March 2014





Margo Taussig Pinkerton and Arnold “Arnie” Zann are a married couple, both professional photographers, who live, eat, breathe, and teach photography together. They have retired from commercial work and now devote themselves full-time to Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures in which they encourage their participants to “Seek your own vision, and create great photos!”

Margo Pinkerton, a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa, got her first camera at age eight and has been photographing and traveling with a passion ever since. She started out as a location and stock photographer for advertising, corporate, travel, and outdoor clients in the early 80s, has given numerous photo workshops and lectures, and has led many photo adventures. Her work has appeared in a plethora of calendars, coffee-table books, and magazines worldwide, including GEO and National Geographic Traveler. Margo’s photographs have won numerous awards over the years and are in private collections here and abroad. Growing up in an artistic family that exposed her to the great museums and painters of the world has given Margo a unique insight into composition and the quality of light. The energy and passion for photography that she brings to the workshops is infectious.

Her husband and partner, Arnie Zann, started his career over 40 years ago photographing for LIFE and Time and has been published in almost every major magazine in the world. His award-winning work is in many private and museum collections including the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. He has given many workshops and seminars throughout his long career travelling the world for editorial and Fortune 100 and 500 clients. Arnie’s knowledge of the zone system and dramatic lighting brings strength to his photographs. He also has an uncanny eye for which photographs will become effective black-and-whites.

In addition to their extensive assignment work, both Margo and Arnie have shot extensively for stock images that have appeared in advertising, corporate, and editorial venues. Their passion is making beautiful images worldwide. As Margo always says, “We can’t not do photography.”


Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures takes a different approach from many workshops. They provide long, fun, intensive days in which there is a lot of one-on-one time with each participant, both in the field and the classroom. They believe that if you are having fun, you will learn a lot more, instead of being afraid to make “mistakes” that might turn into great successes. Arnie and Margo guide their students to seeking their own vision and gaining the tools they need to make more effective photographs. They pride themselves on sending their participants home with the tools that will enable them to continue to grow as photographers.

Where and When: 

Margo and Arnie run workshops year round, from a weekend workshop in the mountains to five-day workshops in the East, Southwest, and West, to week-long workshops in Cuba and Europe. They also run private workshops for those who seek a more individualized location or program. Arnie and Margo also offer scout-and-shoot days before many of their workshops. This is when the instructors get to shoot, but those who join them on these days get to learn a lot, not only about scouting, but the art of photography.


Arnie and Margo have spent their lives teaching others, whether in seminars, as guest lecturers at universities and photo schools, or in their own workshops. Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures has been around since the early 80s when it was called Barefoot Contessa Adventures in which Margo led trips north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska and elsewhere and showed her clients how to make more effective photographs of these often once-in-a-lifetime trips. When Arnie and Margo joined lives and businesses, the focus changed to photo workshop adventures.