Out of Acadia

A Hands-on, Creative Landscape Photography Event

October 4 – 8, 2020

From the mountains to the seasides, experience this 5 day, hands-on, autumn landscape photography conference shooting side-by-side with the pros.

Immerse yourself in the awe of nature at Acadia, one of America’s first National Parks. From glacier-scoured granite peaks to fall-covered woodlands, towering pines and rocky beaches, explore, learn and push your creativity as you photograph landscapes, textures and forms from sunrise to sunset and into the night, including Bass Harbor Lighthouse, Cadillac Mountain, Boulder Beach and more. All is conveniently located minutes from charming Bar Harbor, making it a perfect destination to spark your creative soul.


Each day will be an adventure as you explore Acadia National Park and the area around Bar Harbor. Keep yourself immersed in photography, morning, noon and night. Push your creativity and skills with daily hands-on, in-the-field photography classes, discussions and small group critiques.
Group classes online in the days leading up to the event. Class times to be announced.
October 4th: 4pm – Check in to hotel
You will work with each of the instructors and visit each of the field locations over the course of the conference. Attendees will stay in the same group throughout the conference to minimize exposure to the full group.
Starting with the arrival day, you will meet with your instructors in the afternoon for a small-group class and introductions. You will stay with this group of instructors for 24 hours to shoot sunset and then wake up to shoot sunrise with the same group. The next morning you may have a group critique or class or travel to another location after breakfast. After lunch you will meet with your new instructors. By the end of the conference you will work with every instructor and visit all of the locations that they have chosen.
October 9th: 11am – Check out of hotel


Bar Harbor, Maine is the gateway to Acadia National Park where you will experience spectacular landscapes and photograph everything from oceanside cliffs to mountain forests, sand beaches and hidden gardens. You will stay at the Atlantic Oceanside in Bar Harbor, an oceanside hotel that is set-up as a perfect basecamp for photographers, with first-class conference facilities and accommodation with ocean views. The surrounding area provides even more opportunities to photograph the local fishing community nearby, from lobster fishermen to lobster pots, buoys and nets. This was the location of our very first landscape conference and we are super excited to return to learn, play and be inspired.


Ranging from grand landscapes to intimate scenes, learn hands-on a variety of photography styles and diverse perspectives from these world-class photographers. Each day you will go into the field to shoot side-by-side and photograph all the best places in Acadia National Park and surrounding area. We promise to deliver an inspired, creative workshop and photography experience for you to remember.

Juan Pons

Chris Smith


How do I get to Acadia?
You can fly into Bangor, Maine (1 hr drive), Portland, Maine (3 hr drive) or directly to Bar Harbor’s regional airport through Boston but it’s a small plane and has limited flights.

How do I book my room at the hotel?
Guests can make reservations for the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel by visiting www.AOBarHarbor.com and entering group code: 77530 or by calling the reservation team at 800.336.2463. Mention “Out of Chicago” at registration.

We recommend everyone stay here, since this is the conference venue, and part of the fun is hanging out with photographer friends and instructors, eating breakfast and sharing the elevator together as you start and end each day. Alternatively, you can save a little money by staying across the street at the Bar Harbor Motel ($159/nt) or Acadia Inn ($179). The same phone number above should connect you to any of these hotels.

How are we getting to the photo locations?
We will coordinate carpools from the Atlantic Oceanside for each field session.

What Acadia locations will we photograph?
We’ll photograph lighthouses, seascapes, gardens, mountains, forest trails, tide pools, rocky cliffs, lobster boats, lobster traps and so much more in Acadia. Acadia and Bar Harbor are an amazingly diverse photography location.

What fitness level is required for the excursions?
Some of the excursions will have almost no walk. You get out of the car and start shooting from the overlook. Other excursions require a hike. We will describe the excursion difficulty in the descriptions before you choose your excursions.

What is the weather in Acadia in October
Typically, highs are around 60 with lows in the 40s.

What if it rains or snows
Be sure to bring appropriate weather gear. Remember that bad weather often makes the best images. Schedules will be re-arranged as needed to accommodate extreme weather conditions but most field sessions will go out in the rain.

Who is this event for?
Photography enthusiasts and pros. All levels of passionate photographers are welcome. Just be ready to eat, sleep and drink landscape photography for five days.

How can I learn more about Acadia before the event?
We recommend Photographing Acadia National Park: The Essential Guide to When, Where, and How, authored by Colleen Miniuk and The Photographer’s Guide to Acadia eBook by Michael Hudson. 

What photography equipment do I need
You’ll want a DSLR or mirrorless camera and a tripod. We’ll share detailed equipment recommendations before the event. A laptop is suggested so you can work on your images during the post-processing and critique sessions.

Will there be a chance to hang out with the instructors?
You bet! Throughout the week we will eat meals together, go out to dinner in Bar Harbor and photograph together in small groups. There will be plenty of time to ask questions and hang out with your favorite photographers.

Will I be sitting in classes all day?
This is a hands-on, immersive photography experience. We’re not going to bring you all the way to Acadia to sit in a classroom watching something you could watch in bed on Youtube. Over five days, you’ll learn new techniques in the field while shooting with some of the world’s best photographers. There is classroom time available to practice post-processing and to get feedback on images, but you’ll be in the field most of the time. There are plenty of options available each day for you to create a schedule that matches your interests, inside and outside the classroom.

When will I choose my sessions?
We will release the full detailed schedule a few weeks before the event. We’ll send information on choosing sessions at this time and give directions to choose sessions. Group presentations are open to everyone. In-the-field sessions are limited to 10 participants. All participants will have an equal opportunity to get into the sessions of their choice.

Can I bring a non-photographer friend or family member with me
Of course! They are welcome to join us for the group presentations at no charge. The in-the-field teaching excursions are limited to ten people and are reserved for conference attendees only. A meal pass will be offered at an additional charge so that they can join us for group meals.

What is the refund policy?
You can read the refund policy here.

If you have any other questions, please email me at chris@outofchicago.com


We will follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for events including the following:

We are changing the maximum attendance from 100 to 50 attendees. Full-group classroom sessions will be taught online in the days leading up to the event. These sessions will be recorded to view later. This will give us even more instruction time in the field compared to our typical events.

All in-person sessions will be limited to 15 or fewer people gathering at the same time. Seating will be provided to space people at least 6 feet apart.

You will attend all classroom and field sessions with the same group of attendees. Groups will rotate so that each group will work with every instructor and visit all field session locations.

Masks or face coverings are required by all staff, instructors and attendees indoors and when we are unable to socially distance outdoors.

Group meals will be served so that you we can spread out or take your meal back to your room.

Soap, hand sanitizer and face coverings will be provided when necessary.

We will monitor the temperature of all participants using a no-touch thermometer each day.

We will provide instruction in an outdoor setting when possible and maximize ventilation indoors.

Please follow the CDC guidelines and stay home if:

You have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.

You have had close contact with a person who has symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days.

Please see our updated refund policy in case you choose not to attend or the state regulations do not allow our event to run with this format.

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