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Western Maine Photography Workshop for Beginners

Down East Adventures

Regular price $700.00

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Western Maine Photography Workshop for Beginners

This Western Maine Photography Workshop for Beginners is the perfect workshop for you to learn the fundamentals of photography and cultivate your personal style while being immersed in the field.

Instructor Bio

Darylann Leonard’s love for photography began as a child, watching and learning from her father, who was a teacher and self-taught photographer. Through the years, her love for hiking and exploring the outdoors has provided a natural classroom for learning the art of photography. Darylann has worked for over 25 years in Maine as a clinical social worker. Her experience in helping people through dark times in their lives,encouraging them to see their inner strength and beauty, has carried over into her vision as a photographer. Darylann believes that not only does photography challenge people as individuals, but it also provides an opportunity to show others the world through one’s own eyes. Her goal of bringing her own vision of the beauty of nature to others keeps her love for this art alive.

Darylann has been a contributing photographer for Down East magazine since 2014. Her photography has been featured on Maine Lake and Mountains Visitor Guide, Midcoast Maine Visitor Guide, and Western Maine Guidebook. Her work has also placed in international competitions, including the Greater Lynn and Glennie Memorial Nature Salon. She earned a second-place finish in the 2013 Maine Photography Show. Darylann has been an exhibiting artist at Gallery 302 in Bridgton, Maine, since 2012.

Workshop Description

Have you been hesitant to sign up for a workshop due to feeling inexperienced? This is the perfect workshop for you to learn the fundamentals of photography through being immersed in the field. Manuals help instruct the user about their camera but can be confusing and do not teach photography. This workshop will reinforce the basic building blocks of photography to facilitate how to capture beautiful images that reflect your own personal style. This workshop will consist of hands-on learning in the environment as well as class time. During this workshop you will learn about exposure, composition, depth of field as well as how to “see” the light.

This workshop will focus on the beautiful western mountains and lakes of Maine. Darylann Leonard is lucky enough to call this area her backyard, and has intimate knowledge of photo locations, local weather, and great food stops. Possible locations for shooting will be Bridgton, Harrison, Waterford, Stow, Fryeburg, Evans Notch, and Norway. The workshop will kick off on Thursday at 12pm for orientation to review functions of each participant’s camera and a presentation on fundamentals of photography. After class we will have lunch together.  We will then take advantage of the late afternoon light and shoot through sunset. Friday morning, we will meet at a determined location to shoot sunrise. We will then take advantage of the morning light to explore the beautiful lakes region. Next will be a much-deserved breakfast together. After breakfast there will be a break to have time to rest, charge batteries and download your images.

There will be classroom time in the afternoon where we will discuss how to plan a shoot, the best techniques to execute in the field, as well as how to process your images. Darylann will share some of her favorite Photoshop editing techniques and will then open the floor to look at student work and give feedback. We will then reconvene for an early dinner and chase the beautiful golden hour light and settle on a location for sunset. This workshop is limited to 5 people to provide the best learning experience for participants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a lot of experience or expensive gear to take this workshop?

No! You can make great images right away with simple equipment, and that’s what this workshops aim to teach you. If you have photographed before and aim to update yourself on the latest techniques in digital photography, this is definitely for you. If you are just starting out and have a new camera you want to learn, this is for you, too. If you are a seasoned veteran who doesn’t need much help, just wants to go to great locations and have fun with like-minded individuals, well, this is for you, as well! You will need a basic DSLR camera and a tripod, but you don’t need a lot of fancy gear. I’ve put together a list of recommended accessories.

What camera equipment do you recommend I bring?

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera
  • Lenses to cover 16-200mm are recommended
  • A card reader if your laptop doesn’t have one built-in, extra camera batteries, extra memory cards.
  • A sturdy tripod and head
  • Circular polarizing filter
  • Waterproof camera bag

Should I bring a laptop?

Yes. We recommend you bring your laptop to follow along during classroom time and to take notes. We also recommend you bring a card reader so that we can share and critique your photos if you’d like.

What about transportation?

Participants are responsible for their own transportation.

What about lodging?

Maine is a popular place and many hotels and BnB’s fill up fast. We ask that you stay close to our predetermined morning meet-up location.

Here are some suggestions on places to stay:

  • Noble House Inn
  • Highland Lake Resort
  • Grady’s West Shore Motel
  • Tarry-A-While Resort
  • many Airbnb opportunities

What should I wear?

The most recommended piece of gear is a pair of sturdy shoes. We walk across the hard and angular rocks in many of these locations, so hiking shoes are very helpful. We also like to layer for cool mornings and the head of the day, which usually means a base layer of synthetic, fast-wicking material, and a warm fleece or soft shell. Other suggested items are found below.

  • Insect and Tick Repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Waterproof Outerwear
  • A hat for sun protection
  • Rubber Boots (not absolutely necessary, but there may be mud or wading in some locations)
  • Headlamp>

Should I be concerned about ticks?

Yes. All outdoor activities in New England carry the risk of picking up these nasty hitchhikers. Please use bug repellent that you can apply to your skin, or even better, permethrin, which you apply to clothes you plan on wearing in the field. Also, give yourself an extensive review when you get home at night to check for ticks.

What happens if the weather doesn’t cooperate?

Bad weather is good weather to landscape photographers. If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes. There are many idioms that apply to the weather, and if you don’t already know, following the weather is one of our favorite things to do! We’ve been running workshops for years now, and can say that there hasn’t been a single day where we haven’t enjoyed being out photographing, even in the rain. Please keep an open mind when it comes to your expectations about what ‘good’ conditions are. We want to teach you how to shoot in all conditions!

What does my tuition cover?

The price of the workshop includes all fieldwork, group instruction, and individual tutoring. It does not include travel insurance, meals other than what has been specified, transportation, and lodging.


The payment is 50% refundable in the event you have to cancel, as long as the cancellation is made 21 days before the trip. After that time, your payment is non-refundable. Alternately, 100% of your payment will be refunded if a replacement can be found prior to the trip.

This workshop needs a minimum of three participants. In the event the minimum is not met, we may cancel or offer to move you to a different workshop.

COVID-19 Info

Please refer to the CDC website for the latest guidance on COVID-19 and travel.

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