$ 1,000.00 – $ 5,900.00
The wait is over! We’re going back to Italy! Spend 9-Days with Me Ra and Brian on a dream Photography Workshop & Culinary Tour of Italy that takes you through the winding alleyways of Rome, picturesque medieval villages in Tuscany that are off the beaten path, dive into the romance of Florence and Renaissance art, with time to get lost in Venice, and (new to 2023!) also explore the rich colors of Burano island! Sleep at a castle and enjoy an unforgettable cooking class by their chef! Feast on 4-course dinners with amazing wine. Learn how to take stunning photos of one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and do it all with tons of laughter!
What are you waiting for? Sign up today!
Limited to 14 Attendees! All Levels Welcome!
Dates: Saturday, April 29th to Sunday, May 7th 2023
We’re Going Back to Italy!!!
Join celebrity photographer, Me Ra Koh, and her husband, Brian Tausend (award winning photographer and cinematographer) for a 9-Day Photography Workshop and Culinary Tour of Italy!
This an EPIC, dream, bucket list photography workshop and culinary tour of Italy! Each day Me Ra and Brian will bring hands-on instruction and teach you how to see the light (and the light is so beautiful in Italy!). Italy and all its beauty, history and scenery will romance your senses, while Me Ra and Brian empower you to capture your unforgettable journey.
We have all been through so much since our last Portrait of the World workshop. The theme of this 9 days is RESTORE. To have your JOY restored from more laughing than you can even imagine! To have your CREATIVITY restored with inspirational, daily photography lessons and exercises for every level! To have your sense of WONDER restored by the people, landscape and culinary magic of Italy! If your heart and soul are in need of deep restoration, get ready to be FILLED UP!
The group will start with Me Ra’s favorite city: Rome. Fall in love again as you stroll through the winding alleyways of the Eternal City. Me Ra and Brian are also going to whisk you away to some of their favorite off-the-beaten path medieval villages that you won’t find in travel books! You could spend hours in these villages photographing a hundred different painted doors. It is the stuff of dreams! We’ll spend an afternoon taking a private cooking class at a castle with the Count’s chef–someone you won’t forget. Photographing the rolling hills of Tuscany and beautiful, patchwork vineyards! Then we’ll make our way to Brian’s favorite city; Florence. Learn about the Renaissance Art period, as you capture the cobblestone romance of Florence. We’ll end our trip with a day of getting lost in the winding alleyways of Venice–the only way to experience Venice’s magic! And a NEW addition is our day trip to experience the colors of Burano island! You will not be able to put your camera down.
All levels of photography are welcome. Limited to 14 Attendees. This 9-Day Photography Workshop Tour of Italy is a dream trip! They LOVE Italy and can’t wait for you to fall in love with Italy too!
This photography workshop and culinary tour of Italy is designed for all levels of photography. Me Ra and Brian have been teaching photography workshops and traveling abroad for almost two decades! Me Ra is also one of the original select Sony Artisans of Imagery, inspiring both beginners and pros. Whether you are a newbie who simply loves taking photos or a pro wanting to be creatively refreshed, they will take you to new levels with your camera proficiency and creativity while exploring the most gorgeous areas of northern Italy. Photograph the oldest food market in Italy, hanging laundry in medieval villages (where else would laundry be romantic?! ITALY!!), the rolling hills of Tuscany! And everyone always loves learning to shoot for the stars with Brian, as they move across the castle’s night sky!
Spouses, Adult Kids, or BFFs
If your spouse, adult kid or friend is not a photographer but wants to experience Italy, they are more than welcome to join us! In fact, we have special plans for them too! It’s a photography workshop and culinary tour of Italy that you will never forget! (Trust us, they ALWAYS end up falling in love with taking photos! You can’t help it! It’s ITALY!!)
Rest and Savor
We will sleep in castles, 4 star hotels, and more! Most nights will be a 4-course dinner to experience the different flavors of northern Italy regions. The wine is the BEST you’ve ever had! Learn interesting historical facts from Brian who has been studying the Italian Renaissance for years. The locals have sung his praises on their history! Literally! LOL!
And we also promise you will laugh more than you ever thought possible.
Limited to 15 people.
Note: Me Ra and Brian’s Portrait of the World Photography Workshop Tours tend to fill up early so we recommend booking well in advance with a $1,000 deposit to reserve your spot. For more details about payments see terms for Travel & Portrait of the World Workshops.
