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Angkor Photo Workshop: July 8-22, 2017


Take your visual storytelling skills to the next level with this two-week immersive photo workshop and tour in one of the most beautiful and photogenic countries in Southeast Asia. Cambodia’s eerily gorgeous temples may be a first-time visitor’s draw, but you’ll soon discover that it is the people who are the real treasures here. 

In addition to exploring Angkor’s enduring temples, we’ll have the privilege of documenting, one on one, the first-hand accounts of remarkable individuals and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) whose harrowing stories will work their way into our creative imaginations. As if your human subjects weren’t already compelling, you’ll chronicle these narratives against the stunning backdrop of Siem Reap’s historic French colonial buildings and open-air markets, and the Cambodian countryside’s jungle-clad temples, rural villages, and emerald green rice paddies. 

During this unique cultural experience, you and a small group of other participants will learn visual storytelling skills and techniques from award-winning humanitarian photographer, Karl Grobl, and Patrick Firouzian in a classroom-like setting, and then immediately apply them to a real life photo documentary you’ll collect in the field and on the streets of this captivating region. Karl and Patrick will present talks on story choice and development; interviewing subjects using photography and multimedia equipment; audio recording, basic sequencing, and multimedia editing skills. They'’ll challenge and mentor you from the inception of your visual narrative through to its final edits. Plus, you’ll enjoy the camaraderie and collective wisdom of like-minded individuals willing to travel the world to find and tell a good story. 

This immersive exchange deepens through our nightly group dinners, when images and critiques are shared. Upon completion of your projects, the slideshow and/or library of images will be gifted as a token of appreciation to the NGOs or individuals that entrusted us with their stories. We’ll close our workshop tour by presenting participants’ images and stories to the group, and with the fitting farewell of an all-out celebration. 

Prerequisites: This workshop is designed for photographers, photo-bloggers and visual storytellers with a basic understanding of their digital cameras. A DSLR or mirrorless camera that shoots stills and video is recommended for this workshop, but iPhones, Android smartphones, and Go-Pro type cameras will work equally well. A laptop computer, and a basic working knowledge of Adobe Lightroom is helpful.

If you’re already familiar with creating basic multimedia slide shows and/or simple video editing it’s a plus, but we’re here to teach those skills for participants wishing to create a slightly more sophisticated multimedia presentation.

If a blog, or social media is the intended platform for your final story output, then a working knowledge of those platforms is helpful, though assistance will be given to those who are just getting started.

The options for creating your story, range from simple Lightroom slideshows with sound, to a a full featured Final Cut or iMovie video. So no matter what your skill level is now, we will help you create a visual story you’ll be proud of!

Angkor Photo Workshop
Day 1:
(Jul 8)

Participants arrive in Siem Reap, are picked up at the airport, and transported to our hotel, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC). Guests who arrive early can relax by the pool, explore the riverfront area or take a stroll to the nearby old French Quarter. This evening we have a cocktail reception and welcome dinner where you’ll meet Karl and Patrick and fellow participants. Karl shows a short slide presentation, and after dinner both guides offer an overview of the coming weeks. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 2:

No trip to Cambodia would be complete without a chance to photograph the stunning temples of Angkor. So, this morning, as a “warm up activity,” we’re off to the South Gate of Angkor Thom, and then to Bayon Temple. After a late breakfast, the workshop segment begins with a talk on the fundamentals of dynamic visual storytelling—from a story’s inception to the multimedia product’s final edit. Learn methods for capturing images and video using digital cameras and smartphones, and how to choose appropriate audio options for recording sound. In the late afternoon we turn our attention to Angkor Wat and shoot until the light fades. Around 7:30 p.m. we'll enjoy dinner together. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 3:

This morning’s lesson continues with the components of visual storytelling. After lunch, your team meets with the instructor to discuss potential story ideas. Perhaps you will choose to document the history of a local family’s restaurant, a day in the life of a rice farmer, or the efforts of a stone-carver working to replace the lost artifacts of the Khmer Empire. Or you might follow the good work of a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) aiding the environment, children’s education, microfinance, or community development. Once you’ve zeroed in on your story and subject, it’s time to jump in: make contact with your interview subjects, and assemble and prep equipment for tomorrow’s fieldwork. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 4:

Head out into the field today to start bringing your story to life! Make photographs, film interviews with your subjects, record ambient sounds, and begin drafting narration. Capture additional stills and video footage around Siem Reap to enrich your story descriptions. This evening we gather in the classroom to review the day’s work and plan for your next phase of shooting. 

