Adam Marelli Workshops
“Some photographers travel to a place, we travel into them.”
Travel below the surface
Have you ever wanted to step inside of a photograph? Was a picture so incredible that it made you want to drop everything and discover what the place felt like, how it looked, and why it was so magical? A\MARELLI Workshops were created to bring you into the picture, to connect with a culture, and move through the curtain that separates the traveler from the tourist.
From the zen monasteries of Japan to the boatyards of Venice, A\MARELLI Workshops were born as a way to connect people to culture. The workshops put experience first and photography second…because when you have an authentic experience the pictures come naturally. Along the way, Adam Marelli will guide you through private shoots and unique talks, sharing the tools he uses to explore the richness that cultures have to offer.
Adam’s professional background as an artist, builder, and student of zen afford him unique access to locations that you might otherwise miss or never even see at all. In his workshops, he opens up the connections that took years to establish so that you can instantly connect to a place.
What we do
Have you ever taken a trip and thought, “Why don’t my pictures look as good as I remember it?” Translating experience into photographs is an art, one that Adam has refined through years of artistic study and travel. In the workshops, you will have the chance to use Adam’s diverse background to your advantage.
“How does it work?” We’re glad you asked…here are the details below.
- Natural Light Portraits: One of the first ways we start to unravel any location is to connect with the people. Capturing a beautiful bare bones portrait will be second nature to any good photographer. Forget the fancy studios, lighting, and gear…you will learn how to take brilliant environmental portraits anywhere in the world. In privately arranged shoots you will learn what to look for, what backgrounds make or break a picture, and how to find the best light a city has to offer.
- Atmosphere like a movie: Every location on the planet is unique. There is an emotional feeling that can be communicated in a picture, if you know how to capture it. Utilizing Adam’s background as a professional builder and his knowledge of architectural history, you will learn how to make pictures that feel like they came right out of a movie.
- Master craftsmen: One of the treasures of any civilization are the master craftsmen who build culture by hand. As a specialist in photographing master craftsmen, Adam Marelli will take you inside the legendary workshops of the builders, makers, and artisans that make their cities famous. You will have insider access to intimate workshops for private shoots where you can explore unique settings that are normally closed off to the public. (You won’t find these in any guide books, that’s for sure!)
Location FLORENCE / ITALY
Dates: May 6–8 2016 (Friday – Sunday)
3 day workshop 2,450 USD One space left
Description The partnership between A\MARELLI & Leica Store Miami is designed to give Leica users the opportunity to “Master their Leica’s.” Pairing Adam Marelli’s cultural and artistic skills with David Farkas’ technical prowess, photographers will learn to shoot with their cameras set to 100% manual…say goodbye to “spray and pray” style shooting. We’ve selected Florence for this collaborative workshop again, as it offers a wonderful range of architecture, street shooting, and portrait settings, all within walking distance. This is an excellent opportunity for photographers who want to remove guesswork from their photography and learn the real joys of the Leica System. Leica Store Miami will be providing a full selection from the Leica lineup, and you will be able to select camera bodies and lenses to use throughout the workshop.
Download more details here: Florence Workshop 2016
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Location: MATERA / ITALY
Dates: May 13–15 2016 (Friday – Sunday)
3 day workshop 2,200 USD (returning photographers receive a 10% discount) Two spaces left
Description: Awarded Unesco’s European Cultural Capital for 2019, Matera is a hidden treasure that will not remain “undiscovered” for much longer. The unique cave architecture of the city, the deep dramatic landscape and virtually untouched cultural practices make it a fantastic location that never ceases to amaze us. Even after four years of visits, there are still discoveries to be made and this is a great chance to see the rebirth of a city. During the workshop we will visit with local craftsmen and have a private location model shoot to hone your environmental portraiture.
