Accompanying spouses/partners or a friend may join the workshop group 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 companion with them to ANY workshop with no fee charged IF that spouse doesn't plan on accompanying the group....if they are doing something completely separate and will not occupy a spot in the carpool if it is a traveling workshop . There may be a group dinner during the workshop and a companion is more than welcome to join the dinner.
All NCPW workshops have limited enrollment. At no time will there be more students than the instructor can assist. Participants pay good money for workshops and photography classes, so it is important to have skilled and knowledgeable instructors who can pay attention to their specific questions and concerns.
For the most part 1-day workshops are limited to 8 participants and our longer workshops to 6 or 7. Some workshop offerings are for smaller groups and there will be anywhere from 3-5 participants depending on the workshop.
Covid has definitely been the most asked-about issue recently. Because we all 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, NCPW has reinstated its standard cancellation policies. All NCPW workshops have a posted date after which there are no refunds if YOU decide to cancel. That said, if NCPW ends up having to cancel the entire workshop.....then you get a refund. (See below in Trip Cancellation for more specifics.)
Also, historically, some carpooling is required on many 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 just can't have more than 2-3 cars, so sometimes carpooling may not be entirely avoidable. If you have a concern about this regarding a specific workshop, please let us know. We can give you more information about the likelihood of carpooling on specific workshops.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Any participant on our workshops assumes the risk of contracting ANY infectious disease, including Covid. NCPW does not verify whether participants have been vaccinated and do not require a negative Covid test or proof of vaccination before a workshop. If you are uncomfortable about this policy, please consider that a photo workshop may not be the best option for you until Covid is more under control. All instructors, however, have received all vaccinations and multiple boosters.
Cancellaton could happen in 2 ways: Either NCPW cancels an entire workshop or YOU cancel your participation in a workshop
**Cancellation By NCPW:
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) and insufficient enrollment. NCPW is 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. We also STRONGLY suggest obtaining travel insurance as well.
If NCPW cancels a workshop:
All participants will be refunded the tuition charge with the only non-refundable 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.
Because NCPW workshops are small group workshops,
we have a fairly stiff cancellation cutoff - normally around 6 months prior for workshops with 4-6 participants.
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 coaches, dog sleds, sleigh rentals, etc.)
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.
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/travel insurance. Make SURE the policy 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/OR if you have to individually cancel.
Many workshops fill up quickly. NCPW does 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 there is a cancellation for a workshop, the next person in line will be contacted to offer them the spot. That person will have 24 hours to respond whether they wish to accept the open position or not. If no respone is received from that person within 24 hours the spot will be offered 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 entrance fees and national park entrance passes, and entrance fees at other venues like private gardens and such. The workshop page will alert you if any other fee is included in your tuition. Otherwise all incidental fees are the participant's responsibility.
**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 NCPW 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 near the workshops. It is often required 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 some participants 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: Please be aware that sometimes there will be parking fees during a workshop. Some hotels charge for parking as well as some venues and city parking garages. Please be prepared to pay for these expenses as they are not covered in your tuition.
Participants are responsible for their own lodging during the workshop UNLESS specifically noted on the workshop page. Each workshop page lists the hotel(s) where the workshop will be hosted. NCPW often may block out a number of rooms in the name of the company, and it will be noted on the workshop page. Participants should contact the specific hotel to make reservations under that group block. However, on workshops with fewer participants, we may not be able to get the hotel to offer us a block. You will just need to book the room at the prevailing rate.
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 workshop locations are very popular destinations and hotels tend to fill up quickly. For this reason, you should 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 hotels have 14-days prior cancellations. Please check the specific hotel for their cancellation policy prior to booking.
ALSO....please do not try to save a few dollars by booking a non-refundable room. You never know when a workshop may have to be cancelled or if you find that you cannot attend.
Participants are responsible for their own meals during the workshop. You will receive ample information about your schedule during the workshop's initial meeting so that you may plan your meals accordingly. Occasionally a group meal will be planned by your instructor but that 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 NCPW 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 workshops are in fairly isolated places, and some are not.
If you have ANY questions about specific physical activities or have particular medical needs or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us to ask about it. 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, prospective participants have been advised not to sign up for a particular workshop. Don't get us wrong - we WANT you with us! But, it is more important that participants feel comfortable and are safe....and that they are able to take advantage of all the amazing outings they are paying for.
Itineraries are not published prior to the start of the workshop. You will be given an itinerary during the initial meeting prior to the workshop starting. Changes may be made to any itinerary whenever 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 that participants receive the best workshop experience possible.
If you have general questions about where a workshop goes, please contact us. We can give you a general idea of the places and subjects covered on any given workshop.