Workshops - Seminars - Consulting

Other essays in this series

If you have been considering attending one of our workshops, seminars, or consulting program, you are understandably curious about how other participants have enjoyed their experience studying, photographing and working on their photographs with Natalie and I.

On this site I feature testimonials from participants on each workshop description page and on each page where products are featured. I also have a dedicated Testimonials page where I list several hundred testimonials going back all the way when I started Beaux Arts Photography, the official name of my business, in 1997. This page is accessible via the Testimonials button in the left sidebar

Next year will be the 10th year anniversary of Natalie and I founding Beaux Arts Photography and being in business for ourselves. During these nearly 10 years, as of today, November 18, 2006, we have had the pleasure of helping many of you reach the next step with your photography.

We regularly receive unsolicited testimonials from you and I thought it would be nice to feature a selection of them in this series. This is why I created this page.

Before I let you speak about us, through the testimonials that follow, I want to thank all of you who sent us your testimonial. Natalie and I very much appreciate your help and your support. If you want to write a testimonial, simply email it to us at and I will add it to this page.

Thank you

Alain Briot

Printing Mastery Workshop on DVD Testimonial
by Peter Farrer

I must thank you both so very much for the DVD, there are no photoshop books which can help to improve the image quality to near perfection. I am so very pleased with my results which are only with thanks to your DVD workshop. I feel that a cheetah photo is the best quality animal photo I have ever seen, you want to stroke it. I intend to offer a limited amount of postcard size animals to the kids for free.

I am using your mat board technics Natalie, it ensures the longitivity of the artwork which is important to me. I feel the DVD is underpriced but I did get it at the special offer first 50 price. Some of the advice is priceless. I use Canon ipf5000 and only hahnemuhle paper which is also extremely high quality.

Please feel free to visit my new website, where you will see some unique shots of Kilimanjaro:

Printing Mastery Workshop on DVD Testimonial
by P.W.

I have just finished working through the workshop at my own pace, and wanted to write something for the two of you.

The Printing Mastery Workshop on DVD is a gift.
It is a set of tools--with a message.
It is an exhortation-- to focus better, to extract the art from the data, to slow down in the beginning and take a few notes, to slow down in the middle and possibly go in a new direction, to go where the image is going and to expand one's personal art by orders of magnitude.

Part of my personal credo is 'getting out of the way and letting my soul expand' and you've given me lots of new tools to get out of my own way. For me it is about the connotations of an image, about the emotions evoked in the resonance of another soul. Thanks for showing me how to expand my soul and touch others.

--PW from Jersey."

Printing Mastery Workshop on DVD Testimonial

The DVD is a remarkable body of work, from the quality of the audio to the clarity of the explanations.  The amount of caring that it took to assemble the body of work is just staggering, and the quality of the production is exquisite.  Congratulations!

I have a much better chance of touching others and myself with the help of the DVD.  I get to start kind of 'standing on your shoulders.'

Thanks for the boost, and a very sincere thank you from my heart--

Marketing CD Testimonial
from Scott Buttrick

I want to thank you for making your marketing CD available.  I have learned so much from you already that I can't wait until I have the funds to buy Printing Mastery Workshop on DVD.

I applied the principals taught in the marketing CD to getting accepted into a local artist co-op and gallery.  Today my wife Cathy and I hung my work in the gallery and it sure looked good. 

Thanks again,

Scott Buttrick

One on One Consulting Testimonial
by Marc Semanoff

I first met Alain Briot last summer at his Navajoland photography workshop in Page Arizona. After the weekend workshop, Alain suggested we do some one on one consulting together. He said I would learn a lot and continue my journey to become a better photographer.

I was skeptical. I really did not know what I would learn, after all we just spent three days together in a workshop. But I decided to follow up on Alain's suggestion. I sent Alain a group of my digital photographs, so we could discuss what can be done to improve my work, rather than someone else's.

Well we had our first consulting for an hour. Alain was in Arizona. I was at my computer in St. Louis. We selected one photograph from the bunch and we worked on it, working from two different computers. It took us the full one hour to really get the photo ready for printing.

Hunt's Mesa by Marc Semanoff

Alain taught me the proper workflow step by step. It seemed like the one hour session was over in a flash. I learned so much. I told Alain that I did not know how much I do not know about making outstanding photographs. We had a second session several weeks later. During the second session we started where we left off during the first session. Alain introduced me to more suggestions about how to improve my photographs. Then we had a third, a fourth, and finally a sixth one hour session.