Day 5:

Today we take a break to decompress from our assignments and have some fun. We travel by bus to the floating villages on Cambodia’s largest lake, Tonle Sap. First, we photograph this amazing area on foot, then we board small boats to better observe and photograph a floating market. We enjoy lunch at our boatman’s house, then head to Beng Mealea Temple for our afternoon shoot. We return to Siem Reap and cap off the evening with a private, traditional Cambodian Apsara dance performance. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 6:

Continue collecting your story video footage, stills and audio this morning before returning to the classroom for more lectures and presentations on visual storytelling, focusing on the postproduction phase. Begin pulling together your content and start editing your story into a cohesive visual narrative—for, the day after next, you’ll put finishing touches on your story with help from your instructor, incorporating expert advice on finalizing the sound, stills, and motion of your presentation. Overnight in Siem Reap.     

Day 7:

Today offers a second chance the capture the breathtaking Bayon Temple and Angkor Wat. This repeat visit allows you to improve upon your shots from Day 1. Late afternoon we visit Les Artisans d’Ankgor workshop to photograph local craftspeople. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 8:

This is the final day to shoot more images for your story, or use it as your free day to shop/relax and/or prepare for this evening’s "best-of” slideshow. Karl will be available all day to assist you with anything photographic. Tonight we meet for a delicious dinner, followed by the presentation of each student’s completed visual story. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 9:

After a leisurely breakfast, we board our private transportation for an all-day ride south to Cambodia’s vibrant capital city, Phnom Penh. Along the way we witness local Cambodian life, rice fields, and stop in a town where fried tarantula is the local delicacy. After arriving in Phnom Penh, we check into the storied and famous Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC). We enjoy dinner overlooking the river. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 10:

This morning we are transported by tuk-tuk to visit and photograph the infamous S-21 Prison, Toeul Sleng, and the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek. Participants work on this story, capturing a variety of images and sound files that will then be combined into a multimedia slide show. After lunch, Karl will guide you in creating another personal photo project. This evening we do some riverside street shooting, then dine at a local restaurant. Those interested in an after hours night shoot follow Karl to the Heart of Darkness. Overnight in Phnom Penh. 

Day 11:

We rise early to capture images of Phnom Penh waking up. Following breakfast, Karl discusses tomorrow’s road trip to Battambang. The remainder of the day is free for shooting, shopping, resting, or exploring Cambodia’s capital. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 12:

After breakfast we board our private transportation to Cambodia’s second largest city, Battambang, a French Colonial town more sleepy and charming than Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. We make frequent stops along the way to capture images for a mini-assignment called “The story of our trip from Phnom Penh to Battambang.” Overnight in Battambang.  

Day 13:

Up early to photograph Battambang’s largest market (some areas of the market are not for the faint of heart), then back to the hotel for breakfast. Meet midday with Karl and Patrick for critique, image selection, and guidance in what you will be shooting tomorrow (The Bamboo Train). In the afternoon we photograph monks, locals, and activities along Battambang’s riverfront park, Stung Sangke. Tonight’s group dinner is at a local Cambodian restaurant. Overnight in Battambang.

Day 14:

This morning we board the sensational and rudimentary “Bamboo Train,” and spend a few hours exploring small villages, and rice fields. In the afternoon, depending on time and our energy levels, we visit and photograph a brick factory, ice factory and/or a community living along the abandoned train tracks. Big farewell dinner and image sharing party to follow. Overnight in Battambang.

