One of the reasons we partnered with Create Photography Retreat was because we saw so many conferences where people just rotted in a conference center all week. Lame.Jim Harmer, Improve Photography

The Retreat is a photography conference open to photographers of all skill levels who want TONS of hands-on shooting opportunities, fun, new friends, and a positive and supportive environment.

What Will Happen at the Retreat?

When you arrive on the first morning, you'll get your name tag, information about Whova (our event app) and a welcome by our friendly staff at the registration desk. Then, you'll go into the opening session where we have plans for an inspirational and helpful intro to the conference.

You'll be placed in a group of 10-20 other photographers, and you'll quickly become friends as you spend time together during the Retreat. You'll share meals together, give photo feedback to each other, go out on many shoots together, etc. Don't worry about what group you're placed in--we're always happy to help if you want to be in a group with someone else, etc. Many dozens of life-long friendships have been formed at our retreats because we're always helping people to make connections and feel part of the group.

Each day you'll have opportunities to attend several classes by many expert and some world-renowned speakers. We design our classes to be as hands-on and engaging as possible. We'll teach you how to clean your sensor--hands on. We'll bring models into the classes so you can see what the instructor is talking about. We'll have macro setups to practice what you're hearing, etc.

But the real fun of the Create Photography Retreat is the shooting opportunities. Attendees of the Spring 2017 Retreat all left home with many portfolio-quality photos and all of them spent many hours behind a camera at some amazing locations. In addition, we invest in bringing top-quality models to the event so if you're bored in class, you can work with a model and shoot any time, or use the Really Good Photo Spots App to get out and shoot landscapes. This is a hands-on conference with tons of top-notch shooting opportunities.

Purchase Ticket

Presenters and Agenda

This year we have 16 expert presenters, 43 presentations, live models, onsite shoots and photo reviews.

As we continue to shape this event to what you want, please understand the schedule is subject to change

Full List of Presenters

Powered by Whova, our retreat app.

Full Interactive Agenda

Powered by Whova, our retreat app.


The ticket price to attend the conference is $457. Generally, the biggest cost of attending a conference like this is not the ticket price, but the travel cost. Most conference venues make the conference rooms somewhat inexpensive, but charge exorbitant hotel costs to the attendees to stay there. Last year, the hotel was $200/night!

This year we set out to reduce the cost of the conference for everyone–even though the ticket price is slightly higher. We've done that by picking a location that is easy to fly to, and where hotels near the venue can easily be had for $100 or less, and where parking at the venue is free, etc. I believe this will result in a reasonably priced trip that you'll remember until the day you die.

  • Sample Budget Retreat
  • $457 – Conference Ticket
  • $200 – Hotel for two nights
  • $75 – Food (If you have breakfast at your hotel you’ll save money, and Create Photography Retreat is paying for one catered meal at the event so we can all be together)
  • (Optional) $250 – Pre/Post-conference workshop with your favorite speaker
  • (Optional) $100 – Rental car or Uber fares, or you could split a rental car with someone at the Retreat. You’ll be invited to a Facebook group for attendees so you can do that.
  • Remember that if you earn money with your photography at all, you can use these expenses to write off income you make–even if you haven’t formed a separate LLC or anything official. Obviously, you need to consult with a tax professional to get tax advice for your situation, but be sure to keep track of your receipts for the conference so you have that option!

Location and Venue

Charleston is a fantastic photography location. From Angel Oak to the plantations, to Botany Bay, and the beach–Charleston is a gorgeous city with multiple 5-star landscape and portrait photography locations. Also, the bird photography should be quite good this time of year.

We are incredibly excited about the venue for the event this year. It will offer us more than enough space to spread out, to have more classes happening during each hour to provide you with a better choice of classes, and larger rooms to accommodate everyone for the most popular speakers.

The event is being held at Trident Technical College in Charleston. The address of the venue is 7000 Rivers Ave, North Charleston, SC 29406.

Post-Conference Workshop Information

The Retreat runs from Thursday morning to noon on Saturday. However, many of you will want to stay through Saturday night to attend post-conference workshop. These workshops generally cost $250 and will allow you to spend about 8 hours with your favorite speaker in the field shooting in a small group (limited to 15 or fewer people). For many attendees, the extra workshop is their favorite part of the conference, and they are priced so it can be a reality for most attendees.

The post-conference workshops are available right now. You may want to arrange your travel plans to stay until Sunday so you can be in a conference workshop and shoot the sunset or night photography before you leave.

Creating Cityscape Panoramic Images With Impact

Class Limited to 20 Attendees.

Have you ever gone out to capture a Cityscape as a Panoramic Image and it just seems to fall flat when processing? Do you want to better control the dynamic range that is a BIG challenge with night cityscape photography? How about adding a “faux” reflection to your cityscape to create an image with IMPACT?

And MORE!!!

In this Post Workshop course, you will learn:

  • Tips on capturing the files needed to create these MASSIVE files with extreme resolution and detail!
  • How to process the RAW files to extract as much clean information as possible before the PANO merge!
  • How to MERGE into a PANO file and DUAL PROCESS this file (If Needed)!
  • How to use luminosity masks OR Blending Sliders for super clean image merge!
  • How to create an artificial, mirror-like reflection of the city on “water” with realistic looking water!

