The "Getting Excited" Stage

Do I need to be an experienced photographer?

No, not at all. In fact all levels are welcome. The Weekenders are aimed at intermediate level photographers so absolute beginners might find the assignments challenging. However, we have seen great results from absolute beginners, and we also have had professional wedding photographers join us too to challenge themselves in a different way!

How fit do I need to be?

You have to be mobile and able to be on your feet all day, but you can opt to chill and take time out of the itinerary if you need to. On a full day you can expect to walk around 10-15km, which seems to be no problem for people of average fitness! Some destinations include a lot of steps and some hills, but we note those in the Weekender details.

What is the booking process?

1. Complete the online booking form and pay your deposit // 2. You will receive an invoice (this will include the balance amount and due date, if applicable)  // 3. We will get in touch as soon as the minimum number of participants has been reached so that you can book your own flights and accommodation // 4. We will connect you with others in group (we use WhatsApp comms for the weekend itself).

Can I bring a non-photographer friend or partner with me?

We encourage only those interested in photography to book! Only paying participants can join the group for the duration of the Weekender including group drinks and meals organised by us. A non-photographer would still have to book and pay for a place even if they only want to join the social stuff. We keep the group size at a maximum of 12, plus the Boss, to make for uncrowded briefings and great group dynamics at mealtimes.

Do I need travel insurance?

Hell yes! Travel insurance is super cheap for a weekend and there are lots of great value annual policies around too. Essentials should cover for your equipment, repatriation and medical emergency. You should get insurance as soon as you book to cover yourself for the duration of your trip either side of your Weekender and any other expenses such as flights and accommodation in case you are too poorly to come along.

Do I need a visa?

Currently all our destinations are in the EU so visas aren't necessary for UK citizens, but Brexit might change all of that, so we’ll have to keep an eye on it. If you are not a UK or EU citizen then you need to check your own visa requirements for your nationality.

What about accommodation?

Accommodation is not included in the tour cost. Once the tour is confirmed with the minimum number of participants then you will be given the nod to go ahead and book anywhere you like. We will let you know a central spot to plan around and put you in touch with others in the group in case you want to share an apartment.

What about flights?

Flights are not included in the tour cost. As soon as we give you the go ahead you can book your flights. Plan to arrive and be ready to start at 14:30 on day 1 (allow for getting through customs and transfer time to your accommodation) and leave after 14:30 on day 3 (bearing in mind travel to the airport and check in time). The majority of participants tend to extend their weekends either side and are able to arrive super chilled for the start of the Weekender. We recommend arriving at least the night before for a relaxed start.

What kind of a camera do I need?

Anything that can record an image! Bring your smart phone if you don’t have anything else. You do, however, need to know how to use whatever camera you bring. Some of famous photographers shoot in P Mode so there is no need to be intimidated by the tech side of photography. We do however frown upon the use of long telephoto lenses as we are not photographing wild animals, instead we highly recommend a prime lens with no greater than a focal length of 50mm (on a full frame). The best photography comes from getting into the action and getting closer to your subjects!

Why do you not charge as much as other similar photography experiences?

We want you to travel with us again and again and become part of a community of photographers. We like to think of it as an inspirational assignment-based street photography city tour. It's not as in-depth as some workshops out there as we don’t include 1:1 time or spend time tackling technical stuff because we believe the creative side is far more important, which is how our regular participants like it! Think of The Photo Weekender as a fun weekend away with other photographers where you can also learn something new.


On Tour

The "It's Happening" Stage

What is a typical day like?

What is the format of the photography assignments?

Breakfast is up to you to arrange each day. Day 1 starts at 14:30pm (make sure you grab lunch beforehand) and we shoot right up to drinks and dinner. Day 2 starts at 10:30am (earlier starts are sometimes necessary), we break for a leisurely lunch together and continue shooting until drinks and dinner; Day three starts at 10:30am and ends after lunch at 14:30pm. Expect to be out all day, but you can pace yourself with refreshment breaks during assignment times. Long Weekenders are slightly different as we slow the pace down a little but up the number of assignemnts. Holla if you have any questions though!

What if I'd rather not do the assignments?

You will be given several assignments over the weekend. Thy are designed to build on one another and introduce you to the elements that make a great photo. In addition bonus challenges get thrown in for extra inspiration that vary from Weekender to Weekender. Each assignment comes with examples of images to motivate you. You’ll be shown “invisibility” techniques as well as be given ideas about how to visualise an image or be ready to respond to something happening.

What about 1:1 time?

Assignments are never meant to restrict nor are they mandatory, so you absolutely don’t have to do them, however we ask that you still attend and listen to briefings for the sake of group dynamics and team spirit as the briefing itself is sociable, and you never know you might find some inspiration you weren't expecting!

What happens if the weather is poor?

We don't schedule for this as our itineraries are pretty full on and the masterplan is for you to have full autonomy so that you can use your creativity and imagination to develop your own style with guidance and inspiration from the assignments. You can of course ask your Weekender Boss anything at all.

How do we settle restaurant bills?

The show must go on! We will adjust the itinerary if necessary, although there are great opportunities for shooting in rainy weather (as long as it’s not too bad!). If needs be we will find museums and galleries inside which we can take cover while continuing to shoot. We do plan the tours for times of the year when the weather is typically good, but it can of course be unpredictable.

We never split the bill so you can eat and drink as much or as little as you want. Everyone keeps track of the price of their own feast and we will always advise you how much to add on for tipping or a cover charge. It works surprisingly well!


The "That Was Great, When Can We Do It Again" Stage

Do I get feedback for my work?

What if I want to book again?

Yes, you will receive feedback on a portfolio of 10 of your best street photography within one month of return once you have completed a simple self-critique (we will guide you through this but we will not critique landscapes, smiling old folk and close-ups of door knobs!). Feedback is via a private Meetup group, so that you can share your work with the community as well as see each other’s photos. It’s also a great way to stay in touch!

What is The Weekender Social?

You would be very welcome to! We have many repeat participants who have already joined us on more than one Weekender. You receive £5 off your second, third and fourth Weekender and £10 off your fifth and upwards. The discounted amount will come off your balance invoice. Terms and conditions apply.

What if I'm not on Facebook?

Once you have been on a Weekender you will automatically become a member of the Weekender Social. This is a private Facebook Group in which you can share extra images outside of your Top Ten, stay in touch, share news and be amongst the first to find out about new Weekenders and more.

You won't miss a thing! Any Weekender Social events will also be published in our private Meetup group, and new Weekenders will be announced via email to anyone who has already attended before they are published on the website.

Drop us a line with any other questions at all or if you just want to say hello!

All content, images and intellectual property is © Copyright 2018-2020 Polly Rusyn Photography (trading as The Photo Weekender). All rights reserved.

All photography (except for participant galleries) were made by Polly Rusyn. All participant images remain the copyright of the individual photographer. No stock photos here!