For the last three years I have (co-)hosted many photo tours, or photo workshops, in both Iceland and Greenland. 2024 is even shaping up to become my busiest workshop-year thus far with many planned trips. Needless to say, I really enjoy guiding such photography-oriented experiences. Not only do I get to meet a lot of interesting and great photographers from all over the world but I also get to see how their photography evolves and improves during and after their workshop experience. To me, it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of what I do as a nature photographer and I’m grateful for it.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get in my direct messages on social media is: “How are photo workshops or photo tours different from ‘regular & touristy’ guided tours?“. With this blog, I decided to answer that very question a bit more elaborately by highlighting my 5 reasons why a photo tour can help level up your photography.
What Should You Expect On A Photo Tour Or Photo Workshop?
Before we can dive into my top 5 reasons why participating in a photo tour can help you take your photography to the next level, I want to explain what you should expect from a photo tour or workshop. Or at least, what you can expect on my photography workshops.
Together with other established photographers in the field of nature photography, we offer a great variety of photo workshops in small groups. The goal of these photo tours is first and foremost to explore an area with photography in mind. We bring you to highly photographable locations, while also providing sufficient time to properly explore the area you are shooting. We will help you figure out what the ‘classic’ angles and perspectives are. Aside from those shots, there is also plenty of time to wait for changing light or to explore the area more to find alternative perspectives. While we do check in on your progress, we also expect some proactivity when you need help. Finally, if we are unable to spend time outside, we will dive into post-processing. The end goal is to return home with not only great experiences but also with great images.
Knowing that, what are the benefits of joining on a photo tour?
1. Not Having To Worry About Being At The Right Place At The Right Time
Arguably the biggest convenience of participating in a photography workshop or photo tour is that you will always be in the right place at the right time, thanks in part to extensive local knowledge. There is no need for extensive research before your trip. You can quite literally pack your gear, be guided to the scene and start shooting. Each of the photo workshops I (co-)host are under the lead of experienced professional photographers. Our goal is to get the most out of the conditions that are thrown at us. Each of my photo workshops are also planned in such a way that we have sufficient redundancy in case of bad weather, or allowing us to revisit locations several times.
Let me illustrate that with a few more concrete examples:
- During the Puffins in the Midnight Sun photo workshop, we spend several days on a remote island. This allows you to look at your photographs, evaluate them and improve upon them. It also allows you to be ‘coached’ during the morning image critique sessions so you can visibly see your photography improve. Finally, and possibly the most important aspect, it gives you time to understand their behaviour which will result in better opportunities.
- During the photo workshops organised in the Icelandic Highlands, we spend multiple days in the same hotel so you do not have to think about packing and unpacking every day. This also allows us to adjust the schedule if needed depending on the weather conditions.
- During the West Greenland photo workshops, we spend multiple days photographing the Icefjord. This allows us to truly focus on getting the best possible images out of the trip.
- During the winter photo tours in Iceland, we revisit the same locations several times so we can get the most out of the difficult weather conditions we are often confronted with in that time of year.
2. Learning Photography In The Field
While learning photography in the comfort of your home can be very convenient, for example via YouTube videos or photography blogs, it will always remain abstract until you go out in the field. The best way to learn photography is to actually do it and practice. Go out and try! Because everyone on a photo workshop is there with the purpose of photography, you get all the time to shoot, change perspectives, try different settings and improve your skills by trying new approaches.
3. Photo Tours Allow You To Learn From Other Photographers
One of the most beautiful things about nature photography, and photography in general, is that we all look at things in our own way. You can quite literally put 10 people in front of a scene and those 10 people will return with 10 different photographs, 10 different perspectives and 10 different ideas of the same subject. This is something that has become even more apparent to me since I began organising photo tours. During every photo tour, participants learn from each other. And admittedly, even I learn from them. To me, this is the most rewarding aspect of participating (and hosting) photography workshops.
4. Being Able To Ask A Professional Photographer Questions
Another huge advantage to being a photo tour, is that you get access to one or two experienced professional photographer(s) while you’re actually shooting. This means that at any given time during the photo tour, you can ask us questions.
- Are you struggling with composition?
- Are you unsure of what settings to use?
- Are you struggling getting a sharp image?
All of these questions can be asked while you’re out and about, doing a critique session or while we have dinner together. Being in a more informal atmosphere, also lowers barriers that may limit you from asking questions. Finally, while shooting you may even think of more questions to ask as you try and develop your photography skills.
