Accompanying spouses/partners or a friend may join our workshop groups if they take one of workshop positions and pay the full tuition amount, just as any other participant, EXCEPT AS DESCRIBED BELOW.
Participants are always welcome to bring a non-participating spouse with them to ANY workshop with no fee charged IF that spouse doesn't plan on accompanying our group....if they are doing something completely separate and will not occupy a spot in the carpool if it is a traveling workshop - (ie. moving from hotel to hotel for shooting purposes.) We may have a group dinner during the workshop and a spouse is more than welcome to join us at dinner.
**1-Day Workshops: Generally there is no restriction for spouses for 1-Day workshops. If there is an entrance fee, you will have to pay it for that person - but so far, other entities do not place a size limit on our groups for 1-Day workshops. We do have one or two 1-Day workshops where we can't have spouses and that will be noted on the particular workshop page.
**2-Day Workshops or longer: The restriction applies to any workshop over 1 day long. A spouse/partner/friend will have to pay the full tuition fee to join our group.
All of our workshops have limited enrollment. At no time will there be more students than our instructors can spend one-on-one time with. Our students pay good money to participate in our photography workshops and photography classes so it is important to have skilled and knowledgeable instructors who pay attention to their specific questions and concerns.
For the most part we limit our 1-day workshops to 8 participants and our longer workshops to 8 people as well. Some of our workshop offerings are for small groups and there will be anywhere from 3-6 participants depending on the workshop.
Covid has definitely been the most asked-about issue. Because we have been living in a Covid world since March of 2020 and have an idea of what we are looking at regarding Covid-living and safety, we will be reinstating our standard cancellation policies moving forward. All of our workshops have a date after which there are no refunds if YOU decide to cancel. That said, if we end up having to cancel the entire workshop.....then you get a refund. (See below in Trip Cancellation for more specifics.)
Also, historically, we often require some carpooling on our workshops to keep the caravan small and manageable....and because some places just don't have enough parking. Currently we are attempting to require carpooling as little as possible because of Covid. There may be a few shoots that we just can't have more than 2-3 cars, so some carpooling may not be entirely avoidable. We require masks in our carpools if it is absolutely necessary to require carpooling at all. If you have a concern about this regarding a specific workshop, please let us know. We can give you more infomation about the liklihood of carpooling on specific workhops.
We do not verify whether or not participants have been vaccinated or not. If you are uncomfortable about this, a photo workshop may not be the best option for you until Covid is more under control. All instructors, however, have recieved both doses of the Covid-19 vaccination.
Cancellaton could happen in 2 ways: WE cancel the entire workshop or YOU cancel your participation in the workshop
**Cancellation By Us: Natural Connections Photo
Workshops reserves the right to cancel a workshop for reasons that include, but are not limited to lack of enrollment, acts of God, natural disasters (such as fire, flood, disease, etc). We are not responsible for any incidental or consequential expenses or damages that you may incur as a result of the cancellation of a workshop. Due to this, we suggest that you not book your flight more than 60 days prior to the workshop start date in order to minimize the risk of non-refundable expenses.
If WE cancel a workshop,
all participants will be refunded the tuition charge with the only fee being if you paid by PayPal. (PayPal takes their cut the second your push enter and they do not refund us for any reason. We offer this payment option as a courtesy if you wish to pay by credit card, but any fee PayPal keeps is a non-refundable portion of your tuition payment)
**Cancellation by YOU:
Each workshop has a different date after which there will be no refunds issued in the event of your personal cancellation. (See each individual workshop page for the relevant workshop's cancellation period - normally 60 - 90 days on weekend and longer workshops.) If you cancel BEFORE the cancellation date listed on the workshop page, then we will refund your payment minus the PayPal fee if you used PayPal to pay the tuition. We do not issue refunds after the cancellation cut off date UNLESS there is someone on the waiting list able to take your spot.
SOME workshops are "no-refund" workshops from the beginning -- usually when it is a small group and we are utilizing other vendor's services (jeep tours, snow coach, dog sled, sleigh rentals, etc.) This will be noted on the individual workshop page.
Because of the many ways/reasons a workshop could be canceled, plus us now existing in a Covid-world, we strongly urge you to look into trip insurance. Make SURE the policy is a "cancel for any reason" policy and that it does NOT EXCLUDE Covid as a payable reason. This will protect you if either we have to cancel and you have other non-refundable expenses AND if you have to individually cancel for whatever reason.
