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Devon landscape photography workshops (beginners)

Weekend residential photography courses for beginner photographers

Man with a camera: Photography courses by Devon photographer, Gary Holpin photography

Course dates & availability

Fri 20th Sept (eve) to Sun 22nd Sept 2024 


Your training at a glance

Course name: Residential photography workshops for beginner photographers

Location: Mazzard Farm, Ottery St Mary, East Devon

Course description: Looking to improve your photography skills? Join me for a weekend photography workshop at Mazzard Farm, located in the stunning East Devon countryside. This residential workshop is perfect for beginners looking to move beyond taking simple snapshots and capture beautiful landscape photos. With a small group of up to six students, you'll receive personalized instruction over two days. We'll cover everything from composition and lighting to editing and post-processing. Plus, we'll venture out into the surrounding area to put your new skills to the test and capture stunning shots of the East Devon coast and countryside (weather permitting, of course!).


Course length: Friday evening to Sunday late afternoon (you can also stay Sunday night if you wish)

Who is it for? Beginner photographers 

What you'll need: Any compact, bridge, mirrorless or DSLR

camera (any camera with manual settings)

Your trainer: Professional Devon photographer, Gary Holpin Photography

Price: £399 residential, £219 non-residential (pay just £139 deposit to secure your place)

What's included? 3 nights accommodation, 15 hours of training over 2 days, some meals and drinks, course pack, free follow-ups with tutor.

Why book a photography workshop with me? 

Award winning accomodation

All photography workshops are based at the award winning Mazzard Farm,, located deep in the East Devon countryside. You'll stay in one of a handful of high quality & comfortable cottages, clustered around a pretty courtyard, and set in 17 acres of woodland, orchards & gardens. 

Mazzard Farm Cottages, location of Devon photography workshops run by Gary Holpin Photography
Mazzard Farm Cottages, location of Devon photography workshops run by Gary Holpin Photography
Mazzard Farm Cottages, location of Devon photography workshops run by Gary Holpin Photography

Exceptional training

If you're thinking of joining me for a  weekend immersed in photography, here are just a few reasons to choose me as your trainer:

I make technical concepts easy to understand

As I am self taught, I know how confusing the technical aspects of photography can be. I know how to make complicated concepts easy to understand.

I'm a Devon specialist

 I know Devon like the back of my hand. so If you join me  on a weekend workshop, as well as helping you to improve your skills,  I will also introduce you to some beautiful and photogenic locations. 

My enthusiasm for photography

Feedback from previous students has often pointed out that my enthusiasm not only makes the training more enjoyable, but it also helped them to learn more effectively..

I consistently get great reviews

My students consistently give me glowing five star reviews. You can read some of  my five star reviews on Google. 

Excellent Google ratings for photography training by Gary Holpin Photography

Beautiful locations

One of the best things about being a Devon photographer is having the excuse to get out and enjoy so much beautiful scenery (you can read about my photography journey here). On my photography workshops I will make sure that I take you to some beautiful locations, so that as well as learning photography, you can also enjoy some of the natural beauty of Devon. 

A beautiful sunset on Sidmouth Beach
A misty Devon bluebell wood
A beautiful sunrise on Beer Beach, Devon

A bit more detail

Group size





Transport from local rail station (Honiton) may be available on request. Transport during the training (to photo shoots at the local coast) can usually be accommodated by sharing cars.


Groups are limited to a maximum of six students

Accommodation is in a in self contained holiday cottage.You may need to share the cottage with one other person of the same sex (with your own bedroom, but sharing other facilities).


A welcome meal on the Friday evening is included in the fee. A breakfast hamper and tea and coffee making facilities are also provided. You will need to arrange your own refreshments for the remainder of the weekend, but we can provide plenty of ideas of options, and often students get together to eat as a group.



Training time is normally 9.30 am until

5.00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the time is yours to explore the local area, or chill in your comfortable cottage accommodation.



A £139 deposit is required at the time of booking in order to secure your place. The balance is due 28 days before the date of the course. Please see our cancellation policy (in the FAQ's) and consider taking out travel insurance.


Weekend itinerary & what you'll learn

A student on a Gary Holpin Photography landscape photography workshop


  • Late afternoon: Arrive at Mazzard Farm & check into your cottage

  • Evening (around 7 pm): Meet and greet meal at a local Ottery St Mary pub


  • 9.30 am: Training session at Mazzard Farm

  • 1.30 pm: Location shoot at Sidmouth, including the Clock Tower challenge!

  • 3.30 pm: Back to Mazzard Farm to review and discuss your photos

  • 5.00pm: Finish for the day

What you'll learn

  • What makes a great photo?

