Venice in the winter – when it’s quiet

4. – 8. of December 2024

Venice as it works, moves and lives – and creates art. Portrait of a city and its people.

With American photographer, Italy connoisseur, and Italian speaker John McDermott

Travel Photography | Street Photography | People Photography

- This Workshop is in English -

We all have a certain image of Venice in our minds. Some find their Venice in the reflections in the water, others behind the carnival masks, or others again in the January fog.

Venice in winter. Fog, soft light, and blur. Plus endless bridges, details of the historic buildings, narrow streets, and a relatively timeless atmosphere.

Venice is a place that has been photographed a million times, but each of us has our own personal vision of Venice that photographer John McDermott will help you realize. You will create YOUR portrait of this fascinating city that lives both with and on the water.

In a small group, we will explore the neighborhoods, the culture of the city and the life behind the scenes, the craft behind the masks, the gondolas, and the ancient works of art.

The American professional photographer, fluent in Italian, will help you find access points and put you in contact with locals.

What makes the Venice Workshop special?

With American photographer John McDermott you will have a professional photographer at your side sharing his decades long international experience in portraiture and documentary photography for international media companies and corporations. John is fluent in Italian which has helped him to open doors to many local spots and opportunities.

I am glad that I booked a masterclass with the internationally renowned photographer John McDermott, organized by the IF/Academy, which I knew from their Summer Academy in Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. John speaks Italian fluently and has a talent to “break the ice”, something that is hard to learn and impossible to copy. But that’s why I like to travel with a guide, in particular when there is a language barrier. Thus, opportunities arise that otherwise will be kept behind closed doors.” – Stephan Russenschuck

We will visit various locations that will give you special perspectives and insights.

Why go to Venice with the IF/Academy?

At the IF/Academy we are all about community, learning and working together with top photographers. Our job is to help you SEE and improve your perception. Through our instructors we want to help our participants to do their best, so they discover and become aware of the skills and knowledge they already exist inside of them.

Everything was just right. John impresses with very precise feedback, which helps you to grow. He always comes up with ideas and solutions and he approaches the people in such an open way that it resulted in special opportunities for us. Judging by the result: I learned a lot, improved a lot and I returned home with many good pictures and filled with motivation and inspiration.” – Oliver Horlebein.

Photography trains our situational awareness and our attention to details – and that’s what the IF/Academy is about. The camera and photography are wonderful tools to train our conscious perception for our surroundings and for ourselves. In order to practice just that, the city of Venice offers a lot: she demands all your senses, and your SEEing of the seemingly endless details is trained on every corner, piazza or bridge. The photographer John McDermott emphasizes again and again “situational awareness” when taking photos, which is just as important in everyday life. Venice and photography are two components that challenge our situational awareness in an exciting way.

The term Masterclass is appropriate. Everything is on a high level and this creates an ideal atmosphere for improving your photography. John explains everything in a clear and comprehensible way. The workshop masterclass was very well prepared by you guys.” ­– Bernd Beykirch.

About John McDermott

John McDermott is a photographer working worldwide who has photographed assignments in more than forty countries and at ten Olympic Games and eight FIFA World Cups during his 40-year career for international editorial, corporate and advertising clients.

Earlier brief careers as a soccer player, naval officer, and journalist led to his excellent ability to lead and motivate people and a passion that continues today to photograph sports, industry, urban landscapes, and portraits.

John is internationally known for his portrait and documentary work and for his sports photography. He has photographed major corporate executives, authors, artists and athletes, as well as everyday people, for a range of corporate and editorial clients. His subjects have included people like Steve Jobs, Queen Elizabeth II, Steffi Graf, Run DMC and David Beckham.

John says of his work that it is broadly diverse and that he is always looking, always seeking visual order in a complicated world.


Webseite John McDermott

How the days look like

Wednesday late afternoon/early evening, we get together to get to know each other, with introductions, explanations, and preparations for the next day, and will have dinner together.


We will sometimes photograph early in the morning, possibly also later in the evening.


During the day, the group will photograph under guidance, with assignments and assistance from John McDermott. We will meet local people who grant us their time, give us some cultural insights, and let us take their pictures.


Seeing photographs by great masters of the time helps to refine your own photography – we will visit the current exhibition “Chronorama. Photographic Treasures of the 20th Century” which is in the historic Palazzo Grassi.


Image processing and individual sessions with John on image critique and feedback take place daily.


In the evening we will have dinner together in selected restaurants which we tested before, so we are sure to give you a non-touristy, authentic Venetian dinner experience. We discuss the results, experiences of the day, and the next steps.


Info: The Workshop is in English



1.395,-  EURO


  • Daily programs, photo walks, and visits to special places
  • Daily one-on-one sessions with John for picture review, feedback, and critique
  • 14 hours a day, we take care of you and make sure you have a good time and learn a lot
  • Welcome Aperitivo on the first evening
Not included:
Hotel, Meals, Travel


Number of participants: max. 6



We blocked rooms for you at a hotel, which we will let you know – and it will be located within walking distance both from Rialto Bridge and from St. Mark’s Square. We will also hold our picture discussions and meetings at this hotel.

Double room for single use — price (per night/ incl. breakfast) — TBD

When you sign up – we arrange between you and the hotel the accommodation.



TRAVEL to Venice

From Venice (Marco Polo) airport it is an easy and fun ride in a fast boat going to Venice

If you have questions regarding your travels to Venice let us know and we are happy to help.


More than Venice…

If you like to extend your stay before or after the Venice Photo Workshop we can give you many ideas and tips on where to go and what to do. From Venice it is not far for example to the breathtaking Dolomite mountains in the wintertime or going to Verona, Milan or Bologna, or even Rome or Florence. You are also not too far from Austria and the amazing winter landscape and mountains in that Alpine country.

IF/Academy-Passion for Photography


To REGISTER for the Venice Workshop please send an email to

With the subject line: Venice Workshop Registration

And the details:






With a booking, a deposit of the registration fee for the event is due.

After receipt of the registration we will send an invoice (by email). Your written registration becomes valid with the receipt of the deposit on our account.





General information for payment (in German)  >>> Zahlungsinformationen und Stornobedingungen

The revocation rules apply accordingly >>> Widerrufsregelen

Claudia BroseVenice-English