Day 15:

Today you are transported back to Siem Reap for your international departures. (2.5 hour ride Battambang to Siem Reap.)


Aerial photography, filming, and editing with Patrick Firouzian. Learn for filming and taking pictures with a drone, from preparation to sharing your multimedia. 

Equipment: Come with your drone or use one of ours.

Pre-requisites: Apps uploaded on your smartphone, your laptop with an editing software like iMovie.

The extension cost is $975 and is based on double occupancy. A single supplement of will apply.

Day 15:

We’ll spend the morning learning the essentials of Aerial filmography including:

  • Components of the drone
  • Safety for you and others
  • Basic operation of the drone: take-off and landing, camera movements
  • Filming and flying: how to keep it safe and simple
  • Emergency procedures (a.k.a Plan B): how to get the drone to take over control (auto-pilot)  and return to landing zone sound and safe
  • Workflow from drone preparation, flight plans, take-off check-list, flight, landing, off-loading media, editing, sharing
  • How to compose from above: altitude, movement pace, light, focus areas: how to combine these and get engaging clips

Later in the day you’ll put to practice what you’ve learned  - take off and land, basic moves, rotation, panning and dolly shots, low and high altitude.

We finish up the afternoon filming the sunset reflections on the lake, with houseboats in the foreground.

In the evening, we’ll review the unedited clips of the day. Comments and strategies will be discussed to assist you in your next day’s filming.

Day 16:

We’ll rise early and start our filming at the West Baray where we’ll film fishermen setting their nets in the beautiful morning light. After a breakfast and a quick viewing session, we’ll start our lesson on workflow – how to compose a draft clip with music. Lunch will be followed by filming a floating village. We’ll travel 90 minutes a picturesque village bordering a lake. We’ll film the Pagoda, the fish farms, the fishermen coming and going, and the hundreds of houses on stilts. We’ll stay for sunset at the village before returning to Siem Reap for dinner.

Day 17:

Morning flight at a location to be determined. Return to Siem Reap for breakfast. In the afternoon, we’ll put together all that you’ve learned in your final edit – adding music, color coding, etc. to your video. Patrick will lecture on media sharing strategies: how to be found, how to reach people, an more. Final dinner will be at Karl’s home where everyone will get a chance to see your final product on a large screen HDTV. 

Day 18:

Participants will be transferred to the airport in Siem Reap to catch their flights home.


Karl Grobl

Karl Grobl

Karl Grobl, (co-founder and trip leader), is a humanitarian photojournalist specializing in the photographic documentation of relief efforts and development work of NGOs worldwide. Calling upon his superb photography talents, both technically and creatively, he proficiently leads photo workshops and international photo tours (on this website). Beyond his photography attributes, tour clients frequently commend his helpfulness, professionalism and savvy about navigating global travel.

In 2013, Karl relocated from San Diego, California to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where he now lives full time. Karl considers Cambodia the perfect place for his Asia-based NGO work and photography tours and workshops. When ‘deplaning’ from his rigorous international travel schedule, Karl lecturers on photography and photojournalism, works on personal photography projects, and scouts out new off-beat photo tour destinations in Asia. In his free time, Karl says that he enjoys "hanging out at the nearby temples of Angkor, the rural villages and rice paddies, and occasionally getting completely soaked by the refreshing monsoon rains".

Many of Karl’s images have appeared in publications such as Newsweek, CNN, Geo, Town and Country magazine and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, though the majority of his photos appear in the annual reports, newsletters and communications materials of his humanitarian organization clients.  

Over the last ten years, Karl has worked in over 50 countries and has covered and photographed post conflict peace building efforts in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and East Timor, HIV/Aids issues in Africa and Asia as well as human trafficking in Cambodia and the Philippines. Following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Karl spent more than a month embedded with five different non-governmental organizations (NGO) documenting tsunami relief efforts in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.  The international press has taken notice of Karl’s provoking images:  The 2005 Haiti photo-story “City of God” was nominated for a World Press Photo Award. Karl is a member of the Advisory Council of Focus For Humanity, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to provide financial support, resources and training for professional and amateur photographers wishing to work with NGOs.

