“I’ve been a photographer since I was 11 years old,” says Michael Chinnici, who founded Photo Workshop Adventures in 2008 as a way to merge his interests in photography, business, travel and teaching. The initiative combines a luxury vacation with top-notch photography instruction in a small-group setting—and not just any setting. The operation travels to some of the world’s most beautiful locations, including Iceland, Spain and Croatia, and is adding even more destinations in 2013.
One of the most exciting recent additions is a nine-day trip to Cuba, a country that has been on Chinnici’s list since 2010 and offers rich photographic opportunities in tobacco farms dotting the countryside, French Colonial architecture and a small village where Ernest Hemingway often fished. Though the United States doesn’t maintain full diplomatic relations with the island nation, a special visa program allows U.S. citizens to travel there for cultural and educational purposes. Chinnici focuses on teaching during the trip, and his co-leader, Collin Laverty (who spends more than half the year in Cuba and has written numerous articles on U.S.-Cuba relations and Cuban society), handles on-the-ground logistics. The journey kicks off in Old Havana and winds its way through Cienfuegos and Trinidad, with stops along the way to meet with scholars, artists and local photographers.
Chinnici stresses that all levels of students are welcome. “We attract the enthusiast and amateur, as well as the semi-pro who is looking for a photography-centric, pre-scouted destination,” he says. “Anyone can take great photos.” March 16–24, 2013; $3,895 (U.S. citizens); 888-834-0288; photoworkshopadventures.com.