Friday July 18 – Monday July 21, 2014

Kimberley Street, Char Kuay Teow, George Town July 16, 2013

Join us this summer for 2.5+ days of travel and food photography (and delicious eats) on the Malaysian island of Penang. Master the art of photographing ingredients, dishes, markets, people, architecture and landscapes with personal coaching from David Hagerman, a professional photographer who makes his home in George Town. David photographs in Asia, Turkey and Europe for Saveur and SBS Feast magazines as well as the New York Times Travel Section, Wall Street Journal, Travel+Leisure and other publications.

Penang is home to George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its gorgeous pre-World War II cityscape, multi-cultural heritage, lively street life, vibrant markets and delicious hawker (street) food. Over the course of two and a half days we’ll photograph in town and around the island, visiting fishing villages and small towns and artisan food workshops.

You’ll make images of fishermen and their catch and go behind the scenes with artisan food producers at a decades-old soy sauce workshop and old-fashioned coffee roastery. In a demo kitchen you’ll receive instruction on shooting plated styled dishes, then photograph a chef in action as well as his finished creations. Throughout the weekend you’ll practice making the most of natural light, making the mundane interesting through framing, and capturing food as part of larger stories. David, who specializes in portraiture, will introduce you to some of his favourite local characters and share tips to help you get comfortable photographing people up close and personal.

fresh snapper, sungai penang, penang, malaysia january 4, 2014

In order to ensure plenty of one-on-one time with the instructor we’re limiting the workshop to 8 participants (with a minimum of 5), each of whom will have an opportunity to sit down with David to discuss personal goals and review past work. Every day, we’ll break from instruction and on-location photography to sample the edible delights of one of Asia’s finest food destinations. (Participants are welcome to bring a non-participating partner to share their room and join in meals and excursions, but not instruction. See Workshop Cost and Details, below.)

This workshop is for all photographers, beginning to advanced; individual instruction is tailored to your skill level and photography goals.

fishing in a tiny boat, Sungai Penang, Penang, Malaysia January 4, 2014


Friday, July 18

Check into your hotel any time after 2 p.m. Those of you who have already arrived will meet in the lobby around 4:30/5 p.m. and head out into George Town’s golden evening light for some street photography. Dinner tonight is a special meal of local specialties prepared for us at Burmah 108. Over great food we’ll get to know one another and talk about goals for the coming days. You’ll also schedule a one-on-one session with David for either Saturday or Sunday.

Saturday, July 19

You’ll rise very early for an excursion to a Malay fishing village at the northern tip of the island, where we’ll photograph boats coming and going, the unloading of the catch and fishermen at work, and purchase fresh seafood for dinner. By mid-morning the light will be harsh so we’ll head back to George Town, stopping en route for late breakfast/early lunch at a hawker center. During late morning/early afternoon hours some of you will meet one-on-one with David while others have a bit of free time. Late afternoon we head over to Burmah 108, where after David gives a short course on photographing plated food. A gifted local cook will prepare home-style Nyonya dishes as you photograph in the kitchen.   We’ll finish with an early dinner of all the foods you’ve photographed.

Sunday, July 20

It’s another early morning as we meet in the hotel lobby shortly after sunrise and head out into George Town to photograph at two lively fresh markets: think ingredients, action, people. (Throughout the morning we’ll break here and there for fabulous hawker food). Late morning will bring another opportunity for one-on-one meetings with David, and then at mid-afternoon we’ll transfer to Penang’s green western side to photograph in a small town caught in a time warp, at a Chinese fishing village and fish market, and at a shrimp paste (belacan) workshop. After we return to George Town you’ll have a little time to freshen up at your hotel before we walk to dinner, at a fabulous local joint known for its Teochew and Penang Nyonya fare.

Monday, July 21

We’ll be out early again to make the most of your last morning of photography, at a 60 year-old soy sauce workshop and a Penang-style coffee roaster’s, after which you’ll return to your hotel smelling of coffee! Depending on participants’ departure schedule we’ll either eat a late breakfast/early lunch together before you check out at noon, or convene for lunch afterwards. Then it’s time for good-byes and departure.

Note: schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions or other events beyond our control.


Workshop fee:  U$ 875.00 (single), U$ 750 (double — if booking with another participant to share a room).  (Please note that most rooms are furnished with a single large double bed.) Please see Accomodations Page for details.

Bring a non-participating partner! to share your room and join us for all meals and excursions (but not photography instruction on Saturday afternoon), for an additional fee of U$ 185 per non-participant.

Workshop fees include: 3-nights boutique hotel lodging, all meals/snacks (Friday dinner through and including Monday late breakfast/lunch) and non-alcoholic beverages, cooking demo, all group and one-on-one photography instruction, all ground transport related to the workshop and welcome gifts.

Workshop fees exclude: wire transfer/currency conversion fees, travel insurance, airfare or other transport to/from Penang, transport to/from Penang International Airport to/from your hotel, alcoholic drinks, incidentals (eg. purchases at markets, laundry, etc.)

Booking: Spaces will be reserved on a first-come first-service basis. Please get in touch with David at

Pork Shop_Malaysia_Pink Lady_2014_lo

Maximum/minimum participation: This workshop is limited to a maximum of 8 participants and 8 non-participating partners. We require a minimum of 5 participants to proceed with the workshop. The workshop will be cancelled and all collected deposits returned in full if participation does not reach the minimum number by June 1, 2014.

Payment: We require a deposit of U$475 to secure your spot (U$550 if you are bringing a non-participating partner). Final payment is due by June 1, 2104. Payments to be done via bank transfer: any administration fees will be added to the cost of the workshop.

Cancellation policy: Your deposit is refundable, minus transfer charges, until May 15, 2014. After this date no deposits can be returned, except in the event of workshop cancellation. We reserve the right to cancel the workshop due to circumstances beyond our control at any time; in this event any payments you have made will be fully refunded.

Food allergies: If you have any dietary restrictions do let us know when booking. We will try our best to accommodate you.

What to bring: Your SLR camera, a laptop for downloading images, and an edited selection of images for your one-on-one session with the instructor.

We look forward to shooting and eating with you on Penang!