5. Travelling With The Purpose Of Photography
I’ve already touched upon this in a previous paragraph, but it’s too important not to mention it on its own. Travelling with the purpose of photography means you will travel to locations, precisely because they offer photographic opportunities. It also means you will spend more time in each location and that you can travel without feeling the stress of making other people wait for you. For photographers, light is everything. We adjust schedules, when possible, to favourable light and/or weather conditions so you can get the most out of it.
Join A Photo Workshop In 2024 & Beyond!
Always wanted to experience Iceland or Greenland through your passion for photography? These unique photo workshops, or maybe even a private tour or photo workshop, might be something for you. I work together with a variety of established landscape and wildlife photographers to bring you the best possible photo workshop experience. Below you can also find testimonies of previous photo workshop experiences or you can also read about previous photo workshops on my blog.
Interested in getting notified when new photo workshops are announced? Make sure to sign up to the photo workshop waitlist.
Photo Workshops in 2024 With Some Availability
Puffins in the Midnight Sun with Anja Robanke
Every year millions of seabirds come to Grímsey for nesting. It’s also the home to one of Iceland’s biggest puffin colonies. And together with 24 hours of daylight, there are endless possibilities. Looking to improve your bird and/or wildlife photography skills? This photo workshop is the ideal place to do just that!
Iceland Highlands in Summer with Andrea Livieri
When it comes to photography, the Icelandic Highlands offers a wealth of opportunities for photographers making the Highlands a photographer’s dream location. During this photo workshop we will explore the most interesting part: the southern Icelandic Highlands.
Icelandic Highlands with Mads Peter Iversen
What Previous Photo Tour Participants Have Said…
I took a 3 day photography workshop with Jeroen to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and had a wonderful experience. Jeroen has an infectious enthusiasm for photography and it really shows in his love of these Icelandic locations and the way he provides instruction on the best perspectives and techniques to get the shots. I appreciate that Jeroen is fully licensed to guide these workshop. This gives me peace of mind knowing that he’s prepared to handle most scenarios that may occur out in the field. Time to save up for my next workshop with Jeroen! Thanks so much, Jeroen!Jarrick L.Private Workshop in October 2023
Well organised workshop with multiple stunning locations providing plenty of opportunities to capture great photos. When the opportunity arose to capture the Northern Lights, Jeroen’s knowledge made sure we were in the right locations to capture the lights at their best. Jeroen was always willing to help and pass on his knowledge to be able to have the best possible composition to capture stunning photos. I can’t thank Jeroen and Mads enough for a great workshop and creating memories that will last a lifetime. I look forward to doing more workshops in the future with Jeroen and highly recommended anyone interested in a photography workshop to do it and learn from the best.Jordan G.Iceland in Winter Workshop in November 2023
I had the privilege of going on the Puffins in the midnight sun workshop which was an amazing experience. Anja and Jeroen were both absolutely amazing hosts and the workshop exceeded my expectations. Both were very approachable with any questions and provided the appropriate level of advice, allowing me to improve my photography.Jeff M.Puffins in the Midnight Sun Workshop in June 2023
In July 2023 I decided to book a 5 days private tour with Jeroen to the highlands. This was a complete different experience. We visited remote and amazing locations, I could not find this locations without Jeroens guidance. Jeroen has a incredible local knowledge, a great enthusiasm, a perfect planning and also very important, a lot of patience. I enjoyed the 5 days with Jeroen very much, he is a very accommodating person with agreat sense of humor. During our tour we had a lot of fun and with his assistance I made my best Iceland shots ever, most of them with my Mavic 3 Pro drone. Thank you very much Jeroen for this unique experience, I hope we will plan the next tour in 2024 together.Wolfgang S.Private Highlands Workshop in July 2023
I really enjoyed guided hike with Jeroen. He knows a lot about the volcanos so you won't have only amazing experience but you can also learn a lot from him. Perfect and easy communication. Thank you again for this "stillcantbelievethatitwasreal" experience!Veronika S.Private Eruption Hike in August 2023
… The itinerary was well thought out, but allowed for flexibility of weather conditions and the eruption of Meradalir! Jeroen is knowledgeable, helpful, thoughtful & has a great sense of humour. He regularly checked-in with us to all make sure we were happy and offered assistance in our photography, especially for drones. I felt safe, entertained & learned so much during the workshop. The accommodation & food during the trip were also amazing. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or attend another workshop.Rhiannon L.Highlands Photo Workshop in August 2022
