Special Guest Teacher at Big Sky Yoga's Cowgirl Yogatography
to Oct 1

Special Guest Teacher at Big Sky Yoga's Cowgirl Yogatography

A few years ago I attended one of Big Sky Yoga's Luxe Cowgirl retreats and I've been trying to get back to Montana ever since. These retreats are good for the soul, filled with community, a bit of soul-searching and lots of nature.

Wrap your head around this: Yoga. Meditation. Horses. A beautiful ranch in Montana. Copious amounts of wine. A personal chef. A whole community of women interested in exactly the same stuff you are.... Heaven, right?

When Big Sky Yoga company founder MargaretI invited me back as a special guest teacher for the Yogatography retreat I said Yes so quickly I almost forgot to check my schedule to make sure I was free. But, good news, I was free and I'll be there, ready to shoot, teach and communicate my love of equine photography to all of you.

I hope you'll join me for this wonderful retreat this fall.

Read the announcement: 

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UPDATED - Salt River Wild Horse Photography Workshop - late 2018/early 2019
to Jan 6

UPDATED - Salt River Wild Horse Photography Workshop - late 2018/early 2019

Interested in photographing wild horses?

Join me and PJ Kaszas on a 5-day photography workshop in the Tonto National Forest, just outside Mesa, AZ.  We're still working out the exact details and pricing of this 5-day Arizona trip - the dates are tentative at this point - but I promise you it will be an incomparable way to start off the new year.

Email me if you're interested in learning more and we'll keep you in the loop as we nail down the details.

Proposed Itinerary:

Each day we’ll drive out before dawn, looking for the horses. Once we find our first band, we'll park and then hike out to them. We'll stick with the same band as long as the light and interactions are good. As we go we'll provide on-site shooting instructions and commentary about these special horses and their behaviors. If we see it, we'll photograph other birds and wildlife and also occasionally stop to make landscape images.

Periodically, we'll head back to the car, search for more horses and hike out again. Mid-day we'll break for lunch and post processing and then head back out again in the afternoon, till sunset. After the light fades, we’ll go out together for dinner or even BBQ on the grill and then have more post-processing sessions, image discussions and critiques.

One day we’ll also have an opportunity to do a gorgeous 2-hour trail ride through the forest (additional charge since it’s optional). We're hoping to set up a meet n’ greet with the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group and their amazing volunteers too.

Each day will be a little different than the last as we can never guarantee when we'll see the horses, or where. The light is always a factor too but we're always happy to shoot longer and later each day in order to make sure you get the images you came for.

August 2017 UPDATE:

You may have heard government institutions are hard to work with. Well, yup, we've learned they can be. In our efforts to do things properly, and get the permitting we need for this workshop, we've faced a setback. That, combined with our own insanely busy fall 17 schedules, has led us to believe we need to head back to the Salt River and handle a few details in person, rather than with a rash of phone calls and emails. So... We've re-scheduled for January 2019 (possibly even late November or early December 2018). We want to make it the best possible workshop for you and, fingers-crossed, this extra time will enable us to do that.

Why the fall/winter dates?

First, the Tonto National Forest is stunning in it's winter foliage. Because of this lushness, more of the horses are in that newly-nutritious landscape, rather than in the Salt River itself. I love pictures of the horses in the river but, on a hot-hot-hot Arizona day, if all you saw was 30 horses, heads down, sucking eel grass out of the river, you might get frustrated, and bored. In the colder fall/winter months, we've found the horses move more, walking through the desert forest and snacking as they go. That daily migration creates far more photo ops for you. With multiple bands on the move in the same areas, you're likely to see interactions between stallions as well. It's a very good thing.

Second, Hiking in 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the warmest point of the day is so much nicer than hiking in 110 degrees, right?  And third (last), both snakes and bugs are at a minimum in cooler weather. 

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Instructor at the Out of Chicago Summer Conference
to Jun 25

Instructor at the Out of Chicago Summer Conference

For the Fourth Annual Out of Chicago Summer Conference, I'll be teaching two classes about equine photography which - as you all know - is my favorite type of photography. Horses are very special to me and I'm eager to share my passion for photographing them with all of you.

I'll also be teaching a mini workshop on using Collections in Lightroom CC. The Collections feature is a huge bonus in Lightroom CC. Once you learn how to use it, you'll be able to organize your best images into beautiful, shareable portfolios. This is a can't miss workshop because once you learn how to use Lightroom Collections, you won't need to pay for other services in order to share your portfolios. Everything you need is built right into Lightroom.

BONUS: On Friday evening after the keynote speech, I'll also be leading a group of photographers to 4 or 5 locations on the photo crawl. I'll just raise my hand after the keynote and anyone who wants to join me for a little extra guidance and camaraderie that evening is welcome to join the group.

PROMO CODE: Save $100 with the code  Brynildssen100

Please head on over to the Out of Chicago website for more details and to register.

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Morocco! A collaborative presentation by Lara Joy Brynildssen and Tony Reynes
7:00pm 7:00pm

Morocco! A collaborative presentation by Lara Joy Brynildssen and Tony Reynes

Tony Reynes and I present a program on Moroccan culture  for the Garden Photographic Society, a camera club which meets twice monthly at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Our presentation will focus on images of Moroccan architecture, landscapes, people, religion, animals and food with a special section on how photographers see and visualize the same scene in different ways.

Please join in the Pullman Room in Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden at 7:00PM for snacks and a meet-n-greet. The program will start at 7:30PM. Guests are welcome!

