Starting January 2021 accompanying spouses may join our workshop groups if they take one of workshop positions and pay the tuition as any other participant.
Until then, in 2020, we welcome non-shooting spouses/life partners on several of our travel workshops. Often we can allow a spouse to tag along on a shoot as an accommodation, but sometimes we will be unable to do so. Some workshops/locations are not affected by the number of people we have in our group.....but some are.
Participants are always welcome to bring a non-participating spouse with them to ANY workshop....but, on size-restricted workshops they must understand that the spouse may have to find a way to otherwise entertain themselves during our photo excursions on particular workshops.
****PLEASE UNDERSTAND, we offer this accommodation only for an actual SPOUSE or LIFE PARTNER, not for a friend or other family member who just wants to tag along.
**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 group 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.
**Weekend/2-3 Day Workshops: Depending on the workshop, there MAY be a limitation or charge for spouses or significant others IF they are going to join in on ANY aspect of the workshop....meaning joining us on any of our shoots, riding in the carpool or attending any lecture. And for some of the 2-day workshops we do, we may have a limitation that won't allow spouses to join us at all. It all depends on the location and how much room we have for parking at a particular location. This limitation will be listed on the individual workshop page if it is an issue for the particular workshop. There will definitely NOT be a limitation or a charge for the non-shooting party if they are coming on the trip to do something ENTIRELY separate from the workshop. If they will not join our group at ALL, we do not charge for a spouse/significant other. (We often have a group dinner on our workshops and the spouse/significant other is welcome to join us at this dinner).
**2020 5-6 Day Travel Workshops: Depending on the workshop, we MAY allow up to 2 non-participating spouses on the trip. If those spouses are going to join in on ANY aspect of the workshop....joining any of our shoots, riding in the carpool or attending any lecture there will be a $300 charge.
There will definitely NOT be a limitation for the non-shooting party if they are coming on the trip to do something ENTIRELY separate from the workshop. If they will not join our group at ALL, it is a non-issue. (We often have a group dinner or two on our workshops and the spouse/significant other is welcome to join us at dinner). Many of our longer workshops are held in national parks, and some parks limit group size.
**Please Note: The non-shooting spouse who joins us must indeed be a NON-SHOOTING SPOUSE. If he or she will want to photograph during our shoots (other than using a phone or point-n-shoot for snapshots), they will have to pay the full tuition.
**Another note: If at any time a non-shooting spouse wants to join our group on a workshop that is restricted to participants only, they may pay the tuition for a spot on the workshop, and they may attend everything. Many couples choose this option, especially in remote places like Death Valley and such.
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 10 participants and our longer workshops to 8 people max. Some of our workshop offerings are for small groups and there will be anywhere from 3-6 participants depending on the workshop.
**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. All 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. 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.
**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, 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. When booking your flight, you may wish to consider booking refundable flights and/or purchasing trip insurance to cover any potential and non-refundable expenses. If WE cancel a workshop, all participants will be refunded the tuition charge with no cancellation fees.
**Cancellation by YOU: Each workshop has a different date after which there will be no refunds issued in the event of your 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 our PayPal fee. We do not issue refunds after the cancellation cut off date.
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 - we STRONGLY encourage you to get travel insurance for these cases.
Note: There is one exception to the above 'no refunds' rule. If there is a waiting list for the workshop, and someone is able to take your place in the workshop, then you will receive a full refund of monies paid minus the PayPal fee.
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.
In some instances there will be additional fees associated with the trip. We will make you aware of any such fees before the workshop and they will be listed on the workshop info page. An example of this would be National Park Pass fees. National Parks charge for a weekly pass, etc. Unless otherwise noted, these are the only fees associated with our workshops that are not included in the cost of tuition.
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 reserve the right to make changes to any published or unpublished itineraries whenever, in our judgment, it serves to better or enhance the photography workshop or photography class experience. 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.