Frequently Asked Questions

Our workshops typically cap out at the following amount of students, although we have no set maximum capacity at our workshops:

  • Lighting: 20-25 students
  • Sports: 25-30 students
  • Adventure: 20-25 students
  • Nature: 25-30 students
  • Sports Cali: 20-25 students

Our destination and travel workshops are typically capped at 6-8 students.  Keep in mind that regardless of the total number of students, we have enough instructors at each workshop to keep the student-to-faculty ratio very low.  These workshops are priced for double occupancy, with most there is a single supplement option for an additional cost.

  • Your tuition for a Summit Workshop includes full access and instruction by a wide variety of esteemed faculty.
  • Depending on the workshop, other various items included in tuition are a welcoming reception, final dinner, transportation to activities, and more.
  • Please budget for lodging, car rental and meals, and you will need to reserve your own travel, lodging and car rentals.
  • To secure your spot, the deposit is all that is required!

The Summit Series of Workshops are unique in bringing together a faculty of top photographers, editors and curators, with the best in photography education. Instructors come with differing backgrounds, tastes and areas of expertise, providing not just a variety but an opportunity unlike other workshops.

Not only is there top instruction (the faculty is picked not only for their accomplishments, but also for their teaching abilities) and opportunity to photograph in great settings with continuing critiques, there is the individual contact that goes far beyond portfolio reviews.

The networking at the Summit is also unique. Consider these things that have happened.

  • “Lauren Greenfield, as an attendee, showed her pictures to publisher/packager Charles Melcher — who signed her to a book contract that resulted in “Fast Forward” and accelerated her career. Today, she is a member of the acclaimed VII Group.”
  • “John Weller, student, showed his pictures of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado. Immediately, American Photo editor-in-chief featured them in the next issue of the magazine. Chris Johns, editor-in-chief of National Geographic ran them in his magazine. And the National Museum of Wildlife Art — where the Summit Nature workshop is held — featured them in a major exhibition the next year.”
  • “Chris Anderson attended the workshop years ago when he was a photographer at a Colorado daily newspaper — and from the people he met including the picture editor of Time magazine, he decided to take the freelance route. In the years since, he has been over the world for a variety of magazines and this past year, was voted into the prestigious cooperative, Magnum.”
  • “Bobby Model attended the workshop for the first time while a student at the University of Wyoming, returned and met editors including Bill Allen, then editor-in-chief of National Geographic along with Chris Johns, then senior assistant editor. It began a series of cooperative adventures and assignments for the magazine that combined Bobby’s mountaineering skills with his photography.”
  • “Charles Laberge attended the Sports Photography Workshop where he met Matt Ginella, director of photography of Golf Digest and Golf World. Today. He is now one of the regular photographers doing work for those magazines along with others to whom Ginella has given assignments. In fact, Ginella comes to that workshop every year in search of new talent.”
  • These are only a few examples of workshop attendees whose careers took a big step forward as a result of attending a Summit workshop. As Rich Clarkson, Summit workshops founder (former director of photography of National Geographic, Denver Post and Topeka Capital-Journal) has said, “Half of the people I have hired in my lifetime I first met at a workshop. It is the perfect place to find new talent.”


  • Daily sessions for most of our workshops all run in a similar format. Morning sessions with mostly technical and creative instruction occur each day beginning between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. wrapping up between noon and 1 p.m.. After a wide variety of options in the afternoon, we reconvene in the evenings from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. for evening presentations by the faculty, which are also open to the public (and of course your family and friends). Our schedule allows time for photography during the early morning, mid afternoon and evening light, emcompassing a wide variety of lighting conditions for our students to experience.
  • Sony provides a variety of equipment for students to use during the week, but we highly recommend bringing whatever equipment you normally shoot with to the workshop, especially if you currently use the Sony system (so you can use your personal lenses with Sony’s mirrorless bodies or vice versa). Attendees must provide their own laptop (or other workstation) on which to download and edit their images. We also recommend an external hard drive to have an onsite backup of images you download during the week.