    “From an early age, my parents instilled in me a desire to explore and learn firsthand about the world around me. Our family vacations and weekend excursions were general education courses disguised as fun. Knowingly or unknowingly they set me on course for a journey that today, is still just beginning. For me, the ongoing quest to document the world’s people and global events that shape our common humanity, have been instrumental in breaking down stereotypes, preconceptions and prejudices. 

I believe that the more of the world we see and experience, the more we understand. It seems people everywhere, share similar goals, aspirations, hopes and desires. It is with a strong sense of obligation that I share through photographs, the people, places and events that have profoundly shaped my vision of our world. By sharing these experiences with you, I hope to make a small, positive contribution to a heightened sense of world community.” -K. Grobl

Mob. phone: 

Patrick Firouzian

Patrick Firouzian

Patrick brings a balance of artistic, technical, and humanitarian experience to the world of travel and documentary photography. He started his journey as a mechanical engineer, followed by a 30 year computer science and executive management career in major corporations such Apple, eBay, and PayPal. In parallel, Patrick developed his passion to engage with the cultures of the world and joined GlobalRoots (a Portland-based NGO) to craft and run projects in the neediest areas. He focuses on complex social issues such as early marriage, slavery and malnutrition. Throughout his projects, he diligently documents challenges and progress with photo, video and storytelling tools, bringing visibility to social cases and innovations which aim at improving underserved people’s living conditions. He is published for his work in the humanitarian field with 9+ years active participation in development organizations (Global Roots, Human Rights Advocacy, Lake Clinic among some.

Patrick learned to approach people and situations, craft stories, and navigate with field experience off the beaten path in remote areas, war-zones like Afghanistan or post-earthquake areas like China/Sishuan and Nepal. This allows him to problem-solve, negotiate and get people to collaborate. He improved his skills with assignments and workshops working with seasoned photographers (Garry Knight, James Nachtwey, Blenkinsop, and David Allan Harvey.) He is an early adopter of new technologies and practices which help improve his craft. He has expertise in aerial videography and seldom travels without his mini-drone in his backpack along with his DSLRs and stabilized cameras. To keep a healthy mind and a healthy body, Patrick practices Yoga and mindfulness, and is a trained aerial yoga coach.

You can see Patrick's work at

Mob. phone: 

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Cost includes: Eight nights in Siem Reap and a 7 day “assignment trip” with 3 nights in Phnom Penh and 3 nights in Battambang. The price includes all 14 nights accommodations all breakfasts and dinners, 2 lunches, all entrance-fees at tourist sites, local English speaking guides, airport transfers and ground transportation (tuk tuks, trains and boat trips).

Cost does not include: international flights, passport & visas fees, travel insurance, vaccinations and medical cover/treatment, meals not specified, tips to guides, drivers and bellboys, personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages/snacks, internet access fees, laundry fees, etc. 

Deposit and Final Payment

A deposit of $800 per person is required at time of booking. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure.


On cancellations more than 120 days prior to departure, all monies are refunded less a $275 administrative fee.

  • Less than 120 but at least 90 days prior, total deposit amount is forfeited.
  • Less than 90 but at least 75 days prior, 50% of trip price is forfeited.
  • Less than 75 days prior to departure, 100% is forfeited.

Notification by phone or email is acceptable, but please follow with written notice. In the unlikely event we have to cancel a tour, a full refund will be given.


Jim Cline Photo Tours LLC and their agents act only in the capacity as agents in all matters pertaining to hotel accommodations, sightseeing tours, and transportation, and are not responsible for any loss, damage, theft, or injury to person or property resulting from a defect in any vehicle, or the actions of any persons who provide services for this tour or for the action or inaction of any third party. Baggage is at the owner’s risk entirely. The tour operator reserves the right to withdraw the tour at any time, to decline any person as a member of the tour for any cause at any time. All prices are based on current rates of exchange and, while every effort will be made to hold them firm, they are subject to change. All participants are required to submit a signed Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability form prior to the tour’s departure.


