The Orkney Islands and Northern Scotland: Photo Scouting Trip

For ages I’ve been postponing some of the exploration trips that I’ve been so desperate to do. I’ve gotten stuck and busy with work on some more classic photo locations in the world like Iceland and Patagonia. But, moving forward I want my photo trips to have a little bit more adventure to them. I want them to have a little bit more exploration, and a little more discovery. Enter my photo scouting trip to the Orkney Islands and Northern Scotland!

** Important note: This is a scouting trip. That means I have never been to the Orkney Islands. It also means that all the photos you’ll see below are from the commons. More information on what a scouting trip means down in the FAQs below.

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Costs / Info

  • Dates: June 7-14, 2025
  • Start / End City: Inverness, Scotland
  • Days: 8
  • Maximum Group Size: 5
  • Trip Style: Scouting
  • Fitness Level: Medium. Potentially some walking/hiking to locations.
  • Price: €4,200 (€900 deposit)
    • Optional Single Supplement: €1,000

What’s Included

  • Transport within Tour Dates
  • Accommodation within Tour Dates
  • Breakfast on Tour Dates
  • Local Entrance Fees / Permits
  • Photography Instruction by Brendan van Son

What’s Not Included

  • Transport to/from Inverness
  • Visas for the UK (if needed)
  • Lunch, Dinner and Snacks.

The Workshop Itinerary

Since this is a scouting trip, there is no set itinerary beyond the first and last days. The middle will all depend on the weather conditions and what we find along the way. We will be flexible in order to get the absolute most out of our days in the area.

Day 1– Arrival in Inverness
Day 2 – Sunrise on Loch Ness, travel towards the Orkney Islands
Days 3-7 – Exploring the Orkney Islands
Day 8 – Return to Inverness, Tour ends

Book Here:

To reserve your space on this trip, please pay the deposit below. Before booking, please read the terms and conditions of payment here. If the tour is sold out, or you have any questions, please send me an email to inquire (brendanvanson at gmail dot com).

Meet The Workshop Instructors

Brendan has been a professional travel photographer for over a decade. Over those years, he’s visited well over 100 countries and worked for some of the world’s most renowned companies and publications.

His journeys around the world are documented on his travel photography YouTube Channel.

FAQs For the Scotland Photography Workshop

What Style Trip is This?

This is a scouting trip. This is as close as it gets to being on a travel photography assignment with me as possible. We will explore a lot. This style of trip is for people that want to see everything. We do photograph good light at sunrise, and sunset, but we also focus a lot on exploring location in the daytime.

Find out the difference in my trips here.

What does the average day on tour look like?

500-700am: Sunrise Photo Shoot
8am: Breakfast
9-12pm: Freetime, lunch or travel time.
2-5pm: Location Scouting,
5-7pm: Sunset Photography
7-830pm: Dinner
8:30-1030pm: Free time or night photography option if available.
Obviously, most participants won’t be able to do everything (without exhausting themselves) so almost everything is optional.

Honestly, no two days will be the same. So it’s kind of hard to predict. However, I will say that we will be putting some time into making photos! Some days can be long, but there is usually downtime in the middle of the day to relax and catch up on sleep – or photo editing.

Is the Deposit Refundable?

Yes. The deposit is refundable up to 90 days before the tour’s start date. I do charge a 10% fee. You also have the option to move your deposit onto another trip or to keep on file as credit without a fee.

What’s a Single Supplement?

If you’re booking solo, you’ll be paired up with a roommate of the same gender as the pricing is based on double occupancy. However, if you’d like your own private single accommodation you can pay the single supplement.

When are Final Payments Due?

We send a request for final payments about 120 days before the tour’s start date. Final payments are due 90 days before the tour’s start date.

Can’t Join Us?

If you can’t join us in Japan but would like information on future travel photography workshops around the world, please sign up to the newsletter below.

At the moment we have trips to places like Patagonia, and Namibia – among many other amazing photography destinations. We’d love for you to join us out in the world.