  • Improving your composition

  • Ideas to get creative

  • How your camera works

  • Understanding on screen info

  • Moving off automatic mode

  • Checking exposure

  • How to focus properly

  • Important camera settings


  • 9.30 am: Training session at Mazzard Farm

  • 1.30 pm: Location shoot (Beer) 

  • 3.30 pm: Back to Mazzard Farm to review and discuss your photos

  • 5.00 pm: Prize awarded for the best photo of the weekend & finish

What you'll learn

  • It's all about light

  • A bit about kit

  • Creative use of shutter speed

  • Techniques for difficult light

  • Introduction to editing in Lightroom

  • Apps to help photo planning

Student feedback

"If you want to spend a weekend improving your photography skills in the beautiful South Devon country side, you will not go far wrong in booking with Gary. All in all I found the course to be great value for money and felt that I came away a much better photographer."

"Delighted with the photos we took on a weekend course with Gary on the East Devon coast. His relaxed, interactive teaching style and ability to impart knowledge meant we came away with more than we thought possible in such a short time."

"Gary, your knowledge and enthusiasm is fantastic, you're inspiring and my knowledge and confidence have both increased"

"I love your professional, but informal style. I've learned loads which I can apply to my photography and I'm already delighted with some of my photos from the weekend."

"Excellent course, great pace and thoroughly enjoyable weekend. Really liked Gary's relaxed and easy going style"

"The training was the right balance of theory and time out in the field. The combination of both really helped to put the theory into practice and see where things worked and didn't work. Thank you, Gary for two enjoyable days."

"Gary is passionate & knowledgeable. I felt I could ask him anything and he has a relaxed and informal style"

"Really well paced. Gary gives full consideration to individual learning needs"

  • What camera is required?
    For courses involving mobile phones, all you will need is a suitable camera phone. For camera training courses, generally any camera which has some level of manual control (usually a dial on the top which has modes such as 'A, P, M' etc is sufficient. See course descriptions for more details.
  • What prior experience is required?
    For all beginner level courses, no specific experience is required, just a suitable camera and the enthusiasm to learn.
  • How do I know if I'm a beginner or an improving photographer?
    There's no hard and fast rule, but I would say that an improving photographer: - Knows the basics of how to operate their camera - Understands at least a little about exposure, aperture, shutter speed and perhaps has a little experience with Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority or Manual - May understand a little about composition In general terms, an improving photographer should need less coaching in the basics of how to operate their camera, but may need more coaching in how to take great photos with it!
  • Where do you offer your training?
    I'm based in Honiton, and If you're happy to come to my home, that's great. If not then that isn't a problem as I'm happy to travel a reasonable distance to provide you with training (usually up to half an hour away). So, if you're looking for an Exeter photography course, then I'm happy to come to your home. If you're further away then I would normally arrange to meet at a suitable location half way between us, although I could still come to your home if you are happy to cover additional time and travel costs.
  • Is there an age limit for courses?
    No, but any child under 18 would need to be accompanied and supervised by an adult.
  • Are refreshments included?
    Some meals are included in residential courses (see course description for most details). All other courses do not include food or refreshments. It is recommended that you bring drinks and snacks, although most locations will have shops readily available if required. On nights where there is no food provided, quite often students will get together to either eat out at a local pub or get a takeaway.
  • Is transport required?
    Transport may be required between locations, but you can join me in my car if required. On group workshops, other students may also be able to provide transport to students who do not have any available,
  • What equipment do I need?
    For all beginner level courses, the only essential requirement is to have a suitable camera (along with a charged battery and memory card). A waterproof bag to protect your camera is also advisable. Intermediate courses may need some additional equipment such as a suitable tripod and ND filters (see course descriptions for full details).
  • Do I need insurance?
    My business is covered by public liability insurance, and my equipment is insured. I would strongly encourage you to consider insurance for your equipment. In addition, for residential workshops I would also strongly encourage you to buy travel insurance, as your fee may be lost if you have to cancel. This is so that courses don't become unviable due to last minute cancellations, and whilst you are able to insure for a financial loss, we are not.
  • What if the weather is bad?
    We can do outdoor shooting in most weather, but not in persistent rain. For most day courses, we can just agree an alternative date. For residential workshops, I will do my best to structure the learning so that we can make the most of any dry weather during the weekend.
  • What should I wear?
    Most courses involve some element of outdoor work, and so you will need to have clothing suitable for the season and the likely weather. As a minimum you will need stout shoes suitable for uneven ground, and a waterproof coat.
  • What if I need to cancel?
    For one-to-one courses, please do let me know as soon as possible if you need to cancel, but there is no financial penalty to doing so. We will try and rearrange a mutually agreeable alternative date. For residential workshops, 28 days notice is required for a refund to be possible, and so it is strongly advised that you take out travel insurance in order to minimise any financial loss. It we can fill your place, we may be able to offer you an alternative course date but this cannot be guaranteed.
  • Which locations will we go to?
    I normally go to locations on the nearby East Devon coast, such as Sidmouth or Beer; this is to minimise the amount of training time that is used up by travel time. If there is somewhere in particular you would like to go on a shoot, please ask and I will try and accomodate your wishes if possible within the time available. Note that some short courses may not involve a trip to an outdoor location (see individual course descriptions for details)

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Woman by a boat with a camera learning how to take photos from Devon photographer, Gary Holpin Photography
A man with a camera learning photography, with Devon photographer Gary Holpin Photography
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