Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Join Us! Photographing the White Horses of the Camargue


One of the most-special experiences I've booked for my clients is a day devoted to photographing the famous white horses of the Camargue...and the cowboys (gardians) who look after them. To do this, I've teamed up with a terrific photographer who knows the best ranches, best places to shoot and best time of day for the most-magical images. She took all the photos above.

Not only will you improve your skills considerably but you'll get an exciting glimpse of a cherished Provençale tradition that many travelers miss. 

Shooting lasts roughly 90 minutes but there’s a 45-minute tutorial beforehand, plus travel time to the shooting site, so plan to spend about three hours. Workshops are suited to all levels, from beginner to professional, using smart phones to DSLRs. The best time to shoot is around sunrise and sunset so the timing changes with the seasons. Workshops are either public (where you can book as a solo and be paired with other people) or private (for you and your peeps only). Public workshops are on set dates; private ones can happen anytime.

Please note that the photographer is observing all COVID safety protocols. Masks are mandatory and group sizes have been reduced for social distancing. 

By the way, people often refer to these horses as "wild" but that's not the case...there are no white horses just lurking around the Camargue! They're all owned by someone and most live on ranches (manades), behind fences or sometimes gates. Many ranches are indeed open to the public at certain times...but that's another story for another day. In general, you don't just roll up to a ranch and start shooting the horses...and you almost certainly wouldn't get great shots. So that's why these workshops are ideal.

Two types of private workshops are available on your choice of dates.  A group of 7 to 10 horses running in the watery marshes is 825€ (for up to 8 people). A group of 5 to 7 horses on the beach (and running in the sea) is 1650€ (for up to 10 people). The price is a flat fee for your group; each workshop includes gardians in traditional gardian garb! Private workshops are available year round.

Public workshops are available on set dates, starting three hours before sunset. June is sold out but the dates for the rest of the year as as follows:  July 1, July 8, July 15, July 22, July 29, Aug 5, Aug 12, Aug 19, Sept 5, Oct 3, Oct 10 and Nov 7. These alternate between the marsh (180€ pp) and the beach (235€ pp). 

Whether you sign up for a public or private shoot, you’ll meet the photographer in or near Aigues-Mortes, about 45 minutes from Arles. For the marsh shoots, be sure to wear water-proof boots to the knee. For beach shoots between May and October, bare feet or walking sandals and shorts are fine. Masks won't be provided...you need to bring your own.
This same photographer also offers three-day workshops, shorter sessions focused on the birds of the Camargue (flamingos and others) and workshops on demand for groups of all types. Let me know what interests you and I'll reach out! 

In May 2021, there will be special workshops with mares and their new foals...probably five of each. These public shoots will be held on a private ranch, in a typically marshy and lovely Camargue landscape with birds, reeds, etc. 

For more info or to book: whattodoinprovence@gmail.com. 
*Note from Julie: If you're heading for the South of France, please check my websites ProvencePostTravel.com and WhatToDoinProvence.com. There you'll see all the ways in which I can help, whether you need a completely custom itinerary or just a couple fab tours or activities. We do lots of hotel and villa booking too, all over Provence and the Cote d'Azur, and would love to help you find the perfect place!

2 comments:

  1. Wow, what a unique, once-in-a-lifetime type of experience! I so wish we could travel to France now just to don our boots, head to the Camargue, and take this workshop. Will keep it in mind for our next trip. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Yes, please! You know I would be up for that!

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