You are welcome to pay the full Early Bird amount at once. Or you also have the option of reserving your spot with a $1000 non-refundable deposit, making two payments or four payments. If you need a custom payment plan, feel free to email us at email@example.com. But the trip must be paid in full by March 2023.
*PLEASE NOTE: Reservations and deposits for our group must be paid well in advance. Your $1000 deposit is non-refundable unless we are able to book someone in place of you. For more details about payments see terms for Travel & Portrait of the World Workshops.
Dates & Details
Saturday, April 29th to Sunday, May 7th 2023
Plan to arrive in Rome on Saturday, April 29th, with plenty of time for our Welcome Dinner!
Depart from Venice on Sunday, May 7th: In the past, people have also taken the train or a quick flight back to Rome and departed from there too!
Camera Gear to Bring and Other Travel Tips
We’ll be doing a couple zoom calls before the trip to go over camera gear and other helpful travel tips. Get your passport renewed ASAP so you don’t run into any unexpected expired passport issues.
Accommodations and Itinerary
Once hotels are secured, we’ll do a zoom call with the juicy details of exact locations!
*If you’d like a private room throughout the trip, there is an extra up charge. Let us know, and we’ll email you the price for that. Otherwise, we’ll be pairing attendees up with each other. If there is someone you already know that you’d like to room with, just let us know!
Meals…get ready to Eatly!
Breakfast provided at wherever we’re staying. Most dinners are included. These will be 4-Course dinners inspired by the regional cuisine and wine. (AWE-MAZING!) We saved a couple dinners to be on your own as a chance to explore or take a break from eating so much! LOL! Lunches are on your own and often in the medieval village we’re photographing that day. Gelato is on your own too! LOL! You can compete with Brian to try EVERY gelato place we pass. Ha! (This trip is dreamy, dreamy, DREAMY in EVERY WAY! The Culinary aspect is incredible! We are so EXCITED for you to come!)
Q: Is the airfare included?
A: Airfare is not included.
Q: What other expenses should I plan for?
A: Daily lunches, one or two dinners, spending money, tipping if you feel inclined to tip our driver, transportation at the end of the trip from Venice hotel to airport (it’s very close), and/or a museum pass if you want to do that in Florence. Everything else is covered; transportation throughout the trip (except to departure airport), 4 course dinners, breakfasts, our guide in Florence, etc. Most the time, we eat lunch spontaneously in the village we are photographing. Whether it’s a scrumptious plate of AMAZING pasta or a slice of pizza or yummy salad or Brian convinces you to get another scoop of gelato! The 4 course dinners are so filling that sometimes people skip lunch too. LOL
Q: Are we taking a van, bus, train?
We have a private shuttle that becomes the “party van”. LOL And then we love to take our group from Florence to Venice by train because walking out of the train station in Venice is PURE MAGIC!!!! It’s the most AWE-mazing train station in the world!
Q: What will I love shopping for?
A: Ohhhhhhh, let me count the ways! Florence is famous for their leather purses, bags, belts, and shoes! And it’s so reasonably priced! We’ll also be taking you to an ancient market in Rome where we always buy a year’s supply of pasta, spices and olive oil! The medieval villages off the beaten path have little treasures that may call to you. Venice is known for it’s blown glass. Gelato, gelato, gelato! Definitely plan for extra room to store all your treasures, or buy an extra suitcase in Florence! We have! LOL!
26 reviews for 9-Day Photography Workshop and Culinary Tour of Italy
Teresa Rish –
Portrait of Italy was a life changing experience. Being a wife and a mom of 2 small kids, I have little time for myself. I signed up for the trip almost immediately after MeRa posted it and sent it out in her newsletter. I called my sister-in-law and said, “WE HAVE TO DO THIS!” Her and I took MeRa’s confidence workshop a few years back and fell in love with her and Brian. I knew this experience would be as good if not better than the workshop. My instincts were correct! As soon as we arrived in Rome, (and had an amazing cappuccinos), we connected as a group and the laughter began. The schedule was perfectly balanced for me. The amount of photo opportunities, sight seeing, cities visited and learning were all the perfect balance. Did I mention the FOOD!!! Incredible. What I was not expecting was the laughter and the fun! MeRa and Brian were the most spectacular hosts and we giggled our faces off. One of our more funny jokes was looking for opportunities to make MeRa look like a GIANT and take her picture! The overall trip was SO organized yet organic at the same time. We hit the big ones as far as must see places, but also went off the beaten path and had the most fun ever! My photography definitely went up a notch after this trip and my heart became so much fuller. This was an experience I will treasure forever and I would do it all over again. Out of 5 stars I would give it 100!
