THE

TUSCANY

STORYTELLING RETREAT

Discover how to tell compelling stories with photography

TRIP DATES

1 - 5 JUNE 2022

INVESTMENT

€ 1.970

GROUP SIZE

MIN. 4 - MAX. 7

When it comes to picking a traveling companion, you can’t beat a camera. Whether you pack a massive bag of DSLRs or stick with the little camera tucked into your smartphone, the photographs you bring back from a trip will be your most impactful and lasting souvenirs. 

Because photography is much more than simply grabbing snapshots on the run.

tuscany visual storytelling retreat
Five days in Tuscany

Join Andrea and Sabrina in their native country of Italy exploring visual storytelling and photographing the stunning Val d’Orcia in Tuscany.

tuscany visual storytelling retreat
In-Person Training

As a travel retreat, the focus of this trip will be the experience itself. Andrea and Sabrina will teach different aspects of photographic storytelling.

tuscany photography workshop visual storytelling retreat
Like Minded Connections

Experiencing the entire retreat in a small group will allow for highly personal, individual, and peer-to-peer feedback.

andrea livieri recent work tuscany fujifilm
Only 7 spots available - Join us and improve your photography through storytelling

A lot has changed in photography in the last decades, and in order to catch people’s attention in an environment saturated with images, we have to evolve and adapt constantly.

However, what hasn’t changed is what makes a simple picture a great photo. But, what are the key ingredients of a compelling picture? What makes the difference between a random stack of photos and a cohesive narrative that not only captures the place you’re visiting but your experience of being there?

There’s a widely cited phrase used by professional photographers, workshop leaders, coaches, and experts: “The most important element in photography is the light.” What they are generally referring to is that, if you pay enough attention to how the light behaves, if you invest enough time to study it and learn how to shoot in different light conditions you’ll have in your hands a sort of magic formula to capture stunning images almost every time.

We disagree.

So, what makes the magic happen?

Is it your equipment? Your editing skills? Is it how you framed the scene? The beauty of your subject?
All of these things play an important role when it comes to photography, but they are not enough. Think about it. What makes an image resonate with its viewers? How do you measure whether a picture is meaningful?

You might take a photo of a magnificent sunset or shoot a plate of beautifully presented food, but what are you really trying to say with those images? What will catch people’s attention? What makes them remember an image or talk about a photographer’s work? How do you decide if your photos are good or bad?

THE IMPORTANCE OF STORYTELLING

tuscany visual storytelling retreat

The secret behind compelling images is the stories they tell. Stories are the real “influencers”.

Photographically speaking, storytelling is being intentional about each picture you make, then looking at it critically to see if it fits the narrative, captures your experience of a place, and has the potential to enthrall your viewers, leaving them wanting for more.

In other words, documenting a trip is less about location photos and more about your journey. It’s using your camera to document your experience and emotions at a particular time and in a particular place. What truly tells your story are the personal views revealed in the details, the textures, and the colors.

Storytelling may seem intimidating, but it’s something that you already know how to do. We all tell stories every day. A friend asks, “How was your weekend?” and your answer is a story. Your colleague asks, “What happened to your bike?” and you launch into a story. You may not realize it, but you possess all the necessary tools to craft and deliver a compelling story.

The aim of this retreat is to discover how to create lasting photographs using a tried and tested system that puts the story at the heart of everything you do.

You’ll acquire the knowledge and skills you need to take great still images and put them together in a series to create a narrative around a theme, an experience, a place, an encounter, or anything else that interests or intrigues you.

WHAT WILL YOU DISCOVER

We created this 5-day Photo Storytelling Retreat to guide you through the process of how to create compelling visual stories that you will be proud to share with others.

We’ll start with the basics, going through the entire process, all the way from the concept to shooting, to equipment, editing, and image selection. Together, we will expose the essence of a great photograph. Then, we’ll examine the craft of storytelling, as it applies to photography, and how to put together a compelling narrative.

