The Carnival of Venice awaits you in 2019

Venice and the Magic of the Carnival

Join me in Venice, as we explore the romantic city during the days of the Carnival, a festival of colors, perfumes, and music that has no equal in the world.

Venice is a wonder every day of the year, but during the Carnival it also becomes a stage upon which hundreds of performers turn their fantasies into reality. Imagine, if you will, being transported to an enchanted land, inhabited by charming and mysterious characters who move with grace and elegance.

The Carnival of Venice is an event that attracts thousands of photographers from all over the world, each one of them hoping to photograph the beautiful and rich costumes that people wear during those days. Expectations are high, but without in-depth knowledge and the right resources, photographing the Carnival can be a frustrating experience, as everyone has to fight for their spot and their time with the models. Popular locations can be very crowded and it is almost impossible to get a good shot, with the best light and a nice background.

“Wanted to say again how much I enjoyed the workshop. You were most accommodating for me and very patient, I loved the restaurants you took us too, great food. The whole Carnevale was a blast, esp. the last day, never thought I would have so much fun.”

– Patsy Latscha, California, USA

Between the end of February and the beginning of March 2019 I will be back in Venice for the Carnival to give you a two-fold experience:

  • One experience is all about the beauty of Venice, its churches, palaces and canals. We will explore the city together and I will show you its most iconic locations in the best light, together with some less well known, but equally stunning spots.
  • The second experience will coincide with the days when the Carnival celebrations are in full swing and the most elaborate and precious costumes are on display. Thanks to the closely-knit relationships I have built with the A-list models, you will have the opportunity to photograph them in hotel suites and palace halls in the course of private sessions, while avoiding the crowds.

Gondolas in St. Mark's Square, Venice

We Stand Out From The Competition

What I offer with this workshop is an experience that is completely different from the rushed and confusing one you would get by going to the Carnival on your own. Thanks to the many Carnivals I and my partners have spent in Venice, we have developed personal and intimate relationships with the best models, those who wear the richest costumes and who are accustomed to posing for the best photographers. This means having their undivided attention, dedicated to you and your small group for all the time necessary.

In the past, we have also scouted some exclusive locations, like hotels, palaces, and theaters, where you will be able to photograph the models in beautiful settings, amidst ancient furniture and tapestry, without having to share the rooms with many other photographers.

“After two photo tours with Ugo in Italy, I cannot recommend the experience highly enough – the local knowledge of Italy, partnered with photographic expertise and guidance made for an extremely rewarding photo tour! Ugo guides and mentors you according to your skills, regardless of whether you are a beginner or experienced enthusiast. I have come away with greater understanding of the craft and confidence to build my skill set. I am inspired to continue my learning journey to create beautiful images. Thank you Ugo!!!”

– Kerri Clark, Canberra, Australia

Venetian Carnival masks

Workshop Highlights

We are not giving here a detailed, day-by-day plan of the activities, because we want to be flexible and prepared to adapt our schedule to the timing of specific events, the availability of models, and the vagaries of weather. However, we have a general plan that includes all of the following:

  • Private shooting sessions with the best masked models of the Carnival.
  • Exclusive access to rooms and halls with exquisite furniture and decorations.
  • A gondola ride with masked models, where everyone gets plenty of time on the boat, not just a few minutes.
  • Photo tours of the most picturesque Venetian locations.
  • A trip to the multicoloured island of Burano.
  • Individual and group sessions of critique and post-processing.

“Ugo was a wonderful teacher and host in Venice at last years’ Carnival. He takes all the time you need to get your shot and to help with the camera settings when needed! Ugo was very generous and took us out for dinner two times, beginning and end of the workshop. And, he’s fun to be with!!”

– Lynda Rubin Greenberg, Toronto

Venetian Carnival masks

What You Can Expect

This is an intensive workshop and you will be shooting a lot, sometimes form the early morning, if the weather is favorable.

You will photograph indoors and outdoors a variety of subjects at varying times of the day.

Depending on the circumstances, we will use natural lights, a mixture of natural or artificial continuous light and flash, or flash light alone. We will start with one flash and then add another one or even two, in a progression from simple to complex lighting schemas.

Me and my team pride ourselves in being able to organize closed-doors sessions that only our group will have access to. I have purposefully limited the group size to six students in order to give everyone maximum attention and a lot of time with our models.