Download more details here: Adam Marelli Matera Workshop 2016
Sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Venice / ITALY
Dates: September 30–October 2, 2016 (Friday – Sunday)
3 day workshop 2,200 USD (returning photographers receive a 10% discount)
Location: Umbria / ITALY
Dates: October 7–9, 2016 (Friday – Sunday)
3 day workshop 2,200 USD (returning photographers receive a 10% discount) SOLD OUT
Description: The Umbria Workshop will be the first invitation-only workshop, open only to Alumni of the A\MARELLI Workshops. Invitations will be sent out to previous participants when the dates are announced in December.
Location: Kyoto / JAPAN
Dates: November 4–6, 2016 (Friday – Sunday)
3 day workshop 2,200 USD (returning photographers receive a 10% discount)
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Group dynamics make or break a workshop. One of the key elements is the size of the group. As a former instructor at the Leica Akademie, Adam has tutored groups as small as 2 and as large as 20. But our preferred size is 6-8. It is the perfect balance of big enough to provide variety yet small enough that we can all spend time together.
Who joins A\MARELLI Workshops? We value the privacy of the photographers who join us. While Adam Marelli is a public figure, his participants are not. His program has included CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, doctors, high level military, and other professions where the participants would like to take a few quiet days away from their important daily roles. We respect that privacy and only publicize participants who request exposure. Your happiness and security matter to us.
What makes us different
A\MARELLI Workshops are the only photography program taught by a professional artist, builder, and explorer. As a distinguished professional, Adam Marelli brings to share a set of resources that will allow you to make exponential jumps forward in your photography. Previous participants have gone on to win awards, publish books, and create websites.
What is included
Workshop enrollment covers all workshop activities, location shooting fees, model fees, intercity transportation, a summary of workshop material/resources, and use of workshop meeting spaces.
What is not included
The workshop enrollment does not include travel to and from the workshop, accommodations, or meals.
Sign up / Deposit / Cancellation Policy
Sign up: To register for one of the workshops, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond with workshop details and the next steps to get you enrolled in a workshop. If you have any questions prior to signing up, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Deposit: Each workshop requires a 50% non-refundable deposit. Final payment is due 90 days prior to the commencement of the workshop.
Cancellation Policy: After the non-refundable deposit is accepted, if the photographer needs to cancel or postpone enrollment in a workshop, they may transfer their deposit to another available workshop anytime within the next calendar year. (eg, If they enrolled for a 2016 May workshop and are unable to attend, they could apply it any other workshop up to the end of May 2017)
If they have made full payment and need to cancel prior to 90 days before the start of the workshop, they will be refunded the second payment amount.
If they need to cancel inside of 90 days from the workshop commencement, there is no refund, but they can transfer the entire amount to a later workshop up to one calendar year from the original workshop start date.
Relax and Enjoy
Before we get too serious, let us remember that we love photography because it brings us pleasure. Sit back, enjoy a glass of Barolo and let’s have a look at your images. Developing a critical eye is part of being a good photographer, but it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves in the process. The hardships should be in picture taking, but once it’s all over let’s enjoy some good meals together. Wherever we are in the world, we enjoy the best in authentic, local cuisine. My preferences for food, travel, and accommodations are simple…I value locally grown artisanal goods in every shape and form.
5 Ways to get the most out of a workshop
- Prepare questions in advance. There is nothing worse than traveling a few thousand miles, only to forget the photography questions that have been nagging you for months, or maybe years. Leading up to the workshop, keep a small notebook and load it with questions. We guarantee to have some answers for you.
- Everything in working order. Make sure that all your equipment, from the laptop to software to camera, are in working order. It may sound obvious, but a software update can prove quite challenging when abroad.
- Know your gear. There are about as many camera options as there are toothpastes on the market. Be sure that you have a good working knowledge of your camera. If you are unsure, you can schedule a One on One session with Adam in advance.
- Come with a mission. We consider our workshops to be like an Independent Study program with an onsite mentor. It is not a photo-tour where the “…Lions are expected at the watering hole at 9am and all you have to do is point and shoot.” This is an interactive program designed to allow you access to unique locations. If there is something that you would like to shoot during or after the workshop, let us know and we can help you out with the arrangements.
- Books and Movies. Every location we visit has a deep history of literature and film. Just to get into the spirit of things, we recommend diving into the artistic heritage from home, before you arrive onsite. If you need a few recommendations just let us know.