Jennifer Dudek –
The Portrait of Italy tour was everything I had hoped for and more; great food, great company and great pictures! I had briefly met Me Ra and Brian at a prior workshop that had various speakers/photography instructors so I knew to expect quality photography lessons and tips, but as a woman setting off to travel on my own, I was a bit apprehensive about being comfortable in a foreign country with a group of people I didn’t really know. Any nerves that I had were soon dashed when I met up with everyone at the airport in Rome, using the detailed instructions provided by Uncover the World.
From the start, everyone in the group was giddy with excitement, not only because of the amazement that this trip was finally coming to fruition after several months following our sign up, but we were in ITALY and would be taking endless amounts of pictures for eight straight days! At dinner the first night, we were all laughing with tears rolling down our faces like we had been friends for decades that had just reconnected again.
While technically I was a single traveler, at no point did I feel lost or out of place. I was part of a group that learned from one another and supported each other. Thanks to Me Ra and Brian, I still periodically look back through my photos from Rome, Florence, Tuscany, and Venice in amazement of my growth in photography while I was there. The beauty of my growth is that it didn’t come from watching a video on the computer or sitting in a classroom, it came from on-the-fly experiences and sharing with each other in an open field of rolling hills or ancient villages. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I was impressed with Uncover the World and the organization of the flight, hotels, transportation and meals. Their partnering with Me Ra and Brian seemed like a perfect match. I look forward to future photography excursions.
Me Ra Koh –
Just reading your wonderful Reviews takes me back ladies!!! Thank sooooo much for all your feedback! It was a DREAM TRIP in every way!!! Reunion trip!!! Brian and I love you guys. And we thank you for trusting us with such a special trip. We are both beyond thrilled to know that it met your every expectation and more. YAY!!! PREGO LADIES!!! PREGO!!!! 🙂
Becky Rish –
I joined the 2015 Portrait of Italy group somewhat reluctantly at first. My sister-in-law and I had attended one of Me Ra’s confidence workshops a few years prior and thought we had died and gone to heaven! But when she said to me “hey let’s do Me Ra’s Italy workshop”, I thought NO WAY!! I’ve never traveled off the North American Continent and I couldn’t imagine taking that sort of first time trip without my husband. After a little persuasion I dropped the bomb to my husband and he was completely supportive. Then there was no looking back.
I was as excited for the trip as I was afraid to go to a non-English speaking country across the ocean!! The trip by far exceeded all my expectations. Me Ra & Brian and their travel planners took all the worry out of logistics, not only getting us there but WHILE we were there. All we had to do was show up at the designated meeting spot (breakfast) every day and the rest was taken care of. We learned new techniques, new ways to look at light, and new ways to look at the world. I loved the wide variety of scenery from urban to country to small village, with so much history in every single stop. Daily sharing of others’ photos brought new inspiration to all of us. We all laughed til it hurt every day and made memories and friends for life with one another. How can you not love being with a group of people who want talk about the thing that makes your non-photographer friends’ eyes glaze over!! If you can’t already tell, I highly recommend ANY photography workshop tour with Me Ra & Brian.
Me Ra, you have an amazing energy and passion. You attract people who want to grow. Your openness and love for photography and love of life brings the best out of people. It has been a gift to spend a week with you and Brian. I never knew how to really turn on my camera. I have learned so much and took such great photos, capturing an amazing trip to Italy!
Favorite Moment: EVERYTHING!
Authentic, fun experience! If you want to go from an iphone camera to shooting in manual in 8 days, this is the trip for YOU! I gained confidence and explored my edge in a fun, creative, safe place for trying new things. Me Ra and Brian’s expertise and their accessible, supportive hearts will teach you to take pictures you never dreamed you could take. A five star experience!
Favorite Moment: Taking sunburst pictures and our lunch in Florence when we met the owner of an amazing leather shop who is also a historian on Florence!
This was the perfect mix of structured tour and self-exploration. The agenda was perfectly paced with adventure and relaxation. Me Ra and Brian were so well organized and led a stress-free itinerary. I loved how they were so spontaneous to pull over the bus if they saw perfect light on a hillside in Tuscany. I can’t believe I shot the ENTIRE TRIP in manual mode! I never would have imagined I could take such beautiful photos. I can’t wait for their next tour!
