Seeley Lake Valley Fall Workshop

An outdoor photography workshop & tour hosted by award winning artists: Chris McGowan and Kevin League

October 15-17, 2021 - $575

Overview: Spend a weekend in the autumn grandeur of the Seeley Lake Valley of northwest Montana capturing images during peak fall foliage. During this workshop we will capture beautiful photos of dramatic snow-capped mountains, golden tamaracks, aspens and cottonwoods, shimmering mountain lakes and perhaps a waterfall. Opportunistically, we will look for and photograph the area’s wildlife. The workshop features two instructors and the group size will be kept small, allowing for personalized one-on-one instruction and the freedom and flexibility to visit a variety of locations. Join us on this amazing weekend of photography!

Skill and Fitness Level: Anyone with an interest in photography from a beginner to professional. The participants should have a love of nature and enjoy the company of other people in a small group setting. There are several short hikes on this trip. All hikes are less than a few miles and relatively easy. You are guaranteed to come home with superb images that you will be proud of and want to share with your friends and family.

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 as well as featured commercially, online, and in national, state and regional travel and tourism publications.

Price: $575.00. This fee covers the workshop instruction. Transportation, lodging and meals are the participant's responsibility. Limited to 10 students.

Lodging: We recommend that you make your reservations at The Lodges on Seeley Lake, 800-900-9016,  checking in Friday, September 15th & checking out Sunday, the 17th. When making your reservation, mention that you are staying for the photo workshop. Make your reservations soon to ensure your lodging. Alternatively, if you prefer to camp, the Lolo National Forest’s Seeley Lake Campground is less than 2 miles away from the Lodges, 406-677-2233.

Transportation: Travel is the responsibility of the workshop participant. Participants typically offer to share vehicles for travel to field shoots and back to the hotel. We encourage carpooling for the sake of camaraderie, and also to reduce the impact on our environment. For those traveling from out of state, Missoula International Airport (MSO) is the most convenient airport to Seeley Lake (60 miles away). The airport is served by Alaska, American, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier and United.

Meals: Not included. We will offer light snacks and beverages while out shooting. There will be breaks during the workshop to make, purchase and enjoy meals, however in some locations, meals take a second place to shooting at the right light. Note: If staying at the Lodges at Seeley Lake, each room has a full kitchen. Seeley Lake has several restaurants to choose from.

Locations: Montana’s Clearwater Chain of Lakes Valley will serve as our backdrop for a fantastic weekend of outdoor photography. Surrounded by the snow capped Mission and Swan Mountains, this valley is home to tamarack (western larch), aspen and cottonwood, which turn brilliant shades of yellow. Local shrubs such as snowberry and huckleberry complement the goldens of the trees with their vibrant oranges and reds. Beautiful mountain lakes and streams create perfect reflections of the glowing foliage. The timing of the workshop is intended to coincide with the region’s most beautiful time of year.

Itinerary: We will be packing in as much photography into this trip as possible. You should be aware that outdoor photography is light and weather dependent, and those factors often guide our exact shooting location and itinerary. 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.

  • Friday, October 15 – Arrive and check-in (2:00 PM) for a meet and greet and orientation at The Lodges on Seeley Lake. We will head out for the afternoon and shoot until sunset at 7:00 PM. Dinner (on your own).
  • Saturday, October 16 – Breakfast (on your own). We will head out at first light (around 7:00 AM), before sunrise and shoot till about noon. We will return to the hotel for a break and an afternoon instructional and edit session using Adobe Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. We will head out for the afternoon and shoot until sunset at 7:00 PM. Dinner (on your own).
  • Sunday, October 17 – Breakfast (on your own). We will head out at first light (around 7:00 AM), before sunrise and shoot through mid-morning. The workshop will conclude Sunday around noon.

OnX Sponsorship – We are excited to announce that OnX, a Montana-based mapping company is sponsoring the workshop and is offering all participants a free OnX offroad membership as well as a few other donated items.

Equipment and Attire Suggestions: A DSLR, Mirrorless or “bridge” style camera along with a sturdy tripod is required. Participants should have a good working knowledge of their camera before attending the workshop. Bring a selection of lenses that can accommodate wide-angle (14-35mm range), a short to medium telephoto (24-70mm and/or 70-200mm) and a 300mm (or more) focal length lens for capturing wildlife and birds. If you would like to review and edit images, bring a laptop. Chris and Kevin are well versed in Adobe Lightroom Classic and Photoshop and will provide some tips on developing your photos. (Note: We recommend Adobe Lightroom Classic over Lightroom CC) Like most of Montana, weather can be rather unpredictable. Weather appropriate clothing, including clothing for cold weather, rain gear, and a good pair of sturdy shoes are a must.

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 cancelled, 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.