India: Nagaland Hornbill Festival
10 DAYS // NOV 25 – Dec 05, 2018


Join PQA and Pullizer winning photographer, Deanne Fitzmaurice, on our new and exciting Photoquest to photograph the unique Hornbill Festival, a vibrant festival celebrating the cultural diversity of the Naga tribes. The Hornbill Festival provides a colorful mixture of dances, performances, parades, games, sports, and religious ceremonies.

The itinerary we've put together not only includes the the festival while staying at a luxury mobile camp, but also a photographic tour of Kolkata, a delight for street photography and a wonderful stay at Kaziranga National Park for elephant and jeep safaris in search of rhinos and tigers, oh my! 

The combination of an extraordinary leader, exciting festival, people and wildlife photography make this an unforgettable photography workshop not to be missed.


  • Photograph cultural performances by 16 major tribes and many sub-tribes, an integral part of Naga festival
  • Create environmental portraits of different tribes in their traditional costumes
  • Photograph a traditional fire making competition
  • Capture magical images of traditional Spear Target competition


  • Photograph at Kaziranga National Park, a beautiful World Heritage Site 
  • Elephant safari in search of one-horned Rhinos and Tigers
  • Optimal wildlife photo opportunities during game drives
  • People photography in small local villages
  • Diverse street photography in Kolkata
  • Photograph the colorful flower markets


  • Camera settings
  • Use of filters
  • Digital Workflow 
  • Location lighting
  • Portrait lighting techniques using one flash and multiple flash set ups
  • How to tell a story with your images 
  • How to photograph people






10 DAYS // NOV 25 – Dec 05, 2018

November 25 - Arrive Kolkata, India (CCU)

Upon arrival in Kolkata, you’ll be picked up at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Meet in the hotel lobby at 7pm for orientation and dinner. Overnight at the Park Hotel in Kolkata. (D)

November 26 -27 Kolkata

We will spend the next 2 days exploring the narrow and crowded lanes of the “City of Joy” and the villages around the city. We will be covering the flower markets, Howrah Bridge, Government buildings, fish markets and many more suitable places for street photography. Overnight at the Park Hotel (B)

November 28 - Kolkata-Guwahati-Kaziranga National Park

Morning transfer to the airport to board your flight to Guwahati. Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage Site, has tall dense grasslands interspersed with tropical wet evergreen forests and tropical semi-evergreen forests, interconnecting streams and numerous small lakes against a backdrop of the majestic Eastern Himalayas. Two thirds of the total population of the one-horned rhinos live in this park. It also has the highest density of tiger population in any protected area in the world. Overnight at the Infinity Resort. (B,L,D)

November 29 - Kaziranga National Park

Early in the morning we go out for an exciting elephant safari to observe the wildlife in the park. The elephants will take you close to the Rhinos to provide great opportunitties to shoot from a nice angle and distance. Later that day, we will venture to a nearby village to explore and capture great photos. Our late afternoon safari by Jeep with only 3 people per vehicle is the ideal situation to capture amazing images of the rhinos and tigers we encounter. The national park with a variety of birds in the green forest is also an ideal photo focus while on safari. Overnight at the Infinity Resort.

November 30 - Kaziranga National Park-Kohima-Hornbill Festival

This morning after breakfast, we will start our 6 hour drive to Kohima – the capital of Nagaland, where the Hornbill Festival takes place. 

Each of the 16 major tribes and many sub-tribes in the State has its own way of maintaining its distinctive cultural traditions and customs, through various forms of performing arts, which are an integral part of Naga festivals.

The colorful and intricately designed costumes, jewelry and beads that members wear can distinguish each of the tribal communities that dwell in the hills. The traditional ceremonial attire of each tribe is different from that of the other. There are the multi-coloured spears and daos decorated with dyed goat's hair, the headgear made of finely woven bamboo interlaced with orchid stems and adorned with boar's teeth and hornbill's feathers, and ivory armlets.

In the olden days, warriors had to prove their valor if they wanted to wear these. Overnight at the five-star Ultimate Travelling Camps for three nights.

December 1-3 - Hornbill Festival

Over the next two days we will photograph this beautiful festival, experiencing great culture, food and interaction with the tribes to capture some amazing images. (B,L,D)

December 4 - Dimapur-Kolkata and final departure

After breakfast drive to Dimapur airport to board our flight back to Kolkata. Please book your flights to return to the USA this evening. Everybody will have a day room at the Hyatt Regency.  (B,L)

Itinerary is subject to change.




10 DAYS // NOV 25 – Dec 05, 2018


Accommodations based on double occupancy.

A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability.



The Park Hotel

3 nights

Kaziranga National Park

Infinity Resort

2 nights

The Hornbill Festival

The Oriental Hotel

4 nights


Quest Leaders

Quest Leaders

10 DAYS // NOV 25 – Dec 05, 2018



Deanne is a Pulitzer Prize winning documentary photographer and multimedia storyteller based in San Francisco, California. She is a regular contributor to Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine, and has been published in TIME, Newsweek, The Economist, Stern, and GEO. Deanne’s work has received awards from Pictures of the Year International, NPPA Best of Photojournalism, and the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. Her imagery is part of the permanent collection at the Newseum, and their traveling exhibition of Pulitzer winning photographs. Additionally, her work has been exhibited at Visa pour L’Image in Perpignan, France, and with UNICEF Photo of the Year. When not on assignment, Deanne often lectures and teaches workshops. 