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What do photographers think of the workshops…the testimonials say it all.
“I have been used to long exposed landscape shots saturated with rich colors and hence, I thought my first visit to Italy would be Cinque Terra known for its vibrant villages by the sea. As I searched through websites on photo workshops on Italy, Adam’s “10 Things you will NOT find at my workshops” caught my attention. I decided to give Florence a try.
The one-on-one session with Adam opened a new perspective for me on photography. While I was focusing on technicality and composition on my photos for critique, Adam asked what I really wanted to shoot and provided guidance to me through the works of major artists and photographers. He used Edward Hopper’s works to illustrate how a picture was composed from scratch and how I could apply that to photography. Christina’s World was another piece of artwork used to stimulate thoughts on one of my photos submitted for critique. Looking back at my photos, I started to be more conscious of what was I trying to say in my pictures.
“I did not really think it was possible. Try this: go to the British Museum, find a staircase with good light (it happens to be on the left as you enter the museum) stay there for 2 hours and take pictures and chat with people as they pass by. If you are with Adam, very quickly it becomes a routine; find the light, take the pictures.
He has an uncanny ability to walk you through a scene and make you see the light. Along the way you get tips on adjusting your settings – f-stop, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and such.
–Avi Nahum, London 2015
“Initially I was looking for a course on photography that could bring me further from the point where I know all the technical stuff to advancing in the realm of knowing how to create a good photograph in terms of composition, colors, contrasts and conveying the right message and feeling to the people that look at my images. During my expeditions on the internet I got familiar with the term visual design and searching for courses on that topic I found Adam’s website and read about his vision on applying classic art principles to photography. I also watched his ‘bridging the gap’ video where he elaborates on the topic. Visual design or visual language struck me as a good next step for me so I decided to enroll in the spring 2014 Matera workshop of Adam. Matera and it’s Sassi is a fantastic place to do the workshop. We had a very inspiring group for this course, a mixture of people from all over the world.
The workshop was a great experience and I learned a lot from it which still benefits my photography. Thanks again Adam for the valuable lessons learned! Matera is the best workshop I have attended so far and worth every penny.
At this point I am ready for a next step. In consultation with Adam and his understanding of my interests and style of photography I decided to enroll for another workshop with him in Venice next year where we will be focusing on creating images like in movies and storytelling.”
–Jan Kooreman, Matera 2014 & Venice 2015
First, I just want to say how much I enjoyed meeting you and Stacy and spending time with you in Berlin. It was a fun, challenging, intellectually stimulating, and eye opening weekend. I purposely waited a few days to respond to your email because I was waiting for the buzz to subside — I knew it couldn’t last — so I could think clearly about my impressions of the workshop and the lessons I learned there.
You’re right that I did give it my all, because I wanted to practice the lessons and be able to get direct feedback from you. You are an excellent teacher and mentor and I was very impressed by your insight and judgement, your amazing ability to instantly recall images that demonstrate your points and bring them up on the computer, and the substance and clarity with which you answered our questions! You’re the real deal, Adam.
You’re also right in that I anticipated hearing the design concepts you teach in your videos and writings, but looking back over the weekend, it makes sense to first develop us and help us bring ourselves into our photography. To concentrate on the design aspects first, before you know what you want to shoot, would lead to a frustrating experience. That was clearly the most significant take away for me — the process of going from not knowing what to shoot, to having an idea I could work, to getting your artistic and technical feedback on my first images. This processed changed my relationship to photography. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt like an artist.
It was without a doubt the most transformational photography instruction I’ve ever had and it could never have come from an article, book, blog, or YouTube video. Your workshop provided that invaluable experience!
I enjoyed the pace and rhythm of the workshop, too. You’re very disciplined and focused, but you guided us in a relaxed manner and allowed the workshop to flow naturally without imposing a strict structure to it. It was very well done.
Finally, I was impressed with the people you attract to your workshops. It was so refreshing to get out of my own orbit and meet such accomplished people with interesting backgrounds and stories. Our lunches and dinners together were a highlight for me. Please feel free to share my email with them as I’d like to keep in touch with everyone. And please feel free to use/edit my comments as a testimonial.