We will sometimes attend one of those gatherings where dozens of masks and photographers show up, but we don’t do this to get good photographs. Sometimes I go to those gatherings and I don’t take a single photo in the crowd, as I know my results will be mediocre. The reason we go there is to socialize with the models and with the other photographers, knowing that the Carnival of Venice attracts some of the best photographers in the world, which you will have a chance to know personally. I think this is a valuable experience, in small doses.

Come prepared to be presented with a lot of information and to go from session to session in a fast paced way. You will learn a lot during this workshop, but it is highly recommended that you know your camera very well and understand the basics of exposure. This is not the place to come with a new camera whose workings you still have to figure out. I assume you know how to quickly set aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focusing modes and that you can shoot in manual mode. Everything else can be learned on the spot.

“My husband and I did a workshop with Ugo in Cinque Terre. It was fantastic. Ugo is not only a great photographer, but he is generous with his knowledge, and he offers a great workshop. The group was international, which made the experience even richer.”

– Gail Ginder, Healdsburg, CA

Biblioteca Marciana, Piazzetta San Marco, Venice

Physical Fitness Considerations

Getting around in Venice means having to walk a lot, as the boat buses only travel along the Canal Grande and around the city. While venice is flat, going from point A to point B usually requires going up and down the steps of a number of bridges in order to cross the numerous canals. If you have difficulties walking and have severe respiratory problems, this is probably not the activity for you.

That said, even elderly people, as long as they are reasonably fit, can join me in Venice, as they have done in the past. Whenever we have to walk, we always do so at a leisurely pace.

“If you are planning to travel and love photography at any level Ugo can plan a personal tour to fit in with your itinerary! He has a wealth of knowledge to share with you on any subject of photography. Apart from photography (my passion) Ugo provides a total travel experience looking at Italy through the eyes of a local. A life changing trip leaving me totally hooked to book another! Thank you Ugo and yes I will be returning my dilemma is choosing a destination”

– Sharon Jackson, Gold Coast, Australia

Il Solenne Ingresso, by Anna and Lorenzo Marconi

Special Time-Limited Pre-Sale Offer

At this time, we’re in the pre-sale phase, which means you can reserve a seat now and make up your mind later. There won’t be charges, if you decide not to come when the pre-sale offer ends. However, booking during the pre-sale period is the only way to benefit from a discount of up to €500!

So, if you book now and confirm later, you will get the discount. If you book now and cancel later, you won’t pay anything. There’s no way you can lose, but you must act fast, because this is a limited offer and seats will be reserved on a first come, first served basis and–given its zero-risk nature–I expect it to fill quickly, once we start promoting it in earnest.

The only thing you need to secure your spot is to pay a fully-refundable deposit of 300€ (or about USD 370.00).

Let me repeat this again: This is a fully-refundable, no-questions-asked money back guarantee. In a few weeks, I will publish a detailed itinerary, with prices and dates. If these are to your liking, you can confirm your booking and benefit of a 500€ discount.

Conversely, if the dates or the price don’t work out for you, you are welcome to cancel your booking and your entire deposit will be refunded immediately.

However, the 500€ discount is only available to those who reserve their spot during the pre-sale campaign. There will be no other discounts or promotions!

So, if you think this tour might interest you, reserve a spot now, because you have nothing to lose and everything to win. Click on the button below to send your deposit by credit card now.

Please not that the group size is limited to 6 participants. This means that only the first 6 people to sign up for the pre-sale campaign are guaranteed a seat. In case there are more than 6 adherents, those who sign up after the first 6 will only be offered a seat if one or more of the first 6 do not confirm their booking when the pre-sale campaign is over.

Couple in historical '700s costumes

What is Included

  • Single accommodation at 4-star hotel hosted in a historical Venetian palace, with breakfast.
  • A welcome dinner and a farewell dinner.
  • Boat passes for the city of Venice.
  • All entrances to museums and attractions.
  • One half-hour private gondola ride with an instructor and masked models.

Private taxi fares to and from the airport are not included, but we can organize them for you on request.

Contact Me For More Information

If you’d like more information, get in touch with me using the form below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible

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Venetian Carnival mask

Venetian Carnival mask

Skyline of Venice as seen from San Giorgio Island