Vancouver Island Photography Workshop

7 Days - Vancouver Island, BC
Aug 10 - Aug 16, 2019
Activity Level


Photograph the splendor of Vancouver Island from the Butchart Gardens and historic architecture of Victoria to the stunning seascapes and quaint fishing villages of the Island’s western coast. Join Shane McDermott and travel across Canada’s most beloved island. Note that a passport is required for this Vancouver Island photo workshop.


Pay a deposit of $750.00 per item

Vancouver Island is a unique blend of old world charm and new world experiences. As an island destination it offers photographers a beautiful blend of historic architecture, colorful gardens, stunning coastlines, lush old growth forests, quaint fishing villages and more. During this six day workshop, Arizona Highways contributor and Canadian native Shane McDermott will lead you through his home away from home, while providing you with the expertise to capture this beautiful island with your camera.


This workshop will begin on Victoria where we will immerse ourselves in all the wonderful photo opportunities the island has to offer. Victoria is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest and is steeped in history and culture. As we stroll the inner harbor, we will have the opportunity to photograph fishing rigs and harbor activity. Walks through the city center will provide a wide variety of streetscapes from historic buildings to modern art. And of course no visit to Victoria is complete without a visit to the famed Butchart Gardens. Here we will spend the entire day into the evening photographing the beautifully manicured buffet of flowers, fragrances and colors. With more than 55 acres to explore, our photographic splendor will be endless.


Outside the city of Victoria, we will travel along the western coastline, making stops to photograph the Edwardian style Hatley castle of Royal Roads and its serpentine trails winding through Japanese gardens. Then it’s on to Port Renfrew where we will be based for three nights. Here, we will spend time photographing coastal scenes and hopefully catch some sea otters, sea lions and other marine life at play.


We will travel a short distance to the intriguing Avatar Grove, where ancient growth forests of cedar, fir and spruce, along with the moss, fern and lichen will provide a fascinating backdrop of compositions.


Join Shane for this uniquely designed workshop of beautiful harbors, charming architecture, stunning seascapes, lush landscapes and more. You’ll return home with a gallery of exquisite images worthy of hanging on your walls.

Workshop Includes:

  • Photographic instruction
  • Roundtrip transportation on Vancouver Island
  • Lodging based on Double Occupancy
  • Water, snacks and a group dinner
  • All applicable entrance, park, permit and tour fees

Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on lighting and weather conditions. We want to give you the best photo opportunities.


Day 1 – Saturday, August 10

  • Arrive on Vancouver Island by 3:00pm to check into hotel.
  • Shane will conduct a workshop orientation and give a presentation prior to our first afternoon in the harbor to photograph interesting city and sea scapes.
  • Dinner before returning to the hotel for the evening.

Day 2 – Sunday, August 11

  • Our day will begin with an early entry to Butchart Gardens where we will spend the entire day.
  • We will share a group dinner in the Gardens.
  • Return to hotel.

Day 3 – Monday, August 12

  • Our next day will begin early for our shoot around Victoria; the inner harbor and Beacon Hill park.
  • After breakfast there will be downtime to download and prepare images for critique.
  • Late morning we will hold a critique then break for lunch.
  • Mid-afternoon thru sunset we will again photograph around Victoria.
  • Dinner and return to hotel.

Day 4 – Tuesday, August 13

  • After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and head for Port Renfrew making stops at the Royal Roads for some historic architectural photography.
  • We will stop for lunch in Sooke before making our way to Port Renfrew.
  • After check-in, the group will have some free time before dinner.
  • Dinner
  • Evening coastal sunset shoot.

Day 5 – Wednesday, August 14

  • Our early sunrise will take us to the fascinating Avatar Grove, where old growth forests are lush with life. Here we will walk and photograph among Canada’s “most gnarled tree”.
  • Returning to our hotel, we will enjoy a break from mid-morning thru lunch.
  • Early afternoon, the group will return to the classroom for more photographic instruction and perhaps a bit of post processing.
  • Dinner
  • Evening shoot.

Day 6 – Thursday, August 15

  • Today we will spend photographing the coastline facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca, capture quaint fishing villages, photograph waterfalls and beautiful forest landscapes around Port Refrew.

Day 7 – Friday, August 16

  • After a sunrise shoot, we will check out of our hotel and make our way back to Victoria.
  • We will stop for morning shoots at China or French Beach.
  • Arrive back in Victoria by noon for flights home.

Strenuous Rating: Moderate.
We will be doing a lot of walking during the workshop from our city photo ops to our treks to the coastline and forests. Participants should be comfortable walking up to 2 miles RT on a variety of terrain carrying their photo gear.


Lodging During the Workshop

Quality Inn Inner Harbour
850 Blanshard St
Victoria, BC V8W2H2
(250) 385-6787

The first three nights of our journey we will be situated in the heart of the Inner Harbour in Victoria. This lodging is included in your workshop fee based on double occupancy. Single room supplements are available for an additional fee.  A block of rooms are available for pre- and post-workshop nights, however, you must book and pay for these additional nights on your own.  Be sure to reference “Arizona Highways Courtesy”.


Seaside Cottages 
Port Renfrew, BC
(844) 647-5541

Our next three nights will be spent in a waterfront cottage retreat situated along the beautiful coastline of Port Renfrew.

Shane McDermott
Meng Tay
Photo Guide
Jon Vemo
Photo Guide
There are a number of reputable companies who provide Travel Insurance.  For your convenience, we offer travel protection through TravelEx Insurance Services.  For more information on the available plans or to enroll, go to or contact TravelEx Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.
Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Compnay, NAIC #22276. W20


Should you find it necessary to cancel your workshop, the following fee schedule applies.
  • 90 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
  • Between 89 and 61 days prior to the start of the workshop, AHPS will retain your full deposit.
  • 60 days and fewer to the start of the workshop your entire workshop fee is retained.

Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel any workshop if our minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event AHPS cancels a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund for the workshop components booked directly with AHPS.  Please Note: we are not liable for the additional expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations or any other components booked outside of the workshop.


PAYMENT TERMS:  A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space.  Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit.  Final payments are due 60 days prior to departure.  Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.