Thanks again Adam! It was a real pleasure.”
–Greg Burke, Berlin 2014
“Hi Adam firstly I want to thank you for a quite amazing workshop in Kyoto, it was such a powerful experience it has taken a few weeks distance for me to collect my thoughts, here is my attempt!
Why do we go on a photographic workshop half way across the world? To learn, be challenged, to be stretched, maybe visit a brand new place, meet interesting people, get out of a comfort zone, to see the world with fresh (photographer’s) eyes. Also I hoped to come home changed somehow – to grow and move along my journey as a photographer. I hoped to develop my style, establish a more personal visual handwriting.
Often in life such high expectations are not met, more rarely they are exceeded by a large margin…
We had a great group, open, trusting, supportive, positive, curious, easy to smile and laugh, slow to take offence. And very nervous of course! We were prepared to step outside our comfort zone, keen even despite the ‘perceived’ risk of hurt egos, to hear your views and so experience your objective, studied, calm and artistic dialogue about and around our own photography.
All seemed to understand that you get out of life what you put in and despite the alpha (fe)male component that is an integral part of this type of workshop, our 6 students understood that that when you are part of a group, no individual can control the pace of the days, so being able to balance the desire to push on and take pictures with having a collective experience in a group helps you to get the most out of a workshop. Perhaps having a 50/50 male/female split of students helped here.
Most importantly your positive style and calm leadership set the tone from the start.
The end of day feedback sessions were a memorable part of the week:
Classical painting drawing and sculpture, composition, contemporary photography, crafts, construction, lighting, exposure – the knowledge of the visual arts that you brought into the feedback sessions seemed endless and yet you wear that knowledge lightly and share it freely with enthusiasm and a total lack of pretension. I learned so much and of course came away realizing how much more there is to learn…
And for me discussing “why do we make art” and sharing some life experiences into the small hours was as enjoyable as some of the photographic work we did – lubricated by a Japanese craft beer or two of course!
Perhaps this was not a typical group as I also felt the workshop was more about the art than the gear – in this respect I was fundamentally changed by the workshop – since I got back I have sold almost all my kit and I’m going back to one camera and a couple of lenses. I realized in Kyoto that my gear habit was getting in the way of learning and not improving my work as I’d hoped.
Although Kyoto with its wonderful Temples more than lived up to my expectations I will never forget the special workshops we had and the amazing subjects that you had arranged for us to work with:-
· Nakagawa-san: traditional Japanese artist/woodworker in his workshop
· Takafumi Kawakami, the Zen monk, in his family Temple Shunkoin (read about here)
· Tomatae: the maiko, a trainee geisha.
As a street photographer used to shooting a moving target, I really got a huge amount of learning from working with these fascinating subjects. Framing, composition, lighting and editing my shots – I could see a definite improvement in my work during the week. There is no doubt it’s easier to make a good picture with interesting subject matter!
In summary thanks again to you (and the group) for a really memorable experience. I learned a lot and as with any learning experience I took some steps back to go forward. I was out of my comfort zone at times and feel I got the benefit from that. Unsurprisingly perhaps, I didn’t suddenly develop a unique handwriting but I did start to realize I do make pictures in my own style, an unexpected and really rewarding outcome. I am still processing the week nearly 2 months later, that doesn’t happen very often.
I am really looking forward to joining you in London for another amazing workshop subject – I didn’t even know anyone still produced handmade ‘Globes of the World’, as you said, probably only Brits could do it!”
–Steve Richards, Kyoto Workshop 2013, London Workshop 2014, Matera 2015, London 2015, & Kyoto 2015
“Having attended numerous (19 at last count) photographic workshops I feel I am qualified to judge the caliber of workshops.
