What to Expect on Our Costa Rica Photography Expedition

Holly Higbee-Jansen
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Holly Higbee-Jansen

Holly is a passionate photographer, photo workshop leader and instructor for Jansen Photo Expeditions.
Holly Higbee-Jansen
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Costa Rica Photography Expedition Coming December, 2017

You love to travel and you’re excited about your new camera and you want to learn to create some amazing landscape images. What a perfect opportunity to join our  Costa Rica Photography Expedition!

We will be highlighting the wildlife, the landscapes, the beaches and the unique colors and contrasts of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica's expansive and open beaches on our photography workshop.

Jansen Photo Expeditions has teamed up Costa Rica Vacationing to create a unique and interesting photo workshop in beautiful Costa Rica, December 5 – 12, 2017. 

About us

Mark and Holly Jansen of Jansen Photo Expeditions have over 10 years experience guiding photographic tours and workshops throughout the world. We partner with experienced guides in the local countries to give a flavor of the country from those who know and love it. We are traveling with our guide, Lisa Koppelman from Costa Rica Vacationing, an American who has lived in Costa Rica and knows the area well. Our group sizes are small and intimate, maximum 8 clients plus your guides and driver. That way you will be immersed in the area and have the best possible experience.

What to Expect on a Photography Workshop

Photography workshops take you to the best places to shoot, and most importantly, an experienced guide will get you to the right place, at the right time, in the right light. In our photography expeditions, you have experienced professionals helping you with composition and camera settings and you will come away with knowledge of photography and a stunning set of images from your dream destination.

Photographing Monkeys in Cosat Rica

Photographing Monkeys in Cosat Rica

What Do You Want to Shoot?

During our 7 day Costa Rica Photography workshop, we have fine tuned the itinerary for the photographer in mind. We will be up early for the golden morning light and shoot late into the afternoon.

On our Costa Rica photography expedition, we will be visiting and shooting these areas: Tortuguero, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Sarapiqui, Arenal Volcano La Fortuna waterfall, Rio Celeste National Park, as well as a night tour of the Cloud Forest.

There is also an optional 5 day extension to Aguila de Osa, 28 acres of protected rain forest only accessible by boat. Tropical wildlife abounds such as giant iguana, colorful birds, alligators and howler monkeys. Please inquire about an itinerary.

Our small exclusive groups give you the best value to see and photograph the country. You will have the opportunity to work closely with your workshop leaders and photographic instructors and be able to easily move from one location to another as well as develop a camaraderie with your fellow attendees.

What type of instruction will you get?

Our workshops give you a hands on approach, giving you the type of feedback you are looking for or leave you to be creative and come back to us for help when you need it. We have clients that shoot both their digital SLR or their iPhone / Smartphone. We provide instruction in both genres of photography.

Be ready for early mornings and late evenings. Sunrise in Costa Rica during our workshop is 5:30am

Birding photography in Costa Rica is wonderful.

and sunset around 5:45pm. The best light for a photography workshop is always early morning and late afternoon. Depending on the location and weather, sometimes a sunset or sunrise photo shoot isn’t possible, so be flexible. In our workshop, if the weather or conditions are bad, we will offer instruction on photo editing programs or find another location as an alternative.

Part of a great photography workshop is instructors who will not only help you with the basic settings on your camera, but will also help you with creative concepts and help you create intentions for your shot. Only an experienced photography teacher can give you that type of instruction.

How to prepare

Know the basic functions of your camera. You need to know how menu functions work, what type of exposure metering to use and how many focus points you have. If you are not familiar with this information, we can help you. Bring your camera’s manual with you, or better yet, download your manual to your smart phone so you always have it and it won’t take up space in your camera bag.

We will provide you a list of lenses and camera equipment to bring on your trip. Think about your favorite type of shooting.

Are you going to be shooting on the street where you would need an inconspicuous 50mm lens?  Or will you be in a landscape environment where you might need a variety of lenses from wide angle to a telephoto to capture the scene. Here is another article on specific lenses for shooting wildlife.

Think of what your subject matter is going to be and bring appropriate lenses. If you don’t own the right equipment, you don’t always have to go out and buy it.  There are a lot of rental options through companies like

photographing Dolphins in Costa Rica

Photographing Dolphins in Costa Rica

Be sure you have a STURDY tripod – the key word here is sturdy. I can’t tell you how many people have shown up at workshops with a beautiful $2000 camera and a flimsy $50 tripod. This will not hold your expensive camera or be sturdy enough to produce the results you want. If you don’t know what to get, ask us for recommendations.


All of our accommodations are eco-friendly lodges close to the workshop locations. In order for us to secure these accommodations, be sure to book your workshop with us early.


Be open to new ideas – that’s why you came to the workshop. Listen to what we have to say. You might
think you have a good handle on your photographic technique, but you never know, you might pick up a few gems that will help you become a better photographer.

Photographing Coastal areas in Costa Rica
Every pro photographer has a different work flow. When you shoot with a pro, you will be exposed to different shooting methods and how to get those great shots. At Jansen Photo Expeditions, both my husband and myself teach during the workshop. We shoot with different brand cameras so have different approaches to landscape photography and photo editing. By being exposed to multiple techniques, it only helps a student to see options that work best for them.

Be ready to make new friends

On our workshops, our small groups often create a camaraderie of like-minded creative individuals.  That’s part of the whole photography workshop experience. If you prefer to not be social, that is fine, you are welcome to shoot on your own or option for a private workshop. 

Many clients are focused on just one thing, to capture the ultimate landscape shot. But you may be bypassing some stellar opportunities. Look for unanticipated moments when you are on a workshop. If you are focused on the landscape, what if an interesting macro shot presents itself? What about interesting textures and abstract compositions. Costa Rica is full of bright colors and interesting photo opportunities. Bring your camera bag with you and be ready to change lenses and explore other opportunities.

One thing you don’t want to forget to bring is your excitement and passion. You will have a whole lot of fun and learn a lot. And you’ll go home with an incredible amount of quality imagery to add to your collection.

If you’d like to learn more about Jansen Photo Expeditions photography workshops, please explore our website or contact us directly for more information.

Our December  Costa Rica Photo Expedition is booking now for 8 adventurous creative individuals.
Booking deadline in September 1, 2017.