Workshops Frequently Asked Questions

Photographing Red Rock Crossing during a Workshop

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What level of photography experience do I have to have in order to attend one of your workshops?
Any level of experience is acceptable.  Our workshops are designed to help you improve your photography through specific Skill Enhancement Exercises, and those exercises are designed to work with any camera.  We do ask that you are familiar with your camera and with its different functions.  If you are not, we ask you spend some time reading the manual and getting familiar with all the controls.  The most important functions are: histogram display on digital cameras, mirror lockup or timer, over and under exposure adjustment, and f-stop adjustment,  The more comfortable you are with your camera the more you will benefit from the workshop.

What if my camera doesn’t have some of these controls?
Don’t worry about it.  You can still do most of the exercises without these controls.  However, if you have been considering upgrading to a different camera, this is a good time to do so. 

Which camera is OK for the workshop?
Any camera format, type, built, origin and quality is OK.  We believe that it is the photographer who takes the camera, not the camera who makes the photographer. This being said, a camera that offers control over exposure as well as interchangeable or zoom lenses will provide you with much more control over your photographs.

Do I have to use 4x5?
You can use any camera format you like, including but not limited to 35mm, medium format and large format. The majority of workshop participants use 35mm digital SLR's. Alain works with 35mm digital, medium format digital, panoramic cameras and 4x5.

Which lenses should I bring
We recommend you bring a lens from each lens family: Wide angle, Normal and Telephoto.See Chapter 3, Lens Choice, in my first book, Mastering Landscape Photography, for additional details on this approach. Which exact lenses in each category depends on your personal preferences. If you have room we recommend you bring as many lenses as you wish since it is better to have too many than to regret having left one at home. My books are available on this site in both eBook and printed versions.

Will Alain photograph during the workshop?
It will depend on my vision.  I will photograph during the workshop  if I “See” something.  This means I may or may not photograph.  It also means I may setup my camera and not actually make an exposure.

Keep in mind two things in regards to the above question:

1- I do not organize workshops in order to provide myself with photographic opportunities.  I organize workshops in order to provide You with photographic opportunities, photographic teaching and photographic knowledge. 

2-  I can only do one thing at a time – in this case either photograph or teach.  My goal is to teach hence, as I said, I will photograph only if I “See” something.  Watching me use 4x5, if it happens, is a learning experience for participants.

What do you mean by “See something”?
I mean find something I want to photograph. Read my article on “Seeing”, available for free on this site under "Writings" in the left sidebar, for a complete answer to this question.

Can my wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend or significant other attend the workshop for free?
We have a “no tag along” policy.  While your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend or significant other is/are more than welcome to attend the workshop with you they have to be registered, paying participants.

Why cannot my wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, significant other attend for free?  They won’t take photos, won’t ask questions and I am willing to sign a release form if they get hurt since I understand they wouldn’t be covered under your workshop insurance policy.
They cannot attend as “tag alongs” because our workshops are professional photography workshops designed to improve your photography. In our view opening the workshops to non-registered participants will reduce the focus of the workshop and the level of commitment we ask from each participant.

How many participants will attend the workshop?
12 participants.  The fact we limit the number of participants is another reason why we cannot let someone attend for free.   If someone attends for free they will prevent a photographer from attending. Transfer participants are occasionally added to a workshop.

Do I have to rent a car?

Do I need an SUV?
Not unless you want to. Our workshops do not require driving on high-clearance roads or off-road unless otherwise indicated. A passenger car is perfectly suitable for most workshops.

Do I have to make motel accommodations?
Yes.  A list of hotel and motels together with contact information will be emailed to you when we receive your registration.

Why do I have to rent my own car and make my own hotel reservations?
Because making car and hotel reservations yourself saves you a huge amount of money.  If we rent vehicles and make hotel reservations for you we must charge you for this service because it takes us time to make reservations and it takes us time to drive you, help you check into your hotel and so on.  In effect we would end up charging you more than double the hotel and car rental rates that you will pay by renting your own car and making your own hotel reservations.  We prefer to have you pay us for what we do best: teach you how to take great photographs.

