Testimonials2018-03-11T23:13:57+00:00

My wife and I had a wonderful day with Tesni recently, during a one-to-one workshop photographing seabirds at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. Neither
of us are experienced photographers but, having attended several wildlife photography workshops before (all of which we enjoyed), none has come anywhere close to our time with Tesni in delivering improvements to the photographs that we take and enhancing the enjoyment of our hobby more generally. In particular, my wife’s confidence and ability in using her camera – both for static subjects and birds in flight – have literally been transformed by the experience. We are both very pleased with the photos we took on the day and have been able to apply the lessons we learned on subsequent occasions. The main reason for our success: Tesni was enthusiastically focussed on us throughout – from the interactions we had via a brief questionnaire and e-mails beforehand, to the responsive and helpful e-mails afterwards, we consistently felt we were at the centre of her attention. Tesni began the workshop by taking time to understand what we wanted from the day; what we struggled with and how we wanted to improve. She then introduced us to our feathered subjects and some of the challenges we might be faced with later on: before we realised, we were learning. From the moment we arrived at the viewing platforms overlooking the cliff edge, Tesni was quick to adapt her tips and advice to the situations evolving in front of us and was patient, encouraging and creative in helping us to put them into practice. Without ever interrupting or imposing on what we were doing, Tesni checked our progress at regular intervals, commenting on both technical and artistic aspects of our photos. Tesni is a great communicator and we felt relaxed and at ease in her company; no question was too basic (or advanced!) and, throughout the day, each was met with a practical response which seemed to be put at just the right level. In spite of all the learning that was going on, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. In short: we cannot recommend a one-to-one workshop with Tesni highly enough.

Nigel & Fiona
I cant thank you enough for the brilliant day with the mountain hares, it delivered well beyond my expectations. A challenging day for getting about with the drifted snow but well worth the effort. Having 18 separate encounters was exceptional – I think its down to how really well you know the area and your close relationship with the hares. I certainly learned some new field craft on the day – thats some skill you have in reading the hares behaviour when approaching and getting close. I also appreciated your care, not only with the hares but in looking after your client with some tricky conditions underfoot. I came away with a card full of photographs, with quite a few to choose from to add in to my wildlife slideshows and talks – exactly met my aim for the day!
Dave B

This was my first experience of one of Tesni’s own workshops, she is professional, knows her stuff and has a great sense of humour. I was there to learn, take great pictures and have a great day out which I (and the other workshop attendees) had even though it was a long day.  How Tesni does this day in day out just amazes me – I don’t think I could. Tesni has comprehensive knowledge of how to get the best out of the Olympus OM-D system for nature and wildlife photography, what works and doesn’t work, as well as demystifying the myriad of focusing modes and options at our disposal. Her subject matter knowledge was extensive, and interesting and useful facts about the birds we were photographing were provided to help get the better shots. As we were taking photographs Tesni also reminded us to think about the more camera agnostic aspects of photography such as exposure and composition.  Finally, it was obvious that Tesni knew the area well and we were directed to the best locations at Bempton Cliffs to get the photos that we wanted. Thank you Tesni for a great day out and I look forward to my next workshop with you.

Chris

I spent a fabulous day with Tes on the mountain hare workshop and learnt so much –  not just about mountain hares but also other local wildlife and the Peak District in general. Her knowledge of the area and its wildlife is amazing and we quickly found several hares to photograph that I would never have seen without her help. Her ability to read the hares’ behaviour and her knowledge of how to approach them allowed us to get incredibly close to the hares and achieve some super images. As an experienced photographer I wasn’t particularly looking for photography tuition but nevertheless Tes was still able to add to my knowledge base and share many useful tips. The day was fun, interesting, and informative. The area covered was quite large and the terrain quite rough but despite me being more than twice her age and far less fit, Tes was always thoughtful and considerate in finding routes that I could manage. Tes also worked hard to make sure the workshop covered the things that I wanted to see. I’m sure I will be back for another workshop! Patrick