I returned two weeks ago from Adam Marelli’s Kyoto Photographic Workshop and I found I needed a little time to recover from the jet lag as well as from the overall effect the workshop had on me. I found myself recalling many of the activities and conversations. Most of all the camaraderie of the participants and the genuine interest Adam took in each of us. There was very little “you should” or “you must” but there Was honest appraisal and positive reenforcement. Adam’s art-based approach to photographs is both encouraging and challenging. As the oldest person in the group I found myself wondering – where has he been all my life!?
My assessment, and hence this testimonial, is to acknowledge his teaching skills, his ability to convey concepts in a clear manner, his skill at putting everyone at ease and his arrangement of a mixture of interesting shooting sites make his workshop an experience you won’t soon forget. And his input something that can sustain you photographically for quite a long time.
I envy two of our participants who are able to attend his next workshop in Chiang Mai. On the other hand, I look forward to my return to the New York Metropolitan area in the spring when I can partake in a series of one to ones with him. Thank you Adam”
–Penny Breen, Kyoto 2013 & NYC 2012 & One on One Program
“As a novice photographer I was a bit nervous about joining Adam’s workshop. However, I had an amazing time and learned a great deal. Adam clearly and patiently explained fundamentals of composition and lighting to me. He spent a great deal of time with every photographer in the workshop, giving detailed feedback. He was always available to answer questions. Adam and Misaki were incredible hosts, organizing a series of interesting shoots— culminating in a shoot with a maiko (geisha in training) at a Kyoto temple. Wow!
As a beginner I especially appreciated Adam’s passion for photography and art— which was encouraging and contagious! I’m looking forward to my next workshop in two months in Thailand! Thanks Adam, I’m hooked!”
–A.J Hoge, Kyoto 2013, Chiang Mai 2014, & One on One Program
“Adam offers participants an increased self-awareness on observation. His approach focuses on a continuity of factors (in this case art and photography.) I found it influential not only as a photographer but also as an architect—perhaps a Renaissance approach. Something that in our contemporary lives is often ignored.”
–Arturo Rojas, Prague 2013
“I decided to join Adam’s workshop in London after seeing how radically my brother’s photography had changed for the better after he had attended a session. Richard used to think it was enough to have ‘something interesting’ in a photo to make it interesting. Cameras themselves were an endless source of fascination for him from a technical point of view.
Adam showed him how and why great images work, how to watch and wait for opportunities rather than chasing them, how to make the camera work for him, rather than imagining that a good camera will somehow take good photos… because it is a good camera.
I’d picked up a camera again after a long spell of detachment. The digital era has brought us overexposure to more unthinking visual material than ever before. For some years, I’d lost my appetite for trying to stand my ground with a camera in a world awash with the pollution.
Deciding to apply the potential of new technology to more mindful ways of seeing has taken considerable effort. Adam’s workshop helped me to make more sense of fine work to which I responded strongly without really knowing why. He fed my imagination for capturing the absurdities of modern life in the places I go within a great tradition. He’s triggered a new consciousness about intuitions. I’m applying what I am learning every time I pick up the camera now. I’m enjoying the afterglow.
Adam wears his expertise lightly and has the knack of making workshop participants comfortable on their journey after nudging them beyond their expectations. I only wish there had been more time to work with him in London.”
–Eva Kaluzynska, London Workshop 2013
“Following a workshop with Adam is like a cold shower. After the initial shudder, it is very refreshing. Adam focuses on improving your composition and moving you from candid “snapshots” to well thought photography. His background in art and architecture clearly are core elements of how he perceives what makes a good photo and what turns them into art. About de-constructing (what works and what does not) and re-constructing.
The workshop is not about shooting techniques or post-processing but about learning to see. So if you look for that, this might not be for you. However if you want to upgrade the level of your photography, are open and willing to be taken out of your comfort zone, in a nice and subtle way, then this is for you. If you like architecture, art, music then having the opportunity to talk with Adam over coffee, a glass of wine, dinner … is an additional bonus.
I will certainly follow another workshop with Adam. He took me right out of my comfort zone and I am working on step-by-step building up my skills, or so I hope. It will take time, but Adam has shown how.”
