First Published: January 2004
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
There are plenty of photography courses in colleges around the UK, but this is the first we've come across which takes place in the beautiful surroundings of the French countryside, focuses on gay male photography and is being conducted by Bel Ami photographer Benno Thoma.

Ever wondered why the photos of the boyfriend on holiday never look the same as those sexy pics on OutUK or in books and magazines? Or maybe you already take a mean photograph but know you could do better. This is your chance to learn how to make the most of your equipment – and your models.

Benno's cover for his book Absolute Sweden.
The internationally acclaimed photographer Benno Thoma will be revealing the tricks of good gay photography at The Lotus Tree gay guesthouse in the South of France this coming May. Benno, who works regularly for Bel Ami and other gay publishers, will lead four days of practical workshops and demonstrations. The long weekend will include working with models, landscapes and digital photography. As well as magazine and film work, Benno has published several books of photographs include Absolute Sweden and Young Companions, both published by Bruno Gmünder.

The Lotus Tree has eight acres of secluded grounds and a large pool. Add to that the Mediterranean sunshine and you have an ideal spot for both photography and relaxation. The Lotus Tree is close to Avignon in the South of France and is easily accessible by plane or train from the UK, with Ryanair and easyJet both flying to nearby airports.

The Benno Thoma Masterclass will run for four days from Friday May 7th to Monday 10th inclusive. Accommodation, food and drinks will all be included to make the weekend a holiday as well as a learning experience. Space on the course is limited so if you want to brush up on your skills behind the camera apply soon. The organisers are also looking for additional models to come along and bare all.

OutUK's Ethan will be one of the models for the weekend, and if you'd like to join him as a model get in touch with The Lotus Tree.
The Lotus Tree Gay Guest House is 45 minutes from Avignon. You can get more details of the Gay Photography Masterclass May 7th-10th and also the Gay Writers Week with Patrick Gale, April 24 – May 1 on their website or by emailing Absolute Sweden by Benno Thoma is available from Amazon.


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