Patrick

My favourite workshop to date! I’d mentioned to Tesni some time ago while on a Red Grouse workshop that I’d like to do a Mountain Hare workshop once their coats had turned white. She said she could take me and would let me know once they start turning. We ended up going the weekend before Christmas and met up nice and early to make the most of the day. Tesni has a lot of knowledge on Mountain Hares and told me what to look out for and where they’re likely to be. Once we got higher up it wasn’t long before we saw our first one of the day! I was so excited! Tesni immediately was on the ball and told me how we were going to approach the Hare. We saw many many Hares during the day and got much closer than I’d ever thought we could to several individuals! A few were skitty but most were very relaxed with us being there so I managed to get some photos that I’m thrilled with! We also saw lots of Red Grouse during the day and their were plenty of opportunities to photograph them with nice silhouettes. Tesni knows her subject well and I certainly wouldn’t of been able to get the shots without her expert guidance. She’s a nice gal too and a joy to spend the day with! I would and have recommended this workshop, it was the best day!

Kirsty

I spent a great day with Tesni on one of her workshops; the Red Deer Rut at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire. I use an Olympus OMD EM1 camera, not the easiest to master due to the amount of settings that can be pre-programmed. This being said, it did not phase Tesni, in fact she is on the Olympus team for wildlife photographers, so my camera settings were a doddle for her. She guided me through the settings, as the light changed during the day. Tesni had done her homework on Bradgate regarding the locations were the Deer had been seen in the last few days, which was really beneficial in seeing and taking shots. Four times during the course of the day Tesni worked through the photos I had been taking and gave advice on any adjustments that needed making. I usually shoot in Aperture mode only, but again Tesni gave me the confidence to shoot in manual mode. The wildlife was stunning we managed to see the magnificent Red Bucks in fighting mode trying to protect their Hinds from younger male Bucks, with no other people about, that was down to her preparation  prior to the workshop taking place. Later in the day it was the turn of the Fallow deer, again the Bucks calling in there Hinds. This workshop was a full twelve hour day to reap the full benefits of the Deer Rut, and I can’t thank Tesni enough in giving me guidance through the lens to photograph this truly great event. I would recommend anyone who enjoys taking photos of wildlife to book a workshop with Tesni.

Nick

Photographing Hares with Tes in the Peak District was a fantastic experience. It was clear right from the off that Tes’ knowledge of the area as well as how to approach the Hares was second to none, and we had some great encounters with them. I had gone with the hope of taking some habitat shots showing the Hares in their environment as well as the frame filling portraits, and Tes didn’t disappoint! Tes’ field-craft skills were brilliant in reading the behaviour of the animals, enabling us to get up close to them. I’ve never crawled across the Peak District before and it was great fun! Not only was Tes’ knowledge of the area and ability to approach the Hares fantastic, she is passionate and enthusiastic about wildlife and great fun to chat to – I’d thoroughly recommend this workshop!

Ally

I booked a Red Kite Workshop to be followed by a Badger Workshop, early August 2017.  Although I have seen and admired Tesni’s work, I had not met her before so the thought of spending up to 12 hours with a complete stranger could have been a little daunting.  However, I have to say, it was a complete pleasure. Tes has a lovely, personable manner and was great fun to be with. Both workshops were fantastic.  My goals for day were to learn more about wildlife photography and how to get the best from my recently required longer lens. I also wanted to spend time with and enjoy both the red kites and badgers. All my goals were met and exceeded. It was a special privilege to spend time with the badgers – the photos are just a bonus! Tes is an excellent photography tutor but she combines this with exceptional fieldcraft and she knows her subjects well.  She was able to predict the animals movements, knew how to get the best from them but the welfare of the animals was paramount throughout. She has put an incredible amount of time into learning their behaviour and being able to read their signals to know if they we relaxed, etc. Whilst putting her fieldcraft skills and passion for the welfare of wildlife into practice, Tes also ensures that she is clear about your goals for the day and ensuring that you have a good day.  She has unlimited patience as a tutor and is highly skilled in photography. Although I don’t’ use the same make of camera as her, she seemed to know her way around mine and could also tell me where I was going wrong with my panning technique etc.  I would highly recommend her workshops as excellent value for money and time well spent. I would advise anyone taking one of her workshops to bring plenty of memory cards – you will get trigger happy but you will come home armed with lots of beautiful photographs.  I had a top day – thank you Tes and I will be back!