It is the responsibility of each tour member to inform the tour operator of any possible health problems or handicaps upon registration. By forwarding a signed reservation form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements.


To allow for any unexpected contingencies, all participants are strongly urged to purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance.


While Jim Cline Photo Tours LLC endeavors to make the itinerary as accurate as possible, it should be considered as an approximate schedule of activities rather than a rigid schedule of events. Trip itineraries are subject to revision due to weather, ocean or trail conditions, government restrictions, and other reasons beyond our control. The tour leader has the right to make changes in the published itinerary whenever in his sole judgment conditions warrant, or if he deems it necessary for the comfort or safety of the tour.

Country Info



Health Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website. To see whether this country is currently affected by Malaria click here.  The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

Money: Cambodia has two currencies: the US dollar and the Cambodian riel Currency exchange rates

ATMs & credit cards    ATMs are everywhere, they dispense US dollars. Credit Cards are widely accepted in hotels and high end shops, Travelers Checks are basically useless, don’t bother bringing them. 

Internet Access: Internet cafes are everywhere now, including WiFi at most hotels and some restaurants.  While Internet cafes are available in the cities, Cambodia suffers from  very low Internet connectivity in rural areas.

Electricity Converters & Adapters required

Visa ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: You will need a valid passport and a Cambodian visa to travel to Cambodia. Tourist and business visas are valid for one month beginning with the date of entry into Cambodia. Cambodia offers on-line visa processing.   Tourists and business travelers may also obtain a Cambodian visa at the airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and at all major border crossings. Cambodian airports now collect fingerprints upon entry using an inkless, electronic process. You will need two passport-sized (4cm by 6cm) photographs and a passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of entry into Cambodia. Cambodia regularly imposes fines for overstay of an expired visa. If the overstay is 30 days or less, the charge is USD $5.00 per day; for overstays of more than 30 days, the charge is USD $6.00 per day. You should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Cambodia or visit the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia web site for the most current visa information.


What are the equipment requirements or suggestions for this workshop? You’ll need a DSLR, (Digital SLR), with lenses offering a focal length from wide, (24mm or wider), to telephoto, (100mm or longer), a laptop or netbook computer running image-viewing software such as Lightroom, Picasa, Photo Mechanic or similar. Programs like Lightroom have the capability of making simple slide shows with sound, but we recommend a more full-featured program such as Soundslides, iMovie, Proshow, (or Adobe Voice if you’re working on an iPad), so that you will be able to add sound and voice-over to produce your multimedia project. A smartphone (Android or iPhone) with audio recording capability, or a small digital recorder is also recommended for capturing ambient sounds, interviews and getting quotes. Additionally, we strongly recommend a back-up device such as an external hard drive and plenty of memory cards.
Packing Ideas

We take pride in our trip testimonials. We hope you’ll take a moment to read those below written by previous participants of this tour. 

"This workshop-tour opened up a whole lot of possibilities for me for which I am hugely grateful.  I have struggled about how to get motivated to shoot at home.  With the idea of doing stories and projects vs. random shots, suddenly the world feels like it is opening up (to various places where I live).   During the workshop, I learned all about having a coherent story, with a shot list, a beginning, middle and end, and the ability for the story to emerge and shift and change and the need for lots of variety is so focusing and expanding at the same time.  I know it sounds so simple, but it is a huge paradigm shift and I am very excited.  I would not have gotten here without this workshop.  I really didn’t know what to expect and was pretty naïve about what story telling would be about.  If that’s what someone was interested in I would unconditionally recommend this workshop.   I look forward to more trips with you guys in 2016."  -Ivy G. 2014

"Karl is a fantastic and great guy whom I respect, with a refreshing approach to travel photography. I have been on at least ten photo tours now and, opposite of some other tour companies and guides, Karl is totally focused on we participants.  Karl is always there (at shooting locations) for us, not his own shots.  Karl gives his time and is one of the best leaders in the business.

