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Photo Courses in France - Read what some of our clients have said...

Photo courses and workshops

Our photo courses & workshops are hugely rewarding for us, but read what some of our clients *say...

*PDF copies, (hand-written, signed and dated), of these testimonials are available on request.

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I really enjoyed the course and learnt a lot.  Although I had been on 4 previous photographic courses before, Don provided insights which previous instructors hadn’t and was endlessly patient answering our questions.   Tuition is individualized and Don went well beyond what one would normally expect in providing help.   I had a new camera and feel a lot more confident using it and understand why I need to take RAW photographs and not to use any auto settings!  You are made to feel incredibly welcome by Trisha and Don which makes the whole experience extra special.  I am looking forward to going again.  Stella B - September 2022


Coming on the Photo Hero Course was one of the best decisions I've ever made - a light bulb moment!  Don and Trisha are simply the best amd made me so welcome.  Zero to Hero in a week! Inspirational! Alison G - June 2018


The [Photo Hero] Course was well-planned and professionally delivered by Don, a hugely knowledgale and talented trainer.  The food and accommodation were outstanding and an immense credit to Trisha.  Overall I don't believe the Course could be improved or bettered.  Peter F - June 2018


Professional and in-depth learning - complemented by excellent food, all delivered by two superb hosts.  My photography has no doubt changed drastically and I will not forget the experience.  Thank you so much - will definitely be back for more!  Andy Q - April 2018


If you are looking for a photography course to up your techniques and improve the quality of your work, this is the course for you. Nestled deep within the countryside of France, you will find a warm, inviting home/studio offering intensive course, delicious food and comfortable accommodation to enhance the quality of your photos.  Don and Trisha are a great pair and offer a wonderful experience.  Anne S - April 2018


The Course exceeded my expectations.  It was delivered in a measured, but appropriately challenging way.  My mind-set towards using the Automatic option on the camera has been completely changed and my introduction to Photoshop was given the time and detail required.  Am so proud of my prints!  Carol B - September 2017


An excellent Course that made me re-think my whole approach to photography, both at the taking and post-processing stages. Don and Trisha were excellent hosts and Don has a wealth of photographic experience which he generously shared with the participants .  All in all, very good value for the price.  Laurraine P - October 2017.


Don is an excellent teacher, amusing and patient.  Lots of practice that followed carefully chunked sessions on theory, that were well illustrated.  I haven't enjoyed learning so much for a long time.  It was bliss to be fed and watered while I focused entirely on my learning - thank you Studio Lavalette.  Alison M - April 2017


The photography knowledge I gained has given me a great base on which to build, however the wonderful food, beautiful setting and relaxed approach, really made this a week to remember.  I hope I will be able to enjoy the delights of Villebois-Lavalette again in the future and look forward to continuing my photographic development.  Jo F - May 2017


The most rewarding thing I've done in ages! The course has everything: excellent tuition, state-of-the-art equipment and resources; brilliant locations; outstanding meals from Trisha; and very comfortable accommodation.  Shawn G - June 2014


A truly wonderful experience, a very warm welcome, great accommodation in a lovely setting. The locations were wonderful -  varied &  gave a true flavor of the area. The food was excellent & was a key factor in choosing – I was not disappointed. Many thanks Don & Trisha for a superb weekend.  I am still suffering withdrawal symptoms!  Nige NW - June 2015


From novice to Hero - Don's superb tuition and patience proved the possible! Excellent course, excellent hospitality and superb surroundings.  Every level of photographer catered for - highly recommended.  I will be back.  Sally A - September 2015


A very professionally delivered course. Set at a good pace it covered as much as I could take in for the time available and has whetted my appetite for more.  The food was excellent and impossible to improve upon [and the] Accommodation was 5-star – no more stars available!  Dick S - November 2014


Don and Trisha are the ultimate hosts. Nothing is too much trouble for them. The accommodation and surroundings are the epitome of rural France. The food is amazing and if timings are such that we are not at the house for a meal, a delightful picnic is provided. Transport and arrangements to visit a particular location for taking photographs are made prior to the stay. We have been to varied locations from Chateaux to vineyards. A comprehensive photography experience in relaxed surroundings and good company. Karen J - May 2016


My time at Studio Lavalette was wonderful. Not only did I improve my photography skills, from scouting-out a scene, to post-processing, but I got to learn in a beautiful locale with lovely hosts.  Alex R - June 2014