Cityscape, panoramic images are files that contain tons of detail and image information. Because they are made from several images, the resolution of these images is MASSIVE! But what happens when you share on social media? They are small versions of the original and the height of the file makes the image appear small and they are often overlooked.

When you create compelling composite images using a “mirror-like” body of water in front of the Cityscape, you bring the entire city to life and have an image with much more impact for the viewer. This is the exact technique that was the sole reason why “Signature” Magazine by Diner’s Club International contacted me and bought an image of the Boston, MA cityscape to be used in their magazine only 6 months after I picked up a camera for the first time! If I can do this, ANYONE CAN!!

I will show you various tips and tricks that will help you create these high res images and also many other tricks and techniques to help you with your photography as a whole.

City Scape

For more information Brian Pex at

Exposure Blending Workshop

Class Limited to 15 Attendees.

Frustrated with photos with colorless skies and noisy shadows? This class is for you! Exposure blending allows you to unlock the true potential of your camera's RAW files.

Before and After

This workshop covers:

  • How to create STUNNING sunsets and expand dynamic range in your photos by combining exposures or processing RAW files multiple times.
  • Hands-on training with RAW files (be sure to bring your laptop).
  • How to process your RAW files for maximum color and detail.
  • How to create and use luminosity masks in Photoshop to blend images and make targeted adjustments (using Greg's free panel, or Lumenzia).
  • An overview of best uses for exposure blending vs HDR (High Dynamic Range) techniques.

For more information Greg Benz at

Improve Photography Retreat Lighting Interiors Workshop.

Class Limited to 10 Attendees.

  • Hands-on interior lighting photography session
  • Try out new gear
  • Exterior twilight photography hands-on
  • Optional Sunday historic architecture walk or boat trip
For more information Email Josh at

Register here

Sunrise Boat Tour | Charles Towne Landing and more!

Class Limited to 10 Attendees.

Sunrise Boat Tour: This is going to be SO AWESOME. We’ll meet at about 5:30 at the boat tour operator. We’ll be on the water by about 6:00 a.m. and we’ll head out to Morris Island. We’ll be able to get off the boat and we should have the beach all to ourselves. We’ll at least have the boat to ourselves, so we’ll see if others are willing to brave the early morning to witness sunrise with us.

Charles Towne Landing: After breakfast we’ll head over to the first European settlement in South Carolina. Charles Towne Landing is loaded with historic structures, gardens, animals, swamps and more. The entrance fee is included in your workshop fee.

4:30 or thereabouts: The Landing closes at 5 so we may stay until they close, we may leave early. We’ll play it by ear. If we leave early we’ll head downtown and shoot in that area. Food will have to happen once again so we’ll find something to eat before the sun sets. Food on your own.

Ravenel Bridge or waterfront park: Either location will be good for sunset. And who knows, as I do more research I may find other places that are even better.

For more information Email Brent at

Register here

Pre-Conference Workshop Information

What Genres of Photography Will Be Taught?

Landscape, portrait, street, night, macro, drone. We're bringing in top-notch photographers in all genres to come and speak.


Charleston, South Carolina has an airport so most people will fly there. Generally, it's pretty cheap to fly into Charleston. That's one of the reasons we picked it as the location.

Generally, we would recommend renting a car. You can likely get a rental car for under $40/day, and it will allow you total freedom to get out and shoot. Also, parking is free at the venue. However, many attendees split a car or split a room. You'll have plenty of time to do that via the Facebook group or the WHOVA event app, which you'll get access to after purchase.

When to Arrive

We'll start early in the morning on March 22nd, so you'll need to arrive the night before. The opening session is when you'll get info about how the event will go and we like to make that session pretty epic, so don't be late!

What Gear Should I Bring?

Funny you should ask, we have a handy dandy page with information for you right here.

What Will Happen After Purchase?

After you purchase your ticket, you'll go to a page with a download (the download will also be emailed to you). The download is a simple file that gives you two links. The first link is to a survey. That survey is where you'll give us your name and some information about what type of photography you enjoy and your skill level so we can place you in an appropriate group. Also, you'll get a link to a private Facebook group just for attendees of the conference.

We will also send you information on how to download the WHOVA event app. This will give you all the retreat information on your mobile device.


There are lots of hotels near Trident Technical College which you can get for $100 or less per night. We're really glad that we found a location where the hotels are separate from the venue so that attendees can save on lodging costs, and so that you can pick lodging according to your personal taste. The following is a list of hotels within two miles of the conference venue:

  • Hyatt Place North Charleston – $$
  • Staybridge Suites Charleston/Ashley Phosphate – $
  • Motel 6 North Charleston – $
  • Rodeway Inn Charleston – $
  • Best Western Plus Airport Inn & Suites – $$
  • La Quinta Inn North Charleston – $
  • $ Country Inn and Suites – $$
  • Red Roof Inn North Charleston – $
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Charleston North/Ashley Phosphate – $$$
  • Extended Stay America – $
  • Suburban Extended Stay Airport – $

I Have a Question/Need Help

Click on our FAQ Page or feel free to contact us at