–Dirk Heyman, Zurich Workshop 2013, Kyoto 2014, & Venice 2015
“The workshop in Prague brought me to a new level of photographic appreciation. Your criticism based on sound artistic concepts and comparison with masters like Cartier-Bresson were particularly enlightening, opening a path to more discerning evaluation on the interaction of light, subject and technique. Street photography and portraiture were exciting discoveries, with challenging new environment and equipment.”
–Carlos Bertoni, Prague Workshop 2013, Berlin 2014, & One on One Program
“Last week I was privileged to spend two days at a Leica Akademie Street Photography Workshop with Adam Marelli. I now look at my photography, a lifetime passion as before and after. The first day we went out on the city streets and to Madison Square and Union Square Parks. We were encouraged to pick 3-5 of our favorite shots to present the following day. Adam spent unhurried time with each of us carefully, methodically and constructively evaluating our shots. He is a classically trained artist with a profound knowledge of art history. He understands that the camera is a recent tool that is part of an unbroken chain with ancient lineage in effectively communicating visual experience. While we looked at the work of iconic photographers, we also studied the work of great painters. When one of the participants asked who we should study to improve our understanding of street photography, Adam replied Caravaggio, Hopper and Mucha. He had us focus on their use of light, background and composition. By the time he was done, my eye had undergone an aesthetic transformation that will stay with me.
On the second day we went to Central Park to shoot. Upon review of my shots, it was hard to believe that I was the same person with a Leica in hand that I was on Day 1. The shots were consistently more dynamic, punchier, and dramatically less cluttered. After hearing the expression “a strong image” for years, I finally truly understood what it meant. I could not be more enthusiastic about working with Adam, and hope to be able to continue my studies with him.”
–Alan B. Abramson, New York Leica Akademie 2013 & Project Development 2014
Adam Marelli’s workshop in Matera, Italy was an experience never to be forgotten .Adam chose a location filled with marvelous photographic opportunities, many restaurants and cafes to experience the delicious local Italian foods and a base that was both luxurious and romantic.
The pace of the five day workshop was relaxed. There was plenty of time to explore the many locations in the old city both alone and with the workshop participants with Adam as the guide.There could have been more emphasis on the design and artistic traditions that Adam is most noted for.
However the critique sessions were valuable and as the workshop unfolded it was clear that a lot of what he imparted would ‘sink in’ in the months to follow. This proved to be the case particularly when I could look at a master’s work and work out how he or she had used their knowledge to construct a photograph. Better still when I achieved something similar myself.
Adam is a man with a great deal of classical art knowledge, but with no ego getting in the way of teaching his particular way of looking at photography as an art form. He has become a friend as I am sure many others who have participated in his workshops around the world have become too.
–Peter MacDonald, Matera Workshop 2013 & One on One Program
Having recently attended your London 2013, 3 day workshop, I wanted to give something back other than just “it was great”, or “excellent”. Hopefully by describing my experience it will give a better insight for anyone who is thinking of attending one of your workshops. My reason for attending was because I knew I needed help to move to a higher level with my work. I knew something was wrong, but did not really understand what it was or more importantly how to fix it. After a years research I decided you looked to be the person with the knowledge and skill set that would hopefully help me. My goals for the workshop were to gain an understanding of design and structure in an image and how to improve my editing/selection of my work.
Firstly, I must say working with you was relaxed, friendly, open, supportive & very constructive. The first days, one – one critique session on the images I brought along (some of my best) was extremely useful. Especially how you pointed out and gained my agreement on what I needed to work on to move to a higher level.
I gained more understanding on design and structure, and what makes a strong image with staying/carrying power from the first exercise you set, and the explanation on why some images worked and others did not, than years of previous looking and reading. Over the 3 days of putting into practice your tips and guidance on what could improve my work, I feel I made a transition from a person who just took photographs to a person who makes images/pictures. You helped me gain Clarity and achieve my course objectives.
For anyone thinking of joining you on a workshop, I would say understand what you want from the workshop and then just do it, Adam will give you all the information, tools and guidance/support you require or ask for. But, do not expect Adam to turn you into a photographer, only you can do that.
Look forward to seeing you soon!