Workshops and retreats are the answer for anyone craving an immersive education experience. These unique events allow photographers to meet community members while also providing an opportunity for growth. And luckily, there’s a workshop out there to teach you something new no matter your experience level. Online courses are a convenient choice, but nothing can replace physically connecting with like-minded creatives. We’ve seen time and time again that the friendships built are often what attendees treasure the most from a workshop or retreat.
Wedding photography workshops can share fresh perspectives to lift you out of a creative rut or train you on a particular topic, such as editing or elopements. Whether you’re looking to revamp your behind-the-scenes workflow or hope to expand your portfolio, there truly is a wedding photography workshop or retreat fit for everyone, which is why we’re rounding up some of the best ones taking place in 2023.
Main Focus: Portfolio Building
Dates: November 20 – November 24, 2023
Set in Fuerteventura, the second largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, this retreat gives you the opportunity to shoot alongside some of the industry’s top photographers in one incredibly stunning location. For five days and four nights, ten attendees will explore the island, experience camaraderie, and learn through practice. Dunas Project is hosted by Unique Wedding and will include Joy Zamora and Deborah Torres as speakers.
Main Focus: Destination Wedding Experience
Dates: April 3 – April 6, 2023
If you’re eager to enter the destination wedding market, Aspire may be the retreat for you. Hosted by Dan Sauer and Cole Roberts in a small Tuscan town, Aspire is designed to model a complete multi-day destination wedding. You’ll gain experience and build your portfolio, all while learning the ins-and-outs of destination wedding photography. The retreat will include 12 attendees and is sure to be one priceless experience.
Main Focus: Creative Skills
Dates: October 24 – October 27, 2023
This Italian wedding photography workshop will give attendees the opportunity to live, love, and learn alongside photography duo The Ferros. The three-day immersive experience will include photography shoots where you can practice your skills as well as the opportunity to grow and expand your creative processes. You’ll leave feeling creatively inspired and fulfilled with a new set of close friends.
Main Focus: Portfolio Building
The Shootout Society provides the perfect place to build a portfolio that attracts your dream clients while giving you the chance to foster friendship and community. They’ve hosted over 200 styled shoots since 2017 and are now offering full-blown retreats in beautiful destinations across the globe. This year, they have styled shoots planned in Charleston, South Carolina, and Yucca Valley, California, as well as a retreat in Tulum, Mexico.
Main Focus: Business Strategy
Dates: July 17 – July 19, 2023
For photographers needing business inspiration and strategy, take a look at The Abundance Adventure Retreat in Iceland. Host Steph Zakas welcomes you to Iceland to experience the unparalleled beauty while learning how to plan for and reach business breakthroughs. At this retreat, you’ll work on your mindset, dream up new ideas, and build an entrepreneurial strategy to take your business to the next level.
Main Focus: Adventure Elopements
Dates: November 11 – November 13, 2023
Love on Earth is hosted by three full-time adventure elopement photographers–Traci Edwards of Adventure and Vow, Malachi Lewis of Shell Creek Photography, and Aimée Flynn of Aimée Flynn Photography. This year’s workshop will take place in The Eastern Sierra Nevadas of California and will include classes and styled shoots with each instructor. Each class is built to educate attendees on important wedding photography business skills like SEO, how to plan styled shoots, and managing stress.
Main Focus: Fine-art Wedding Photography
Dates: October 25 – October 29, 2023
This immersive retreat takes place at a 17th-century historical French chateau that sits on 25 acres of woods and gardens. Need we say more? The remote nature of this workshop will help you enter into a creative bubble–one where you will capture romantic styled shoots and receive business advice and direct coaching from international mentors. Legacy was created by German photographers Muse & Mirror, and this fifth installment will include mentors Matt Kay of The Woods Photography and Melody Joy.
Main Focus: Learning & Networking
Dates: April 4 – 6, 2023
Retreats aren’t for everyone. If you’re hoping to add a conference to your 2023 calendar instead of a small workshop, then check out Shutterfest. Since Shutterfest is for all photographers, there is a wide range of learning, networking, and business opportunities beyond weddings. With over 60 educators spanning multiple disciplines, if broadening your skillset is important, then this is the event for you.
Which wedding photography workshop are you excited to attend this year? Let us know in the comments! And if your 2023 budget or schedule only allows for online courses, fear not. We have a roundup of the best online courses available for wedding photographers too.