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Deer Rut with Tesni Ward

14 – 16 October 2022

Location: Bradgate Park, Leicestershire, UK

Price: £825 (for AP subscribers £795)

Photograph deer at close range during rut season in the beautiful, varied surroundings of Bradgate Park in Leicestershire, which offers a fantastic population of both red and fallow deer, as well as peacocks, jays, egrets, green woodpeckers, and widgeons and other waterfowl species.

The workshop dates are timed to coincide with the peak of the red and fallow deer rut, starting at dawn in order to give you a variety of light conditions to work in. Tesni Ward will be on hand throughout the workshop to offer personal guidance and tuition on both shooting and photo editing.

deer rut stags fighting

Image: Tesni Ward


  • Photograph red deer in heat up close
  • Morning and evening photography in Bradgate Park
  • Varied and beautiful surroundings
  • Many red and fallow deer in the park
  • Peacocks, green woodpeckers, jays, egrets and widgeons
  • Personal tuition, lectures and photo editing workshops by Tesni Ward

Image: Tesni Ward

What’s included?

  • Accommodation in a shared twin room (£140 single room supplement)
  • Meals according to itinerary (Breakfast – B, Lunch – L, Dinner – D)
  • All photoactivities according to the program.
  • Workshop, lectures and image editing by Tesni Ward
  • English-speaking travel host from Zoom Photo Tours
  • Hotel and other local taxes

Excluded: transport to location, personal expenses and travel insurance

What should I bring?

  • A camera
  • Lenses: we suggest telephoto lenses up to a 500mm, wide-angle lenses like 24-70mm and mid-size lens like 70-200m
  • A tripod or a monopod
  • Extra batteriers, chargers etc
  • Rain cover for the camera
  • A laptop with image editing software.

A more detailed equipment list will be provided in the information material you will receive prior to the trip.

deer rut stag

Image: Tesni Ward


Day 1 (14/10) – Arrival and lecture

Late in the afternoon we gather at the entrance to Bradgate Park where you are greeted by Tesni Ward and a host from Zoom Photo Tours for our first photo session in the soft evening light. In the park you are greeted by a landscape filled with open meadows and lots of deciduous forests. In the surroundings there will be fallow deer moving nearby.

Throughout your stay in the park, Tesni will be on hand to help you with everything from how to compose your images to choosing settings on your camera. After the sun has set over the park, we head to the hotel in Elmsthorpe for check-in followed by a joint dinner.

After dinner, the evening ends with an inspiring slide show where Tesni will show pictures from the park and of deer and give tips and advice on what you should think about photographically in both the morning and evening light. Tesni will show you how to work with the light but also give advice on how you can take advantage of the park’s surroundings to frame the motifs with the park’s trees and vegetation. (D)

Image: Tesni Ward

Day 2 (15/10) – Photography, editing and feedback

Early morning at sunrise, we walk through the gates to the park and you do not have to get far into the park before the silence is broken by a powerful roar. We follow the roar that gets louder and louder and soon the red deer is standing in front of us out in the meadow, wrapped in the morning mist.

Now you get the opportunity to work with the light and Tesni will be on hand to show you how to best use the soft morning light. As we have our breakfast with us, we return to the hotel late morning, after which there is time to load the morning pictures into the computer and import them into Lightroom. After lunch there will be time for image processing of the photos you have taken.

Tesni will give you tips and advice on how to adjust your photos and there is plenty of time to ask questions. There will also be a joint photo discussion where you will receive feedback on some of the pictures you have taken. This will give you lots of new perspectives, image ideas and inspiration.

It is with all this in mind we return to the park for the afternoon photo session. Back among the deer, you will have the chance to take photographs with a variety of aspects, from close-ups to a group of red deer in a landscape of beautiful trees. With filled memory cards, we return to the hotel for dinner and image processing. (B, L, D)

Day 3 (16/10) – Morning photography and editing

In the morning you will get one last photo opportunity to capture exciting deer images inside the park. Back at the hotel we have lunch before we gather in the conference room, for editing the best images.

We round off the course with a photo review where Tesni gives feedback on the photos and then finally she will appoint the best image of the workshop, which will be presented in Amateur Photographer magazine. (B, L)

tesni ward deer rut photography holiday

Image: Tesni Ward

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