Story and Photos by Ron Rosenstock
What do you get when you mix the magical light and sacred sounds of Ireland with dinner conversations about being a photo tour leader?
You get the best of both worlds – opportunities to photograph and to build your tour leader skills.
I’ve been privileged to be a photographer and international tour leader for 46 years and I want to share that experience with a small group of photographers who have a similar ambition.
Being a successful photo tour leader requires far more than just being a very good photographer. It requires knowing how to develop a following and successfully market your tour. Further, you must be familiar with the photo destinations, knowing the options on a daily basis. You must know how to successfully relate to people with different expectations in a positive way. The successful leader is a problem solver and must be highly committed to each participant’s needs.
To give you a little of my background, I believe I may have been the first photo teacher to bring a group of people overseas for the express purpose of photographing. After studying photography with Minor White in the 1960s, I was fortunate to get a job teaching photography at the Worcester Center for Crafts, in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1969. About that time, I first met Paul Caponigro who had recently returned from photographing the ancient stones in the U.K. and Ireland. His images stirred something in me and changed the course of my life.
The following year I offered my students an opportunity to join me in photographing in England. That first excursion was to be the first of many international workshops to follow, right up to the present moment.
The following year I organized a workshop in Ireland. Loving the experience of Ireland, I, along with Cathy, my wife, started a new business called The Irish Photo Workshop. Fifteen years later I had the opportunity to join a much larger tour company, Voyagers International, which later became Strabo Tours.
In 1982 I purchased a seven-bedroom house in the west of Ireland as the workshop home. It is a charming traditional house situated in the West of Ireland with wonderful access to country towns, rural and mountain landscapes, and the sea. Initially the house was used only for my photographic groups. Around 1990 other photo tour leaders working for Strabo Tours began using Hillcrest House and my support staff there. This arrangement allowed me to lead photo tours to many other destinations.
Ireland continues to draw photographers from around the world. The West of Ireland is a center for artists, and musicians, and is rich in historical landmarks. With its breathtaking land and seascapes and ancient ruins, Ireland is a place of tremendous beauty and inspiration. It is also a modern and energetic place.
This special photo workshop for NANPA members is for those who have visions of becoming a photo tour leader, or becoming a better photo tour leader. You will gain photography experience under my tutelage, as well as enjoy authentic Irish accommodations and nighttime discussions on being a photo tour leader. The tour mixes a cultural and educational opportunity like no other!
It is now forty-six years since I lead my first international photo tour. My life in photography is reflected in my web site: www.ronrosenstock.com/. Most of my life has been image-making and helping others. Now, I wish to give a big push to anyone who dreams for the same kind of life.
The tour is limited to eight photographers. NANPA members can attend at a special rate, and a donation will be made to the NANPA Foundation. For more information, visit www.phototc.com or the NANPA Foundation website at http://nanpafoundation.org/ireland-2016/.
Don’t delay your registration – the tour has sold out four years in a row.