I do not like to spend money. But I wanted to accelerate my learning so that I become a much better photographer. After working with Alain over the phone, from a remote distance, using my photographs, I learned so much.

It is now two months since Alain and I last worked together to critique my photographs. I have found my photography work is greatly improved as a result of the information that Alain shared with me during our one on one consulting sessions.

I am beginning to gain some recognition. Last month in a national North American Indian photography contest, one of my photographs took a third place. I am beginning to sell my work.

The results from our one on one consulting, done remotely over a six month period was really very rewarding to me. And it was fun.

Marc Semanoff

2006 Fine Art Summit Testimonial
by Ralph Nordstrom

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the 2006 Summit. In a word, WOW! It was so good to see you and Natalie again and get to spend some time with you. I really appreciate our conversation on soft proofing.

Joseph Holmes and Uwe Steinmueller were terrific. Although, I think Joe is already causing me a lot of grief. His emphasis on making sure the edges of the image are cropped perfectly you know. Boy, that makes it a whole lot harder! I feel I can manage two, maybe three edges pretty well. But getting all four edges, not easy.

I must tell you about my drive home on Tuesday. I didn’t get away from the hotel until about 4:40, destination Bryce Canyon NP. I hoped to make it there by sunrise but it took too long for me to get going (or I should have gotten up a half hour earlier). But it didn’t matter – it was completely clouded over when I got to Sunset Point.

There were a few other photographers there. I set up and took a few flat pictures. The photographers started giving up and leaving one by one until there was just one other guy and me. We talked. I told him about the summit and shooting Antelope Canyon. While we were talking the sun came out for about 20 minutes. So I got some good morning light.

As I was leaving it started snowing. I got to drive away in blowing snow. It was fantastic. I made another stop in Zion NP, took a few snaps but nothing that will amount to anything. But it was good just being back there.

So I added 150 miles to my 550 mile trek home. It was a long but exciting day and definitely worth it.

Thanks again for a great summit. The two big things that will help my photography are color management and composition.

Kind regards,

Ralph Nordstrom
Nordstrom Landscapes

Antelope Canyon Workshop Testimonial
by Jim Huber

The first question most friends asked me for the next week or so after I returned from the Antelope Canyon Workshop was some variation of "Did you learn anything?". I could simply say "a lot". To be more complete I could compose a very long-winded answer. But I think showing the "before & after" images below will be much more convincing and much quicker too.

The "before" image was taken just before the workshop, late Friday morning. I like the composition of the "after" image a lot better because the crevice in the rocks in the bottom right corner follows the line of the river and leads out the corner, while the "before" image chopped the river off too harshly.

But of course what first leaps out at me is the difference in color and contrast between the two images. Before I would have worked on the "before" image in Photoshop to try to make it better. Now it's an immediate garbage can frame, if I would even shoot it at all.

The more I think about what I heard and saw during the workshop the more I realize I learned. It was a very intense couple of days, and so it is still sinking in. Definitely well worth the cost and the travel!

Thank you!

Jim Huber

Marketing Seminar Testimonial
by Karen Marion

Hi Natalie and Alain,

Thanks to your marketing seminar, I am now applying to art shows around the country. I finally got the last of the equipment and set up my display to photograph it. I was amazed that I could do it all myself, even setting up the tentI really like the pro panels, and the end result looks great! I'll be doing a bunch of summer shows in the Great Lakes region, and then will probably come back to Arizona during the winter sometime.

Karen's Artwork Display

I find myself telling other artists many of the things I learned at that workshop. It's amazing how much you managed to pack into one weekend!!! Great job!!!


Karen Marion

Antelope Canyon Workshop Testimonial
by Woody Spedden

Alain and Natalie

I want to congratulate you guys for putting on a wonderful workshop that taught me as much in three days as all the books, articles etc had done in several years. Nothing like being in the presence of greatness and getting the thoughts and hints in real time. Seriously, Alain has taught me so much, and I hope to show you very soon how much I have improved.

I spent all day today culling 8 of the best images and starting the real work of preparing for print. I have one particular shot in the Antelope Canyon that I will be including in my December exhibition at the Gallery here in Fort Collins. I will send it to you for "print review" so you can make sure I have put my best into the final print.

I also want to tell you that, in addition to the wonderful teachings, how much I enjoyed meeting you and learning about you and sharing some of common philosophies about life. You are very special people and I am privileged to have had the opportunity to spend this time together.

Please let us stay in touch. No doubt I will be attending the Photoshop workshop with you in the near future, and God (and finances) willing to take the trip down the Colorado with you as well.

