Blair & Thurston Tuscany Photography Retreat

View the gallery by clicking or sliding your way through the slideshow below!

BLAIR & THURSTON Tuscany Photography Retreat

Take a deep breath

and soak up your stunning surroundings: the rolling hills of Tuscany, the sweeping vineyard outside your window and the winding, cypress-lined lane that meanders past your private, 17th century Italian villa. Then add daily, personalized instruction with Elena S. Blair and Bre Thurston, strolls in medieval villages, morning cappuccino under a rose-covered pergola, geraniums spilling from window boxes and dinners under the Tuscan stars.

In this one of a kind photography retreat, you’ll reignite your love of photography and community while you enjoy three blissful days of relaxation, education and friendship. Put down your pen and paper and learn hands-on and face-to-face to Elena and Bre, two photographers who believe that loving what you do is paramount to finding your success.

Elena is an award-winning family and newborn photographer based in Seattle, WA. Her work and words have been featured on popular photography publications including The Huffington Post, Rangefinder Magazine, Click & Co Blog, Click Magazine, Capture The Moment, Dear Photographer, Adorama, and many more. She has taught on several online platforms including CreativeLive, KelbyOne, B&H Event Space, and Click & Company. She is an established public speaker and educator, reaching thousands of photographers all over the world to make meaningful art and build profitable businesses.

Bre Thurston is a wedding and family photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Established in 2010, Bre Thurston Photography has photographed hundreds of clients and weddings all over the world. Her work has been featured in People, Vogue Brasil, Cosmopolitan, Professional Photographer Magazine, E!, Click Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Bride Magazine, Dear Photographer Magazine, and several online blogs/platforms including The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and more. In addition to running a successful photography business, Bre has taught at several conferences and events as well as online workshops.


  • 4-night stay at a private, 17th century villa
  • Transport to/from Chiusi-Chianciano train station on arrival and departure days
  • Two 2-hour, Interactive Shoot-outs
  • Photography of a family
  • Photography of a couple 
  • Demonstration of Bre and Elena’s signature interaction, posing and photography techniques 
  • Personal Portfolio Review
  • Personal Website Review
  • Coaching for Business Social Media
  • Instruction on How to Define Your Style and Voice
  • Goal Planning and “What’s Next” for You
  • Professional Headshots
  • Full Days with Elena and Bre as Your “Open Book” Instructors
  • All abundant breakfasts, featuring local and organic specialities
  • All Tuscan-style lunches
  • Evening aperitivo
  • All regionally inspired dinners featuring local wines
  • Wellness massages made available by appointment (optional/extra)
  • Gift bags with things Elena and Bre love, plus great items from sponsors

DATES & PRICES:  5 Days/4 Nights

  • July 27-31, 2021
  • Trip Price: $3,490 USD per person – based on single occupancy (No single supplement fee!)
  • A $500 deposit is required to secure your space on this trip



Day 1 – July 27: Arrival

  • Welcome and trip orientation Villa Poggio alle Trese, aperitivo, welcome dinner
  • Dinner

From Chiusi-Chianciano train station, our drivers will transport you to your elegant villa accommodations, Poggio alla Trese, nestled along the border between the regions of Tuscany and Umbria. After a friendly Tuscan welcome and check in, take some time to get acquainted with your fellow students before a workshop orientation and introduction with Elena and Bre. Then it’s time for a friendly aperitivo hour, followed by a delectable welcome dinner, featuring Tuscan specialites. 


Day 2 – July 28: Villa Poggio alle Trese

  • Cappuccino lesson, instruction, shoot with couple
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you’ll enjoy an abundant breakfast, featuring artisan breads from the local pasticceria, organic sheep’s milk yogurt, seasonal fruits, cheeses, homemade marmalades and more. Afterwards it’s time for a jam-packed morning of hands-on instruction with Bre and Elena, with a break to learn from delightful latte artist, Rocsana, how to design your own cappuccino. So fun! Lunch will be served up at the villa, featuring a variety of salads and local specialties, followed by some free time to book a massage, take a dip in the pool or enjoy a good book under the shade of an olive tree. In late afternoon, you’ll once again join Bre and Elena for more exceptional instruction time – plus a shoot with a local couple, where you’ll learn to maximize the magical evening light of Tuscany. Aperitivo follows, along with a delectable chef-prepared dinner.


Day 3 – July 29: Montepulciano

  • Wine tasting and lunch in 15th century cantina, shopping, exploring, instruction, golden hour shoot
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, after breakfast, it’s off to Montepulciano with its Renaissance palaces and spectacular views. You’ll begin in the historic center of town with a walking tour of Piazza Grande, followed by some time on your own to explore and shop. The it’s on to our friends’ 15th century cantina for a private wine tasting of Vine Nobile di Montepulciano – one of Italy’s finest DOCG wines – and a light lunch. In afternoon you’ll enjoy some free time for taking photos (we’ll point out our favorite panoramic spots), visiting churches or for wandering and grabbing a gelato. Then it’s back to the villa where you’ll have some time to relax, or enjoy a massage, before joining Bre and Elena for headshots at a nearby private estate – during Tuscany’s spectacular golden hour. Afterwards, gather together with your fellow students for a friendly apertivo, followed by a regional-style dinner..


Day 4 – July 30: Villa Poggio alle Trese

  • Instruction, pasta-making lesson, shoot with family
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning you’ll enjoy another abundant breakfast, followed by instruction at the villa with Bre and Elena. Then it’s time to don an apron for an oh-so-fun pasta making lesson with delightful Antonietta. Think you know pasta? Think again! Antonietta will be sharing all her best family secrets for pairing pasta with just the right sauce – practically an art form in Italy. Afterwards you’ll enjoy lunch, featuring your handmade pasta, of course. Then take some free time to swim or rest before you join Bre and Elena for another fabulous instruction session, followed by a photo shoot with a local family. Aperitivo follows, along with a special farewell dinner.


Day 5 – July 31: Departure

This morning our drivers will be transporting you to Chiusi-Chianciano train station


Your accommodations are beautiful Poggio alle Trese, a 17th century villa, nestled along the border of Tuscany and Umbria, near the town of Chiusi (Tuscany). The villa boasts sweeping terraces for dining or lounging, swimming pool and elegant breakfast/dining hall. Sleeping rooms are furnished with family antiques. View photos of Villa Poggio alle Trese here. 

DATES & PRICES:  5 Days/4 Nights

  • July 27-31, 2021
  • Trip Price: $3,490 USD per person – based on single occupancy (No single supplement fee!)
  • A $500 deposit is required to secure your space on this trip