  • For most programs, the week begins with an optional State of Digital Photography session, getting attendees up to speed on the latest advancements in digital photography, technology and workflow. Following the first afternoon’s session, we have a welcoming reception for all attendees in the workshop. We end the week with a final dinner.
  • For both the reception and final dinner casual attire is fine, though most attendees might go as far as business casual for these. The rest of the week is very casual as attendees often come directly from morning shoots or are prepared to leave into the field to photograph after lunch.


  • The morning sessions open with a light continental breakfast and time to review images taken the previous day and earlier that morning. Attendees spend about an hour each morning reviewing images on their own laptops, editing their take down to their top three images to be reviewed during the student critique later in the morning. During this time, instructors and other staff members are roaming the room to assist in the editing process or workflow issues. Once selects have been chosen, images are transferred to our workshop server to be displayed and critiqued before the group later in the morning.
  • Following the editing process, we move into morning instruction encompassing technical, creative and business topics – typically consisting of two to three presenters each morning. Some sample topics might be “maximizing the power of RAW format” or “getting your foot in the door with editors”. Between 11am and noon we begin the student critique, where the top three images from each student are displayed before the group and instructors comment on what works, what doesn’t work and what could be done better to strengthen the image.


  • Once we’ve completed the student critique, the group breaks for lunch and attendees are free to spend the afternoon photographing on their own, following an instructor-led group into the field/on location, returning to the classroom for more specialized instruction or meeting with instructors one-on-one for portfolio reviews or career counseling. The classroom closes each day at 5 p.m. with students reconvening at 8 p.m. in an auditorium style venue.


  • Regardless of the workshop most evenings we have instructor led outings.  If we aren’t in the field this is a great time for networking, portfolio reviews or socials for the workshop. 
  • Sony Professional Services provides a variety of equipment for students to use during the workshop. What they bring are a variety of state-of-the-art bodies and lenses from their newest lines. The rental process is through a 24-hour period so that everyone gets a chance to try different equipment throughout the week.
  • B&H and other sponsors are also on site at most workshops. They offer lending services as well so that you can may tryout various products in the field to see if you are willing to purchase. This includes everything from ND filters, camera bags, light kits, tripods and more.
  • We also suggest that you bring as much of your own equipment as you can, so that you’re comfortable with what you have and not feeling lacking. On-site staff and faculty are also knowledgeable on all popular camera brands so that we may assist you with technical questions to elevate your photography.
  • Summit Online is an online education platform that houses classes and tutorials taught by the best and brightest in the photography industry.
  • Summit Online can be found at
  • Educational content will vary in pricing and complexity based on how in-depth the content is and how long the lessons are.
  • If you are still interested in the Summit Workshops, please subscribe to our mailing list so that you may get our newsletter to update you on expanding offerings that continue to change.
  • Also, Summit Online and other Summit products give you more affordable ways to get involved and learn from the best in the business.
  • Selecting a Summit faculty member is an extensive and ongoing process that we take much pride in. There have been over 75 faculty members over the years that include many of the industry’s best photographers, editors and more.
  • Every workshop has many regular faculty members who continue to return to educate the group, but there are always new faces that we throw into the mix for a different perspective.
  • Faculty is continuously updated on the website and can be seen on the faculty page.

Workshop Policies

If you have questions regarding our workshop policies, feel free to ask HERE
  • Final workshop payments are due 120 days before the start of the workshop.
  • Summit Workshops is not responsible for airline and travel cancellations due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Summit Workshops will assist you with travel plans to connect with the workshop but you are ultimately responsible for any costs incurred during travel.
  • Summit Workshops is not fiscally responsible for any missed time out of the workshop due to travel delays or any other delays.
  • Weather and other circumstances cannot always be predicted and therefor Summit Workshops is not responsible for loss of any workshop time or photography instruction.
  • In the event of weather or an unforeseen circumstance that disrupts, delays and/or inhibits the workshop, Summit Workshops will do their diligence to provide alternative learning opportunities.
  • Although rare, Summit Workshops reserves the right to cancel a workshop when attendance does not meet the minimum attendance requirement upon the cutoff date (typically 3 months before the workshop).
  • In the event of workshop cancellation, workshop deposit and tuition will be fully refunded unless you choose to put them toward a future workshop.
  • In the event of a destination workshop cancellation due to global travel disruptions,  deposit payments and final payments are nonrefundable if the workshop is canceled for reasons outside of Summit Workshop’s control.  
  • Instructors at Summit Workshops are leaders and experts in their own fields and careers and can be called away on assignments and jobs with very little warning.
  • In the event that an instructor cannot attend the workshop, Summit Workshops will fill the open faculty spot with an instructor of the same caliber.
  • No refunds will be given based on the attendance of Summit Workshops instructors.
We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for destination workshops, as weather can sometimes be an unpredictable factor.