Sue

We spent a day and a half with Tes high up on the moors photographing the Hares.  Why a half day ?  Well it was the first of 2 days.  To put it mildly, the weather was just horrendous !  Driving rain, 40-50 mph constant wind, tramping around  in the clouds, visibility about 20yds………..I had no idea where we were, or whether we were just walking round in circles !   By 12 noon we were absolutely soaked, and gave up the challenge – but were still in good spirits, and really wanted to get some shots of the Hares.  Now Tes is a spirited individual, and she was not prepared to see us go home with no shots of her beloved hares, so she organised a replacement adventure for us a few days later, and this time, the weather could not have been better.  Clear blue skies, visibility about 60 miles – we could even see the snow on Snowden ! – and no wind.  Perfect weather for photography.  And yes, we saw lots of Hares, and were able to get up quite close to some thanks to Tes’s field-craft skills.  In fact for some shots we were too close, and the Hares were bigger than the frame with my 500mm lens – which was not easy to throw around when hand holding.  Tes really knows her stuff with the Hares, and knew all the best locations to find them. Thanks for a great day Tes.  I’ll look back on both days with great fondness, especially the banter about our experiences of photography and life in general, which at times had us roaring laughing.

John

Tesni made the day great fun, informative and so rewarding. We all came away with photographs we had set out to get and having learned a lot about the wonderful Olympus and its versatility. We had lots of laughs and some marvellous photographic moments. We will definitely be booking another workshop with her in March next year.

Lynne

Had an excellent day with Tesni. She has an excellent knowledge of the local area and her Wildlife photography skills are second to none. She also has a brilliant understanding of the Olympus camera and was able to show me functions on my camera which I never knew existed. With the knowledge and techniques I gained on the day, I managed to take my Wildlife photography to the next level. I can most definitely recommend her!

David

I had a brilliant day at Tesni’s Coastal birds photography course in May 2016. I was delighted with the images I had taken. As a complete beginner to wildlife photography the day catered really well to my needs. Tesni was able to help with some useful tips on how to get the best composition and also helped explain in very simple terms the best settings to use on my camera to get the best shots. She was on hand during the day if I had any questions or needed any help and all the learning was very much geared to my skill level and taken at my own pace. I feel that I learnt a lot of useful new skills on the day in a very relaxed environment and also had a lot of fun! Tesni’s passion and enthusiasm for wildlife photography really shines through. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend one these day courses for anyone interested in doing some wildlife photography, regardless of their skill level. Thanks!

Giselle

Badger workshop with Tes; when I received the message from Tes that she could fit me in I couldn’t have been more excited.  Tes is a remarkable & extremely personable young lady who puts customer satisfaction & animal welfare top of the list. I’ve read some previous reviews about Tes & I can honestly corroborate those opinions. She is a true professional with skills unsurpassed in field craft & photography. Constantly ensuring that I was ok, positioning me to obtain the best views (& shots) & offering advice throughout the workshop. I couldn’t have asked for more from the evening it was a truly magical experience with a camera roll of shots to boot! Highly recommended & I’m sure I’ll be joining her again soon. Thanks you Tes for a memorable evening.

Mick

Spent a great day with Tesni Ward on one of her workshops. Tesni took us to the coast to photograph seabirds. Myself and two others met her at a meeting location and she drove us to the site. The time was not wasted as she asked a few questions about our experience etc. On arrival and after paying for us to get in, all included in the price, Tesni gave advice on camera settings, lens hoods, and other useful tips. We then walked off to the cliffs and I was amazed at Tesni’s observational skills, she not only quickly spotted photo opportunities but knew the species, giving us tips on their behaviour and what to look for. All in all a wonderful day, finished off by stopping for FRESH fish and chips. This was topped off by some absolutely wonderful images from my first foray into snapping seabirds. Thank you Tesni for an unforgettable day.

Eric

My wife and I enjoyed a day shooting in the Peak District with Tes. The weather was challenging, but she chose some excellent locations and showed both of us how to get better images. She was patient, encouraged us to be creative and try some different approaches, and helped a lot with technique and equipment. Highly recommended!

