The Romanian photography workshops have represented a life-changing experience.
It’s been two years since my last article here. I’ve been completely blown away by the speed of time, by how quickly things are changing in the world of photography, and by the tons of information out there that my brain needs to process.
As photographers, we need change and evolution, but we also need to understand that photography is about passion. Sometimes, the speed of change and evolution of gear and everything else can prevent us from properly enjoying photography.
What are the Romanian photography workshops about?
We sometimes forget that the art of photography has a deep soul. We forget that we are dealing with one of the most powerful storytelling tools. A tool that can touch souls and change life perspectives, and guess what?
The really important aspects of photography have been the same forever. They’ve not changed, no matter how many cameras or smartphones appear. And so, if it is the heart of the viewers that we want to touch with our photography, why is it then that we take our souls out of the equation?
The purpose of this article is to have a long, deep breath of fresh air. It is about coming back to basics and about what we have been doing during our Romanian photography workshops.
My Experiences of Leading the Romania Photography Tours
During the past two years, I’ve had the privilege of running several Romanian photography workshops. These experiences were not only life-changing for the participants, but also for me. They got me back on track.
Starting these Romanian photography workshops has been an important landmark in my photographic journey. I did not realize back then that behind my emotionality, behind my wish to make everything perfect, these workshops will turn out to be a huge gain for me, for my photographic journey and for my life as a whole. If I would be requested to name one thing I am proud of doing in my photographic life, this would be it.
Everything started with me guiding people through the heart of my country’s most special places. But in the end, I ended up being the one guided through new feelings, new ideas and new thoughts on my photography.
The Essentials of a Photography Tour
A photographic tour needs to be more than just a trip. It’s about life and some heart touching moments, so much more than just a folder on a drive.
One of the best decisions we took so far was to keep the Romanian photography workshops very intimate, limited to three or four people. Intimacy is specifically important for the Romanian tours, as the type of scenes we come across here need no interference and the least possible disturbance from our side. We wanted our tours to document life itself, to have a deep and sincere perspective into the archaic Romanian villages. Having a small-sized group not only empowers communication and understanding, but it is the only approach possible in the places we explore.
I have seen so many approaches to photography in our contemporary times, that in the end, the constructed mixes with the reality and the border of truth is so thin, you can rarely depict an original scene anymore. This is why we see no other better path than to only look for genuine, natural moments, experiences that are about truth and life itself. In the Romanian photography tours, we train our eyes to see beyond the obvious appearance. We try to empathize with our subjects and search for a deeper meaning. That is where the true story is.
Each evening, we endeavour to spend quality time sharing some of our photos of the day in front of the group. Often in life, allowing time for our images to be critiqued, dissected, and analyzed from all our perspectives can be difficult.
However, it is one of the most rewarding moments of the Romanian photography tours. That is why at the end of each long day, we take the time for open, truthful and sincere feedback on the daily selection of each of us. Photography skills develop when one allows themselves to be vulnerable. When you share it, when you invite others to offer an opinion, you become much more invested.
All of us can learn about sharpness, exposure, and buttons of our camera with a bit of internet presence, but the true lessons in photography lay behind the curtain of feelings and we need to get them out from there. Aspects like composition, moment, the beauty of light and how to place yourself within the scene, are all things we share with the group. This way, we all go back home as different and enriched photographers.
Off-the-Beaten Path Places
Having been a tourist myself in most parts of this world, I know how different our perception of a destination can be, compared to what we actually experience there.
So many times our imagination and expectations take off, just to be hit by disappointment as we reach our destination. This is why on our tours, we stay away from the obvious touristic places.
I have extensively travelled across my country of Romania for the past 15 years and had the chance to encounter some of the most defining characters deep in its heart. These Romanian photography workshops and tours have been the ideal reason to connect with them again, to unhide them and to show them to the world.
There are many other things I could present about our Romanian photography workshops, but I consider the four above as the defining pillars of a workshop. I would want them for myself if I was the one signing up to such an adventure.
Read the second part of my article to discover the important lessons we learned during the Romanian photography tours.
Join Us in Romania
If you are interested in joining us on a Romanian photography tour, we are now running tours in all four seasons. New Year traditions, Easter celebrations in Maramures, Summer Festivities and the Autumn Harvest season. Find out more about all of our tours here.