China with Fang Zhou


Fang Zhou is an incredible photographer and instructor who has lived in Beijing all her life. Very few people know and love her country the way she does, and nobody can capture it in the same poetic way.

In university she was a student of Chinese literature. After graduating, she worked as a journalist for a Chinese language newspaper in the capital. Fang eventually made the transition to photography when she discovered that it was a better language to describe and communicate with the world.

Over the past five years she has focused her passion on portrait, editorial, travel and live performance photography. She covers assignments around the globe for some of the world’s leading magazines and national companies. In 2015 she became a signed
photographer with Getty Images.

When she is not shooting she loves sports, baking, painting and spending time with her cat. “I’m from the Earth. I take pictures for my living and for fun. I’ve lived in Beijing all my life. I live in Dongcheng district and I’ve been here forever. I can’t even think about another district to live in Beijing… everything happens here!”
Fang Zhou

Day 1

Guests will land at the Beijing Capital International Airport and be transported to the hotel throughout the day to check in. As guests continue to get settled, we will have an informal discussion late in the afternoon with Fang about what everyone is trying to accomplish in their photography in terms of subject, style and technique. We will then have a celebratory welcome dinner to get to know other guests as well as enjoy the authentic Chinese cuisine.

Day 2

Following an early breakfast at the hotel, we will begin our first day of shooting in Tiananmen Square. We will then explore the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty. Around dusk, we will return to the hotel for dinner, which will be followed by discussions on photographs taken thus far.

Day 3

On the 2nd day of shooting we will journey to the Great Wall of China to take panoramic photos of this ancient structure. We will visit several locations along the wall, so get ready for some exercise. After dinner we will meet up in the hotel to discuss photographs and direction.

Day 4

Before sunrise, we will venture to the Temple of Heaven, best seen very early in the morning. The temple’s parks are an iconic symbol of traditional Beijing, dating from 1420. Afterwards we will visit The Old Beijing. After grabbing some Chinese brunch, we will then venture to the Summer Palace and end the day in Houhai for some yummy bites and outdoor swimming.

Day 5

Early in the morning, we will take a bullet train into Huangshan where students will be able to capture photos of China’s natural beauty. Sunsets, natural springs, granite peaks, and must-see views are all of what makes this place one of the most coveted locales by photographers in China. We will explore the Yellow Mountains and the village of Hongcun. This country town is famed for its Ming and Qing architecture and beautiful autumn colors. Following a relaxing dinner, we will take a late night train to Suzhou.

Day 6

We will check into the hotel in Suzhou where we will stay for 2 nights to document this beautiful city on the water. Located on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the shore of Lake Tai, Suzhou has an abundant display of sites with historic interest. The city is adorned in lush canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and intricately designed gardens, making it a must see destination.

Day 7

We take a day trip to a small, tranquil water village called Xitang, the “Venice of China,” via a bullet train. No roads exist in this town, and the village depends on water for transportation. Following dinner, we will return back to our hotel in Suzhou and get some rest for our trip into Shanghai.

Day 8

We will take an early morning train into Shanghai for the last destination of our trip. After checking into the hotel around lunchtime, we will spend the day exploring the markets of Shanghai, such as Dongtai Road, a chockablock stretch of antiques and curio shops off Xitang Road. We will have traditional Xiaolong Bao soup dumplings for dinner.

Day 8

Guests will be encouraged to venture as they please, but a group discussion will be held in the lobby of the hotel just before supper. As Shanghai is a vertical city, we will hold our farewell dinner at the Vue Bar to share experiences, a restaurant offering tremendous views of both the historic waterfront and the Pudong, the futuristic business district on the other side of the Huangpu River.

Day 9

Final day where, depending flight schedule, participants will be on their own, exploring and creating their own photography. We also encourage you to extend your stay in China and continue to experience this amazing country.


Terms & Conditions

To hold your space, we require a non-refundable deposit of $1,000.00 USD

Fees Included:

  • Workshop fees
  • All Lodging is included.  A single room is subject to availability for an additional fee.
  • All breakfast and two group dinners with one alcoholic drink per participants
  • All transportation in the host country related to the itinerary.
  • Local guide/translator or assistant photographer.

Fees Not Included:

  • Flights to the workshops host country.
  • All paperwork/doc/visa compliance with the nation we are traveling to (Cuba trips all docs are included)
  • Any airport taxes due
  • Extra luggage weight
  • Meals outside of breakfast or the two group meals.
  • Travel/cancellation insurance
  • Any medical insurance.
  • Any tips for an assistant photographer, translators drivers, bellboy, mini bar or any food items or drinks consumed from your hotel/house room.
  • Any optional event that requires entry fees such as: night club, musical event, sports venue, night clubs or any additional cost not included in the itinerary.

What to bring

At least two sets of DSLR camera bodies with five or more large memory cards. Also one wide-angle lens, a 50mm or 85mm lens, a telephoto, a light tripod to shoot during low light or at night and any other photographic tools that you may need during the workshop, including extra batteries, a charger and your laptop to download your images for review & critique. All participants must be able to download and backup you work since each day will be very intense and the instructors won’t have the time for that. I also encourage you to bring a backup system to save your work. External hard drives or flash drives work great. I can give you tips as to the best external hard drive to get. There won’t be any spare computers to be used, so please bring your own with you and PLEASE be very familiar with all your personal equipment.

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