JP

If you go with Tesni on a photography workshop not only will you get some tips on using your camera but also tips on watching the wildlife and getting the best pictures. I have had a bridge camera for a few years now and watched wildlife for years, but the photos are not usually what I expect when looking back at them. During the day Tesni helped me with the settings and gave a lot of valuable advice to get the pictures I have always been after. The trip to the coast where Tesni drives you to is good idea because you get to know each other and she explains the day to you and what to expect. And then it’s up to you, you can stop in one spot for a while or just wander along taking photos. Tesni offers advice along the way and looks at your pics and encourages you whilst giving tips/advice where appropriate. A really enjoyable day which was rounded off with a visit to a chip shop. I have used my camera since with the pictures improving all the time, just shows what some knowledge passed on can do! Thanks Tesni!

Cameron

Without doubt the best workshop I have attended for a long time! Making the arrangements was simple, Tesni replied very quickly to my emails (in spite of being in Africafor part of the time!). When we met at the location I was immediately impressed by Tesni’s considerable knowledge of the subject and its behaviour, the Water Vole appeared as if on schedule. I felt very privileged to spend the day with someone who so obviously has both a deep passion for and commitment to wildlife, and lots of knowledge of wildlife photography which she was very happy to share. Added to which Tesni is a delight to be with – I enjoyed some great photo opportunities with the Water Vole, learned a lot about optimising camera settings for wildlife photography, and generally had a very fine day. Tesni was very concerned to ensure that I had excellent opportunities for photography, but most importantly as far as I’m concerned, she puts the welfare of the wildlife first. Would I book on another workshop? Absolutely, yes!

Nick

I’ve bought books, visited workshops, subscribed to magazines, but nothing came close to how much I learnt in four hours with Tesni. Her skill with a camera is only rivalled by her skill to explain the finer arts of photography, something that is apparently more difficult then you think. She knows the Peaks like the back of her hands, taking me to an area she knew would be perfect for the sunset with vibrant heather and beautiful skies, all whilst properly explaining what I thought I knew from books, which turned out wasn’t the case. Tesni is a lovely woman with great conversation skills, with both me and the sheep we encountered! I’ve come away from four hours with Tesni with a much better knowledge of my camera, composition and overall much more of a passion for photography.

Gareth
I was lucky enough to have a chance of joining Tesni on a 3 day tailored photography workshop on a one to one basis, in the beautiful Peak District. I am a complete novice and was eager to learn about my new camera, and how to get the best out of wildlife and landscape opportunities.
Tesni recommended some places to stay, and I settled on a lovely hotel in Hathersage. I was amazed at Tesni’s knowledge and wonderful compassion for wildlife and the countryside. She was a brilliant tutor and gave me such confidence in using my camera. I got  amazing shots of some of the most beautiful landscapes and fabulous wildlife pictures. We were lucky enough to come across a presenting peacock on a farm. Taking the pictures, with Tesni giving me such handy tips and advice, enabled me to obtain some fantastic shots. Tesni tailored each day differently for me, to help me maximise my photographic experience. My favourite being the awesome highland cattle. She also made it fun and was very patient with me, gently testing me on what I had learnt! I thoroughly enjoyed Tesni’s workshop and cannot wait to join her again in the future.
Gill

Tesni arranged and delivered a wonderful week long trek through the Peak District and to the coast for us. Weather was memorable (windy, rainy) but did not slow us down much. Through it all Tesni found a way to teach us about camera settings, technique, steadying the camera (first attempt at using 500mm fixed lens in 50 mph winds!), framing a picture, and even developing an eye for “that moment .” Every hike was unique and taught us another photographic tip. The amazing thing was her ability to continue to teach us onsite no matter the conditions. Her gift of teaching helped us maximize our experience, learning, and shooting prowess. We even squeezed in a few basic Lightroom lessons to get started in processing our pictures. I will be following Tesni on another trek for sure! She is knowledgeable, talented, has an incredible eye for an image and is willing to teach one how to capture those same beautiful shots.

Mary

I am an amateur photographer trying to improve my wildlife skills, so I attended the Coastal Birds Photography Workshop on the 13th of May 2017 with Tesni. After meeting up Tesni assessed our various skill levels and asked us what we wanted out of the day of which mine were to come away with anything other than what I consider to be my usual mediocre images. Once we had reached the cliffs, one thing was certain: Tesni’s expertise in bird knowledge and Olympus systems is second to none, and this continued throughout the course of the day. This was, without doubt, the best workshop I have ever attended and I fully recommend this workshop to anybody regardless of age and skill level. I came away from the workshop with images far from mediocre and with greater knowledge of bird photography. Thank you so much Tesni for your great enthusiasm and eagerness to share your knowledge. John Bradburn.

