Italy Workshop 2016

Join International Award Winning Photographer/Educator Jim Welninski and Award Winning Photographer James Cole on a unique photographic adventure. And if you read all the way to the bottom of the page, you'll get some free stuff!

We've put together a spectacular 7 day tour of Venice, Florence, and the Dolemite Mountains beginning November 15 through November 21, 2016. James has photographed this area many times, so we have a built-in first class guide for the tour. Just as important, he knows all the good places to eat!


Ahh, Venice, the Floating City; Home of Vivaldi, and resting place of Igor Stravinsky. Henry James loved it and Shakespeare wrote about it. You'll walk among its timeless canals and shoot sunrise at San Marco Square and sunset from the Ponte dell'Academia Bridge, photograph the ancient Santa Maria della Salute Basilica, and much more. You'll wander among the jagged, skyscraping spires of the Dolomite Mountains, where the air is like a cold drink of water and the peaks go from pink to red as the sun sets, In Florence, you'll capture the famous Ponte Vecchio and stand before Michelangelo's immortal "David". And that's only the beginning!

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Each day is packed with great photographic opportunities. We'll be going from sunrise to sunset every day. Then we'll have post-processing workshop time and Q&A and we'll critique the photos from the day. After that, for the tireless among you, we'll be doing optional night shooting excursions. Venice is a very special city at night so we can't wait for this part of the tour! We're not traveling all that way to take average pictures so believe us when we say that you're going to come back with a ton of jaw dropping, portfolio-worthy photographs!


We're taking only 12 photographers on this trip. We've seen too many people spend thousands of dollars on a trip only to come back with inferior photos. Not on this trip! A 2:1 student / instructor ratio means you get plenty of personal attention and hands-on guidance. You'll have a well-rounded photographic experience and come back with street photography, urban and natural landscapes, and stunning travel photographs. And a few other surprises as well!


Each day is packed with a photowalk that presents a ton of photographic opportunities. Venice is one of the most photographic cities in the world, so your memory cards will be full! Here are some of the highlights:

Day One, Nov. 15: You'll wake up in Venice, The Floating City! Sunrise shoot will be at the famous San Marco Square. Among the locations you'll visit that day will be The Bridge of Sighs and The Ponte dell'Accademia.

Day Two, Nov. 16: Sunrise will be at the Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church. Locations for that day include the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore and many others.

Day Three, Nov. 17: On this day you'll travel to the islands of Murano and Burano. We'll visit the famous Murano Glass Factory and later, you'll get a sunset shot that's only possible this time of year.

Day Four, Nov. 18: We travel to Florence by train. There, you'll visit the Piazzale Michelangelo and stand before the famous "David". We will shoot the Piazzale from a great vantage point.

Day Five, Nov. 19: You'll be back in Venice photographing the Rialto Bridge, the Ca' d"Oro, and the Cannaregio Canal. And much more!

Day Six, Nov. 20: You'll hop a private shuttle to the Dolomite Mountains. We'll spend the day exploring the area and we'll take you to a fantastic location to shoot the sunset.

Day Seven, Nov. 21: On this day you'll be back in Venice for a custom photowalk based on the needs of the group. We'll be compiling the shot list for this day all week based on group consensus. We'll get missed shots and go back to locations we'd all like another crack at. 

After we return: You'll exhibit your work from the trip at Zhou B Art Center in Chicago. We'll gather once again, a few weeks after the trip, to have a evening of reception, reminiscing, and reverie, while enjoying each other's work. Yes, you will exhibit your work in a real gallery! And you can invite your family and friends!

What students are saying:

"Thank you for an excellent workshop...I gained new perspective on composing and photographing architectural designs.  The small class size was important for each student to ask questions and solve problems.  I highly recommend this workshop to others."   -Kenn A.

"Jim has a command of the technical and artistic side of photography and it was on full display during the workshop. While workshop participants had varying photographic skill levels, one of the great pleasures I found was in watching Jim interact with everyone. Jim put everyone at ease, was open and generous in sharing of information. His discussion about vision, light, form, and volume gave workshop participants the challenge to think about the subject matter before capturing it with their camera. His on-location tour and instruction was exceptional! I highly recommend anyone to give serious consideration in participating in Jim's workshops. I'm sure it will be a worthwhile experience!"   -Mike B.

"The workshop raised my photography to the next level. In the field, Jim introduced me to new opportunities and techniques for shooting images. In post-processing, my images have become more striking, with greater visual impact.  Jim has an excellent command of software and techniques for producing fine art images.  He is an excellent teacher, well prepared, with very understandable, useful and usable information that was clearly presented."   Sheldon G.

"Thank you so much for sharing some of the wealth of knowledge you have in taking photos.  Retired from teaching high school for over thirty years, I appreciate when someone passes on tips that have been learned along the way.  My attitude is that life is too short, so I talk with everyone and experience the moment.  Some may think I'm crazy, but at this point I don't care.  I like your attitude and straight forward approach."   -Connie I.

"Thank you for the amazing class!  Great experience, learned a lot!  Looking forward to use all the knowledge in my future work."   -Nataliya S.

"I really enjoyed the forced me to push my boundaries and made me a better photographer."   -Heather M.

"Thanks so much for this course.  It was incredibly challenging but my photos got to a level I never imagined was possible!   -Rachel G.

What will you say after the workshop? More of the same, of course! Why? Because we encourage working and learning, but above all, we have fun!


What's Included:

  • 7 days in Venice, Florence, and The Dolomite Mountains in beautiful Italy.
  • All internal transportation including transportation to and from Florence and The Dolomites.
  • An itinerary personally prepared by Award Winning Photographer James Cole, who has photographed this area many times.
  • Sunrise and sunset shoots every day at some of the most beautiful locations in the world.
  • A full day of shooting every day with hands-on, personal instruction from international award winning fine art photographers James and Jim.
  • Photo review and critique every evening.
  • Workshop and instruction time every evening with International Award Winning Photographer Jim Welninski.
  • For the intrepid among you, we will be doing night shoots.
  • If you need help post-processing your work, you'll have personal access to your instructors after the trip.
  • Reception and Gallery Exhibition at Zhou B Art Center in Chicago after the trip. Yes, you will exhibit your work in a real gallery!

What's not included:

  • Airfare and transportation to and from the hotel.
  • Hotel room and charges. However, we have made arrangements for a block of rooms at a reasonable rate at Venice's Hotel Bisanzio, located behind St. Mark's Square and a short walk from the waterfront promenade. Trip Advisor reviews here. Expedia reviews here.
  • Meals and other personal necessities.
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended).

Important Stuff:

  • It is highly recommended that you buy travel insurance! We cannot make refunds in the event of cancellation. In the unlikely event the entire trip is cancelled or rescheduled, we cannot reimburse you for airfare or other expenses. Please buy travel insurance!
  • If you want to take full advantage of the photo review and workshop time you will need a laptop with Lightroom and Photoshop. You will also need an external hard drive to store your photos. 
  • For more info on what to bring, see the next item below.

Free Video!

We have put together a free video with details on how to prepare for a travel photography workshop. The information in this video is based on James Cole's extensive experience with these kinds of trips. James has logged hundreds of thousands of miles while making his photographs. He is definitely an expert when it comes to this stuff. To get the video, all you have to do is click on the box below and enter your name and primary email address. We will immediately send you a link to the video. 


This trip is priced at $2495 per person and includes everything listed above.

You are sure to come back with a ton of portfolio-ready photographs!

This trip will sell out fast so don't wait!

Come with us to Italy! You know you've always wanted to go!

"Life is short, the art long, opportunity fleeting …"   -Hippocrates