Penobscot Bay, Maine
August 20 – 25, 2017

Venture is our all-inclusive, luxury photo expedition to Maine. We’ll document the fading island culture and natural habitat of Penobscot Bay from our headquarters at a historic lodge on North Haven Island. We’ll explore communities and places where tours don’t go. And we’ll enjoy the best local, chef-prepared fare Maine has to offer.

This is an exclusive course for passionate lifestyle and landscape photographers who want to add incredible imagery to their portfolio. Led by award-winning photographers and expert naturalists, this excursion will take you to places usually inaccessible to the general public and offer the potential bonus of encountering island wildlife. On this trip, we’ll be be up early to catch the best light, but we’ll also kick back and commune over great food and better company. 

It's also the perfect trip for couples—whether you shoot alongside each other professionally or just want an excuse to get away and experience northeast island culture together.

Spaces are limited, so act fast.

Application process is competitive and requires a portfolio submission. 



Penobscot Bay was the site of The Collective Quarterly's fifth issue. As a magazine, we aim to discover the essence of a region during a moment in time. When we visited Maine, we found a place trying to come to terms with its waning natural resources and its disappearing social culture. (Only a few decades ago, there were 300 inhabited islands off the coast. Now there are 15.)

After multiple visits over two years, we learned that when you and your kind live shoulder-to-shoulder at the edge of the sea, and suck your life from it each day, it’s almost akin to being a barnacle. You learn to hold fast to your piece of the rock, and you grow a tough crust—one that can handle the waves and the weather, and keep your neighbors in their place. You strike a Faustian bargain with the ocean: It brings you alive, but all the while it’s pounding on you.

Despite this tumult—or perhaps because of it—Maine is a wild, fascinating destination for the visually-minded. And because we've spent so much time developing a rich network of local friends and guides who are willing to open their doors to us, we can take you to places most outsiders don’t get a chance to see. 


  • Sunday, August 20 through Friday, August 25th, 2017
  • Six days, five nights.

What To Expect



We’ll be up early each day to catch good light. Expect to earn your meals—we'll traverse the Bay, taking you to the most interesting spots for capturing landscapes and wildlife. There will also be plenty of time for exploring the island that will be our home for the week. Each afternoon, we’ll meet for shoptalk so that our guides can answer questions and offer feedback on your take from the day. In the evening, we’ll relax over seasonal, locally-sourced meals, and expertly crafted cocktails as we hear from local Mainers who can help us develop a sense of the place.


You can count on lobster and oysters being on the agenda, and all our meals will be restaurant-quality. Our home base for the week, Nebo Lodge, is winning accolades for its food program from publications all over the country. Chef Amanda Hallowell sources ingredients from local neighbors (including Turner Farm, a sustainable island operation just 3 miles away) for her fresh, seasonal dishes. Though the menu is constantly changing, “line-caught Atlantic swordfish, with buttery greens and cilantro-onion mayonnaise” ought to give you an idea of what to expect.



If you were to simply walk up the street after disembarking from the ferry to North Haven—12 miles out to sea—you’d run into Nebo Lodge. With nine unique guest rooms, three decks, a blazing fireplace, and a full-service bar, the Victorian lodge is elegant without being ostentatious. If it feels like a home, that’s because it’s an old family estate re-imagined as an inn by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and her daughters. We’ll be there toward the end of the season, which means we get the whole place to ourselves.

MEET your hosts


Jesse is the Creative Director and co-founder of The Collective Quarterly. In addition to producing the majority of the images that appear in the magazine, he has shot for YETI Coolers, Patagonia, and other commercial clients internationally. He spent 18 months photographing the U.S. while living on the road in an Airstream with his wife, three sons, and Bull Terrier.


Kerry is a writer and naturalist whose family has been in Maine since the 1760s. An avid forager and scholar of Penobscot Bay's natural habitat, he serves as the steward for the Vinalhaven Land Trust, where his job includes keeping trails, photographing flora and fauna, monitoring easements, and advising visitors on how best to enjoy wild lands.

harvest moon

Captain Rob Iserbyt and his vessel, Harvest Moon, will be on standby to ferry our group around Penobscot Bay. It's a fast and able lobster cruiser that moves nimbly between the islands. Captain Rob and his crew have years of experience navigating the Bay and know the unspoiled habitats that have the best landscapes and potential for sea-life sightings.


AUGUST 20 - 25, 2017

$3,650 TOTAL
  • Tuition includes daily instruction, lodging, food, beverages, and private boat fare between islands.
  • Rates are based on a single-occupancy room; add $2,000 to bring a guest or significant other.
  • Non-refundable application fee of $28 counts toward total, if selected.
  • Call for applications closes July 9.
  • All portfolios will be reviewed, and selected attendees will be notified via email by July 16.