John

I really wanted to photograph Red Grouse in the pink heather this year and after a little searching I found Tesni’s page. I got in touch to ask if it were possible and she got back in touch very quickly. We arranged a day out to the peaks to hopefully see the Red Grouse but also to photograph Lizards. In the morning I met Tesni as planned and she drove us to a location for the Lizards. Immediately I got the impression from her that she knew her stuff and that we would have a good day ahead of us! Once we got to the location for the Lizards Tesni quickly found some for me to photograph and gave me lots of guidance and advise on technique to get some great images. We ended up seeing several different Lizards including some babies which was great! From there we drove up to the next location to try and find some Red Grouse. When we arrived it was super windy and we had some trouble spotting them as they hunker down in the wind. But we didn’t give up! After a short while we spotted a Grouse very close to the path and with Tesni’s guidance we managed to sneak carefully and slowly to a comfortable distance from the bird to photograph it. We followed it for some time until it did a “Houdini” on us and disappeared! It wasn’t long at all until some more flew in and we started carefully heading towards them. We crept slowly with Tesni keeping watch letting me know when it was ok to move and when to stop until we got a comfortable distance away from the Grouse, but close enough to photograph. We watched them there for ages, wandering around and eating the heather and then! Finally! One hopped into the pink heather and we both, very excited, crept around the back to get “the photo” of the Red Grouse in the pink heather as I had hoped for! It was brilliant to watch and i definitely would not have managed to get those shots by myself. After some time the Grouse scurried off to find its friend and we watched them waddle off together into the sunset. A lovely day! It’s clear that Tesni is a lover of wildlife and a true advocate for the protection of all creatures and I truly enjoyed my day out with her. A lovely lady and a dedicated and experienced photographer, what more would you want from a workshop leader? I would whole heartily recommend her to anyone who appreciates and loves wildlife and photography.

Kirsty

I had been following Tes’ work with the badgers this year and waited in anticipation for the news of the workshops kicking off.  When Tesni let me know dates were now available I was over the moon and booked almost immediately.  I had been waiting to get photographs of badgers for a long time and Tesni enabled me to fulfil this ambition.  Tesni was extremely knowledgeable and explained everything clearly and in depth before arriving at the Sett.  I must add that Tesni is one of the most dedicated and passionate photographers I have come across, and clearly loves what she does.  I can’t wait to get some more badger action next year!  Thanks so much Tesni for an unforgettable evening with the Stripey Guys!

Jonathan

When I saw the opportunity to go on a course to photograph the Puffins (and other seabirds) on the Farne Isles, I jumped at the chance. Even better that it was with the highly acclaimed wildlife photographer Tesni Ward. Her knowledge in both nature and cameras are second to none, and her professional guidance ensured that the day went well. Knowing the islands as well as she does ensured that the best locations were chosen to provide the most opportune photographs. Although I am only an amateur photographer, her advice helped me take some professional looking photographs. Tesni’s amiable personality made the day more relaxed, and the instruction more personal. I thoroughly recommend Tesni and her photography courses. Professionalism and pleasure at their highest.

Peter

I travelled to the UK to join Tesni on a tailored photography workshop. From the beginning, it was clear she had an incredible depth of knowledge about photography, settings and post processing software. Her enthusiasm and passion for photography was evident from the onset and she was always happy to verbalise to me on site how to capture great images. During the week I felt more and more confident with my camera, settings and composition, as she was quick to share all her tips, tricks and knowledge. She was always patient and informative whenever I had a question, whilst also offering constant advice when not prompted by myself. My advice would be to take advantage of Tesni’s expertise and love of photography, I thoroughly loved my time with her and would do it all again!

Janet

Spent an amazing afternoon/evening photographing badger cubs with Tesni. She impressed on so many levels, taking the time to ensure that the session delivered on all fronts, informing and engaging with her extensive photographic and wildlife knowledge. She is clearly driven by her passion for nature and conservation, converting this into a thoroughly professional and delightful service. I can’t recommend her highly enough for all levels of photographers.

