May 29-31, 2024 - Augusta Montana
$850 - $1250
All-Inclusive, JJJ Wilderness Ranch - See Options Below
Overview: All new for 2024! Spend a weekend optimally located in the gorgeous Sun River Canyon surrounded by mountains and cliffs of the Rocky Mountain Front. The historic all-inclusive JJJ Wilderness Ranch will serve as our base. During this workshop we will capture beautiful photos of dramatic snow-capped mountains, fields of wildflowers, stunning waterfalls, and with some luck – wildlife including bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, grizzly black bear, and moose. We will have an opportunity to photograph a variety of birds as well. The workshop features two instructors and the group size will be kept small (no more than 10), allowing for personalized one-on-one instruction and the freedom and flexibility to visit a variety of locations. You are guaranteed to come home with superb images from this iconic Montana landscape. Join us on this amazing photo adventure!
About the instructors: Both Chris and Kevin are fun loving, accomplished, award winning photographers that live in Helena, Montana. Both have had their work printed on the cover and in the pages of Montana Outdoors magazine as well as featured commercially, online, and in national, state and regional travel and tourism publications.
Skill and Fitness Level: Anyone with an interest in photography from a beginner to professional is welcome. Beginners should have a firm understanding of photography fundamentals and familiarity with their camera's settings. The participants should have a love of nature and enjoy the company of other people in a small group setting. Most photo locations are near roadways, however certain locations will require short walks, sometimes up steep hills. Participants should be physically prepared to hike up to 2 miles over uneven surfaces and moderate elevation gain carrying your camera gear.
Lodging: New for 2024, we are thrilled to announce a new partner to host and base our workshop. Perfectly situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountain Front, JJJ Wilderness Ranch offers the perfect location and accommodations for our time together. The Ranch hosts tastefully decorated, modern log cabins separated by the property's beautifully landscaped forest and glades. Many of our shooting locations will be only a few minutes away from our base.
Meals: Included! JJJ Wilderness Ranch's talented chefs will be serving our meals featuring “western gourmet” cuisine. Wholesome and hearty home-style meals feature a fresh variety of fruit, local produce, Montana beef, and other fresh meats. Home-made breads & goodies just like Grandma used to make. Some meal times will coincide with classroom instruction sessions. Special diets are accommodated with advance notice. The ranch does not have a liquor license, but you are welcome to bring along whatever you enjoy. Ice and mixers are available.
- $1250 - Private cabin and bath. Meals are Included.
- $1050* - Includes private bedroom in a large cabin to share with another participant. Meals are included. (*Limited availability. Inquire with Chris and Kevin for more details.)
- $850 - No lodging. Meals are included. Camping is available at the nearby Mortimer Gulch Campground (no fee, 1.8 miles), or Sun Canyon Lodge (fee, 5.8 miles)
Gratuity not included. Limited to 10 participants.
Transportation: Travel is the responsibility of the workshop participant. Workshop leaders and participants typically share vehicles for travel to field shoots. We encourage carpooling for the sake of camaraderie, and also to reduce the impact on our environment. For those traveling from out of state, Great Falls International Airport (GTF) (75 miles) or Helena (HLN) (95 miles) are the most convenient airports to JJJ Wilderness Ranch.
Location: Montana’s gorgeous Rocky Mountain Front will serve as our backdrop for a fantastic weekend of outdoor photography. The scenery is similar to nearby Glacier National Park, where the prairie grasslands abruptly clash with the rugged mountain peaks. However, the “Front” is much less crowded and will offer an authentic Montana setting that is more peaceful compared to the nearby National Park. While the area is known for its breezy conditions, with luck, calm conditions on local lakes often lead to colorful reflections of the mountains early or late in the day. The timing of the workshop is intended to coincide with the region’s most beautiful time of year when photogenic large yellow arrowleaf balsamroot and wild iris wildflowers often blanket the hills and meadows. Accompanied with snow-capped mountain peaks in the background, late May on 'The Front' is at its best.
Itinerary: We will be packing in as much photography into this trip as possible. You should be aware that outdoor photography is weather dependent, and those factors often guide our exact shooting location and itinerary. Because the workshop is so close to the summer solstice, you'll notice the itinerary involves early mornings and late evenings; however, we offer a mid-day break to catch a nap :-) Often the instructors will decide on where and what to photograph with creative improvisation based on the conditions. With that in mind, the following is a ‘soft’ Itinerary for each day.
- Wednesday, May 29 – Check in (3pm) and get settled. Gather at 4:30pm for a meet greet and orientation at the JJJ Wilderness Ranch. We'll cover logistics, instruction on shooting techniques and eat dinner. Afterwards we will head out for our evening shoot returning to the Ranch after sunset (9:30pm)
- Thursday, May 30 – We will start the day early (5am) for our morning shoot. By mid morning we will return to the Ranch for breakfast, classroom instruction and a well deserved break. Lunch will be served. In the afternoon we will meet up again for additional instruction before we will head out to explore and capture the Rocky Mountain Front’s canyons, mountains and/or waterfalls. We will end the day capturing sunset (9:30pm) as we work our way back to the Ranch.
- Friday, May 31 – We will start the day early again to capture sunrise and return back to the Ranch for a late breakfast. The workshop will conclude mid-day.
Equipment and Attire Suggestions: A DSLR or Mirrorless camera along with a sturdy tripod is required. Participants should have a decent working knowledge of their camera before attending the workshop. Bring a selection of lenses that can accommodate wide-angle (14-35mm range) and short to medium telephoto (24-70mm and/or 70-200mm) for landscape shots. For capturing wildlife and birds we recommend a 300mm (or more) focal length lens (optional). If you would like to review and edit images, bring a laptop with Lightroom Classic installed. Chris and Kevin are well versed in Adobe Lightroom Classic and Photoshop and will provide demonstration and provide some tips on developing your photos. Before arriving to the Ranch have Lightroom and Photoshop (optional) installed and be able to download images from your camera to your computer. Like most of Montana, weather on the Front can be rather unpredictable. Wear appropriate clothing, including clothing for cold weather, rain gear, and a good pair of sturdy shoes are a must. Note: A quality, sturdy tripod and ball head are the most frequently overlooked pieces of equipment in the above mentioned list. If you would like any suggestions on where to find a good tripod and ball head, please contact Kevin and Chris.
Registration Fee & Cancellation/Refund Policy: You are welcome to pay in full or the specified deposit to secure your spot on the workshop. If paying the deposit, the remaining balance is due 30 days prior to the workshop start date. We will send out a reminder email shortly before. Refund Policy: Up to 30 days before the workshop start date, your deposit and registration fee are fully refundable. If canceling 30 days or sooner to the workshop date, your deposit becomes non-refundable, but your remaining registration fee will be refunded. If canceling 15 days or sooner to the workshop start date, your deposit and full registration fee become non-refundable. However, in the event that we can fill your spot, we will fully refund your deposit and registration fee, regardless of cancellation date.
We reserve the right to cancel the workshop if the minimum participant enrollment is not met. In the event the workshop is canceled, participants will be given the option to reschedule for a later date or receive a full refund. We are not liable for expenses incurred such as airfare or accommodations, for this reason we recommend the purchase of travel insurance.