Absolutely loved my few days with you. Learned so much. You both make me, a complete novice, very comfortable. My "mission" is to allocate time to getting to grips with Photoshop. Starting now.  Christine C - September 2014


After completing a 4 day photography course I've been left with the sense of wanting more.  A return visit will definitely be on my to do list.  Absolutely fantastic setting and wonderful hosts, locally sourced food and was prepared to perfection. Villebois-Lavelette is so picturesque and an ideal setting for a peaceful break.  Andy P - October 2015


The course has made me aware of planning my photos more accurately and positioning myself more favourably before taking them.  Beautiful location, good accommodation and generous hospitality.  Anna T - September 2014


Excellent photography course given by a highly skilled and professional teacher.  Don stretches his students so that they exceed their own expectations - I certainly exceeded my own!  Andrew W - August 2016


If you are looking for structured, creative tuition, delivered in a relaxed and supportive environment; mouth-watering meals and very comfortable accommodation; plus, a seemingly infinite variety of photogenic locations nearby - then, look no further. Studio Lavalette has it all!   Anna L - August 2013


I am so happy that I booked onto the "Hero Plus" Course at Studio Lavalette. I arrived as a complete DSLR novice and left feeling confident, exhilarated and positively raring to go, with both camera and software. Thank you both...for those "euraka" moments and wonderful times a la table.  Karen M - June 2014


Studio Lavalette gives you a value-for-money, enjoyable photographic experience, the opportunity to improve your camera technique and editing knowledge, combined with a relaxing holiday in a beautiful part of France [and] hosted by two friendly, sociable people.  Lynne H - September 2014


I had the most amazing time at Studio Lavalette.  The ambiance, the food, the accommodation and the photography tuition was tailored to each participants needs.  I'm a bit of a nightmare being veggie and dairy free, but none of this fazed Trisha - she produced wonderful dishes at each meal. [And] I don't see how the accommodation could be improved. I highly recommend the [Photo HERO] course and will be singing its praises to our photography club. Rosemary H (Vice Chair Dungannon Camera Club) - August 2013


Thank you both for your hospitality... during the last few days. I have come home feeling inspired to take better photos and have been having a rethink about my current library of photos and how I need to tweak them.
I thought the good bits were - seeing how a professional photographer takes a photo and prepares it for printing, going to lots of very photogenic places, having my first lot of picture critiqued, getting instruction on how to make the best of my photos using Lightroom.  I loved the studio and our room, and really loved the food.  My windmill photo has had 26 'likes' on Facebook so far!
Jane P  - September 2016


Having only purchased my first DLSR this May, I arrived as a novice and thanks to Don's expert knowledge and tuition I left confident and inspired.  My time here was enhanced by the well appointed accommodation and looking forward, each day, to Trisha's delicious meals.  Patricia W - August 2014


Studio Lavalette provides outstanding instruction on different aspects of digital photography in the most beautiful setting and with delicious food.  Stimulating and enjoyable great company. Charles C-H - March 2014


Good food, good tuition and great hosts. Don took time to explain in detail the very specific tasks I wanted to utilise and the result will save me considerable time processing images in the future.  Colin W - February 2014


I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the 4 days I spent with you all and having the opportunity to benefit from 1:1 tuition with both yourself, in such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, really was a wonderful experience - I feel hugely privileged  -  thank you so much. I came away from the course feeling, that for the very first time ever,  I had actually got to grips with both Lightroom and Photoshop (and a great deal more besides!) and I'm looking forward to taking my work forward in a far more creative and organised manner!  Jane B - October 2013


For anyone that wants to either learn from scratch or to improve their digital skills, this [Photo Hero] course is a must.  Trisha and Don are excellent hosts and nothing is too much trouble.  Steve H - September 2013


Little did I realise when booking a 5-day photographic course in SW France, what a treat was in store.  This course gave me everything I needed and more with an excellent teaching style.  The accommodation was perfect [and the} catering was has been an amazing experience with excellent photographic tuition.  Susanne R - July 2014


My husband had an excellent time as a beginner on the photography course. I relaxed, soaked-up the beautiful atmosphere, enjoying wonderful company, food & wine.  We will certainly return and recommend.  Trisha and Don are a great double act... Jane H - September 2103


