Self-Guided Photo Retreat

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Maine is so much more than Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park! The Mid-Coast and Downeast regions offer many opportunities to photograph amazing scenery, while avoiding the crowds. Our self-guided photo retreat will give you the chance to take stunning photographs to sell, exhibit, share with family and friends or keep for yourself.

Our photo retreat is a little different for a few reasons. First, you’ll leave with a portfolio of printed work. You get two sets of proof prints and a portfolio of 10 – 11″ x 14″ fine art prints in their own portfolio box.

Camden Hills State Park

It’s only $250 on top of the accommodation costs!

Second, we’ve designed our retreat for people who are familiar and confident with their camera and just want to go and shoot some cool images…not to tramp around with a group of strangers! Sure, we can help you with camera settings, managing your workflow and dealing with the captured image but this is more about your vision than someone else’s. What we will help with is finding great locations for the kind of photography you want to do.

Here’s how it works:

The evening of your arrival you will receive a welcome pack that includes some snacks and beverages and our book From Camden to Canada: An Artist’s Guide to the Maine Coast, detailing some interesting places to shoot along the coast.

In the morning we have a continental breakfast from 7 – 9 featuring locally roasted and fresh ground coffee and home-made baked goods. Then at 9 am you will meet your hosts, Master Printmaker and Gallerist Rick De Coyte and art historian Sabrina DeTurk, Ph,D and we can chat about your goals for the trip along with possible locations and content.

Once you’ve got a plan, head off at your own pace for a day’s shooting. Most of our recommended locations are within an hour’s drive of the motel, though we’ve included a few options that are further afield and worth the extra time. You can decide whether the spend the day in one location or to plot a route that will give you a variety of landscape and village shots. Add in a day hike, or just stick to sites that are easily accessible from the road – the beauty of this retreat is that you make that decision and can change your mind if you see something more interesting!

Back at the motel in the evening, you can select the images that you would like to proof, either with or without our input, and then we can recommend some local restaurants to enjoy.

On your second morning, after breakfast, we can review your printed proofs, make further recommendations for locations and send you on your way. In the evening, drop off your selected images for proofing and if you are hungry enjoy dinner in another local recommended restaurant.

After breakfast on Day 3, it’s time to review all your your proofs and select the images for the final portfolio. You can decide whether to have us ship your prints to your home or you can check back in after lunch and take them away with you.

For the rest of the year you can be smug and show off your actual printed work, not just tiny screen shots.


Camera, preferably one that has some kind of zoom / wide angle lens depending on what you want to shoot. Tripods are always useful and a waterproof bag of some kind in case of rain (see below). If you just want to use your phone camera that’s also OK or we can rent you a Sony A6000 with zoom. If you have a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera you might find a polaroid filter useful.

Laptop computer is useful but not essential.

Hiking boots or stout shoes, most of the coastal area is rocky with sharp stones. Maine can be quite chilly (especially if you have come from the steamy south) so throw something warm in the car. Also a hat or hats, one for the sun and maybe one for the rain and speaking of rain, maybe a rain jacket. Maine weather is notoriously unpredictable; the local saying is “if you don’t like the weather in Maine, wait a minute.” But even in the rain there are great shots to be had.

Overcast rainy day in Mid Coast Maine

The schedule is totally flexible so if you want to do sunset or sunrise shots we can review your images at other times. If you want to visit Cadillac Mountain or Acadia National Park book your tickets on-line. Be aware that in 2021 sunrise and sunset times book-up really quickly. Also be aware that up here in June (longest days) the sun rises before 5 am and sets after 8 pm; from July it gets later and by the end of September it’s sunrise at 6:30 am and sunset 6:15 pm.

Eating out:

View of Belfast Harbor from Youngs Lobster Pound

There are many restaurants within a few minutes drive from the Motel, and even two you can walk to, but be aware that most of them close at 8 p.m. (we mean close as in, they lock the doors). We have a great Lobster Pound close by which offers great value and views over the Belfast harbor; you dine outside and it’s BYOB. We also have many restaurants that serve local seafood and if you grow tired of fried fish there is also an Italian restaurant. If you want to celebrate, we have The Hitchborn, a world class restaurant which offers a chef’s tasting menu with a wine pairing which, while being expensive, is amazing. Searsport’s own “Gastro Dive Bar “- Hey Sailor is a 2 minute drive or 10 minute walk. Finally the world famous Lost Kitchen is around 35 minutes away if you are lucky enough to get a reservation.

