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Costa Rica Photography Retreat

Costa Rica is sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of South America because of its comfortable lifestyle, peaceful democracy and overwhelming natural beauty. The country's Disney"like" cast of characters -
ranging from howler monkeys to toucans - are populous and relatively easy to spot through your lens. The waves are prime, the sunsets are breathtaking along black beaches, the beauty is staggering and the photographic opportunities are endless.

Join Deborah Sandidge and Kevin Pepper in Costa Rica on the 2014 Photographer's Retreat. Our stay in Costa Rica will be a seven day photography workshop like no other. With a mix of "learning immersion" and
"unrivalled decadence" you will walk away wanting to know where we are headed the following year.

Introducing Your Photography Leaders

Deborah Sandidge - www.debsandidge.com

Deborah Sandidge is a professional photographer who enjoys sharing her insight and creative ideas through workshops, seminars and writing. She is the author of Digital Infrared Photography, published by Wiley. As an instructor at BetterPhoto.com, Deborah teaches Enhancing Images and Creating Works of Art, Digital Infrared Photography, and a new course on Creative Long Exposure Photography.

Deborah offers a wide variety of creative and technical skills in her workshops, classes, and seminars, making time spent with her educational and fun for all skill levels. She shares many innovative tips and techniques to
inspire the photographer to create unique imagery through enhanced photography skills, and artistic image optimization.

Deborah's style of creating dramatic story-telling imagery reflects in her travels, and interaction with the people she meets. She has had the opportunity to photograph interesting people, unique architecture, and
experience fascinating cultures in many countries throughout out the world.

Deborah loves to blend travel and teaching, offering her expertise and insight to others through photography tours and workshops. She enjoys creative work in the digital darkroom, and considers Photoshop her artist's palette.

Deborah is a guest author for Nik Software, Topaz Labs, Naturescapes, and collaborated with Nikon Learn & Explore site for star, star trail and long exposure photography. Deborah's images have been used by Nikon for trade shows, brochures, product guides, and for the past three years, the Nikon World Calendar. She is a North American Brigade Team member for f-Stop Gear, and is partnered with Feisol Tripods. Deborah's photography is represented by Danita Delimont, Alamy, Novastock, Positive Images and Aurora.

Kevin Pepper - www.kpepphotography.com

Kevin, a Sigma PRO photographer, hails from Ontario, Canada. He is a nature shooter and teacher at heart. No matter what the season is; the draw of being out in the outdoors is what inspires him to take photos and take amateur photographers on one of his photography workshops. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography, to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio.

Kevin also operate the "Photographers Lounge", a company dedicated to teaching photography. Through "The Lounge" you can learn from some of the best photographers of our time... as you wil learn from Deb on our workshop. You can visit the Photography Lounge here, http://www.photographerslounge.net

Kevin's photos have been published in such periodicals and websites as , National Geographic website and the Olympus Corporate website 2009, 2010, 2011. He also writes for Canadian Nature Photographer, PhotoTECH Magazine and PhotoNEWS Canada.

The Photography Retreat

Our destination is a private villa on the west coast of Costa Rica. With a full staff that includes our small community bartender(s), maids, servers an executive chef, we will take over this resort for our week long

Our itinerary will be a mix of classroom learning, photographic outings designed to cover specific topics and also make time to sit back and relax in our private pool, Jacuzzi and expansive deck that overlooks the pacific ocean.

The outings that we have planned include a sunset boat cruise, a photowalk in the Costa Rica rainforest and a photowalk to one of Costa Rica's volcanoes. We will also head out for seaside photography sessions, model shoots and head into town to photograph the culture that is unique to this art of the world.

Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy our trip because turtle season on the Caribbean coast is from late-February to October, with the peak season for leatherbacks from October to March. Birders will be overwhelmed by feathered friends any time of year, but the best season to spot the resplendent quetzal is between November and April and Spring (March through May) and are good times to watch the migratory flocks. Nature photographers will be overwhelmed by stunning seaside vistas and rainforest photographic opportunities and travel photographers will have the chance to capture fantastic culture in one of the most picturesque countries south of the equator.

Your classroom sessions will be a mix of editing sessions and teaching sessions on "how-to's" of various techniques such as infrared photography, long exposure photography, bird photography. We will also present
various gear from our sponsors, gear you will not only be introduced to, but will have the chance to use on our outings.

