Workshop Policies/Info

Photography by Tom and Lisa Cuchara 

Come with us to photograph interesting places!

Learn about photography and post-processing!


Thank you for your interest in our photography workshops! Our groups are small (typically 5-12 participants and usually with two instructors). This makes it easier for you to get the photographic composition that you want and also allows for more personal attention during workshops and classes.

Our workshops are typically designed for photographers at all levels. We encourage you to ask us questions and we have lots of patience to explain things a few times so that you understand it. You are attending a "Photography with TLC" event (TLC = Tom and Lisa Cuchara), and the TLC is more than just our monogram, it exemplifies the patience and care given during our learning interactions. 

Please note that for select location photo tours a basic knowledge about your camera exposure (changing ISO, changing aperture, changing shutter speed) and/or HDR could be useful, we will note this in the description of those particular photo tours.

Join our email list to find out about our photography classes, tours, and workshops, as well as photo ops, post-processing, creativity, gear, etc. http://tinyurl.com/cuchara-photolist

We also sometimes use "the Meetup engine" to track RSVPs and payment. You can view current and past classes, tours, and workshops that we have offered in the past and see some of our upcoming offerings here:  www.meetup.com/photography-by-lisa-and-tom.  

We typically keep our photo tours small in order to make sure that everyone can compose their images without other photographers in the scene and to make sure that we can offer individual compositional advice. We have FUN on all of our photo tours!


Hope to see you (and shoot with you) soon!
  • If the workshop that you are interested in is sold out we can add you to a waitlist please email us at photographybylisaandtom@comcast.net to be notified if an opening occurs. 
  • You do not need a PalPal account, you can pay by credit card without creating a PayPal account. 
  • Your Paypal receipt is your payment confirmation for the event/class/tour. 
  • You are not signed up until payment has been received (sorry we cannot hold spaces). 
  • All sales are final, sorry no refunds. Someone else can attend in your place if you are unable to attend, but admission will not be refunded nor can it be transferred to another event. See Q: What is your refund/cancellation policy? below
Q: What skill level do I have to be at in order to attend one of your Photography Tours and/or Photo Workshops?

A: We welcome all skill levels. We are patient and well versed in explaining photography concepts. Photo classes are taught at all levels, from brand new beginner to advanced, please email us (photographybylisaandtom@comcast.net) if you have questions about a particular class, workshop or tour and the skill level of that event. Photo workshops are great for people just beginning and for those more experienced and everyone in between. You can read more about the difference between photo classes, photo tours, and photo workshops below. Our photo tours are for photographers who are looking to experience new places, build friendships with similarly passionate people, and develop your technical and creative photographic techniques. Photo tours are geared more towards those that are comfortable with changing their ISO, shutter speed, and ISO. Photo tours are more about the location than learning new techniques per se. If you are a beginner and interested in an on-location photo tour we can arrange a private instruction ahead of time (to get you comfortable with changing your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture).

Q: Some of your workshops are at night. I am new to night photography should I still attend? 

A: Yes! Knowledge of night photography techniques is NOT required for our night workshops, you need a tripod, a cable release and a basic knowledge of you to change your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture (night photography workshops are a wonderful learning experience, we can get you comfortable with long exposures and focusing in the dark quickly, but they are not a "Photo 101" class. Because of the nature of long exposures, night photography workshops are perfect for learning and for getting to know your fellow photographers. We are usually working as a group for these great night shoots (although we may break up into pairs later on depending upon the location).

Q: What happens in bad weather?

A: Safety is always first so ice and lightning could have an impact on a Photo Class/Tour/Workshop, but in general our workshops are rain or shine. Some of the best photographs happen during inclement weather. We suggest that participants bring two 99 cent rain ponchos, one for themselves and one for their camera (a child-sized rain poncho does well to protect the camera, you can reach the left and right sides via the arms, you can place a rubberband around the body of the rain poncho and the camera lens and the hood works well over the LCD. There are no refunds if the anticipated weather or other conditions beyond our control do not meet the hopes of the participants.


Q: May someone else go in my place if I am unable to attend?

A: Yes. You may give or sell a paid spot in the workshop to someone else if you are unable to attend (but admission may not be transferred to another event). You must email us with the information that you are not attending and the name, email address, and cell phone number with the person who is taking your place.

Q: What is your refund/cancellation policy?

A: We understand that sometimes things come up that require you to cancel. Investigate travel insurance to protect your investment and trip. All sales are final. No refunds. 

Someone else can attend in your place if you are unable to attend, but admission will not be refunded nor can it be transferred to another event. 

If a workshop has to be canceled we will do our best to let attendees know as soon as possible so travel plans can be changed. If a workshop is canceled, attendees may transfer the credit towards another open workshop. 

