Bespoke Photography courses at Chateau Fengari near Bordeaux France.

Learn how to create breathtaking images in a stunning location, tutored by photographers who are experts in their field. It really doesn’t get better than this! Not only is this a rich photographic experience, the luxury and grandeur of the beautiful Chateau Fengari will make your experience unforgettable.

You will be creating images in spectacular surroundings with a team of creatives who are among the very best at what they do. Chateau Fengari hosts courses in photographic genres of fashion, portraits, fine art nudes and dance photography, tutored by Bruce Smith and his specialist guest tutors.

It is said that if you are going to learn a skill, learn from somebody who actually does that skill for a living. With this in mind, all of Bruce’s guest tutors are working professionals in the field that they teach.

So much of creating great images comes from not only vision, but communicating that vision to your team and subjects. Creating your story and directing your model are fundamental to producing images that will engage your viewer and grab their attention. These Masterclasses will not only show you how to do that, they will guide you through the process so that you leave with the knowledge and the confidence to be able to do it yourself.

 All images by Bruce Smith


Photography courses designed to inspire your creativity.

All of our Masterclasses are held at the luxurious Chateau Fengari, which is exclusively yours for the duration of your stay.

It is tucked away in the stunning countryside of Charente-Maritime in south-west France. Chateau Fengari is a privately owned French Napoleonic château that specialise in exceptional experience events for special occasions.

The beautiful grounds boasts 9 hectares of forest, a beautiful lake and swimming pool. The period interiors and grand architecture make the perfect setting to create beautiful, awe inspiring images!

Join an exclusive, inspiring retreat led by internationally-renowned tutors in photography. The Château Fengari breathes new life; you will leave with amazing images energised and invigorated, gain fresh perspectives and make lifelong friends.

, Contact us about a gold portrait session

What you will be learning about during these photography courses.

What you will learn about during these fashion, dance, portraiture and wedding photography workshops, courses, private 1-2-1 master classes and the group photography courses, workshop and holidays. We will be covering the following 10 valuable aspects needed to become a great photographer of people.

1: Help you to develop your personal skills of openness, communication and model direction.

2: Teaching you the best settings to create the right look in camera.

3: Lighting techniques for strobe flash, on and off camera speed light flash and daylight.

4: Learn to see and to understand the various textures of light, how and when to use them with reflectors, diffusers and modifiers.

5: How to shoot better fashion, portraiture or nudes in interior and exterior locations.

6: Bruce’s and the guest tutors fashion, portrait and nudes photography hints, tips and secrets that create a professional level look and quality to your images.

7: Getting your fashion, portraits or nudes photography right in camera.

8: You will be creating images that do not need excessive Photoshop to make them look any good.

9: Learn how to develop your own unique style so your photography stands out amongst the thousands of other photographers out there.

10: Become more in control of the photographic, camera and lighting techniques so you become more confident in your self and your photography abilities.

Bruce has been producing high profile fashion photography shoots all over the world since 1983. He has faced every location and studio fashion photography shoot challenge that you could possibly imagine. Come and learn the skills of a professional published fashion photographer in how to achieve amazing images from this veteran of fashion photography.

, Contact us about a gold portrait session

Catering is provided by the Chateau’s own private chef. You will enjoy fine dining with amazing locally produced food accompanied by delicious wines from the area of Bordeaux in the stunning period dinning room.

, Contact us about a gold portrait session

The setting speaks for itself the lake is a fabulous area for photographing models, perfect for nudes in nature there s even a sandy beach to shoot on to.

, Contact us about a gold portrait session

The studio with beautiful daylight. Plenty of space for setting up up to 4 backdrops to shoot on. We also have a large blackout studio at the top of the chateau.

Photography courses that will take your photography to an unexpected level

Group photography courses

This is the perfect location for our next series of photographic learning courses giving you a professional experiences in how to create amazing fashion, wedding, dance, portrait and nudes photography, see below for details of each.

These fabulous photography Masterclasses are running over the spring and summer months of 2019; choose the type of course that suits your chosen genre of photography below. Professional tutors, national ballet dancers, agency signed fashion models, Europe’s top fine art nude models and a pro creative team.

For all of these photography courses Bruce and his associate tutors, Drew Tommons and Damian McGillicuddy (where applicable) organise everything from the professional models, the hair dressers make up artists and wardrobe fashion stylists. They will also help you with choosing the best locations and help you with lots of technical advise from their combined 60 years of professional fashion, dance, portrait and nudes photography.

Private 1-2-1 photography courses

We are also offering a limited number of dates for private 1-2-1 photography courses where you decide on the genre of fashion, portraits or nudes photography for those wishing to just spend a few days shooting on your own or you can be mentored by internationally published celebrity fashion and portrait photographer Bruce Smith. Read more about a one 2 one photography course.

What your photography course fees include

All photography Masterclass fees include your full board accommodation in luxurious twin or private bedroom, airport transfers, tutoring, models, styling and use of Chateau Fengari. Staying 4 nights and shooting models for 3 days. See the itinerary below. Models selected and mood boards will only be shown to people that are booked onto these workshops to stop others copying. All you need to do is arrange your own travel to Bordeaux. Transfer from Bordeaux to the Chateau is provided by Chateau Fengari.

Fears, shyness and doubts about our ability

We all carry fears and doubts about our abilities that can and do often stop us from fulfilling our dreams, especially when we feel we do not have the experience or maybe we are too shy.

During these courses we will help you at every step of the way. Our team has many years of professional experience and the Tutors are noted for their relaxed style, engagement and accessibility. It’s our mission to instil confidence in our delegates as well as inform and educate.

Call me any time

If you wish to talk about this, even if you are not intending to take this course, +33 7 68 79 89 89 I would love to hear from you.

How it was done photography tips and techniques

Each week I will be adding a how it was done to each image on this page. All you will need to do it click on the image to see the How It Was Done page describing how I set up and lit the image with a diagram of the lighting. If I have done any post production you will be able to see step by step how I achieved the finish.

If you wish to talk about this, even if you are not intending to take this course, +33 7 68 79 89 89 I would love to hear from you.


A past photography course students testimonial.

“The 3 days were crammed full of shooting, with a different model each day, and doing 4 different sets with each model. Not only is Bruce a talented photographer, he is also passionate and truly inspirational.

Throughout the day, Bruce provides guidance, feedback and encouragement.

As well as working alongside Bruce, I also got to work with the stylist, make up artist as well as the agency models, which have all contributed to some amazing images for my portfolio, as well as increasing my knowledge and confidence’.

Chris Hobday.


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