We are planning the Balkan Photography Workshop in Zagreb,
Croatia for September 15 - 21, 2019
We are planning the Balkan Photography Workshop in Zagreb, Croatia for September 15 - 21
As this is my first international photography workshop, I am learning a lot every day. Over the
past few months, I have interviewed both photography educators who lead workshops abroad
as well as many photographer participants, in anticipation of what I expect to be the first of
many such experiences.
As I have written with regards to this journey, the camera is a passport that gives us purpose
and intention to explore, engage, and participate in new life experiences, whether that
experience is a world away or down the street. My plan with creating these Richard Kelly
Experiences is to blend the craft and art of photography with geography, cuisine, people, art,
From an educator perspective, I believe that these types of workshops are perfect for
photographers at all experience levels, however, to get the most out of this journey; I expect
participants to have an understanding of their camera, lens, and exposure techniques. Beyond
that, the why and how you use this tool will start with each photographer. I see my role as a
problem solver and coach. From my many discussions with workshop participants, the key to
their success was a balance between the coach being available, and the freedom to pursue
their curiosity and pictures. My goal for each person is that they have excellent photography
and cultural experiences in Croatia.
I would be very interested to learn what each of you expects. In my experience as a
photographer and an educator on the first day of every production, there is a lot I don't know
what I don't know. But that is what makes these experiences worthwhile for all of us.
I foresee opportunities to photograph almost any subject we can imagine. The emphasis will be
on what many consider street photography. But that broad description to me covers topics
from lifestyle, portraits, candids, urban landscape, rural landscape, documentary to surrealism.
I don't think we should limit ourselves to these descriptions.
Stephen Seliy has organized a week of exploration of the Croatian culture. With an eye toward
experiences including art, cuisine, shopping, and history. He has engaged a local
photographer, an art historian, several restaurants of note, contemporary art museums and
photography galleries. If there is something in particular that you want to explore, please let us
The plan is to start with an excellent Croatian dinner on Sunday evening; everyone will get a
chance to meet each other. We will meet up again Monday morning, to look at digital
photographs that you are asked to bring, I would encourage each person to bring one to three
to help us acquaint our visual sensitivities to each other as well maybe a photograph by
someone who has influenced your work. To me, it is very much about developing a common
language for this community of photographers. We will talk about our planned agenda for the
upcoming week; there will be a mix of organized adventures, morning meetups, evening drinks
and three informal critical discussions about the work we are creating and conversations about
the other experiences along the way. We are still finalizing these so stay tuned. There will be
plenty of time for impromptu small group discussions, one to one engagement with myself and
others. You may see me from time to time with a camera of some sort, but my goal Monday
through Friday is to be there for you.
I have been practicing photography since I was 11; I have had wonderful mentors and teachers
along the way. I live a life of photography. (you can read more about my teaching philosophy
I read about it, look at it, talk about it, make it, and consume it. Its what I know. However, the
most joy I get out of my practice is working with other photographers and their journey through
photography. I have interacted with students of all ages and backgrounds and with different
goals and outcomes. Photography is a great way to experience, and if you agree with me, I
hope you will join Stephen and me on this journey to Croatia.
We are approaching the three month day very quickly. And although we don't need the balance
due until just before the August 15 deadline, we do need to know if we have the number of
participants to continue with our planning. We will need a reserve your spot deposit of $100 by
July 1. Some of you receiving this letter have already "Reserved your Spot," and I thank you.
Other may be receiving this letter but are not able to join us, and that is okay, I wanted to keep
you in the loop at least and hope that maybe you will join us on a future expedition. We are
looking into other similar adventures for next spring and fall. Stay tuned!
We have had several conversations with people interested in this workshop, and I apologize if I
haven't replied as quickly as I expected to, there are a few more moving parts than a
classroom workshop and the days seem to peel away between emails.
I believe that whenever we can share these types of experiences with family or friends, it
makes the journey even better. We can accommodate a non-photographer companion
depending on what activities they want to participate in. If so, we can discuss any costs
associated with their joining our adventure. I would also like to encourage a family companion
attending as a photographer participant with a special family discount of 30% off of their
workshop fee. Please contact me to confirm that you are interested in any of these options.
My main issue is transportation to a couple of venues and the size of a van we will need for
We are planning a meet up in August for those participants in Pittsburgh.
Please let us know if we can answer anything else about the Balkan Photography Workshop.