In the unlikely event that a workshop date has to be moved to a different date (postponed) due to circumstances beyond our control (inclement weather, venue changes, etc.) a credit towards another event will be provided (if an attendee is unable to make the alternate date). When we notify you of the new date for a postponed workshop you must let us know within 48 hours if you cannot attend the new date. As long you notify us within 48 hours of being sent the new date, then credit will be applied towards a future workshop. Notification after 48 hours or notification at the last minute that you cannot attend a rescheduled date is the same as you canceling and the cancellation policy would apply. 

By signing up for a workshop you acknowledge the possibility that a workshop may have to be canceled and rescheduled and agree not to hold us, the event organizers, or the site owners liable for any costs incurred related to changing plans. The Workshops is not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets, hotel reservations, etc. in the event of a workshop cancellation.

Q: Do you recommend trip insurance?

While we understand that life can bring on unexpected surprises that can require you to cancel or leave a workshop early, it is your responsibility to secure your investment. We are not able to offer credits in lieu of refunds on cancellations or early departures. Travel insurance protects you against unforeseen circumstances that might prevent your attendance. It can offer coverage for medical/dental emergencies, lost baggage, missed connections, and trip interruption (weather, security, etc.), and trip cancellation should you unexpectedly need to cancel. We do highly recommend trip insurance for outside of the USA. Some locations might require travel insurance, like Cuba. For trips within the USA it is up to you. 

Travel insurance is certainly worth investigating -- everyone's needs and budgets are different. The cost for travel insurance is typically 4-7% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other variable factors. Check out the company before purchasing (make sure the company is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating), always get a quote, and do not decide on price alone. Some companies only insure in the USA, while others insure worldwide. Please note that our inclusion of a company below does not imply that we endorse that company, but these four companies above had the coveted A+ rating. 

Allianz Global Assistance 
CSA Travel Protection
Travelex
USI Travel Insurance Services

Q: What kind of photography skill level do I need in order to attend one of your post-processing classes

A: For post-processing classes, some particular classes are designed for everyone, while others may be geared more towards beginners or more towards advanced users. Please email us (photographybylisaandtom@comcast.net) if you have questions about gear and/or skill level needed for any of our events. In contrast, photographers at all levels are welcome to attend our photo tours and on-location workshops. 

Q: What is the difference between a Photo Class, a Photo Tour, and a Photo Workshop?

Photo Classes. Photo Classes are typically held in our studio or in an alternate indoor location. They are hands-on, and/or instructional, aimed at learning about a specific topic: cameras, lenses, exposure, Flash, exposure compensation, high dynamic range, Histograms, Long Exposure, Light Painting, Lens Filters, Photoshop Filters, Lightroom, Textures,  extension tubes, Photoshop, Layers and Masks, Plugins, Slideshows, etc. Most students bring a laptop to the post-processing classes, although some people come without one, taking notes and watching another participant. Almost all of our classes are team-taught by both Tom and I. We generally keep our photo classes small (6-12 people with two instructors) in order to provide individual attention to everyone.  Sometimes, however, our photo classes may be offered to a larger audience. The distinction of photo class size will always be detailed in our descriptions of each offered photo class. 

Photo Workshops. Workshops are more instruction based than a tour. They are usually in the field shooting, although they may be combined with post-processing and/or photo critiques. We usually keep our workshops small (6-12 people total) to provide individual attention to everyone. Workshops are filled with creativity and passion and learning. We want our enthusiasm to be contagious and for you to learn techniques that you will bring home and practice. Our role during a workshop will be to help you find and create great images and to help you see and compose and expose in the field. We typically set aside time at the beginning of every workshop for instruction and assistance.

Tom and I will occasionally shoot during a photo workshop in order to demonstrate a technique, angle, exposure, solve a problem, etc. Sometimes we will shoot at the end of a workshop, making images for ourselves, but your learning is of primary importance so we are always available for advice and to answer questions. During a workshop, we will also learn from each other by sharing images, settings and chimping. Whenever possible we also offer a photo critique session. The photo critique session allows everyone to see images taken during the day and allows us to offer constructive advice and supportive suggestions. Our photo workshops are jam packed with creativity, fun, and learning.

Photo Tours. Photo Tours are more about the location; about getting access to public venues, getting access to abandoned buildings, getting access to empty theaters or buildings, receiving permission to use tripods where they are not routinely allowed, and absolutely about being there at the right time. When we create photo tours we take care of the logistics and all of the little details for you, this way you can focus on creating wonderful images. We can provide compositional and location guidance to make the most of your time. We want to get you into great locations at the right time to create unique and awesome photographs. Please note that, while instruction is a large part of a photo class or photo workshop, it is not a large part of a photo tour. You can always ask us questions, but basic knowledge of camera exposure (how to change your ISO, aperture and shutter speed) is assumed for a photo tour. Our photo tours are for photographers who are looking to experience new places, build friendships with similarly passionate people, develop your technical and creative photographic techniques, access a cool location, etc.. 

