Private Photography Tours
For photographers who already feel comfortable with their equipment and the process of making memorable photographs, or those who'd like a more personal photography workshop, we offer guided, 1-on-1 tours to our favorite areas anywhere in California. We'll show you the best and most beautiful secret gems the state has to offer. We will also provide instruction on specific topics as you wish.
[I liked] having the one to one relationship therefore working to my 'skill' level...it was a very enjoyable day and at the end of it that's what I was after. Little that I can think of [could have been improved].
~ Mark L.
Dedicated 1-on-1 Instruction
Nothing improves your photography faster than dedicated 1-on-1 attention from a pro. Get the exact help you need on the topics you want to learn about.
Flexible Dates and Locations
Private tours are custom-tailored to fit your schedule. You pick the dates and the area. We take you to the best spots at the best times.
• Transforming your artistic vision into memorable photographs
• Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO – their relationship to one another and how to change them for exposure control
• Metering and getting a correct exposure
• Histograms, how to read them, and how to fine-tune exposure
• Creative depth-of-field effects using aperture control
• Capturing motion within your photos using different shutter speeds
• Timing waves to capture crashing spray, water streaks, and sandy reflections
• White balance and creative coloration
• Creating perspective, depth, and a sense of “being there” in your photos
• Creating powerful compositions with impact
• Composing to control your viewer’s attention in your photos
• Compositional balance, tension, and visual flow
• How to use filters to capture dramatic light or create long-exposure effects
• Light painting and night photography
• Scouting and shoot planning
• Wilderness photography and more!
• Lenses. Wide and ultra-wide angle lenses are highly recommended
• A sturdy tripod
• Footwear with good traction
• Creativity and a positive attitude
• Warm clothes in layers, gloves, a warm hat, and a rain jacket
• A wide-brim hat and sunscreen
• A one-liter (or larger) water bottle
Highly recommended items• Filters (ND, Grad ND, Polarizers)
• Remote shutter release
• Camera rain sleeve
• Water and snacks throughout the workshop
• A fun, positive, interactive learning environment
What's Not Included• Transportation
Jim Patterson is a photographer living and working in Santa Cruz, California on the edge of the scenic and beautiful Monterey Bay. His background in marine biology led to explorations beneath the sea where an appreciation for the natural world and photography began. After years of dedicated underwater work, his focus has shifted to coastal landscape photography, a natural progression born from the inspiration found in and around the ocean. Coastal photography soon expanded into landscapes inland. Through photography as an art form, Jim works towards creating images which are both personally meaningful as well as impactful with the viewer. Jim’s main joy with teaching is to see that switch flip in a student’s mind, when an idea grabs hold and creativity follows.
Josh and Jim are both professional photographers from Santa Cruz, California. They have been teaching together since 2010 (and separately since 2008) and have developed a tag-team approach to helping students understand photography concepts. Through a combination of theory, philosophy, examples, and on-the-spot feedback, they help students reach those "a-ha!" moments that take their photography to the next level.
A few nice things folks have said about our private workshops...[This was] beyond my expectations. I was just looking for a guide to show me some good spots, and "talk shop" for a few hours. I would have been totally satisfied with that, but I learned some incredible tips, some of which I had been doing more or less intuitively, but Josh gave me a more technical approach to those parts, which definitely ups my game and I'll be able to create more consistent images by ME determining the end result, and not the camera (i.e. ideal shutter speeds, expanded use of manual mode, exposure metering modes). [I'm] very happy with my images. Only downside was the cloudless sky, but in a way it was good, because Josh was able to work with me on ways of creating powerful images even under less than perfect conditions.
~ Eric B.
Josh went really above and beyond to ensure I could make the most of my visit, even outside of our scheduled tour time. [He] provided a great number photo locations via email, as well as other photo ideas, in clear and well-formatted emails. That means a lot, because that tells me you both are doing this not only to make a living, but because you are truly passionate about what you do. A sincere thanks to Josh for a great day. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my time and money.
[I think] the lessons were very valuable, and have changed the way I think about composition and use of manual mode, filters, etc. Got everything I could hope for out of the session. (with Jim) ~Shea A.
I would highly recommend Josh for a 1-on-1 tour. Josh asked me in advance what I wanted to see and what my goals were, then he took it from there. He put together a great itinerary; he covered every technique for creating successful seascapes. He even kept in contact with me prior to my arrival and after our day together he followed up with an email giving me all the locations with Google map links so I could go back to those locations. I would highly recommend Josh, it was a fun filled day packed with fabulous locations and all I had requested to learn at my skill level. After a day with [Josh], I signed up for [the California Coast Workshop]. ~ Jeanne S.