Greenland 2023 was an incredible experience, in a truly epic location with an amazing group of people. Andy and Jeroen are true professionals in every sense, with a passion for photography that is infectious to the group. I felt challenged to explore styles of photography that pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone, and having their guidance as well as the group to share ideas with helped me grow as a photographer. Andy seems to have a knack for creating an inclusive environment around him that brings the group together, inspires, builds friendships, and elevates the experience to an enjoyable and unforgettable one. Jeroen is very knowledgeable, easy going, and talented photographer and it was a pleasure spending the week with him. I truly cannot recommend highly enough.Chris D.Greenland Photo Workshop in March 2023
… It was one of the most wonderful trips of adventure, exhilaration mixed with wonder and awe of the surrounding beauty. None of that would have been possible without the expert guidance, local knowledge, sense of enthusiasm and detailed planning by Jeroen. We were lucky to him as an expert driver while we wondered over terrain that is unfamiliar to most people, but Jeroen made us feel confidant that we were in safe hands. Moreover his love for photography, landscape and culture of Iceland is contagious and made the trip all the more special. Whether you call him the “Volcano man” or the “drone man” his photography is extraordinary. I would go back in a heartbeat to spend time exploring more of Iceland with him.Sarfraz D.Highlands Photo Workshop in August 2022
… Everything about it was excellent – it is clear that Jeroen puts huge effort into ensuring he provides a first class experience for his participants – the itinerary was thorough, but flexible to get the best out of the weather and volcanic eruption conditions. Jeroen ensures that everybody is safe (important in such an environment) as well as maintaining a pace that works for all. On top of this, his knowledge about Iceland is broad and deep making him an excellent tour guide as well as an accomplished photographer. I can highly recommend a workshop or tour with Jeroen and I do hope that I get to enjoy another workshop with him in the future.Jon A.Highlands Photo Workshop in August 2022
I was fortunate to accompany both Andy Mumford and Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove to Ilulissat, Greenland. I've done guided photography tours before, but this was without a doubt the most enjoyable experience. The comradery of the group combined with the positive attitude and humor of both Andy and Jeroen was fabulous. Lodging + food were a step above what I was expecting and were memorable experiences in and of themselves. Zero regrets and while in Greenland, I discussed what other tours I could add my name onto the waitlist for. Recommended without hesitation.Michael M.Greenland Photo Workshop in March 2023
It became clear that Jeroen is very familiar with the beauty of Iceland, but also with the possible dangers of its natural elements. He took us to the highlights, but also guided us to a number of hidden marvels. And always he knew something interesting to tell about the location. On the creativity side, Jeroen did not intervene at all on location – unless requested for. So we all could explore our own creativity. This definitely tastes for more. And I will definitely call Jeroen again.Koen D.Private Photography Tour in March 2016
It was a pleasure to have a look behind the scences on how Jeroen works. His photos look so natural as he knows where to be in the right place at the right time. I’ve received a lot of professional advice and feedback on how to create stunning landscape images. You did an amazing job and I can’t thank you enough!Adında M.Private Photography Tour in November 2017
… Imagine being taken to locations so amazing that the erupting volcano wasn’t even one of the top 5. This was an EPIC adventure through a place traversed by few people. We had the guidance and support needed to capture amazing photos and learn to use our drones effectively, incredible food and accommodations, and access to Jeroen’s incredible wealth of knowledge to keep us safe in face of unstable cliffs, weird weather, and other craziness. I can’t wait to join another tour with Jeroen.Richard S.Highlands Photo Workshop in August 2022
If you want to explore Iceland with your camera you’re blessed with a guide like Jeroen. He knows and understands the country so well. He really makes an effort to visit every location at the best possible moment of the day. He knows so many beautiful locations so that he’s also able to improvise when the weather conditions are not that great. He will bring you to lots of beautiful places that are less touristic and where you can take the time to fully explore your camera trying to capture this unique landscape.Stefaan M.Private Photography Tour in March 2016
… And my expectations of his guided tour were indeed the highlight of my short vacation. Not only the sights where breathtaking but also Jeroen’s personal anecdotes and explanation in an easy way over this ever changing landscape building itself was a great surplus to my hiking experience. He is not only passionate about telling you the story behind the views that unfolds before your eyes during the hike, but he lets you also walk at your own pace without looking to his watch as on many other organised larger tours. So folks if you look for an unique guided personal tour, I would really recommend this great guide. From me personally he earns withouth doubt 5* !John V.Private Guided Eruption Hike in October 2021
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