« First of all, I felt that getting together in Antigua and traveling together to San Pedro worked brilliantly. Getting group dynamics going is often the most difficult part of the exercise and the getting together, wandering around and having a couple of meals together really helped acclimatize everyone, started to get the group dynamics going and really set the stage for the workshop. By the time we first set down in the classroom, everyone already got to know each other a bit and we were able to ramp up quite quickly.
Having photographers of such diverse needs and knowledge was a challenge that I thought you dealt with very well. I think that you handled the material; from the technical size of the equipment to the artistic side of composition quite well. The pace was right and the order was logical, and you synchronized the build-up of both aspects in photography quite nicely. I think that people tend to either concentrate on the technical side or the artistic side of photography, depending on their own comfort zone, and handling things the way you set them up worked brilliantly.
What I did find interesting is how each of the towns had their own different charm and flavour and that was fun and interesting. The San Pedro market was wonderful photography as was the area up the volcano through the coffee plantations. I really enjoyed meeting you and the course. It was great fun and Atitlan was a great photo site; the colours and lighting were wonderful. We hope to see you and San Pedro again. »
« First, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed working with you, and the course itself. You were very open to whatever the participants wanted to do, and attentive to all of our needs in terms of accommodations, food and very necessary personal comforts such as massages and pedicures. Thank you!
What I enjoyed most about the course: the opportunities you provided for photography in a great variety of settings (city, hillside, village, market, artistic community, water landscapes, etc.), the encouragement you provided, particularly through reviewing the day’s photos and offering (mild) critique and peer review, the various daily topics (pin-hole camera, lenses, street photography, portraits, etc.), the opportunity to participate in Guatemalan/Mayan culture (Don Pedro, San Marco Mayan park, medicinal plants, artist collective, the camaraderie within the group), finally I especially liked the opportunity to “do something different” and experiment with colour and texture.
In any case, I love the pictures I took in Guatemala and thank you so much for introducing me to so many photographic opportunities! »
« I took René’s photo workshop in San Pedro in April 2014. I found that a week of intensive shooting was an excellent way of bringing my photography up to the next level. During the week René was an excellent teacher, coach and tour guide. He knows photography very well and was very instructive about technical and compositional matters. Doing street photography requires getting out there and sometimes leaving one’s comfort zone. René does this very well and was an invaluable coach in helping me get comfortable to get the shot.
He is also an excellent tour guide. He speaks Spanish very well, knows the region and is well liked by the local inhabitants. During the week we visited nearly all of the major communities on the Lake. The relationships that he has with many of the people there is a result of the time and energy he has spent photographing them and in doing so revealing their warmth, beauty and dignity. It was without a doubt, an instructive, fun and insightful experience. ».