Santorini Aesthetic Theory
& Photography Course

Welcome & Thanks for your interest in this my new & very unique CPD event – hopefully the first of many!

I’m Dr Raj Ahlowalia, you most likely know me from my years of experience teaching in the field of Functional Aesthetics, TMD & Occlusal Rehabs having taught for many years at both The Pankey Institute in Florida and The Spear Centre for Advanced Dental Education in Arizona as well as lecturing internationally and running my own courses both at home in the UK and abroad.

What you might not know is that I have also had a long interest in Photography to high end professional commercial levels.

After being approached by several colleagues suggesting this I’ve decided to combine both these aspects of my life to create a novel proposition, a CPD event like no other;

A course on Aesthetic Perception Theory combined with its practical application via photography and digital post-production high-end photo editing.

These latter elements will be via a hands on tuition experience like no other; shooting high end lifestyle, fashion and portrait photography with professional models in a uniquely photogenic luxury ‘dream vacation’ location,

with training in my Photoshop post-production protocols and practices so you too can bring professional level retouching to your photos.

With of course a smattering of medico-dental related CPD wherein I discuss ‘Aesthetic Perception Theory’ and you’ll start to appreciate how I apply my understanding of these theories into the visulal language throughout my photography and post-production editing!

Course Location:

A luxury island villa within a privately owned complex overlooking Mediteranean sunset vistas. 

A stylish photoshoot location offering it’s own secluded private infinity pool and eight person hot tub.

Santorini (Greek Islands)

Course Dates:

By Tuesday April 23rd 2024 – Arrive, Check-in & enjoy Santorini

Wednesday April 24th 2024 to Saturday April 25th 2024 – Four Day Course

Sunday April 28th 2024 – Check-out & depart 

Or by your own arrangement extend your vacation in beautiful Santorini!

Course Format:


Freeform over 4 days

Lifestyle Resort Exotic Location Model Photography relies heavily on ideal weather conditions.

Sunshine can’t always be guaranteed – so when it is offered the last thing one wants is to be indoors in a classroom!

Photography with models in the best of any available sunshine takes priority over classroom learning

The plan will be daily to shoot for two hours before lunch and two hours in the late afternoon during the gorgeous low setting sun light.


Modelling isn’t easy!

Models start work long before the first click of a camera shutter.

They have to prepare themselves, their hair, their makeup and their apparel.

After two hours of shooting they’ve already been ‘working’ for at least four.

Make up, hair & clothing need constant attention and maintenance

Four hours of being photographed may equate to a full eight hour day for a model.


Photographing models isn’t easy!

One rarely stands upright!

Practice your squats and wear clothes you’re happy to lie on any surface in to capture the perfect shot from the most aesthetically captivating angle. Let the models worry about looking glamorous, photographers need to dress for practicality.


Location peculiarities

Santorini is essentially the tip of a long extinct volcano now mostly buried underwater that forms a broken ring of islands around a now water filled caldera (crater). Most of the unique architecture that Santorini is reknowned for faces into the caldera and is built upon the steep slopes of its rim forming an myriad of homes carved into the volcanic crust.

There’s really nowhere quite like it on Earth!

It has few roads, which mainly link the towns and their surrounds on the outer, less steep slopes, with the main way to get around being walking through the the maze of pedestrian pathways many of which are randomly connected and steeply stepped winding between the terraces and open air pools and hot tubs several of the appartments have.

There is little in the way of privacy in these parts of town and though model photography is possible it is a much more challenging proposition.

Everywhere in Santorini is a therefore a ‘hike’ along often steep, cobbly and uneven paths for which sturdy footwear is recommended.

Factor the weight of camera equipment and photography in Santorini can feel like a daily workout.

You’ll appreciate regular breaks to refuel and recharge your batteries.

For this course not to feel like a tiring 5 night endurance trial the early evenings when the light runs low will be your own for relaxation and the opportunities to explore a truly fascinating and photogenic island.


The Weather!

Poor weather days will be our opportunity to practice indoor Portraiture with studio strobe lighting or classroom work on Photoshop.

Few places in the world can gaurantee perfect sunshine and Santorini is no exception.

Delegates will be advised how to download Photoshop for a ‘trial period’ closer to the course start date if they don’t already have a subscription.

Should we be blessed with perfect sunshine every one of our four days together we will use it for our photogrpahy leaving only the final evening for classroom post-production tuition, or we can meet online via zoom some time after the course by mutual agreement.

Nobody is obliged to attend all tuition days, if you’d prefer to simply take a day off and explore or relax you are more than welcome to do so as you please.

Course Fees:


£4000 – 4 days tuition

April 24th 2024 – April 27th 2024 inclusive

Strictly limited to just ten participants on a first come first served basis



5 nights accommodation can be arranged at the private villa complex, (own bedroom but shared bathroom).

This is available for an additional £1000 but is VERY limited.


