Destination Porto, Portugal - June 13th to 22nd, 2022 (Reservation)

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Leica Destination Full Price $7,000.00
Future Payment $5,000.00
Booking Reservation $2,000.00
Porto, Portugal


June 13th – 22, 2022 – Destination Porto, Portugal: Explore historic Porto, Portugal, shoot with renowned photographer, Mark de Paola, stay in an 18th century countryside manor and gain exclusive access to and take private tours of the Leica Portugal factory.

Join renowned photographer, Mark de Paola, who has spent his career shooting beauty and fashion for iconic brands like Vogue, Donna Karan, MAC Cosmetics and Gucci, along with Leica Akademie USA, and Leica Akademie Portugal for an in-depth, all-inclusive retreat and cultural immersion program exploring historic Porto, Portugal. The group (limited to six attendees total) will explore winding cobblestone streets of the city, the beautiful landscape of the country’s seaside, and sample Porto’s flavorful cuisine and world-famous port wines, all while shooting portrait, fashion, and fine art nudes utilizing only natural light.  With Mark as your personal guide, not only providing insight but also technical and creative support, you will grow your visual perspective and develop your artistic narrative in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.


  • How to use natural light in portraiture
  • Engaging with artistic collaborators/subjects
  • Shooting fine art nude on location
  • Utilizing cultural influences in your photography
  • Creating a cohesive and personal body of work
  • Editing a body of work and its public presentation


This program is taking place in June, the ideal month in terms weather and just before the city is flooded with tourists. Portugal is known for its colorful tile architecture, fresh seafood, and artistic craft and these elements will be crucial as you discover your pre scouted shooting locations.

We will be staying in a four-star hotel next to the Leica Store Porto and the production base will be a short walk from the hotel, which is situated on the river cliffs overlooking the opposite end of the city. This base will serve as a location for specific shooting sessions, reviews, and evening gatherings.

Be prepared for a fair amount of walking and you’ll want to carry as little with you as possible during the day, as Porto has many steep hills, much like San Francisco. Pack layers as it gets a bit windy at night since Porto is so close to the ocean. Sunscreen is imperative as most shooting sessions will take place outside. Tom Smith and your production team will be available to you for technical questions and any trip inquiries you may have throughout this program.

De Paola’s career and real-life experience over the past two decades creating projects from Vogue covers to Gucci campaigns and his transition into Fine Art photography with exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Dali, China and Tokyo will be a valuable part of our formal and informal conversations. Mark’s vast and comprehensive experience with Leica cameras and optics, especially the 50mm Noctilux, will serve as a point of inspiration throughout the weekend.

Porto will provide the backdrop for this one-of-a kind-opportunity to be both challenged and guided creatively by de Paola as well as pushed to reinvent and refine one’s own fine art voice in such a historic and honorably photographed area.


Whether you are currently a working pro, or a dedicated novice with an interest in exploring new directions in your photography or just have always wanted to visit Portugal with a group of like minded photographers, this is a trip for you. 
Photographers with an interest in fine art nudes, fashion and landscape photography will gain much from this experience. Owning a Leica is not required for this program. A selection of Leica M & SL cameras will be available for your use.



  • Eight nights, single occupancy accommodations/private bathroom (Four-star hotel for the Porto portion and luxury bedroom/en-suite bathroom in the manor house for retreat portion**)
  • Two meals/day
  • Leica Camera Porto Private Factory Tour
  • Open and closing celebration dinners
  • Model, H/MU, Styling, and Production
  • One-on-one portfolio reviews and editing sessions with Mark de Paola
  • Three-day collaboration masterclass with Leica Akademie Portugal
  • Transfers between locations within Porto and from Porto to Manor House and back
  • Port Wine tour of local Porto sellers
  • Wi-Fi Connection at accommodation bases
  • Daily on-site mentorship and instruction by Mark de Paola


  • Round-trip airfare to Porto
  • Insurance for your personal photography equipment
  • Personal expenses – gifts, souvenirs, or activities not included in the program itinerary

Special Notes: Enrollment is limited to seven participants.

Fee: $7,000.00


  • Dates

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Mark de Paola is a director and photographer based in New York City and Los Angeles, best known for his wide-open shooting style. De Paola has had multiple covers for Vogue Spain and Mexico, as well as campaigns and commercials for Donna Karen, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Brioni, Neutrogena, La Perla, Sephora, and MAC Cosmetics to name a few.

Mark has directed nearly 700 television commercials in the fashion/beauty sector, including Anheuser-Busch (Superbowl), Sony, Kawasaki, Ford Motorsports, Ducati Motorcycles, Toyota, Giorgio RED Perfume (exhibited at MOMA, NY), and English Ideas Cosmetics amongst others. Mark’s fine art series “60 Seconds” (a series of nudes shot with handheld 60-second exposures) and “The Art of Backstage” (shot during NY Fashion Week) have been exhibited at the Leica Gallery LA, Boston, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Dali, China.

Leica Instructor Mark de Paola

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