The other thing that is so good with Karl is his tour group communication is simply "Excellent" plus he makes everything a joy.  Before a location, he briefs the group on what to expect provides tips and pointers on the location, light and camera settings, answers questions, etc.  By the time the bus stops everybody is up and running then he guides those who want and seek his input.  I would love to do at least two more Jim Cline Photo Tours." -Peter I. (Vietnam & Angkor tours)


“At the risk of sucking up to Karl there are not enough superlatives to describe him! As well as being an outstanding photographer and always willing to listen and pass on his knowledge, he was caring, patient and organized. Even though he had the major responsibility for running the workshop he was unruffled (apparently) and was always ready to give of his time.

I very much appreciated the opportunity to dig beneath the surface of Cambodian life by telling the photo stories. I am now more aware of the need to give my photographs greater meaning and hopefully make better images. The friendships and relationships that developed with the other tour participants. The local guides were very good and attentive.  Overall I enjoyed the workshop and as mentioned earlier I thank you and the team for introducing me to the idea of telling photo stories. As a consequence my interest in photography has been rekindled.”  -Darrell M. 


“The places we went to shoot were great – in all locations.  Karl was his typical awesome self –He reviewed some of my images at the end of the workshop – his review was tough but nonetheless very insightful and helpful – and appreciated. Gavin Rocks. Personally, he is a kick to be around. His review in Phnom Penh was insightful and very helpful – especially his Lightroom and editing advice. His classroom teaching style was also terrific – very open and interactive.  The classroom sessions were very valuable and definitely helped us to produce a better story.  Great Hotels also- I really loved the one in Battambang.” -Lisa B. 


“This trip offers excellent [value for the money] especially the immense knowledge of the four instructors.  Pre-trip preparation was very informative and thorough and the pace was fine, hectic, but manageable.  The hotels were great, especially FCC Angkor. Service was friendly and efficient wherever we went.  The locations were fantastic. The format of having two people work on one story in the first week, also gave us opportunity to explore different locations and interests.

Karl is the most professional, engaging and caring person I have met. His attention to detail is astounding. His knowledge of local conditions and his rapport with the locals opens a lot of doors, which would not have been possible on a self tour. He makes sure everyone is taken care of and is happy. He readily shares his photographic skills and is a wonderful traveling companion. His energy and enthusiasm is infectious and I cannot recommend him highly enough as a tour/workshop leader.

The local guide also added a special dimension to the workshop, the business, networking and branding side was very interesting. He was very accessible and spent quality time with anyone that requested it. He was particularly generous with helping me set up a website and blog, which was really great.  All local guides were excellent and very knowledgeable.

Siem Reap and the time spent with the monks [was one of my favorite parts of the trip]. I also loved getting to know everyone in the group. Everyone in the group had really special characteristics and I feel that I have made lasting friendships.”  -Ayne B. 2011


"I couldn't have asked for a better host (or instructor). Karl's ability to react and adapt to the uncertain environment presented by a developing country was un-matched. His familiarity and ease with the Cambodian people and culture made all of our interactions and activities a real pleasure. I feel I learned a lot from Karl - not only technically, but on the approach and interaction with the people we were photographing. Most of my experience with people photography has been taking pictures of friends and family. It was wonderful being able to observe and learn from Karl during his interactions with the Cambodian people." -Chris 


"The Angkor workshop went above and beyond what I had hoped for. Karl is AMAZING... The amount that Karl has packed into such a brief time is about a 1/3 more than I would think possible, and I loved it. Every lecture, given the time constraints, was precise and understandable. The time we had for shooting, lectures and one-on-one critique was perfect. I have to give you a TON of credit, my photographs are so hugely improved after this workshop; like night and day. I still cannot thank you enough for putting together such an amazing Cambodia program." -Jenny

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