Creative Photo Workshops in Provence with Raina Stinson
“Creating beautiful and personalized memories of Provence.”
~ Raina Stinson
Private Photo Workshop
One of the many joys of returning to Provence last year was meeting Raina Stinson and participating in a photo workshop. We arrived at Raina’s home studio on a crisp fall morning to discuss our goals for improving our mobile phone photography. Coffee first! It was inevitable that our day with Raina would be fun and informative, but a gal that uses an Italian Caffettiera (Moka Pot) is a specialist.
Despite her busy schedule of dedicated multi-day trips and photoshoots, Raina found a date that accommodated our pending departure from France. However, would the weather cooperate? It looked iffy with a massive storm and flooding followed by two days of strong winds. A mistral wind can be forceful but leaves an uninterrupted crystal blue sky in its wake.
Regardless, it was going to be a great day for photos!
Although we have a top-quality DSLR camera, we wanted Raina’s help with smartphone photography. There is no question that a smartphone is practical and almost always within reach. However, our goals were different. My husband likes to take photos of sports events, action shots and people. On the other hand, my eye gravitates to details, architecture, and colour. Diverse goals are no problem for Raina.
Who is Raina?
In 2018, four years after her first time in France, Raina Stinson moved to Provence. On her first trip, in 2014, she visited a friend in L’Isle sur la Sorgue – the little Venice of Provence. She shared her impressions, “My first night in France, I had an overwhelming feeling that I had arrived home.” Four years later, Raina quit a 30-year nursing career in Oregon and moved to France to pursue her passion for photography.
A cold February day and remote farmhouse near Goult in the Luberon might have driven others back to their comfort zones. However, Raina saw nothing but possibilities from this rustic Provencal home surrounded by grapevines. After six years, Raina has established her niche in the region as a portrait photographer. Raina creates fine art photo memories for individuals, couples, and families, whether on holiday or celebrating a milestone.
While exploring the region for unique photoshoot locations and her fine art portfolio, Raina began formulating the pieces for workshops. Now you can join her on a half-day or full-day photography course. During these sessions, Raina focuses on the basic principles of photography (light, composition, and post-processing). Alternatively, enjoy Raina’s company on a multi-day tour of Provence with an emphasis on photography while your group explores the region.
Learning Photo Basics
We are not neophyte photographers and have a vast database of travel photos. Although one could argue that our files should be culled and organized, that is a subject for another day. We have different model phones and cameras, so there is always a bit of competition around who takes the best photo. Rather than enter into family politics, Raina suggested that we start with the fundamentals. She guided us through photo basics, storytelling through images, and pushing the rules.
Lighting: Raina explained different techniques for using natural lighting, the benefit of shadows, depth of vision. Don’t take a photo facing the sun. Wrong, that is old school thinking, and she will explain when and how you can.
Location: Try walking around and looking for a different angle. Photography requires some level of patience and slowing down to capture the shot.
Composition: The concept of thirds is a guideline, not a hard and fast rule.
Post-processing: Raina demonstrated easy techniques for dramatically enhancing your images using her favourite photo editing app.
Join Raina in Provence for an unforgettable experience. With your camera in hand and a professional at your side, explore the beautiful vineyards, lavender fields, charming villages, abandoned castles and Roman ruins.
Get in Touch with Raina
Raina Stinson Photography (website)
Contact her for a personalized package:
Telephone: +33 (0)6 24 94 18 24
Facebook: Raina Stinson Photography
Instagram: @ raina_stinson
Photography Tours and Workshops (all photographic skill levels are welcome)
Fine Art Prints (all the images above are available as prints, smartphone and iPad cases)
2022 Tours and More
Provence Lavender Photography Tour: July 12th to July 17th, 2022, based in Montbrun-les-Bains, France. Quiet hilltop villages in the high lavender region of Provence are waiting for you and your lens.
Contemplative Photography is a 6-week online course.
Provence Autumn Contemplative Photography & Lifestyle Tour is a luxury tour based at a vineyard in Crestet. October 2022 dates to be confirmed.
Image credits: All photos were provided by and published with the permission of Raina Stinson Photography.
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