In order to get the most out of a photo tour, we expect that you have a basic understanding of your camera. If you are not sure if you are prepared for one of our photo tours email us and we can help you assess your skills. Sometimes we have photo classes before a photo tour to make sure that everyone is up to speed, for example, for some of our HDR photo tours we offer an in-studio hands-on class to make sure that your camera is set up to best capture the full dynamic range of a scene. We have also had a one-on-one instruction before a photo tour to assist participants in setting up their camera, learning best exposure practices, etc. 
As our excursions will be guided tours, generally, the tour leader will be shooting alongside the participants. Having our gear in the field, allows us to demonstrate different techniques, as well as lets us show instant results. However, our goal is to ensure that each participant has a great experience and returns home with images that they can be proud of, so if you have any questions, we will be there for you.

Tom and I do shoot during photo tours, usually starting after we make sure that everyone is set with the location and scene. You can shoot right alongside us. By shooting with you we can assess the lighting/exposure situation and offer advice, demonstrate different techniques for capturing the scene and for creating creative exposures, show you the back of our camera ("chimping" is great!). We offer unlimited advice regarding composition and help you to capture the best images that you can. We are available to answer questions, look at your histogram, or help solve a problem, but mainly we are there to provide access and compositional suggestions. Sometimes we bring props or lights and set up scenes too. We will share with you what we see, how we are assessing a scene and provide insight into getting a good composition. 


Q: May I bring my Non-photographing spouse/significant other/friend? 

A: Non-photographing spouses/significant others/friends are welcome to attend but they usually will have to pay the full price. There are some locations where we may be able to accommodate non-photographing spouses/significant others/friends at a reduced price.  Email us at photographybylisaandtom@comcast.net to inquire about a specific event. Please note that everyone attending will need to sign our waiver (and possibly an event waiver too).

Q: Is Transportation provided for Photo Classes, Photo Tours and/or Photo Workshops?

A: No. Very Rarely. Unless the workshop description specifically states that transportation is provided then it is not. Participants are encouraged to carpool.

Q: Is Lodging provided for Photo Classes, Photo Tours and/or Photo Workshops?

A: No. Unless the workshop description specifically states that lodging is provided then it is not. For workshops/tours that require travel, we will let you know where we are staying. We can also give you information about nearby hotels for shorter trips or if you wish to arrive before or after the event. This information is NOT an endorsement of the particular hotel. 

Q: Can we share images and/or see images that you or others attendees have taken?

A: A: Yes! We encourage sharing! We have a few ways of sharing. 
  • For workshops/trips arranged via the Meetup engine, you can post your images on our Meetup Site 
  • You can see what other people have created at a location, you can ask for feedback, etc. 
  • You can send us files via our large file transfer link (email us for the link)
Q: Do you offer one-on-one workshops/tours?

Yes, we offer one-on-one photography workshops and tours. People could also arrive earlier or later than a regular workshop to add a one-on-one to an already scheduled event. One-on-one post-processing workshops are popular because you can concentrate just on what you want to learn. 


Q: Do you offer one-on-one photo classes/workshops

A: Yes! Many people feel that they learn best in a one-on-one environment, especially when it comes to post-processing, but also when investigating a new location or learning a new technique. We also offer one-on-one workshops, click here for more information. If you have a particular location that you would like to shoot at send us an email, especially if you have a lead or know how to get permission. Email us at photographybylisaandtom@comcast.net

We also offer emergency one-on-one workshops. The three most common reasons for an emergency one-on-one workshop are Lightroom Catalog issues, photographing an event or wedding and then realizing that you need assistance with post-processing the vent and an upcoming trip where you need to know a new or current camera/gear better. 

We also offer one-on-one workshops, click here for more information.


Q: Do you offer photo critique sessions on your photo tours? 

A: It depends. We value photo critique sessions for many reasons. They can be very informative, instructional and inspirational. When time allows we do hold photo critique sessions, but for shorter photo tours find that most people prefer to spend their time shooting at the location. You can always send us 5 or so images after the vent for our opinion on the composition, and/or post-processing. 

Q: Some of the abandoned locations look interesting, can I go there by myself? Are these places dangerous? Are we trespassing?