  • You will be given an assignment for the duration of the retreat which will be reviewed with the group at the end of the trip. It’s a wonderful opportunity to master how to analyze a collection of images for a better understanding of when an image works in a story context or doesn’t.
  • Tell stories visually, learning how to create a cohesive sequence of photos. Combining different moments and scenes.
  • Composition and how to frame a scene in order to balance and arrange visual elements effectively.
  • The camera & lenses as a medium for storytelling. With a different focal length, you can manipulate how the viewer perceives space and thus the relationship between objects.
  • Outdoor sessions on learning how you can capture the essence of a place. Big vistas, details, people.
  • Work with light. Understand how different types of light can affect the mood and the essence of an image. You’ll discover how to recognize a distinctive quality of light and work with it.
  • Photo editing and Photo apps. How to transform your raw files straight out of the camera to finished images ready to be shared.
tuscany visual storytelling retreat
tuscany visual storytelling retreat

During the retreat, we will spend our days exploring and photographing some of the most iconic landscapes and villages of Val d’Orcia like the lovely Pienza, Montepulciano, Crete Senesi, and other surrounding breathtaking views.

But the retreat experience goes beyond this with some unique extra activities tailored to work on growing your sensibility and aptitude for storytelling. Experiencing the entire retreat in a small group will allow for highly personal, individual, and peer-to-peer feedback.

A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE IN TUSCANY

As a travel retreat, the focus of this trip will be the experience itself.

We will spend 5 days at the exclusive Podere Trafonti, an idyllic Tuscan domain nestled in the rolling hills of Val d’Orcia with stunning views of Montepulciano and the Monte Amiata studded with centenary cypresses and surrounded by olive groves. Podere Trafonti practices sustainable hospitality and agriculture, in harmony with the natural environment, the territory, its inhabitants, and their culture.

We’ll enjoy breathtaking sunsets, the fresh hill air, eat tasty Italian specialties, made with home-grown and seasonal Tuscan products. We’ll also have the opportunity to visit some of our favorite local places for wine, cheese, and local products’ tasting.

tuscany visual storytelling retreat

Bernard and Antonella bought the decaying farm and 13.5 hectares of agricultural land and forest in 2015 and began to restore it. It took two years of arduous and passionate labor to resurrect it from its rubbles, but they always knew it would shine again with beauty.

They also planted 900 new olive trees to add to the 100 old ones on their property, as well as two dozen fruit trees. They set up a permaculture vegetable garden which produces an abundant crop of vegetables for the kitchen. And they started herbal and flower gardens around the domain’s buildings to attract insects and please the senses. In the spring of 2019, they installed their first beehives which yielded a delicious honey harvest at the end of summer.

tuscany visual storytelling retreat
+ WHAT IS INCLUDED
  • All teaching sessions
  • Photo editing session
  • Local transportation to and from the locations
  • 4 nights shared room
  • Welcome drink
  • Daily breakfast, snacks, and dinners starting from the dinner of the first day, ending with the breakfast of the last day
  • One special lunch at Podere Trafonti
  • Food & Wine tasting in a typical farmhouse
  • Pool & Wood oven pizza party
  • Honeybee safari and honey tasting
  • A safe and healthy environment will be ensured
- NOT INCLUDED
  • Travel costs to and from Podere Trafonti
  • Alcoholic beverage (available but not included in the price)
  • Tourist tax of €1 day/person (to be paid in cash at check out)
  • All lunches (excluded the special lunch at Podere Trafonti)
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Tips, extras and any personal activities or adventures you choose to partake in outside of the itinerary
  • Anything else not mentioned in the “What is included?” section

WHAT'S ON THE ITINERARY?

tuscany photography workshop andrea livieri visual storytelling retreat
DAY 1 - Wednesday, June 1st
  • Arrive at the Podere late afternoon and check in to your room
  • Get comfortable in the space and get to know everyone in a casual, laid-back environment enjoying coffee, tea, orange juice, and some snacks.
  • Kick start the evening with a presentation on the retreat
  • Explore the area around the Podere, and have dinner
DAY 2 - Thursday, June 2nd
  • Breakfast, coffee, and formal introductions
  • Classroom lesson about photography gear, technique, and editing apps in the atelier
  • Photographic session in Montepulciano
  • After lunch, we will head toward Pienza for another photography session
  • Food & Wine tasting in a typical farmhouse
DAY 3 - Friday, June 3rd
  • Breakfast, coffee, and heading out into the field for the morning photo session in some lovely locations
  • Lunch in the picturesque town of San Quirico d’Orcia
  • Afternoon classroom session on composition and photo editing: understand how to develop your own style
  • Pool & Wood oven pizza party
DAY 4 - Saturday, June 4th
  • After breakfast morning photo session documenting a honeybee safari and honey tasting
  • Special lunch at Podere Trafonti
  • Free time and relax at Podere Trafonti
  • Later that afternoon, hit the ground running with a field session/sunset shoot, utilizing learnings from the previous days
  • After lunch at Podere, presentation of your work shot during the trip
  • Group critique of your images from the trip, and favorite portfolio shots
DAY 5 - Sunday, June 5th
  • Enjoy breakfast at the Podere before checking out of your room
  • Farewells and onto the next adventure
tuscany visual storytelling retreat
tuscany visual storytelling retreat
tuscany visual storytelling retreat

