Frequently Asked Questions


If your question is not listed, feel free to contact us HERE for more information.

How many students are typically at the workshops?

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

  • Lighting: 15-25 students
  • Sports: 40-50 students
  • Adventure: 25-30 students
  • Nature: 40-50 students
  • Sports Cali: 25-30 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.

What does my workshop registration get me exactly?

  • 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!

Why choose a workshop from the Summit Series?

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.”

What does a typical workshop day look like?


  • 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.
  • Nikon 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 Nikon system (so you can use your personal lenses with Nikon’s digital SLR 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.


  • The evening presentations, usually open to the public, consist of one or two of our faculty giving 60-90 minute presentations on a topic of their choosing. This might be an overview of their career, a current project they are working on, or possibly a look inside their newspaper or magazine. The sessions are more inspirational and entertaining than instructional in nature and offer a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy an evening of fine photography.

Tell me more about the Nikon support of the workshops.

  • Nikon 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.

What is Summit Online?

  • 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.

I'm not ready to signup for a workshop yet. But how else can I get involved with the Summit?

  • 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.

When do you select the various workshop faculty?

  • 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.

When are final workshop payments due?

  • Final workshop payments are due 120 days before the start of the workshop.
  • Lighting Workshop Final Payments are due April 16, 2021
  • Sandhill Cranes Workshop Final Payments are due November 24, 2020
  • Sports Workshop Final Payments are due March 11, 2021
  • Adventure Workshop Final Payments are due May 8, 2021
  • Nature Workshop Final Payments are due May 16, 2021
  • Sports California Workshop Final Payments are due July 1, 2021
  • Manu Peru Workshop Final Payments are due June 6, 2021

Is my workshop deposit/tuition refundable?

  • Your workshop deposit is fully refundable up to 30 days after purchase.
  • There is a $150 admin fee that is non-refundable on all deposits/tuition payments.
  • After 30 days after purchasing a deposit, the deposit is not refundable but can be used towards any Summit Workshop within a calendar year of purchase of deposit if original workshop cannot be attended.
  • If workshop tuition and deposit has been paid, then the workshop deposit can be applied to a workshop within one calendar year of purchase of the tuition.
  • Destination workshop deposits are non-refundable unless the destination workshop is cancelled. However, some workshop deposits may be considered nonrefundable if the workshop is canceled for reasons outside of Summit Workshop’s control. *See “What if my workshop is cancelled?”


  • Your workshop tuition is fully refundable up to 90 days before the start of the workshop.
  • If you need to cancel/postpone between 90 and 14 days prior to your workshop, tuition may be applied to a future workshop within one calendar year of your original, purchased workshop.
  • After canceling/postponing 14 days prior to the start of your workshop, Summit Workshops reserves the right to retain the total balance paid.

What if I my travel plans to the workshop are interrupted?

  • 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.

What if weather or other circumstances interrupt my workshop?

  • 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.

What if my workshop is cancelled?

  • 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 6 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, most paid deposits and tuitions can be refunded or put toward a future workshop. Deposit payments may be nonrefundable if the workshop is canceled for reasons outside of Summit Workshop’s control.

What if the instructor I attended the workshop to see is unavailable?

  • 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.

Should I buy travel insurance?

  • We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for destination workshops, as weather can sometimes be an unpredictable factor.

COVID-19 Policies

Before the Workshop

  • We will be in touch 30-days out from the workshop to discuss our COVID policies. We want everyone to feel comfortable and we will all remain vigilant against the virus:
    • Wear a mask.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water often, and for at least 20 seconds.
    • Maintain social distance from others at all times.

COVID-19 Vaccine

  • With few exceptions (like a medical reason), once the vaccines are widely available, you can expect that having proof of COVID-19 vaccine will be a requirement on our Summit Workshops.

COVID-19 Testing

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.

Traveling to the Workshop

  • 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.

At the Start of the Workshop

  • We’ll ask you some basic medical questions about your current and recent state of health. We will take your temperature. We will want to know if you’ve had COVID-19, if you’ve been tested for COVID-19 and what the results were. We’ll meet as a group (wearing masks, and maintaining proper social distance), and discuss how these protocols will be implemented and adhered to during the workshop.

During the Workshop

  • All participants and staff are required to wear face coverings at all times, except when you are completely alone.
  • As much and as often as possible, social distancing will be maintained at all times.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all times and everyone should use it regularly through the workshop.
  • Summit Workshops staff will not handle your equipment unless absolutely necessary, and if we do, we will first use hand sanitizer.


  • 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.

Critiques and Classroom Instruction

  • All critiques will be in a room where social distancing can be maintained. Face coverings are required.

If Someone Shows Symptoms of COVID-19

  • 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.