Can I bring my partner / husband / wife / lover / kids?

Yes, there is no extra charge for additional people if they are sharing your room and not going to have proofs or a portfolio at the end. If they want to join in the fun and embarrass you with that amazing shot they took on their phone then proofs and prints can be purchased according to our price list. If they want their own guidebook, proofs each day and a full printed portfolio, you should order the portfolio package at $250.

44 x 34″ print taken with a Samsung S21 phone


The Motel has a variety of rooms to suit everyone from single travelers to groups of friends or families. The budget rooms are small and cozy with only a double bed (you had better be really friendly if you are sharing one), the queen rooms are as described with one queen bed, we also have quadruple rooms with a queen bed and double bed (great for friends traveling together) and one big family room with two rooms (one has a queen bed and one has two double beds). Book whatever type of room you want for three nights and add the $250 portfolio package on to your accommodation selection. You can book additional nights if you wish, but the package covers only two sets of proofs (additional proofs can be ordered from our price list).

What is there to shoot?

What a question! Maine is one on the most beautiful states in America, with over 230 miles of ocean coastline and 3.500 miles of tidal coastline. Acadia National Park is arguably the most well-known Maine landmark, attracting millions of visitors a year, but the surrounding areas offer less crowded and equally scenic photo opportunities. We will point you to them in your guide book.

While the landscapes are amazing, “normal” Maine things like rusting cars and farm equipment, or barns proudly standing where they surely should have collapsed years ago, also make great photo opportunities. The working fishing villages with piles of colorful lobster traps, the sky that changes by the minute and the spectacular light effects are all what make Maine a photographer’s dream location.

One of many “carefully preserved” objects to be found

Apart from the spectacular coastline, there are nearly 3,000 lakes in Maine. Just in Waldo and Hancock counties (where the Motel and Bar Harbor are) there are over 300 lakes bigger than 10 acres, which are also great spots to photograph.

For those interested in photographing birds, the coastal region east of Mount Desert Island, and much of Downeast Maine, offers probably the most interesting birding in terms of the species to be found — an area for serious birders to explore. This region is still remote, with limited tourist traffic. Maine oceans are the only place in the USA where puffins nest; it is possible to get a boat or a ferry to their nesting grounds but plan ahead since these often sell out early.

What Does the Price Include?

  • 3 nights accommodation at the Yardarm Motel (additional nights can be booked)
  • Continental breakfast
  • Our guide book From Camden to Canada: An Artist’s Guide to the Maine Coast (working title)
  • Archival museum prints on Hahnemühle paper:
    • 10 – 8 x 10 proof prints on Photo Matt Fibre paper
    • 10 – 11″ x 14″ final prints on Photo Rag 308 gsm 100% cotton rag paper.
  • A portfolio box.

There are also options to purchase additional proofs, final prints or gallery prints if needed,

Your Hosts

Master Printmaker Rick De Coyte has owned and run galleries and print studios in Philadelphia and New York City, and more recently Dubai, for more than 25 years. His prints are in major collections all over the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA in New York and other major museums and private collections. He taught Advanced Digital Photography at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia for more than a decade. Rick owned Silicon Gallery and Silicon Gallery Fine Art Prints in Philadelphia and New York from 1994 – 2016 and either curated or co-curated over 200 art shows there. He was on the board of Small Computers in the Arts Network and a founding member of The Philadelphia Print Collaborative, which later became Philagrafika.

Sabrina DeTurk, Ph. D. is an Art Historian who has been on the faculty at La Salle University and Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and Zayed University in Dubai. Her book Street Art in The Middle East was published by I.B Taurus in 2019; she is currently working on her second book, Women and Contemporary Art in the Gulf, which will be published by Routledge in 2022. She co-edits the book series Cultural Heritage, Art and Museums in the Middle East, also with Routledge. She also co-curated or curated a number of shows in Philadelphia, New York and Dubai.

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