A big, big hug and thanks for such an amazing four days. Don - you made everything seem possible, you inspired and you left us open-mouthed in awe at your work. Trish, you were the perfect back up for such a powerful onslaught of knowledge. Superb catering, gentle nurturing, warm welcome always. A perfect match for a working couple.  Diane B - June 2014


Studio Lavalette provides the perfect setting in which to learn about or to improve your photographic skills.  Really enjoyed the picnic lunch "on the job" so to speak! Trisha and Don are consummate hosts: the food, wine accommodation and service were all superb and the photographic tuition was perfectly pitched to our group.  Suzi F - June 2013


An excellent introduction to digital photography...good for inexperienced and experienced photographers wanting digital knowledge.  Good food...(for gluten-free visitors), and accommodation contributed to a wonderful holiday.  Ian B - September 2013


Booked the [Photo HERO] course as a present for my husband but as the non-photographer I got a lot out of it myself.  Enjoyed being shown the region and exploring the local area.  Excellent food...(good variety)...and accommodation. Would recommend this holiday.  Helen B - September 2013


Studio Lavalette is a charming and very relaxing place to stay.  The accommodation has everything you could possibly need; the food + menus are very well thought-through and utterly delicious.  The photography itself is great fun with heaps of packed into 3 days - I loved the diversity of it: shooting on location and also trying new techniques in the Studio.  Great variety and great shots for the portfolio.  Emily K - October 2013


I began the course with very limited experience but left with a new-found confidence in my ability to take photographs.  From zero to "Hero" is no exaggeration. This was made possible by Don's patient and informative style of teaching.  Can't wait to come back on the "Pro" course. The experience was enhanced by Trisha's excellent hosting skills...a good variety of [food] and all very tasty.  Martin P - August 2013


Very welcoming atmosphere - felt at home instantly.  Fantastic hospitality and the photography content was very delivered - plenty was learned but not too overwhelming.  Breaking the [taking and making of images] into STEP (Seeing Taking, Editing & Printing) was very helpful and the locations were all beautiful. [Don's] passion for his work is truly infectious and we really appreciate his expertise and patience.  The food was delicious and the portion sizes were perfect.  Would thoroughly recommend to anyone, even with little experience - we'll be back for more!  Michele L - June 2013


The Course was... smoothly constructed using the STEP procedure [with] many other profoundly thought-out aids to getting the most from our cameras.  The 5 days fly by in a flash with information "layering" on information.  The food was enticing and flavousome, [with], diverse menus for lunch and dinner - wonderful with all those herbs.  [The accommodation] all works charmingly - very "at home" and welcoming. Thank you so much for a truly uplifting and most useful experience.  Catherine C - August 2013


The accommodation is better than most hotels and the food excellent.  [This was] a Course that improves your skills to take art nude photos....mainly because of the possibility to get a clear explanation when you have questions and/or ideas to execute a vision [one] has.  Francisca da S - October 2013


What a great way to get started. Beautiful views & surroundings.  Great shots. Had a wonderful experience - loved every moment.  Mel W - July 2013


Studio Lavalette advances your knowing and understanding about the technology you are using as well as how to perfect your pictures.  You need a lot of concentration, however it all pays off as well as being a lot of fun!  Octavia C - August 2013


Studio Lavalette provides an excellent base for photographing both landscapes and models.  The facilities of the studio are great, including plenty of lights, modifiers, infinity curve etc.  The tuition is sympathetic to all levels of ability.  The [accommodation is] very well appointed, functional and extremely comfortable.  The hosts are kind and caring and the food is awesome! Karen J - October 2013


An excellent Course that gave me a solid understanding of what to look for and how to achieve some great results when taking photographs. The Studio is in the most ideal serene surroundings and close to many beautiful scenic villages and towns that are ideal for a beginner/budding or professional photographer.  You cant help but be inspired.  Ben N - June 2013


A wonderful experience!  Excellent photographic tuition, fabulous delicious food, all package in a sensational setting with comfortable and stylish accommodation. Perfect!  Sue M - June 2013


Lots of swimming, beautiful South of France weather, wonderful environment, visits to wonderful villages around Villebois-Lavalette, Charente, France Sud. Very advanced photography (my choice .. ) with Don McCrae at Studio Lavalette, with plenty of good (Trisha 5* McCrae) meals .. just jump in the pool when your head hurts ! Thoroughly recommended by both of us ! ... the most satisfied customers on the planet.   Maurice and Jennifer P - July 2013

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