Favorite Moment: To many to count! So many gasps, oooohs and ahhhhs. Beautiful towns, hilarious dinners, personal stories and our cooking class, and Florence was amazing!
Just the repetition of ISO, f-stops and shutter speed. The volume of ideas to shoot, the view points of other photographers, the friendships created among strangers. Great food, incredible scenery…this journey satisfied not only a life long dream to visit Italy but increased my knowledge, proficiency and confidence with photography!
Favorite Moment: Walking out of the subway in Rome and seeing the Colosseum. It took my breath away.
This experience is for you if you want to learn photography from the best!
Favorite Moment: ANY moments with Brian!!! He had me laughing at all times! Capturing the sun flare at the Colosseum…to many to write!
This trip has been more than I ever expected it to be. The places you selected to take us couldn’t have been more beautiful. You and Brian have a unique way of teaching us how to improve our photography skills without being intimidating.
Favorite Moment: Exploring the beautiful town of Montepulciano
The life changing experiences that I have had on this trip are once in a lifetime. The personal experiences with both Brian and Me Ra have meant so much, and I feel that they both care about not only my photography skills but also where I am in my life. This trip has been the funnest and most educating vacation that I have taken! If you want to see the world, meet new people, take your photography skills to the next level, then you need to do this for yourself!
Favorite Moment: Learning all the photography techniques along the way from night photography with Brian to shooting star burst photos with bright sun to completely shooting in manual mode! Not to mention all the laughter that was had!
I appreciated you challenging and teaching us how to shoot entirely in Manual mode. I also appreciated the incredible variety of places we made it to and the variety of light. You did a nice job with accommodations!
Favorite Moment: I loved the town on the hill where we photographed at night with Brian and then had dinner. Charming. Flowers everywhere. Great restaurant. I also loved the castle and the cooking class. It was wonderful that the castle’s count was so available to us, loved eating outside, and found the whole tour fascinating. I loved all the old towns we toured, and I’m so glad we stopped at the poppy field.
It’s more than photography. It’s exploration of places and yourself. The conversations and experiences will make you emotional (in a good way) and introspective. It’s about laughter, camaraderie, and building new friendships.
Favorite Moment: Doing the night star photo shoot with Brian at the castle.
This trip really helped me learn about my camera and what camera settings to use. A nice way to meet people and also get to know Me Ra and Brian.
Favorite Moment: Calcata was amazing and shooting the poppy fields!
This was a great way to see Italy! It was safe, friendly and funny!
Favorite Moment: Cooking class at the castle, our Florence experience and shooting night time photography with Brian
-Kathy, North Carolina
This is an excellent tour for the photo enthusiast who has never been to Italy or wants to see Italy with new eyes. Me Ra and Brian are the very best tour guides and photography instructors you could ask for! The scenery, food, and experiences were unforgettable.
Favorite Moment: “The Angry Dessert”–too funny! And I don’t remember the exact moment but sometime on Day 5 I found myself dialing in my camera settings and getting decent photos without having to ask “What are the camera settings?” This was very satisfying.
I enjoyed learning about long exposure photography at night, sky placement in photos, and shooting at higher f-stops for specific times. Loved the medieval villages, especially Calcata. We also had great photo critiques and teaching of the photography material. Loved Brian and Me Ra’s knowledge of Italy too! They’re both very funny and entertaining.
CONFIDENCE Grad, 2016
Me Ra and Brian were both very open and helpful with teaching, providing us with advice, and photo critiques. I loved the off-the-beaten path medieval villages and the castle. They were quiet, authentic, romantic, and relaxing. I learned the value of shooting in manual mode for consistency sake with lighting. I also learned how to really capture the story, not just a snapshot of a pretty view and they’re words “You have to miss a few good shots to get a great shot!” I also learned about shooting underexposed to get more detail in the photo.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge! I enjoyed laughing across Italy with both of you!
While the training and learning to do new things was important, more important to me was a comfortable environment in which to learn and make mistakes. Thank you both for this.
I enjoyed learning about starbursts, shooting at night, and photography representing human activity in specific locations–deepening the story. I loved the Pantheon in Rome and the castle! The ability to pause for a day at the castle and get feedback in a beautiful surrounding was wonderful.
Portrait of Italy, 2017
Magical Light Course, 2016
The night photography with Brian was awesome! Cooking with Donatello at the castle was incredible! An experience I will never forget! The medieval villages were stunning!
