Workshops & Education

We love photography, and we want everyone to enjoy it too. We offer a range of options for people wanting to up their game in photography. We offer different courses depending on location and time of year. Maximum 8 places per workshop; BOOK NOW.

Currently, we are in Kyoto, and operate mostly in Gion. All lessons will be in English, and we can use simple English with clear explanations of technical vocabulary. Current courses are:

Beginner Courses

You have a camera with "M" written on on the settings dial, and you want to know how to use it. We will help you master the fine balance of exposure using shutter speed, aperture, iso, and white balance. We'll give you the basics of how to creatively use each of these settings to make amazing pictures that wasn't possible before.

This course is suitable for people with a modern Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Pentax, or Sony DSLR or mirrorless cameras (many Canon point-and-shoot cameras have easy manual control, and so are also suitable). You'll need a llens of about 24-70mm range (or similar), x2 fully charged batteries, an empty 32Gb memory card. Comfortable footwear, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, water, and importantly your camera's instruction manual either printed or downloaded to your smart device.

Currently, these are conducted especially for travellers in Kyoto three times a week for two hours. Meet at 9.30am, at Yasaka Shrine Nishiromon Gate (Google Map ref), and lessons run from 9.45 to 11.45am on any day we receive bookings. ¥5,000 per person (paid in cash or card) before the lesson starts, maximum 8 places per workshop; BOOK NOW to confirm your place.

Mixed-level Workshop Walks: Social-media Selfie Edition

Many of the photos on this website of our company director Andrew are in fact selfies he took himself. You can tell the difference between the ones he took of himself, and of the ones other people took of him. Generally, the best photos of him are selfies. Even though he doesn't have the face or body for social media, his style and technique means he takes the best selfies. Wanna learn his secret? Andrew will take you to some quiet but picturesque places in the Gion area to show you some tricks and techniques that you can use. However, he requests that you not share the techniques with other people. You will learn how to choose appropriate backgrounds, compositions, posing, and framing. He will give a brief demonostration on how he post-processes the images on iPad, and uploads them to Instagram or Twitter without needing a computer.

A self-portrait of Travel Photos company director Andrew

Can you figure out the trick Andrew used to take this photo of himself so easily?

Please bring your DSLR or mirrorless camera, normal range lens (like a 24-70mm or 50mm prime, or similar; a 24-70 or 24-105 zoom lens is usually best), x2 fully charged batteries, an empty 32Gb memory card, tripod, remote shutter release, your camera instruction manual (in print or downloaded to your smart device), comfortable shoes, water, appropriate clothing for the very warm afternoon, and a snack. Note, a lot of battery power will be required.

Currently, these are conducted especially for travellers in Kyoto for about two hours each lesson. Meet at 2.00pm, meet in front of Tully's Cafe between Gion Shijo subway station and Yasaka Shrine (Google Map ref), and lessons run from 2.15pm to 4.15pm on any days that there are bookings. Book before midday. ¥7,500 per person (paid in cash or card) before the lesson starts, maximum 8 places per workshop; BOOK NOW to confirm your place.

Special Skills

Night photography is one of our specialties. We'll take you to some of the best places in Gion to create iconic photos of our own. Some of our most famous images are night photos. This course teaches you the theory of how to take great night photos, and how to obtain our trademark blurred people looks. Also, we will workshop any issues you might be having with your photography. This course was inspired from questions like "How did you do that?", and from amateur photographers who asked for practical help from Andrew.

Yasaka Shrine Nishiromon Gate at night

Yasaka Shrine Nishiromon Gate at night. This is the meeting place of most workshops.

Please bring your DSLR or mirrorless camera, normal range lens (like a 24-70mm or 50mm prime, or similar; a 24-70 or 24-105 zoom lens is usually best), x2 fully charged batteries, an empty 32Gb memory card, tripod, remote shutter release, your camera instruction manual (in print or downloaded to your smart device), comfortable shoes, water, appropriate clothing for the cooler evening, and a snack. Note, a lot of battery power will be required.

Currently, these are conducted especially for travellers in Kyoto three times a week for two hours. Meet at 5.15pm, at Yasaka Shrine Nishiromon Gate (Google Map ref), and lessons run from 5.30 to 7.30pm on any day we receive bookings. Book before 2pm on the day. ¥5,000 per person (paid in cash or card) before the lesson starts, maximum 8 places per workshop; BOOK NOW to confirm your place.

Private Lessons

Contact us and tell us what you want to work on, and we will help you. We specialise in helping people who just picked up a DSLR or mirrorless for the very first time, through to intermediate level photographers. We can workshop any difficulties you might be having, or help arrange a model for you to practice your portraiture with. We have a limit on how many private students we can take as commercial work takes priority, so please BOOK NOW to confirm your lesson. ¥7,500 per person for two hours(paid in cash or card) before the lesson starts.

Policies

Travel Photos PtyLtd is not responsible for any accidents, injuries, deaths, damage or loss of properties. Consequently, we ask all participants to organise their own insurance before participating with us. We may be operating in areas where pedestrians and traffic share the same space, especially in places like Gion Kyoto. Therefore we ask that you prioritize your safety, and lookout for the safety of other people around you. Some Kyototourist zones suffer from very high concentrations of tourists, and therefore we ask all participants to act responsibly, with courtesy to local people. This includes avoiding inconveniencing other people, refrain from littering, talking loudly (especially during night courses), or other behaviour that disturbs local people. Similarly, we expect all participants to treat their fellow workshoppers with dignity and respect, regardless of gender or nationality.

In the event of rain, we will continue the course especially because rainy day photos look better. However, in case of heavy rain, we will contact you regarding cancellations. Otherwise, please wear a raincoat, bring a small or light umbrella, plastic bags or purpose-fit rain covers for your camera and electronic equipment, water resistant footwear, a rain cover for your bag, and a lens hood for your lens.

No show? Uncool. Very uncool. Someone else might have wanted to make a booking but missed out. Please tell us if you can't come. Even if you're late, full fee is still expected. Because of time restrictions, if you require a receipt please pay by card so a receipt can be automatically emailed to you. Using the secure Square payment system, we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, EFTPOS (Aust only), Apple Pay, and G Pay.

If working with a model, always show the same respect and dignity you would a workplace colleague. Never touch a model without permission and give reason (like to offer help to remove dust off shoulders). We have always had good professional relations with our models, and we expect your assistance in maintaining a professional and respectful work environment for them.

Andrew as an official photographer

Andrew as an official photographer.

A model in a kimono in Gion Kyoto

A local model in a kimono in Gion.

An Osaka-based model in a kimono in Kyoto during cherry blossom season

Portrait of a local model in a kimono during cherry blossom season

Andrew Blyth of Travel Photos PtyLtd

Andrew will be your instructor. He has formal training in education, which includes a Master of Arts. He has transitioned from education into full time photography. He has the knack to find the key points students need to know, share that knowledge, and then to let students explore their creative limits and beyond.

A cherry tree blooming in Kyoto

Night photo taken in Gion, Kyoto during cherry blossom season.