Our teaching philosophy will be to introduce you to a style, take you shooting so you can try that style of photography and then to go through your images with you and work on some editing so you walk away with the best images possible.

Sample Daily Menu


Three pieces of crisp bacon

Eggs and/or omelet prepared individually for each guest

Authentic Costa Rican Gallo Pinto with sweet corn (brown rice, black/red beans, sweet peppers, and onions, sprinkled with fresh sweet corn

Toast and a wide variety of fresh fruits such as melons, watermelon, papaya, bananas, mangos and pineapple

Selection of cereals, sweet cream and oatmeal on request

Costa Rican coffee with sweet cream. We also offer a shot of Costa Rica Golden Cream (liqueur)

Fresh natural juice of orange, mixed fruits

On request, we can prepare hot cocoa and/or hot or cold tea


Authentic Costa Rican tortilla soup (Winnie Chulas' famous recipe): tomato base, fresh avocados and other vegetables, white cheese, onions, cilantro, and tostados

Small cup of black beans and hot fresh bread with whipped real butter


Asparagus soup and a generous serving of hot fresh bread with whipped real butter

Grilled skewers: four jumbo shrimp, sweet peppers, onions, and/or a second skewer of grilled tenderloin beef

Mixed pasta salad

Mixed vegetables


Cheesecake de manzana with ice cream

Snacks/appetizers are typically served mid-afternoon or at any time upon request


Air conditioning: individually controlled ~ Washer and dryer: free laundry service ~ All American bedding and furniture ~ Linens provided: USA quality ~ American-style bathrooms ~ Bartender/host ~ Covered parking ~
Off-street parking ~ 24-hour security ~ Private taxi service available


Cable/satellite TV ~ DVD player ~ Video library ~ Stereo system ~ Music library


Full kitchen ~ Cooking utensils ~ Refrigerator ~ Dishwasher ~ Microwave ~ Ice maker

Outdoor Features

Private hot tub ~ Private splash pool ~ Community pool with swim-up bar ~ Gas/electric barbecue grill ~ Balcony


Located in Ocotal, Guanacaste in Costa Rica ~ Luxury hillside community overlooking Ocotal Beach

Fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean ~ Two-minute walk to the beach ~ Five minutes from Playa del Coco ~ 20 minutes from Liberia International Airport


Telephone ~ Broadband internet ~ WiFi (wireless internet) available at pool and in rooms


March 8th till March 15, 2014

Total Numbers for workshop: Only a maximum 12 spots available for photographers. Minimum requirements are 6 photographers

What is Included!

International Airfare from any North American Airport (1) (3)

Airport pickup and drop off from Liberia's Daniel Oduber Quirós  International Airport

Seven nights’ accommodation in a private bedroom with your own private bathroom

All meals and snacks for the week.

The "All Inclusive Price" includes a continuous "open bar", including various national liquors, wines, tropical frozen drinks and icy cold Costa Rican beers as well soft drinks, water, etc. After hours the "bar" is

Transportation to and from our photowalks during the week.

Full maid service for the week.

a live Costa Rican Band come to the Villa for a private concert and unique photographic opportunity

Not Included:

Over weight luggage fees

Travel Insurance


Departure tax if applicable

Taxi rides into town for personal outings.

Anything not mentioned as included.


$4750USD for photographers attending the Photographic Retreat

$2990USD for your spouse or partner that is not a photographer but  wants to come and enjoy the all-inclusive retreat. Spouses and/or partners are also welcome on any of our photo walks for a nominal fee charged by the company operating the tours.


50% deposit required upon booking,
25% payment due September 1st, 2013, balance due in full 90 days prior
to travel date. (2)

(1) Regular airfare and departure tax  included. If you want to upgrade to executive or first class we can get you a  quote for the additional cost for that option.

(2) Pricing is applicable to for checks, bank drafts or wire transfers. PayPal and Credit Card payments are subject to a 3.5% surcharge.

(3) If you prefer to use points for your airfare, or can get a better price on air, please contact us and we will get you the price without airfare. 

Booking Your Space:

Contact Deborah or Kevin to arrange to book your spot with the resort on our 2014 Photography retreat.

Deb - [email protected]

Kevin - [email protected]