You have make a very real and positive difference in my life.

God bless

Your friend,


San Juan River Running Workshop Testimonial
by Bernard Languiller

The San Juan Workshop was both interesting and fun. The location was of course amazing, but you and Natalie's teaching, as well as the presence of the other participants, did contribute strongly to making this a unique experience from which I hope to retain a lot. I feel that it is a good fondation that will hopefully help me further improving my photography.

The focus on near/far work was definitely interesting for me, as it is a type of composition that I have probably not used enough until now. I feel that I am now more comfortable with these, which opens new doors. I was also very interested by the emphasis put on open shade, which is a type of lighting condition that I don't encounter very often here in Japan, or that I was at least not enough aware off until now.

It was also very valuable for me to hear from a working landscape pro like you that the techniques and methods I have been using in various areas (4*5 shooting,...) are basically not too far off the mark. This is of course not the most important part of photography, but these underlying skills are nonetheless an important part of shooting.

Overall, the small size of the group was a real asset as we ended up getting a lot more of your time than we normally could have with a larger group I guess. The on location teaching with real life examples that you performed is definitely a lot more efficient than theoretical lecturing as long as the participants have enough understanding of the basic stakes, which was the case this time. I intend to keep using the framing tool that you provided us with as I found it to be helpful and an efficient learning and shooting tool.

I haven't had a lot of time to look at the images yet, but it would appear that a few could be nice. I haven't received the large format slides yet though. The 6x12 roll films will be available tonight, and the 4x5 sheets next week only.

I have set up an appointement with Ebony tonight to give a look at the fallen camera, they seemed pretty optimistic over the phone... :-) I have already spent a few hours removing as much sand as I could from the various gear, and it seems that nothing god damaged too badly.... :-)

Thank you again.


Being An Artist Essay Testimonial
from Maximo Hertelendy

Alain, my name is Maximo Hertelendy, I just finished reading your Essay on "Being an Artist", on the Luminous Landscape site. As with the rest of the series, it was a delightful thing to read. I've been shooting landscapes for a long time now in Argentina, where I live, and a country with an enormous choice of incredibly beautiful places to stir one's creativity. But I must admit that for several years I had a very hard time accepting and respecting the fact that I'm a photographer, sometimes hating the idea of being an artist, or despising it, others obsessing and feeling the results were worthless.

Now I‚ve come to think life is a work of art, in that every little thing we do can be permeated with our love of it, in our way of doing it, and it's free, because it's its own reward. Or we can go the other way and void daily life from that emotional charge, and restrict it to the "fun times", holidays, etc, program the moment when we may smile or when we may feel happy or passionate in any way. That always brings to my mind the label "human resources", which is so en vogue these days, and sounds so dehumanizing to me. Anyway, I must say I'm always in some sort of related struggle, knowing, understanding  and living an idea are not parallel achievements most of the time.

There are so many things that I feel coherent about this specific essay you wrote, so many incredibly interesting lateral issues, but I don't want to start repeating you, and I'm sure you must have gone a thousand times through this ideas that come to my mind while reading what you wrote. I just want to say that as you said, artists are always at risk of loosing their own respect, their center of gravity, much more than any other profession. And for that, I believe for any person on the inner artistic struggle, having resonance with and understanding the experience of one who has succeeded solidly in the task of being an artist to himself and others, is extremely important and encouraging. Since that's exactly what your essay gives others the chance to experience, I just wanted to thank you for writing it, and in a way naked of any biases, making it possible for others to relate directly. That, in my opinion, is genius, saying things in a simple and understandable way without diminishing the deepness of the ideas conveyed. And for writing this as a work of art, not as a manual or a textbook. I'll be obviously expecting the next part, but this one is pretty much a corner stone of the series, in my opinion, and you made it worth of such a place.

Thanks again

Maximo Hertelendy

Being An Artist Essay Testimonial
from Walter Barron

I have just finished reading your article "Being an Artist" , and I have to say that it is one of the best pieces I have ever read on the subject.Separating being an artist, and being an artist in business, into two separate things is one of the best thoughts  I have encountered on the subject. This article has pushed my thoughts on being an artist in new directions. Many of the of the things you say about inspiration, luck, etc. I have come to realize through years of experience . To see them written with such eloquence reinforces my own thoughts and gives me confidence to pursue them further. You and Brooks Jensen of "Lens Work" magazine are two of the best and most inspirational writers on photography today. I am looking forward to the next installment, " Being an Artist in Business". Thanks for all your hard work, and for the beautiful photographs.

Thanks, Walter Baron