Photography at Misse

Photography at Misse

Learn how to take more meaningful photographs while taking in the sights, smells and flavours of the Loire Valley in France. You know at least the basics of using your camera and love snapping photos any chance you get. You might even say you’re passionate about it, but you feel your photographs lack that little something to take them from “ok” to “wow”.

In our Creative Photography course, professional photographer and editor Katherine Oktober Matthews will walk you through the basics of what makes a photograph “good”, talk theory of creative photography, offer you hands-on exercises and photographic excursions to the villages, markets, landscapes and sights of the surrounding Loire Valley. All along we will develop your photographic eye, creativity, skills and offer substantial feedback on the work you produce. By the end of the workshop, all students will have produced and edited a short series of work.

The Photos tell a story – workshop with Katherine Oktober Matthews –

2020 Dates TBA – Get in touch to register your interest


Course Length:   Saturday to Saturday (7 nights)
Schedule:   Morning and afternoon sessions each day. Excursions to area attractions such as markets, vineyards, oil presses, artisan food producers and chateaus built into programme. Free time available each day.
Accommodation:   You will stay at the Circle of Misse house, a 19th century maison de maître situated in verdant farmland in the oxbow (the place where the river ‘circles’ back on itself) of the Thouet River in the small village of Misse on the Southern edge of the Loire Valley in France. Thus, the ‘Circle of Misse’. It has beautiful private en suite rooms with double beds, wardrobes, and writing desks.
Meals & Drinks:   Breakfast, lunch & dinner each day, including wine & cocktails. Coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks and snacks available all the time.
Cost:   £895 (includes EVERYTHING except travel to France). To secure a place a deposit of £300 is due at the time of booking; the balance is due 45 days before the course starts.


Free pick-up (Saturday 5 October ) and drop-off (Saturday 12 October) in Nantes, France at:

  • Nantes Atlantique International Airport (You can arrive via plane or train). Full details here.
    • Pick-up 17:15
    • Drop-off 13:15
  • You can also take the train to Thouars, our nearest town, and we’ll collect you.
  • You can also drive. We’ll send directions and GPS coordinates.

About Your Course Leader

Katherine Oktober Matthews is an Amsterdam-based photographer and editor originally from the U.S. She is a noted cultural critic in the field of art photography, and former Chief Editor of GUP Magazine, the Guide to Unique Photography, an international photography print publication and online platform. In her new book, Unique: Making Photographs in the Age of Ubiquity, she guides photographers through the complex landscape of contemporary image-making and through a way of thinking on how to make images that matter.

She is an artist mentor, offers portfolio reviews and consultancy for artists individually and at organized photo events, and has served as juror for many international photo contests. She considers herself an ally to artists and has contributed writing and editing to many creative projects. In 2017, she founded Riding the Dragon, an online platform dedicated to consolations on the challenge of creation.

Her text and images have been published in numerous books (including Toy Tokyo, Amsterdam… The Essence, NEW Dutch Photography 2012), journals (Light Work, VLAK, Analog Journal, KNiK), and magazines/online platforms (Libération, Slate, John Adams Institute, New Dawn, TEDxAmsterdam, Versal Blog, TimeOut Amsterdam, Expatica).

Her self-published book I Love Animals (2017) was shortlisted for the Arles Photobook Award and selected for the Athens Photo Festival book exhibition. Her book Elsewhere, a photo | personal essay, is forthcoming from Leaping Man.

Why Circle of Misse?

  • A home away from home
    The Circle of Misse house is homey and welcoming. You’ll get a private, en suite bedroom with a double bed and writing desk. There are sitting areas in the house and garden for working, and chatting when you’re in the mood.
  • Set in the romantic French countryside
    Surrounded by farms and farmland, we’re in the small village of Misse, with our closest neighbours being a church, abbey, cows and pheasants. We’re near the market town of Thouars but far enough away from the action that you can focus on your work.
  • One on-one mentoring and intimate group size
    We keep our group of guests small: classes are never more than five participants.
  • Gourmet lunch boxes, nightly dinner parties
    All meals and wine served at the house are included — Every day, you’ve got a personal picnic. Every night, it’s a dinner party.

Learn more about the Creative Holidays at Misse

Photography at Misse

Still not sure? Just get in touch to ask us any questions.