Many of our workshops fill up quickly. We do keep a wait list for those who are interested in attending a photography workshop or photography class that has been filled to maximum capacity. If we receive a cancellation for a workshop, we will contact the person next in line to offer them the spot. That person will have 24 hours to notify us if they wish to accept the open position. If we do not hear from that person within 24 hours we will offer the spot to the next person on the list, and so forth.
Sometimes there will be additional fees associated with a trip. Examples would be parking fees, state park fees and national park entrance passes, and entrance fees at other venues like gardens and such. The workshop page will alert you as to what fees are included in your tuition.
**Getting There: Workshop fees cover tuition expenses only. Travel to, from and during the workshop must be arranged by the participant. Major airports service all of our workshop destinations.
**During the Workshop: Participants must also arrange for their own travel during the course of the workshop. Most participants rent vehicles for their travels during longer workshops. There are major rental car companies available at or near all airports servicing the areas for our workshops. We often require that workshop participants carpool on certain shoots during the workshop as often there is very limited space for vehicles at some of the shooting locations. For this reason we suggest to participants that they may wish to carpool and/or share a rental car and it's expenses throughout the course of the workshop. Please let us know if you would like to be given contact information for others who wish to carpool.
**Parking: Unless otherwise noted, there is free parking at all of the hotel facilities we use for our workshops. (Except for Savannah - Savannah is almost always an extra charge.) And when shooting in city environments there may be fees for parking meters and parking decks as well (Savannah and Charleston).
Participants are responsible for their own lodging during the workshop. Each workshop page lists the hotel(s) where the workshop will be hosted. We block out a number of rooms in the name of Natural Connections Photo Workshops and participants should contact the specific hotel to make reservations.
Most of the room blocks will be released by the hotel 30-60 days prior to the workshop start date - although dates vary. After that point, you may make a reservation on an 'as-available' basis only. Most of our workshop locations are very popular destinations and hotels tend to fill up quickly. For this reason, we suggest you book your hotel as soon as you decide on attending the workshop. Most of the hotels have reasonable cancellation policies, and you will get a full refund of any lodging deposit normally if you cancel within 72 hours. But a few are 14 days prior. Please check the specific hotel for their cancellation policy prior to booking.
Participants are responsible for their own meals during the workshop. Your instructors will give ample information about your schedule so that you may plan your meals accordingly. Occasionally a group meal will be planned by your instructors but is completely voluntary for each participant.
Natural Connections Photo Workshops are open to any individual 18 years of age or older. Our workshops are run in an adult environment and each participant must have legal capacity to sign the liability waiver for him or herself.
Many of our workshops are not extremely strenuous, but they do require some physical activity. Participants should generally be able to walk up to two miles with gear in environments that include high altitudes, paved and unpaved paths which may or may not have uneven walking surfaces. Some workshops may even require walking in areas where there are no pre-made paths. But then again, some workshops may have very little physical activity. It is very important that you are able to assess your ability to embark on any shoot that requires any amount of physical exertion.
Every workshop is different since every workshop is held in a different area of the country and for different lengths of time. Also, if you have certain medical conditions you may not be comfortable if you are not within a certain distance from medical facilities. Some of our workshops are in fairly isolated places, and some are not.
If you have questions about specific physical activities or have particular medical needs or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will give you as much detailed information as we possibly can so you know what the workshop is about and what to expect. In some instances, we have actually advised prospective participants not to sign up for a particular workshop. Don't get us wrong - we WANT you with us! But, it is more important that our students feel comfortable and are safe....and that they are able to take advantage of all the amazing outings they are paying for.
We do not publish itineraries prior to the workshop. You will be given an itinerary when we meet for our informational meeting prior to the workshop starting. We reserve the right to make changes to any itinerary whenever, in our judgment, it serves to better or enhance the photography workshop or photography class experience or for the safety of all involved. These changes may be due to a change in circumstances within any venue hosting the workshop, inclement weather, impassable roads, flower or fall color conditions, fire, flood, etc. Any change made to a workshop schedule will be done only to ensure our participants receive the best workshop experience possible.
If you have general questions about where we will go on a workshop, please contact us. We can give you a general idea of the places and subjects we cover on any given workshop.