Frequently Asked Questions
How do you describe your workshops?
My workshops are typically scheduled as “in-the-field” events designed to accomplish different things for different people. First and foremost, however, they are designed to provide guided opportunities for enjoyable nature photography and opportunities enhance your knowledge of photography and ability to create meaningful images. During the workshops, I work one-on-one with each participant to address opportunities to capture meaningful images as well as to enhance his or her photographic knowledge and skill. This explains why my workshops are limited to eight participants (sometimes even fewer, depending on the venue). I’ve learned that I can provide the individual attention that is appreciated by participants, without you feeling like I’m hovering over your shoulder all the time. You get to learn and enjoy at the same time.
How and when do I need to make a reservation?
Advance reservations are required. Most participants register by clicking one of the “Register Now” links on my website. If it is easier for you, feel free to contact me via email ([email protected]) or by phone (315-420-3513) to make a reservation.
Who should attend a Tom Dwyer workshop?
Beginners to intermediate and more advanced photographers with a desire to take their photography to the next level. All of my workshop are scheduled with individual participant needs and objectives in mind. One feature of my workshops that is most appreciated is that no one is ever uncomfortable because on inexperience. In fact, it is often noted how helpful participants are to each other.
What about equipment?
Any camera equipment you have will work. However, some compact cameras may not afford you the opportunity to be as creative as you’d like or to take advantage of some of the opportunities my workshops provide. With this in mind, I encourage use of digital SLRs with whatever lenses and accessories you may have. I also encourage participants to bring laptop computers along with a flash drive, to facilitate image reviews and critiques.
What if I don't have a digital SLR?
If you do not have a DSLR and/or a laptop computer, I suggest talking to me before registering, just to make certain your equipment will allow you to get the most benefit from your experience. Digital cameras are preferred because they allow us to review images during the shoot and during our image review sessions. If you have a laptop computer with Lightroom (classic CC) and/or Photoshop installed, bring it with you. If not, consider downloading free trial versions of Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop from www.adobe.com just before you come to the workshop.
Are lodging, transportation and meals included in the workshop fee?
Fees do not typically include lodging, transportation, or meals unless specifically noted. While we’ll typically have a “headquarters” situated at a local motel, hotel or B&B, and try to negotiate special rates for participants, each participant needs to confirm his/her own lodging at the HQ or elsewhere in the area. Since traditional breakfast and dinner times often conflict with the best times for us to be shooting, you should come prepared, if you feel the need to eat something between mealtimes. I will typically have a cooler onboard, should that prove useful to anyone. If it looks like a meal at a traditional meal-time may be a problem I will have either made other arrangements or let you know in advance to be prepared.
Is transportation provided during the workshop?
Transportation to and from each workshop is the responsibility of individual participants. It’s common for participant to try and carpool to and from workshop and I am available to try and facilitate carpooling when desired. Besides driving to our gathering point for each tour, air, bus, and rail transportation may also available. For anyone not planning on driving, I’ll try to be prepared with information on other transportation options. During the workshop we will carpool to reduce the length of our caravan, the amount of parking space we need to use at each venue (which is often limited) and cut down on both the economic and environmental impact. Typically, some participants are more anxious to drive than others and we’ve never had a lack of drivers or room in our vehicles. Of course it is nice if riders will offer to help defray fuel costs for fellow participants who are driving. Fees vary depending on the workshop.
What do you accept for payment?
Most people pay via PayPal. However, we accept cash, check and most major credit/debit cards as well.
What happens in the case of foul weather?
It’s difficult for me to imagine weather conditions that would cause us to cancel a workshop. Of course, extreme weather such as a hurricane or tornado, might cause me to do some rethinking. In such a case we would expect to reschedule the tour and will work with participants to accommodate individual needs. That said, I view typical rainy, snowy or windy weather conditions as environmental opportunities to express our creativity in ways we might not have otherwise imagined. Normal foul weather will not cause cancellation of a workshop.
What is your refund policy?
First off, I always anticipate your total satisfaction with one of my workshops. However, in the unlikely event that you are not totally satisfied, your request for a full or partial refund will be honored and the refund made within 30 days. In the event you need to cancel after your registration, refunds will be made as follows: In the unlikely event that I have to cancel the photo workshop for any reason, a full refund will be made to all participants, or the participant(s) may elect to have any amount paid credited to another workshop. A full refund, less a $50 cancellation fee, will be made for participant cancellations made 90 or more days prior to the scheduled workshop start date. Such cancellations must be made in writing and the date the written cancellation is received via e-mail or postmarked will determine the cancellation date. 80% of total workshop fee will be refunded (less the cancellation fee) if the cancellation is received in writing 60-89 days prior to the workshop start date unless, a replacement participant can be found. No refunds will be made for cancellations 59 or less days prior to photo workshop start date unless a suitable replacement participant can be found. All fees will be refunded when cancellations are due to serious illness or the a death in your immediate family. A doctor’s or other appropriate professional’s verification is required.