Cottonwood Guest Ranch August/September 2022
Join the Cowgirls with Cameras on a Photography Learning Immersion Experience
5 Days, 5 Nights | August 28-September 2, 2022
Stay tuned for 2023 dates.
We are the first photography group to have the opportunity to shoot at the Cottonwood Guest Ranch. This is incredibly exciting and we are thrilled to bring this new location with fresh models, scenery, and set-ups!
Cottonwood Guest Ranch in Wells, Nevada. Cottonwood is a working horse and cattle ranch located in the remote northeastern corner of Nevada. Six generations of the Smith family have owned & operated the Ranch. For over 60 years, Cottonwood Ranch has offered a warm, western welcome to the many guests who have shared this beautiful place that the Smiths call home.
This is a Cowgirls with Cameras Photography Learning Immersion Experience. Photographers of all levels are welcome.
Our Learning Immersion workshops offer beginner, intermediate and advanced photographers a chance to grow their skills in a safe and supportive environment. Learning photography can also be a lonely experience and workshops can be intimidating and scary. Learning photography in a workshop setting can be harsh, feel competitive, or stifling, and we don’t want that to be the experience for our students. We want this experience to allow you room to establish a solid foundation and/or expand your skills while having fun and getting the knowledge you’ve been craving.
Your Leaders: Cara, Kim and Phyllis!
Cara Taylor Swift
Fast Horse Photography, Equine Portrait Specialist
Eliciting Horse Human Connection
Posing People with Horses
Seeing the extraordinary
in the ordinary.
Kim Beer Photography & Be More Business, Gestaltist
Helping you connect with and love your Muse.
Innovative Business Building
Creative & Fast Workflows
Lightroom CC & Classic
Mac and iPad Pro
Phyllis Burchett Photography, Photographic Artist
Artistic Expression in Photography
Seeing the Details
The magic of a Cowgirls with Cameras Experience is in our Leaders!
We are three very different photographers and all successful in our own craft using different approaches and techniques. We have been in your shoes — the novice photographer yearning to learn more; the intermediate photographer seeking to become better at your craft; and the experienced photographer looking to expand your horizons and fully tap into your creativity. We each offer our unique super powers, methods, and view points for you to consider. We believe this offers our students the opportunity to truly choose what works best for them. Our instruction style is open, engaging, non-judgmental, and friendly. We are passionate about photography, artistic expression, business, and having fun — we want to inspire you and help you take your photography to the next level.
About the Cowgirls with Cameras Photography Learning Immersion Experience at Cottonwood Ranch
This experience will be learning intensive with a focus on classroom learning and shooting. Mentoring, relaxation (ie fun!), and community building will also be part of the event.
Scheduled shoots are all western equine themed and include a wide range of setups including portrait, lifestyle, action, and creative opportunities. Instructors will be available during the shoots to direct models and help participants with capturing the images they envision.
Classroom time is scheduled between shoots. Our classroom time will be divided between lecture and hands-on learning. Topics covered will include editing, creativity, camera knowledge, composition, business, mindset and more. The classroom time at our workshops is designed to give you the skills you need to get the most out of the scheduled shoots.
Mentoring from one or all of the instructors is available and encouraged during the event. Also included in your experience are 3 sessions of up to 45 minutes of mentoring before or after the event itself. This is a $600 value if purchased separately PLUS you have full mentoring access to all three instructors at the event itself.
Community is a key aspect of our Immersion Photography experiences. We encourage sharing and friendship both during and after the event. Some of our most memorable moments and best friendships have come from the workshops we have attended, and we want you to have that same opportunity at every Cowgirls with Cameras event. Built into the schedule is time to get to know each other and foster support for each other both in our lives and art.
Relaxation time is important to the creative process. Although this event is intensely focused on learning, we will have built in down time for relaxation and just hanging out with each other, the animals, and nature.
We hand pick our locations to offer
• beautiful scenery
• real ranch lifestyle
• a variety of settings
• comfortable lodging
Experience and Equipment Recommendations
Experience: Our learning experiences are designed to work for photographers of all levels. Depending on your level pre-event, you can expect work toward understanding, expanding, and mastering your photography skills.
Novice Photographerswill work toward understanding the craft of photography including:
- Camera basics
- Exposure triangle
- Editing processes and tools
Intermediate Photographerswill work toward expanding their knowledge of photography including:
- Camera knowledge
- Refinement of exposure
- Signature style
- Advanced editing techniques and workflow
Experienced Photographerswill work toward mastering photography skills including:
- Creative camera settings
- Creative exposure techniques
- Story telling with images
- Creative and artistic postproduction
In addition to these topics, all of our Photography Learning Immersions cover:
Working with Models
Lighting Techniques and Strategies
Photography Business Skills
Camera Equipment: In order to get the most out of this experience, we recommend you have a DSLR or Mirrorless removable lens camera system. If you don’t own one of these camera systems, we can help you choose what to rent so you maximize your experience and can test out equipment before you commit!
Editing Equipment: A laptop and/or iPad is required to take advantage of the classroom time focused on editing and workflow. Instruction will take place in industry standard Adobe software. For laptop users, we will work in Photoshop, Bridge, and Lightroom Classic or Lightroom CC. For iPad users, we will work in Lightroom CC and Photoshop Mobile. If you edit in Photoshop Elements, you can still benefit from the classroom instruction, but you may not have access to all the tools for some techniques. If you edit with Affinity, you will need to alter some steps of the Photoshop instruction to the specifics of your software.
Lighting Equipment and Accessories: Almost all our instructional and setup shooting will be done with available light. There are, however, occasions and locations where off camera lighting techniques will be covered. In these cases, we will have lighting setups provided for Canon and Nikon users. If you use another brand of camera equipment, we will provide you with the requirements for your camera setup prior to the event or you can observe the techniques and apply them at home when you have the required equipment. An accessory list for each location will be provided at the time of registration.
The Important Details
The investment for this event is $3750.
In Field Instruction
10 Photography Setups
Photography Basics Course Online
Mentoring (before, during, and after the event)
Portfolio Review (optional)
Travel to and from the location is not included.
Lodging is provided by the ranch and included. You can expect to share a room and bathroom unless you arrange otherwise in advance. Rooms are comfortable and fully outfitted.
Meals are provided by the ranch and included. The ranch is happy to accommodate a range of dietary needs if they know in advance. Please notify us if you need vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar-free, or other dietary options for your meals. Also let us know in advance if you have any food allergies.
We do everything we can within reason to make you comfortable during the event. If you have any special needs, please notify us in advance so we can arrange to meet them or set expectations accordingly.
Activity Level, Personal Gear, and Weather Considerations
Participants in this experience should be in good health and feel comfortable walking over uneven terrain and standing for extended periods of time. We may have to hike a short distance to shoot locations so please be prepared by bringing hiking or western type boots/shoes with closed toes. Weather in the west can be unpredictable, so pack layers to accommodate your comfort in both warm and cold temperatures. We often find morning to start off chilly and quickly rise in temperature and layering allows you to adjust your comfort level easily.
Horse experience is NOT necessary to participate in this experience. An optional fun riding experience is planned, and the ranch will go over details for those who wish to participate.