A: Some of these abandoned locations can be dangerous, you do have to have common sense and you do have to sign a liability waiver. A respirator or mold/dust mask may be recommended for some locations. No, we do not trespass. We obtain permission ahead of time. We do not always list an exact address if the owner requests us not to. Thievery, vandalism, violence, arson, etc. can be a problem for these locations. Finding properties and obtaining permission is very time consuming and sometimes we ask that participants not reveal a location because the owner has requested us not to. Allowing photographers into sites is a legal liability for the property owner and can be an imposition on property owner's time/resources. Your workshop fees help the property owner pay for maintenance and restoration of the site.  

Please note that some of our workshops will be held on private property or government parks, therefore you must agree to abide by all rules, regulations, restrictions, etc. on the land that we are at. Failure to abide by all rules could result in the removal of the participant from the workshop with no refund.

EXPELLING TOUR MEMBERS

We reserve the right to withdraw services and expel from any tour any person who is causing risk to themselves, the location, or the environment, or negatively impacting on others’ enjoyment of their tour.  In the event that this occurs, you agree that you will not be entitled to a refund of any sort and that you will be fully responsible for your travel arrangements from the point of expulsion.

By signing up for one of our workshops you acknowledge these terms.
  • Please make sure you check your Paypal account email for confirmation and email updates! Your Paypal receipt is your confirmation, an email will follow with further details no less than a week prior to the event. 
  • By signing up for this workshop you agree not to use information attained before or during the workshop to illegally trespass or to set up alternate workshops/events. 
www.photographybylisaandtom.com
Other questions? please email us at photographybylisaandtom@comcast.net
  • Here is a sampling of previous classes, events, tours, and workshops:
    • Previous Textures Workshop 
      • Learn texture post-processing
    • Flower setups and photograph textures
    • Photo Hi-Jinx (photo setup) Workshop
    • Macro Workshops at various locations
    • Night photography 
      • at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery 
      • at Woodlawn Cemetery
      • at Gillette Castle
      • at Pennhurst Asylum
      • Cape Cod
      • Rhode Island
      • Adirondacks
      • at Longwood Gardens
      • at Trolley Museums
      • at local parks, beaches, and piers
    • HDR (and Macro) at Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead Museum (with tripods)
    • Morovian Tile Factory (with tripods)
    • HDR  (with tripods) at Grand Central Terminal
    • HDR and Architecture inside at Gillette Castle (with tripods)
    • HDR and Architecture at the various theaters (Warner, Palace, Bushnell, Landsdowne Theater, Victory, Sterling Opera House, etc.)
    • Models and Architecture at the Morovian Tile Factor
    • Models and Architecture at Grand Central Terminal
    • Models and Architecture at Gillette Castle
    • HDR and Light Painting at Carrie Steel Furnace 
    • HDR at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum 
    • HDR and Macro at the Waterside Woolen Mill 
    • HDR and Macro at Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead Museum (NJ)
      • This Farmstead museum is chock full of things: kitchen, a general store, farm equipment, a barber shop, dentist and doctor paraphernalia, you name it. It has all of the details for macro and is perfect for HDR. We will meet at 9am and we have the entire place to ourselves, with tripods, for six and a half hours (previous sessions were only 3.5 hours). You are not registered for this event until we receive your payment. We will have the entire place to ourselves (no public), with tripods!
    • Photograph at the old Catskill Game Farm 
      • Catskill Game Farm was a zoo in Catskill, New York. It closed permanently on Columbus Day 2006 (after 73 years). The Game Farm is still closed today. but we will be able to walk the grounds, go into the cages, walk into the Giraffe house, the Rhino house, Kodak film selling yellow stores, see the mini-golf - great place for a photo shoot, a snapshot into the past of this historic landmark. 
    • Classes on using your Camera, Exposure, Manual, HDR photography, etc.
    • Lens Calibration Microadjustment: Frustrated with slightly out of focus images? purchase a Focus Pyramid and come to our workshop, you can learn how to calibrate your lens  
    • HDR, HDR capture, and how to set up your camera to take HDR images
    • HDR processing 
    • ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) post-processing 
    • Layers and Masks
    • Get a new headshot 
    • Posing
    • Taking better family photographs
    • Taking better Holiday photographs
    • Night Holiday Lights Hubbard Park CT
    • Classes on post-processing (emphasis on layers and masks) 
    • Classes on post-processing using plugins in Photoshop and Lightroom
    • Classes on post-processing using Lightroom (emphasis on the Library & Develop modules)
    • Project Nights -- come and work on an HDR or other photography projects. We all have lots of images in our computer, these project nights are designed to get your photographs processed and for you to learn a particular post-processing skill you want to learn.

Sign up here (free): to be notified about upcoming workshops, tours, and classes.   http://photographybylisaandtom.blogspot.com