Will the workshop participants stay in a specific hotel?
Everyone is free to stay where they want.  We do not have any preference or relationship with any specific hotel chain.

What is the closest airport to fly in?
It depends on where the specific workhop you are attending is organize. Either call or email and we will provide you with this information. It may also be indicated on the workshop page.

How far do I have to drive?
This depends on the workshop you are interested in. Read the workshop description and if you do not find the information you need simply call or email us and we will provide you with this information:
and 800-949-7983 or 928-252-2466 .

Will I be asked to wear a name tag?
We do not wear name tags during field workshops. The only event in which name tags are provided is the Fine Art Digital Summit which is held indoors and is a conference-style event.

Will I be asked to share my email address as part of an email list for the workshop?
We respect your privacy and for this reason we do not require that you share your email address. Any and all information you provide us with will remain confidential.

Will you be able to comment on my photographs over email after the workshop?
My goal is to provide you with the highest level of service in regards to your work. For this reason I do not comment on photographs over email because I find email to be neither adequate nor interactive enough for this purpose. In my estimate a true print review needs to be conducted as a live conversation between you and I. I have therefore designed a unique Print Review Program which guarantees that your work gets the attention it rightfully deserves. Click here now to find out all the details of this program. Do note that a print review is part of each workshop we offer and that it is conducted during the workshop.

Can I bring my work from a previous workshop to be reviewed during the next workshop?
Certainly. In fact, I strongly encourage you to do so. Workshop participants regularly bring work created during previous workshops. This is the next best way, after the one on one print review, to have your work reviewed by myself. Do keep in mind that workshop print reviews last only 10-15 minutes and are done as a group while one on one print reviews last one hour and are conducted with just you and I.

When will I hear from you after I sign up?
After we receive your registration three things will happen:

1- You will be emailed a list of accommodations for your workshop immediately after you register.

2- A receipt will be mailed to you the day after you register.

3- Approximately 1 to 2 weeks before the workshop you will receive an email from us with complete information about all aspects of the workshop   This email will include information on what to bring, what weather to expect, the time and place we will meet on the first day of the workshop, a reading list, and much more.

Why should I sign up for the workshop now?
Because of the following reasons, in no particular order:

1-    Because attending one of our workshops will help you improve your photography skills faster than you ever thought possible.

2-    Because you will make new friends who love photography as much as you do

3-    Because you will get answers to questions that have been bothering you for a long time

4-    Because you do not want to “re-invent the wheel” and learn all the aspects of photography on your own.

5-    Because you want to see first hand, and for yourself, how a pro does it.

6-    Because you want to meet Alain and work with him in person

7-    Because Alain will not offer workshops forever

8-    Because you love photography and this is a unique opportunity to share your passion with people who are as passionate about landscape photography as you are

9-    Because there is no better time to sign up than right now!  This is not only about Carpe Diem (seize the day) it is also about Carpe Photo (seize the photograph).

10- Because you will have your photographs reviewed during the workshop

11- Because the cost of this workshop may be higher the next time it is offered

12- Because who else knows these locations better than Alain and Natalie Briot?  Alain has been to Antelope Canyon 127 times, to Canyon de Chelly 86 times, to Monument Valley 77 times, to Sedona 111 times, etc. as of June 16th, 2004.   If you want to visit these places with someone who really knows them this is it

13- Because Alain and Natalie Briot teach workshops where they have lived for the past 16 years and where they live today.  We take you in our backyard so to speak, we know the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni and other Native American Cultures, and we have friends and relatives in all the places we visit.  This is home for us!

14-  Because if you wait any longer the workshop will be full

15- Because you will learn, have fun and relax.  Not only that but you will also return with photographs that will impress not only yourself but also your friends, your relatives, and everyone else you show your work too.  You will be the source of envy!

Do you need additional information?
Not a problem. Simply email us at or call us at 800-949-7983 or 928-252-2466 . We will answer your questions by email or over the phone and help you with any subject concerning our workshops. We look forward to hearing from you.

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