QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
There are many destination photo workshops. What makes Tortuga different?
We strive to offer the best personal attention to our students. We keep a very low student-to-instructor ratio, a maximum of 5 to 1 per workshop, so you won’t have to worry about competing for face time with your instructor. You’ll have one-on-one daily editing sessions between shoots. Together, we’ll look at the whole day’s work to help you get better each day. We want our expedition workshops to be intense and fun. Finally, our goal is to help you to become a better visual story teller. We will help you in every way we can from basic camera functions and Photoshop editing techniques to organizing and editing complex visual narrative story telling. With the attention each student gets before, during and after our workshops, we strive to make Tortuga an exceptional photo workshop and an adventure you’ll never forget.
Your trips are inexpensive when compared to other international destination workshops. How is that possible?
We keep the cost of workshops to an amount not much beyond what traveling on your own might cost. We are able to get group rates individuals can’t get as a solo traveler and, since we pay our guides, it’s actually quite comparable or even less expensive than individual travel. What money Tortuga does make each trip helps to pay for guides, instructors, staff costs, etc.
We feel the best way to teach photography is to take people out into the world and be available to offer guidance for them along the way. We try to keep our costs to a point that is rational and sustaining for the instructors but also allows us to provide students the most insightful and comprehensive experience possible.
What kind of instructors lead your workshops?
At Tortuga, our instructors are accomplished professional photojournalists and experienced in their fields. Our instructors have a desire to be mentors and to train students and less experienced photographers. We have strong opinions about photography developed after years of field experience.
What kind of person attends these workshops?
Anyone with a passion for photography is invited to apply to come and learn with us. A common trait is our love for travel and a sense of adventure when experiencing another culture. We cater to all types of people, regardless of skill level or photographic equipment. (see our section on camera equipment below)
I don’t have any formal training in photography. Can I still attend a workshop?
Our workshops cater to students of all levels. From the beginner / hobbiest to students who plan to earn a living making great pictures, our goal is to help you reach your personal next level.
What type of camera gear do I need to bring?
It’s an old saying in photography that the best camera is the one you have with you. A digital SLR or rangefinder with basic lens is all that we require. An off camera flash as well as a laptop computer and external hard drive are recommended, but not required. For a detailed list of other items to bring, please click on the link.
Do single people attend these workshops?
At Tortuga the group dynamic will be warm and social, so individuals quickly become part of the group. We hope life-long friendships result after attending one of our photo adventure workshops. Travel photography can be a solitary experience, and coming together with new friends and old for these workshops is just one reason we do it.
What physical condition do I need to be in to attend one of your workshops?
Our workshops can be undertaken by anyone in a good state of health and fitness. Some of our workshops will require hiking long distances and other various degrees of physical activities. We recommend that you check our itinerary thoroughly to recognize any possible challenges. People with special needs, allergies, or physical conditions that might affect their experience are asked to discuss this with Tortuga staff prior to registering.
Does Tortuga have a client age limit?
You must be 18 years old or over to accompany us on international workshops or be in the company of a parent or legal guardian who is also enrolled in the workshop.
How safe are your workshop destinations?
Our first concern is your well-being and safety on all workshops. We review every aspect of your adventure to ensure your safety, and our guides have extensive experience traveling in remote areas.
How will we get around?
Generally we’ll travel by private van, as well as by small boats. We enjoy this time with students and instructors together allowing us to get to know one another and to have time to just “talk photography.”
What immunizations do I need to get for my trip?
We provide suggested tips for each workshop. We also suggest you investigate the CDC’s website for the country where we will be traveling and also speak to a doctor specializing in travel medicine prior to your trip. Travel health insurance/medical evacuation coverage is required and is strongly encouraged any time you travel outside of your home country.
What kind of lodging options are available with workhops?
We make all the arrangements for you, booking the hotel and planning meals. We know that comfortable and safe lodging makes long days of photography and editing more fun and productive. We search in advance for the best lodging available in each workshop. In remote locales, you can still expect simple, clean basic facilities.
How will I know if a workshop is filled already?
When you sign up for a workshop, you will be notified via e-mail with an answer. If the workshop is full, your name can be added to a waiting list. The workshop will fill up quickly due to our small group style, so it is important to file your application in order to reserve a space.
What are your cancellation/refund policies?
In the event a workshop must be canceled, due to inadequate enrollment or unforeseen circumstances, all fees and deposits will be refunded in full or may be transferred to a future workshop if you choose. We reserve the right to cancel the workshop or your reservation at any time. We recommend waiting to book air travel to the destination until the workshop fills up. We will provide regular updates through phone calls, e-mail, Web site and blog updates.