John

Your knowledge of photography and wildlife is very impressive, but your efforts to ensure everyone gets something from the day and learns something is also most welcome. I’ve done a number of photography workshops, albeit only one wildlife related (at a safari park – it was honestly not very good); its surprising how few photographers running workshops put in the same amount of effort as you. I would certainly recommend you.

Andrew

Thoroughly enjoyed the Waterfowl Workshop with Tesni. A wonderful venue stocked with an amazing range of native and introduced species, where it was straightforward to get the camera down to water level and shoot against fine backdrops. Tesni gave really helpful guidance tailored to each photographer’s needs, and I could see my images steadily improve throughout the day. Despite steady rain during the morning, we were taught how to make the most of the conditions and accordingly we all came away with a range of less-usual shots where the raindrops in the air and on feathers and water gave added interest. Strongly recommended, and excellent value!

Mark

Photographing Puffins in the Farne Islands has long been an ambition of mine and with Tesni’s help and guidance I have come home with images I am truly proud of, it is one of the best photographic experiences I have ever had. Her calm manner and friendly approach puts you at your ease, and her love of wildlife and photography shines through, a true inspiration. Whether you are a beginner trying out that shiny new DSRL or just need more field craft knowledge, Tesni’s your girl. Thanks again and until the next time, a badger workshop perhaps!!

Sue

Had an awesome day with Tesni on a Coastal Birds Workshop recently and have already booked another trip with her. From the off her eagle eye was on it, pointing out every bit of wildlife in the area and taking us to the best locations. As a group of 5 she managed to keep us all busy and spend quality time with each one of us on a one to one basis offering image reviews, camera help and even organised a regional manager at Sigma to come down and let us have a play with some really cool lenses. Gave me some great advice on how to capture birds in flight, and even though it started to rain heavily I was still happy to snap away and didn’t want to leave. A really enjoyable day out for any level of photographer. Tesni is real easy going and down to earth and full of knowledge both camera wise and for wildlife. Highly recommended and cant wait for the next trip out!

Rob

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this workshop. I hadn’t been able to get any good photographs of Red Grouse on my own so decided to book on a day with Tesni. We started at dawn and headed out. The weather was stormy but it didn’t take long for Tesni to spot the first grouse in the distance. Before long we were practically surrounded by them, making it difficult to decide which way to face. Tesni moved us into a spot near a male Grouse and sure enough we managed to get our first shots. I was very impressed with the advice she gave me, both in terms of settings and composition but also fieldcraft. It was very clear from the start that Tesni is highly passionate about wildlife and it’s welfare and she made sure that we let the wildlife come to us rather than us chasing them. Throughout the day there were few occasions where we weren’t taking photographs and the day ended with all my expectations exceeded. I will definitely go on future workshops with Tesni, thank you!

Roy

I had an amazing time photographing the seabirds on her Coastal Birds Workshop. Tesni was a very supportive instructor, making sure that all members of the group were happy and comfortable with what was happening, Tesni also provided individual reviews of our photos halfway through the day so that we could act upon her advice for the second half of the day. The day was full of tips and tricks, all of which proved very useful, meaning I left with some great images! I’d certainly recommend to anyone who wants to improve on their photography or simply wants a great day out with like minded people. I will definitely be joining Tesni on other workshops!

Dan

Went on a Coastal Seabirds Day at Bempton with Tesni last Saturday 13th May.A very long drive from home in the West Midlands was made very well worthwhile by Tesni’ hospitality, fun and knowledge. We were given a very warm welcome on our arrival and after introductions all round we sat down to discus the plans for the day, she was keen to know our skills, equipment and wishes for the day. We were soon into our trip along the coast line with Tesni keen to ensure we all had the best opportunities for the best viewpoints, it was clear she knows her subject, both birds and Olympus stuff. Being by far the elder statesman of the party Tesni was keen to keep a check on me to ensure I was OK in all aspects of the day. It was a full on day starting at 10am and finishing at 6pm with appropriate comfort breaks along the way. I can thoroughly recommend this trip, it’s most enjoyable and informative, and good value for money. Thank you Tesni.

John
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