Cancellation Policy

We sincerely appreciate your interest in Summit Workshops. We make every effort to improve our service and ensure the utmost satisfaction of our valued customers. If a reservation has to be canceled, please see the following policies to determine your refund. 

Deposit refund
  • Your workshop deposit is fully refundable within 30 days of purchase.
  • If the original workshop cannot be attended and the deposit is not refunded within 30 days of purchase, it can be applied towards any Summit Workshop within one calendar year of the deposit purchase date. 
Tuition refund
  • Workshop tuition is fully refundable, minus the deposit, up to 120 days before the workshop start date.
  • If you need to cancel or postpone between 120 and 60 days prior to your workshop, the tuition may be applied to a future workshop within one calendar year of the original workshop purchase. If not applied to another workshop, Summit Workshops has the right to retain the total balance paid. 
Late Cancellation
  • Canceling or postponing within 60 days of the workshop start date may result in Summit Workshops retaining the total balance paid if the spot cannot be filled.
  • If a participant cancels within 60 days of the workshop start date, it is the participant’s responsibility to find another person to fill their spot. If the participant fails to do so, Summit Workshops will retain the total balance paid.

*Photo tours require an enormous amount of work, advertising, and prepaying expenses that are not refundable which occurs long before the start date of the trip. It is difficult to fill a spot within a few months of the start date of the trip. We have a waitlist, but the closer we get to the trip it becomes more difficult to fill the spot. 

Online workshops refund
  • All online workshops are non-refundable
Destination workshops refund
  • Deposits for destination workshops are non-refundable unless the workshop is canceled. However, certain deposits may be refundable if the cancellation is due to reasons beyond Summit Workshop’s control. Refer to “What if my workshop is canceled?” for details.
Admin fee refund
  • A non-refundable $150 administrative fee applies to all deposits and tuition payments.

COVID-19 Policies

If you have questions regarding our COVID-19 policies, feel free to ask HERE

Summit Workshops will follow the guidelines set in place with the location of the specific workshop.  Vaccination isn’t required to attend the workshop.  In some instances it may be required to enter specific countries.

Depending on the location of the workshop or other reasons, you may be required to bring proof of a negative COVID-19 test with you. We will advise if this is the case in advance of the workshop. Also, as of January 2021, proof of viral negative test is required to re-enter the United States.

Please be extra vigilant while traveling: practice good hand hygiene, use disinfectant wipes often, wash your hands as much as possible, and maintain social distancing as much as possible. Remember that traveling will be much different, so allow more time and be ready for long queues and differences with check-in and seating. Check for special policies and procedures in advance with your carriers, airports, and hotels.
  • Guests will be in single rooms as long as they are available, and a single supplement will be charged.
  • We will communicate the lodging’s (hotel or lodges) COVID-19 policies before the workshop and also at our initial meeting with you at the start of the workshop.
  • We will not have rental vans for our domestic workshops and will not be carpooling with faculty or staff.
  • Some international workshops may require shared vehicles and in those cases, Summit will be working with professional providers who follow appropriate sanitizing measures.
As much as is practical and possible, we will maintain social distancing at mealtimes. We will only try to eat together if we can do so in a safe manner.
All critiques will be in a room where social distancing can be maintained. Face coverings are required.
If someone exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, they will be immediately isolated from the group, and plans will be made to get them medical attention, testing, and removal from the workshop and quarantine if needed. This could result in the termination of the workshop, solely at our discretion.

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