NB The villa staff can provide a ‘continental’ breakfast for purchase at a cost of 15 Euros and should be booked the day before, otherwise no meals other than local takeaway delivery are offered.

Accomodation at the villa complex will be available on a strictly first come first served basis by payment of 100% Course Fee plus 100% Accomodation Fee, both non-refundable, by bank transfer (details below).

Should you be unsuccessful in securing accomodation at the villa complex you will have the option of a full refund, or the choice to book your own accomodations locally elsewhere yourself in which case you can request just a refund of the accomodation fee and I will gladly advise which neighbourhood to consider.

The towns of Santorini have some traditional ‘hotels’ but facing the caldera it’s mostly privately owned appartments and villas rented to tourists during the Summer season, many of which are bookable through the big online travel agencies.

Ideally though you may not wish to be dissapointed so early committment to this amazing event is recommended to secure a room within the villa complex which is an approximately 10 min walk ‘downhill’ from the main tourist area. The venue has deliberately been chosen outside of the main tourist area for good reason; we can minimise the incidence of random people photobombing our shots or ruining our clear backgrounds. This avoids wasting precious time in Photoshop.

Please note; it is a steep 15 minute ‘uphill’ trek to the main toruist area, so be advised!

Note; the rooms I have to offer will be at the Villa complex where the majority of our Photography and Photoshop tuition will be held. Just like myself & the models you will be sharing living space & available bathrooms. If you feel that’s unnaceptable for you that’s absolutely OK, please feel welcome to submit just the Course Fee only and simply book your own accommodation. Contact me and I’ll be very happy to help you choose somewhere relatively nearby our secret secluded course location away from prying eyes!

Rules & Model Photography Etiquette:

Models are professionals, treat them as such, just as you would hope your patients treat your nurses.

Models are willing to put themselves into vulnerable situations for Photographers to produce attractive imagery. They will often be in a state of undress relative to the photographer, including being fully naked.

They are not trying to attract you personally. 

Models place trust in Photographers not to touch them nor ‘romanticise’ or ‘sexualise’ conversations with them nor to stare or gawp at them. 


It is sad that there is a need to state the obvious but please be professional in their presence and not creepy!

 If a model feels uncomfortable working with an individual they have the right to refuse or deny their service. In practice this means the photographer must withdraw from the shoot. I’d recommend an immediate apology over any attempt to argue with an experienced model about it. The latter approach will more than likely only serve to escalate the friction with the model and the photographer being barred from all interaction with that model. 

Note: models will stick together and if one bars you most likely all will bar you. 

There wlll be no refund to any student barred due to abusing a model’s trust in us.

Any student caught taking images of the models with their phone will be barred from participation.

There will be a zero tolerance policy for surreptitious filming or phone photography of the models and all imagery or video shot on any device during the course dates will still fall under the copyright rules detailed in the next section. 


Image publication & copyright:

Photographers should bring their own digital camera to the course and ideally a spare battery and spare memory card. There are no Camera equipment stores on the island if you are missing essential equipment or have no spare for something fragile like your memory card. Remember to pack your battery charger, laptop and its charger. Shooting with a camera phone will not be acceptable.

Models are professionals and protective of their professional image and repuation. 

The models will have signed ‘Model Release’ paperwork with me. I therefore will retain the copyright to all images of the models taken under my tutelage and direction.

All students will be required to sign documentation to this effect upon arrival to the course or be denied participation. No refund will be offered to those refusing to agree to these terms.

If you are uncomfortable with these terms do not book.

Why are these terms important?

‘Poor’ quality or poorly edited images of professional models can harm their standing or reputation in a competitive industry. They place their trust that photographers will do their utmost to ensure only ‘good’ quality images of them get published.

Students may publish images they have taken but only following my personal review of them and license granted to do so. 

These rules include posting images on social media or sent to contacts. Once an image leaves your personal control you no longer have any over where it gets shown, distributed or posted and have thus breached my copyright terms.

Where an image is poor I will advise if it is possible to improve it to a publishable standard and if so how and where it requires post-production editing.

If any student’s image is truly outstanding I’ll publish and promote them anyway and happily give you all due named credit as such imagery promotes not just your ability, but the model’s too and my reputation as a teacher.

These are the realities of Model Photography:

We simply don’t show by publication or release average or worse images that can easily harm a model’s career or reputation.

Images from Santorini that don’t include the models you may do with as you please, but always try to show the best of your ‘camera’ photography. 

Save the tourist shots for your phone.

The above information is provided in advance of your booking so you have a clear understanding of what to expect and importantly what is expected of you. 

If you have further queries prior to booking please simply contact me and ask.

Fee payments should be made to:

Victoria Place Dental Practice Ltd

RBS sort code: 16-30-24

Account Number: 11096862

Please put your name as the reference and message or email me immediately at:

This way I can confirm who came first to allocate the available accomodations.