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Suffern Pair Combine Photography, Travel In Business

Michael Malandra and Susan Magnano in Sedona, Arizona.
Michael Malandra and Susan Magnano in Sedona, Arizona. Photo Credit: Contributed

SUFFERN, N.Y. - Susan Magnano and Michael Malandra developed a friendship through their mutual passion for photography and travel. Now the pair are using their passions to share an experience and capture the perfect shot.

PhoTour Adventures are half-day and full-day photography workshops that are open to photographers of all skill levels. Those participating pay a fee, meet Magnano and Malandra in a location like Brooklyn or Harriman State Park, and are guided through the process of capturing a great landscape photographs by applying basic and advanced photography tenets.

Seated in Malandra's cozy Elements Gallery on Lafayette Avenue, Magnano, who is a professional photographer, described PhoTour as the "culmination" of the pair's shared interests.

“We kind of try and help them create their own vision by showing them how to use some tools that they might not have used before,” Magnano said. 

“They have the concept in their mind with what they want to do. They just don’t know how to get there,” Malandra said. Malandra is a fine arts photographer who started shooting these landscapes 10 years ago and opened his gallery five years later.

The first workshop was offered in the fall of 2014. Workshops are kept intimate: the number of participants is 11 for a half-day shoot, eight for a full day. On the most recent workshop in Brooklyn, Magnano and Malandra made it a point to steer people away from capturing the cliche. 

"We kind've said, 'today we're not tourists.' Let's not get the picture everyone else has. Let's try and see things people don't see,'" Magnano said. 

Malandra explained that the images should be used to tell a story. 

"And the question they have to ask themselves is what's the story behind their image? What do they want people to get when they look at that photo?" Malandra said. 

As PhoTour Adventures approaches its two-year anniversary, Magnano and Malandra are gearing up for perhaps their most interesting workshop yet: three days in Sedona, Ariz. in August when the weather lends itself to some compelling images. 

"It's a photographer's paradise," Malandra said.

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