require that you are able to handle your own luggage/bags, and enter/exit the vehicle without assistance. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make a trip challenging and we can answer all questions. We regret that this tour is not designed to accommodate guests with wheelchairs, mobility limitations, or strollers due to conditions beyond our control – some of the village streets, ancient sites and old buildings we are visiting are not fully accessible.  When you send your tour deposit, you certify to us that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions that would create a risk for yourself or for others on the trip or alter/delay the group’s travel plans.

CANCELLATION NOTICE:  In the event that you have to cancel your “Explore With Spike” trip, we make every attempt to replace you with another paying traveler but if not, your payments are non-refundable. The best way to protect yourself against unforeseen changes in your travel plans is to purchase travel insurance.

Italy 2024 Cancellation Policy

Travel Insurance Recommendations

Questions? Email us! travel@explorewithspike.com

WEATHER NOTICE: We are headed to Italy in its dry season (July-Sept sees the least precipitation) but that doesn’t mean we won’t see rainfall.  We will adjust the tour locations each day as necessary for comfort but we continue in all weather. Venice Photographers: keep your gear protected because we shoot in all conditions. Rain and fog makes great photographs too! 

COVID-19 NOTICE:  We kindly ask you to take precautions if you have symptoms or feel sick, for example wear a mask and notify your guides so they can care for you. We follow each country’s guidelines; at this time, Italy does not require proof of vaccinations. We do not offer a refund if you can not attend a tour due to changing Covid-19 guidelines. Explore With Spike’s tour guides, pros and staff are fully vaccinated. We wish to be respectful to each other and the people of Italy. Kind people are our kinda people!