Brian and Me Ra, you were both amazing hosts! The laughter was therapeutic. The places you planned out were breathtaking! Thank You!
Portrait of Italy, 2017
Restart Your Creativity Course, 2017
This workshop tour through Italy was super fun and an awesome time! We had tons of laughs, great direction on our photography, and great planning for lots of different photo locations and images! I loved Rome with all it’s history and architecture and using starbursts to add drama. I learned a lot about finding the light, the importance of light and shadows together, and finding the story I’m trying to tell. Loved the medieval villages with all the doorways, alleys and the PASTA!
You two have been amazing teachers with sharing all your knowledge. It has given me permission to take some of the shots I might have passed on. Your hosting and hilarious entertainment was an amazing experience! I will never see a Riverdance and not think of Brian!
I loved the night shooting lessons with Brian. I have also never done time lapse so I am excited with the results after my first time! The castle was so much fun and enjoying with time to just chill and enjoy our beautiful surroundings.
I loved following the light with you. And it was so good to cement the functions of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.
Thank you both!
Portrait of Italy, 2017
Portrait of Greece, 2018
I learned so much! PRIMO! Learning to shoot in manual mode and not struggling so much as when we first started the trip. I also have a lot more ease with figuring out which way to go for more light or less light. And last, how to really FOCUS! A BIGGIE!
I loved Calcata and Florence most, and yet they were such opposites! The wandering and getting “lost” with history all around was wonderful! But I’m also thinking that Venice blows one of those two out of the water!
I loved all our meals! I enjoyed all our hotels! The relaxing day at the castle with the cooking class was very welcome.
I liked feeling like a European taking the train from Florence to Venice. So many “Euro Experiences”.
Coming out of the subway to face the Coliseum with it SMACK RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF US was amazing!
You and Brian were such GREAT GUIDES! Hostess with the Mostest! You both did such a great job of handling all of us with varied photographic levels…and never made me feel stupid for my lack of knowledge or experience–as well as everyone else. The whole group was very encouraging.
You are both so easy going that it makes it pleasurable traveling with you.
I just think I will be a repeat attendee–my sights are on GREECE!
You’re both such great fun, so knowledgeable about the places we were seeing, and obviously about photography!
Portrait of Italy, 2017
Portrait of Greece, 2018
You both have a very inclusive way about you. As guides, you were helpful and knowledgeable. In your role as teachers, you were patient and supportive. You possess an innate ability to make others feel accomplished, yet you are able to give constructive criticism as well which helps us grow as photographers. There were a ton of entertaining moments and an abundance of laughter! Amazingly, you kept a high level of energy and a positive attitude with everyone!
I loved being able to solidify my knowledge about the camera settings. And the night photography with Brian was wonderful!
-Jenny, CA (attended with my husband John)
Portrait of Italy, 2017
Lightroom Organization with Brian, 2016
Confidence Grad, 2012
I came on this trip to learn a hobby that Jenny and I could do together in our retirement. I feel this trip has been a success. As hosts, teachers and entertainers, it doesn’t come any better than Me Ra and Brian.
Jenny and I really can’t say enough about this wonderful couple. Over a year and a half ago we made reservations to join Me Ra Koh and Brian Tausend on the 2017 Portrait of Italy Tour/Workshop. Our goal was to learn from them on how to improve our photography skills, but we received so much more. This dynamic duo not only shared their skills in photography, but they also shared their love, their spirituality, their family values, their goals and so much more. They were the weavers that wove ten individuals into a family in eight days with a common love for photography. Me Ra and Brian, you have touched our lives in a special way, and we all leave Italy better for having spent this special time with you!
Portrait of Italy, 2017
Lightroom Organization with Brian, 2016
It’s hard to verbalize because this trip was above and beyond!
The tour always felt organized. It was amazing at how everything happened in perfect sync.
A real life time memory!
My photo level went up 99%! The Confidence Workshop was the best “pre-trip” I could have done! I went from shooting in Auto mode to capturing beautiful time lapses and night photos in Italy! I loved Calcatta, even in the rainstorm! I loved walking and shooting with Me Ra, so informative and helped take nervous out in the beginning.
Brian’s history lessons, dance demos and just laughter made everyone laugh, feel at ease and be totally entertained.
Me Ra’s sincere heart shines big. She is so helpful and patience. No question is ever awkward to ask.
Thank You Both!
Portrait of Italy, 2017
Confidence Grad, 2017
Magical Light Course, 2017
Lightroom Organization with Brian, 2016