Seeley Lake Valley Fall Workshop

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

October 25-27, 2024 - $765

Overview: Spend a weekend of autumn grandeur in 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! You are guaranteed to come home with superb images that you will be proud of and want to share with your friends and family.

Skill and Fitness Level: Anyone with an interest in photography from a beginner to professional is welcome, however familiarity with your camera's settings is required.  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. 

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: $765.00. This fee covers the workshop instruction. Transportation, lodging, meals and gratuity 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, October 25th & checking out Sunday, the 27th. When making your reservation, mention that you are staying for the photo workshop. Please 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. Campground availability/status is unknown, we strongly recommend inquiring before committing. Call 406-677-2233.

Transportation: Travel is the responsibility of the workshop participant. During the workshop we will plan on carpooling.  Both Kevin and Chris will have spots open in their vehicles , but usually we will need at least one participant to volunteer to drive with us to field shoots and back to the lodge. For those traveling from out of state, Missoula International Airport (MSO) is the most convenient airport to Seeley Lake (60 miles away). Helena, Great Falls Kalispell and Bozeman are additional airport options. 

Meals: Not included. We will offer 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 second place to shooting at the right light. Note: If staying at the Lodges at Seeley Lake, each cabin or 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 – 1 PM, Meet at the The Lodges on Seeley Lake Main Lodge for a meet and greet, orientation and instructional session. At 3PM we will break to get checked into our accommodations, afterwards we will head out for the afternoon and shoot until sunset at 6:30 PM. 
  • Saturday– 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. 
  • Sunday – 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.

Equipment and Attire Suggestions: A DSLR or Mirrorless 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 (optional) 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 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. Wear 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.