A multimedia workshop - Study and work along side Chinese photographers at the Three Shadows Photography Art Center in Beijing, China.

© Arlene CollinsExperience Beijing from the inside, working in conjunction with local photographers while exploring this diverse city. Through formal lectures, critiques and on-location demonstrations, students will learn how to photograph in a variety of challenging lighting situations while developing their style. Lectures and demonstrations include working in low light conditions and at night, using strobe to create a ‘natural look’.  This workshop will teach you how to document a foreign culture and how to produce a photo-essay that has impact.

Three Shadows Photography Art Center is located in Beijing’s vibrant new art district, Caochangdi. The Center is the first contemporary art space dedicated exclusively to photography and video art in China. The complex includes a gallery space, classrooms with Wi-Fi, traditional black & white darkrooms, professional ink jet digital printers, a library with over 2,000 books, catalogues and journals and a café, and was designed by the renowned artist Ai Weiwei.

Three Shadows mission is to showcase contemporary Chinese photography, provide challenging educational programs for artists and photographers, publish books, conduct events, provide an archive of Chinese photography, and initiate a dialogue between China and the international art scene. Visit www.threeshadows.cn for more information.

Workshop classes are held each morning at the Three Shadows Photography Art Center. Afternoons and evenings are reserved for on-location demonstrations and group shoots and for participants to work on their personal projects. During this workshop participants are encouraged to work on a long-term personal project. Participants may work with still photography or video. With Three Shadows as a resource, you will gain access to events, activities and subjects usually only familiar and primarily accessible to the local population.

Participants can work together in groups or individually pursue their projects. Beijing is the perfect photographic location, and offers a diverse range of photographic subjects. Possible documentary subjects and photographic locations include: residential life in the Hutongs, tea ceremonies, nightlife around Hou Hai Lake, the architecture of the Forbidden City, and the many temples & the railway stations. Beijing is a contrast of new and old, from its modern glass skyscrapers to the narrow lanes of the Hutongs. You can explore the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, The Summer Palace, and climb the Great Wall of China. Gallery 798, originally a Soviet style weapons factory is now a fashionable district of galleries. The back streets of the Hutongs offer Beijing as it use to be. Here you can access the locals who live in their front stoops. At night experience Beijing’s night food market with its exotic delicacies.

Participants should plan to arrive in Beijing by Friday July 12, 2013. That evening we will hold an orientation meeting and group welcome dinner. Our first class meets the following morning on Saturday July 13th, at 9:00 am at the Three Shadows Center. The workshop officially ends the evening of Sunday July 21st with the final critique and farewell reception.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is for serious amateurs and professional still photographers & videographers who have a working knowledge of their camera and want to photograph the diverse Chinese culture. This is an opportunity to work closely with local Chinese photographers while developing a new body of work. Participants should be comfortable navigating and photographing in a foreign city.

Media & Recommended Equipment

Participants may shoot still images or video using a DSLR camera or a point and shoot camera. Optional but recommended is a computer with Lightroom, Aperture or a digital imaging cataloging program and an external hard drive for backup. For those shooting video you should have either imovie or Final Cut Pro for viewing and editing your videos. Bring at least one camera body, all your lenses, a tripod, extra camera batteries, plenty of memory cards, a flash unit(s) and any light modifiers you own, a flash light for shooting at night, all technical manuals, and a notebook and writing utensil.

The workshop fee includes the use of the Three Shadows Photography Art Center classroom, facilities, group guide and location assistance, the opening and closing receptions and the on-location demonstrations. Participants are responsible for all their own travel arrangements, including international flights, visas, transportation, hotels, airport transfers, local transportation, meals and private guides (if you choose).


You are encouraged to bring a companion who will be able to participate in the group excursions and receptions for a charge of $500.00.

Tuition Note 

At the time of registration, Maine Media Workshops will collect an initial deposit of $600, plus a $55 registration fee.  All other payments will be billed & collected by Collins Photography Workshops.  Arlene Collins Photography, LLC, reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the stated due date.

Three Shadows Photography Art Center is located in Beijing’s Chaoyang District

155 Caochangdi,

Chaoyang District Beijing 100015


Tel: +86 10 6432 2663                                                           

Travel & Expenses

Several airlines fly from various U.S. cities to China. Participants may stay at the hotel of their choice and Beijing hotels range from deluxe to boutique. You are responsible for arranging your own transportation to and from the Center. If you choose to stay downtown driving to the Center can take up to one hour. A taxi from downtown to the Center may cost upwards of $20.00 USD each way. Beijing is a cosmopolitan city what offers all kinds of restaurants from very expensive to inexpensive. You should plan on budgeting USD $120.00 to $150.00 per day for food, local transportation and ancillary expenses.


In addition to travel guidebooks, www.timeoutbeijing.com offers a complete listing of hotels, restaurants and events in Beijing.


Swire East  (the closest hotel to the Center) www.east-beijing.com

Learn To:

  • Work with people in a foreign culture
  • Light an environmental portrait on location
  • Photograph at night
  • Expand your photography vision 
  • Shoot video

Beijing Features:

  • Tiananmen Square
  • The Forbidden City
  • Temple of Heaven
  • The Summer Palace
  • Hutongs
  • The Great Wall
  • Mao Zedong Mausoleum

Terms and Conditions for Destinations Workshops

1. Reservations & Payments

A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop.  Final payment in full is due 45 days prior  to the date of departure for your workshop.  Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.

2. Cancellations

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark, or upon receipt of an email providing notice of cancellation. If you provide written notice of cancellation  60 days or more prior to the departure date for your workshop, your deposit, and any additional payment, will be refunded in full, less an administration fee of $55.00. If you provide written notice of cancellation less than 60 days prior to the departure date for your workshop, your full deposit will be forfeited; any additional funds paid to Maine Media for the workshop will be refunded.  No refunds of any amount will be made to persons who (i) fail to provide written notice of cancellation, or who (ii) begin a workshop, but fail to complete the workshop.

3. Basis of Rates

All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.

4. Insurance

It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries or illnesses.

5. Itinerary Changes

The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.

6.  Passports and Visas

A valid passport is required for all travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered. If you are a U.S. citizen, Maine Media will notify you if your destination requires a visa.  Non-U.S. citizens are required to contact the appropriate consular office for entry requirements for their workshop. Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.

7. Medical Issues

All participants must be in good health.   You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration.  This document may be found on the course description page.

8. Liability Waiver

Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop.   Click here to download.

9. Responsibility & Photography

To ensure a safe photographic experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations.  The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive; or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment.  No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop. 

Sign and Return Waiver Form


© Arlene Collins

Course Dates

This course is not offered at this time.
Check our full workshop listing for other alternatives.

Please email us or call 1-877-577-7700 with any questions.



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