Born in Brazil, Najat grew up in between the mountains of Lebanon and the skyscrapers of New York. Her diverse upbringing helped shape her desire to travel the world. Leading workshops, she has introduced many groups to photography while still exploring the cultures and diversity of the more than 40 countries she's visited. Her gift for languages (she speaks Arabic, Spanish and English fluently and a bit of Dutch and Portuguese) has enabled her to put people at ease through out her travels. She enjoys the opportunity that workshops give her to meet different types of people and introduce them to the beauty and marvel of the world. A huge believer in giving back, she is dedicated to supporting local charities throughout her travels. Her work has appeared in NY Times Magazine, American Photo, Financial Times, Interior Design, Popular Photography, The Editor at Large,, Trail of, and

Najat's website





10 DAYS // NOV 25 – Dec 05, 2018


India is a land brimming with extremes and thriving with a kaleidoscope of colors, cultures, sights and sounds very different from our ordinary experiences. As a photographer, you will find India offers nothing less than a plethora of visual feasts for your senses and camera lens. Below are some facts about India to help acquaint you with this dynamic country and the regions we will visit and photograph.



Located in South Asia between Pakistan, China and Nepal with the Bay of Bengal on the southeast and the Arabian Sea on the southwest, India spans 1,222,559 sq mi with an estimated population of 1,103,371,000. To the north,  it is bordered by the world's highest mountain chain, where foothill valleys cover the northernmost of the country's 26 states. Further south, plateaus, tropical rain forests and sandy deserts are bordered by palm-fringed beaches. With its capital as New Delhi, India has three major geographic regions: the Himalayas, along its northern border; the Indo-Gangetic Plain, formed by the alluvial deposits of three great river systems, including the Ganges (Ganga); and the southern region, noted for the Deccan plateau.


Hindi, English (both official), and other Indo-European languages, including Bengali, Kashmiri, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu, Punjabi, Urdu and Rajasthani in Rajasthan.


Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism


The climate during our stay will range from 28 °C to 30 °C, and the minimum between 18 °C and 20 °C. It is considered a very pleasant time of year to visit.


Light, wicking, high performance layers are always recommended in case it gets cool or if there is rainfall. Also, bring very comfortable walking or hiking shoes.

India is a developing country with conservative dress standards. In smaller cities and villages, people still dress conservatively. The most important rule for both women and men is to keep the legs and shoulders covered. Wearing shorts and short skirts should be avoided.


Indian food is diverse and varies from one region to the next. It is often thought of as very spicy, but there are some simple breads, sweet deserts, and milder 'one-pot dishes' that defy the norm. Many Indians are vegetarian. There are regional specialties, different ways to serve the meal, and staple ingredients in each state.


Currency is the Indian Rupee, Symbol: Rs

Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities. ATM machines can also be found in most places, including small towns. Carry some US currency with you in small denominations. Indian currency is highly regulated and can't be purchased outside India, so it's a good idea to also carry some currency that you can exchange for Indian rupees upon arrival at the airport in India.


US visitors to India are required to possess a valid passport and a visa. Visas can be obtained on arrival in India.


As India is a developing nation, visitors need to take special precautions against illnesses not normally encountered at home. A trip to a doctor or travel clinic is recommended well in advance of your departure date to ensure that you receive all the necessary immunizations and medications.


European plug with two circular metal pins South African/Indian-style plug with two circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin 230-240V 50Hz


GMT/UTC +5.5




Quest Gear

Quest Gear

10 DAYS // NOV 25 – Dec 05, 2018

Recommended gear

Computer / Digital Accessories

  • Laptop with charger and Photoshop and LR (not mandatory)
  • Portable hard drive
  • Card reader
  • All cables for drives, computer, card readers, storage devices, etc.
  • Power converters/adapters for all international quests


  • Cover for camera to protect from dust.
  • Lightweight tripod (carbon fiber)
  • Cable release (for night shots)
  • Small headlamp and flashlight

Camera Gear

  • Camera and extra body SLR
  • Battery charger & extra batteries
  • Memory cards (bring plenty)
  • Sensor cleaning supplies
  • Flash with plenty of batteries
  • Wireless transmitter for flash


  • 24-70mm for portraits
  • 70-200mm lens
  • Polarizing filter(s)
  • Lens hoods for all lenses
  • Lint-free cloth to clean lenses and blower ball for dust




10 DAYS // NOV 25 – Dec 05, 2018

Cost per person

$6900 based on double occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $1450.

PQA will try to match you with a roommate if you do not opt for a single supplement. However, if a roommate is not available, you will be charged the additional single supplement fee.

Limited to 6 participants.

Not included

  • International airfare to/from India
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Medical and trip insurance (highly recommended)


  • Quest workshop fee
  • 10 nights hotel accommodations based on double occupancy
  • Domestic flights
  • All entrance fees
  • Meals as noted in itinerary
  • English speaking guides/drivers
  • All land transportation
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure

We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.