Tuscany fine art nudes workshop, June 2009

Herb shooting Giorgia on the beach at Marina del Albarese, Tuscany, Italy

Everyone enjoyed the warm water and sun at the Bagni San Filippo, a unique shooting location in Tuscany, Italy.

Yola takes control of the ‘class photo’ on the final evening at il Poggiolo, San Quirco d’Orcia, Tuscany, Italy.

Jon and Jadiz, reviewing their shots at the beach at Marina del Albarese, Tuscany, Italy.


Last week, from June 14-20, 2009, I offered my first on-location, fine art nude photography workshop. I have long dreamed of offering a class like this, and the Val d’Orcia, in Tuscany, Italy, offers amazing opportunities for shooting fine art nudes in natural light. 

As this was our first on-location workshop, I wanted to ensure that we chose a place that I was familiar with and that we had reliable and talented models. On both of these points, I could not have been more pleased. Our models, Carole, Giorgia, Jadiz and Nia, were absolutely superb, and always insisted on shooting. These ladies worked hard and they even cooked for us. And what can I say about Tuscany, if you have never been there, then you will never know. It is a beautiful, mysterious and magical place. It’s the perfect setting for fine art nudes, in my humble opinion.

Our week started with a group meal on Sunday evening. Monday morning was occupied by portfolio reviews and discussions about how to work with models. Monday afternoon, I took the class through shooting exercises. During the bulk of the week, we organized several trips to local shooting locations in Tuscany, including: Marina Del Albarese on the Mediterranean Coast, Bagni San Filippo a natural hot spring, an abandoned brick factory near Pienza, local Tuscan landscapes naturally, and our home in Tuscany, il Poggiolo, with it’s authentic old word charm and rustic decor.

On Friday, I walked the students through some of my post-processing techniques and answered questions. Students then put together their final selections, and I assembled the slideshows. Later that night, after dinner, we all sat down to watch the final slideshows under the stars, it was really impressive to see everyone’s progress and development from the beginning of the week to the final shows, I was quite proud, in fact.

While I can’t speak for the students, their feedback has been more than generous. I try very hard to teach in an organic way, observing students and stepping in when appropriate to offer my suggestions and answering questions as they come up. By the end of the workshop, I was absolutely exhausted, but in a very good way, or was that the grappa?

We will certainly return to Tuscany for future workshops. I am hoping to organize the next one in late August or September. Stay tuned for details. Oh, and more photos are coming soon.

Studio M

Photographer, Artist, Designer, Video Producer