Still Life Photography Workshop

Siena, Italy

With Artist Karen Olson

Trip Dates: October 2-8, 2017

Register Here

Our Muse:

Karen travels to Siena from her home in Rockland, Maine, to share with us her talent and passion for still life photography. For more than 20 years, she has been involved in the community arts scene along Maine’s midcoast, where she is the media coordinator and education director at Rockland’s The Art Loft, an innovative community art space. Karen has been published in a variety of online and print publications, including Bella Grace and the Bangor Daily News, and her work is currently on display both online and in several Maine art galleries. Karen recently published her first book, Photo Therapy: Exploring Emotion with Photography, while her engaging blog, Renuko Style, was featured in Stampington Publications magazine, Artful Blogging.

What to Expect:

Has a photograph ever stirred your soul? Has a scene ever begged to be etched into memory? Have you ever reflected on the role art plays in your everyday life?

Still life photography is about more than fruits, flowers and styling; today, still life photography is mindfulness, playfulness and, yes, stillness. It is a medium that encourages the creative process, that leads artists to a place of emotional healing and growth.

It is art. It is creation. It is self-awareness. It is meditation. It is healing.

Experience the wonder, the emotion, the transcendence of this creative process. Make sense of your world, as processed by your hands, your artist’s eye, and your camera. Your very being compels you to create – so, create! Let this creative endeavor and personal expression bring you clarity and insight; let it reveal who you are, and who you are meant to be. As we explore Tuscany, we’ll take time for journaling and a little poetry. We’ll indulge in daily discussions on seeing the artist within, on pushing past our inner critic, and on discovering a sense of possibility. Together, we’ll discover the benefits, both material and immaterial, of still life photography.

Over seven days and six nights, we’re retreating to one of the most beautiful places in the world: Siena, a city both modern and ancient, both bustling and tranquil. We’re retreating to the quiet of our private studio, and heading out to explore centuries worth of art, architecture and history. Along the way, we’ll discuss the technical aspects of still life photography: camera settings and capturing light, setting a mood and editing, art theory and design. With  photographer Karen Olson as our guide, we’ll learn about back light, side light, top-down, soft and dream, dark and moody lighting. We’ll practice flower arranging and lending a human touch to your photography.

And in the afternoons, we’ll explore the Tuscan countryside in search of inspiration. We’ll forage for props to include in the next day’s shoot. And of course, we’ll reserve plenty of time for you to create and design your own still life imagery – a gathering of delightful fruits, flowers and other subjects from the surrounding area. Harvest time in Italy, what could be more delightful?

Come, explore with us. Discover Italy – and yourself. Be inspired. Begin your path to mindfulness, to playfulness. Uncover a world of still lifes just waiting to be discovered.


Step into a city of soaring architecture, of timeworn cobblestones, of cozy restaurants behind [almost] every door – an open-air museum of the medieval, the Gothic, the spiritual, the secular. Step into Siena, one of Tuscany’s scenic, historic, and most prized cities.  Regarded as Italy’s loveliest medieval city – and that’s saying something, in a country full of beautiful medieval cities – Siena is a town of meandering alleys and ancient roads, historic buildings and Gothic churches. And, in fact, the Historic Center of Siena tells so many stories, it’s now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yes, the entire historic center.

Here, every tower, every square, every fountain and every soaring spire serves as inspiration for your artist’s soul. Vibrant streets overflow with still life: an espresso shot on a wrought-iron café table; an artisanal plate of sliced figs and fresh cheese; a straw-wrapped bottle of wine, and its waiting wine glass… These are your everyday inspirations, your everyday muses during your time in Siena.

Come, and join us. Travel to a modern city of ancient traditions, to an Italy before the Renaissance. Let history, culture and cuisine inspire you. Let Siena work its magic.

In this place of dreams,

Of thoughts untold,

Where desires unfold,

Where your imagination leads.


Run, dance, leap!

Stroll through history,

Drink in architecture,

Dance through fields of realization!


In this historic city,

Where modern meets medieval,

And where still life scenes,

Unfold around every corner.


Discover. Uncover.

Enjoy. Create.

Hone your photography.

Seek mindfulness.


Learn new skills.

Embrace your art.


Group Size| 12 Participants

Experience| This workshop is open to all levels, including beginner photographers. Additionally, this workshop is perfect for experienced and professional photographers looking to broaden their artistic vision and creative abilities.

Includes| 6 Nights’ Accommodations in Siena; Private Shuttle from the Airport; Gourmet Regional Cooking Class; Meals as outlined; Wine-Tasting  Siena Wine Cellar; Private Guided Excursions; Complimentary Art Journal; Creative Sessions with Karen Olson

Travel Information| Arrival & Departure Airport: Florence Airport (FLR) | Airport Shuttle Service Included in Package | Travel Time: Florence to Siena, 75 minutes **Please note we will notify you by email when it’s time to book your international flights.   

Pricing + Registration| Click on the “Register Here” button below

Register Here

Itinerary Details Here

Interested in signing up but still have a few questions? Give us a call or Contact Us Here we love chatting about our artists and destinations!

**The above tour details are an example of what to expect; the specifics may change slightly to allow for better scheduling, the inclusion of special events or life’s unknowns.

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