WHO IS IT FOR?

The art of storytelling in photography can be utilized by a wide range of photographers. Whether you’re an amateur or a photo enthusiast, this storytelling retreat experience is equally valuable for you.

We’re excited to take you on this journey, and we hope that you’ll join us in discovering how to use photography to create impactful narratives around themes and concepts that are meaningful to you.

THE VALUE OF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE

  • improve your creativity and motivation for photography
  • exploring a variety of photographic genres that come into play in storytelling
  • class lessons on composition and photo editing
  • novel ways of thinking and seeing, stimulating new ideas, new ways of doing things, meeting new people with the same interests and the same enthusiasm that you do
  • create connections and friendships
  • being inspired and having fun while learning
  • acquire new skills
  • an opportunity to thoroughly understand, ask questions, get answers

WHAT GEAR SHOULD I PLAN ON BRINGING?

  • DSLR camera
  • Mid-range zoom in the 24-70mm (18-55mm on a crop sensor) is a base
  • Smartphone
  • Laptop or iPad to download, edit and review your images (recommended)
  • Tripod (not mandatory)
  • Comfortable waterproof shell and appropriate clothing 
  • Camera backpack / camera bag
  • If you have any questions about what to bring, don’t hesitate to contact us. A full packing list is provided on enrolling for the retreat.
tuscany visual storytelling retreat
Only 7 spots available - Join us and improve your photography through storytelling
tuscany visual storytelling retreat
Andrea Livieri Photographer and Workshop Leader
Andrea is a Venice based professional photographer, educator, musician, and a spirited adventurer. He started exploring the photography medium by capturing images of fellow musicians, their families, and other friends and acquaintances in the music industry. As he continued honing his craft, he merged his love for photography and exploring the outdoors, amassing a body of photographic work featuring exhilarating landscapes and rugged mountains capes from around the globe, He also leads photography courses, workshops & tours to teach other photographers his method and help them to bring out their own vision. His work has been published in Landscape Photography Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, Photo Plus Magazine, Digital Camera, Popular Photography and Fuji X Passion Magazine, among others. He also partners with brands like Capture One, Exposure Software, NiSi Filters, Sandmarc, BenQ, Freewell, Vallerret Gloves and Sustainable Travel International.
tuscany visual storytelling retreat
Sabrina Tosato Photographer, Travel Writer and Content Marketing Manager
Sabrina is a photographer and travel writer based in Padua, Italy. Her average day is mix of weird combinations and her greatest ambition is to make people dream, inspiring them through words and photographs. She manage a travel blog named The Tomato Soup where she offers advice on travel destinations and wild but high-end hospitality. She has a 10 year experience on travel organization, focused on exclusive and tailor made itineraries but eventually ended up as a digital marketing specialist. Passionate about the intersection of adventure travels, sustainability and design, with inspiration and creativity at heart, she has a knack for capturing memorable moments of everyday life. Her work has been published via Afar Media, SuitCase Magazine, Inspired by Iceland and Feel Slovenia.
tuscany visual storytelling retreat
Antonella Podere Trafonti
tuscany visual storytelling retreat

OUR HOST

Antonella lives at Podere Trafonti and manages the organic farm and guesthouse since 2018. 

This move came after many years of working in social development and humanitarian aid around the world, among others, as chief spokesperson and head of public communication at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

REGISTRATION

To reserve your spot we do require a €500 deposit. Please complete the form below for more information, or for any other questions you have about the retreat.