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Teaching at the Track
to Jul 21

Teaching at the Track

This summer I am offering very limited opportunities to join me while shooting at the track. Each opportunity will include:

  • Personal instruction, based on your specific needs.
  • Technical tips on exposure, lighting and composition.
  • Logistics on how to time your day at the track so that you get every possible shot for each race.
  • A few "secret" places where the light is magical even in mid-day.
  • A discussion on vision - how can you make your images look like art, and not iPhone snaps?
  • Follow up advice and critique on processing your images is also included (via email or phone).
  • Each day will be limited to a maximum of 3 participants.

Cost per day per attendee: $50.

Use code TRACK10 (all caps) to save $10 off your registration fee.

Friday 5/20/16 -  3:15PM post - Click HERE to register.

Friday 6/10/16  - 3:15PM post - Click HERE to register.

Thursday 7/7/16 -  1:15PM post - Click HERE to register.

Thursday 7/21/16 -  1:15PM post - Click HERE to register.

More dates will be added if these first three fill up. 

If you don't see a date that works for you, let me know. I can try to add a date that does.

You will need:

  • Camera body and long lens in the 70-200 or 70-300 range, extra batteries and memory cards.
  • Very comfortable walking shoes.
  • Weather appropriate clothing - it could be blistering hot and sunny or damp and cold, in Chicago, we just never know.
  • The ability to stand and also move quickly for at least 3 hours, including climbing up and down stairs.
  • Cash to pay for your ticket into the track and for refreshments.
  • I'll send you additional details on how to get there and where to meet after you've registered.


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Horsing around Chicago: Photographing the Tempel Lipizzans
7:30am 7:30am

Horsing around Chicago: Photographing the Tempel Lipizzans

Last year I planned a camera club outing and took a group of photographers from CACCA and Out of Chicago to Tempel Farms to photograph the Lipizzan horses.  This year we're going to do it again, only better, and with a photography contest.

Register Here.

  • This event will be limited to 50 people.
  • This event will be rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable.
  • We'll meet in the parking lot at Tempel Farms: 17000 Wadsworth Road , Old Mill Creek, IL 60083.
  • Please plan to arrive no later than 7:15AM for registration and to be introduced to your group leader.
  • The event will begin promptly at 7:30AM on Saturday April 30, 2016. 
  • We'll have a brief introduction to the breed and a history of Tempel Farms by Esther Buonano, the stable's program director.
  • We'll spend time by the various paddocks, photographing the mares at liberty, the stallions at liberty plus the stable's mares with newborn foals.
  • After that, we'll photograph a training session - hopefully including "Airs above the Ground."
  • Following the training session, we'll break into our 3 separate groups. Everyone will rotate through three stations of "posed shots" we'll have set up for you with the beautiful Lipizzan horses and several of the stable's trainers.
  • At 10:30AM, we'll say goodbye to the stables and perhaps head out to lunch and a critique. 
  • Cost: $50.00
  • Photography Contest: All attendees are invited to submit one (1) photograph that they captured during the event.  Esther and I will judge all of the entries and the winning entry will be published on my blog, on Facebook on my photography page and also on the Tempel site and Facebook page. Basically we'll tell everyone how much we liked your image and you'll get bragging rights.  Fun, huh?

Use Promo Code EQUINE25 for 25% off your ticket. 

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The Garden Photographic Society Nature in View Exhibition
to Apr 4

The Garden Photographic Society Nature in View Exhibition

Four of my images will be in this exhibition and my African Daisies image is the poster for the show!

For more than thirty five years, the Garden Photographic Society has been meeting at the Chicago Botanic Garden, providing members a special place to pursue their passion for photographing nature.  We invite you to visit the Garden in the coming weeks to watch spring finally unfold and to stop in Joutras Gallery, located in Regenstein Center, to see the Garden Photographic Society's annual 'Nature in View' exhibit.  The exhibition features photographs of the natural world, many of which were taken at the Garden.  The exhibit opens Saturday, March 19 and runs through Monday, April 4.  The exhibit is free to the public but the Chicago Botanic Garden does charge non-members for parking.  Members can park for free. 

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Out of Chicago Winter Conference
8:00am 8:00am

Out of Chicago Winter Conference

  • College of Lake County University Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS


I'll be teaching a travel photography seminar at the inaugural Out of Chicago Winter conference.

Advertised price for the conference is $149. 

If you use promo code larajoy70, your price will be only $79.

Register here.

Often, when you read travel-focused photoblogs, photographers emphasize magnificent landscapes, best shot at sunrise, from mountaintops only reachable after a 3 hour technical climb. Well... what if that's not your reality?  What if you're spending two weeks in Provence? Or 5 days exploring the Florida Keys? Can you still make enviable fine art images that tell a story?  In this seminar, I'll review packing tips, gear selection, pre-travel research, knowing what to shoot and when, post-processing, final image selection, writing compelling stories and using SquareSpace to publish your travel blog.



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Garden Photographic Society Member Spotlight - My Equine Personal Project
7:00pm 7:00pm

Garden Photographic Society Member Spotlight - My Equine Personal Project

Please join me for the GPS Member Spotlights Program where I'll be presenting my equine images and discussing my passion for photographing horses.

I'll also give a brief presentation on using Lightroom to present images to an audience.

Don Bolak will also speak about making images of flowing water, followed by a brief presentation on using Powerpoint to present images to an audience.

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Equine Images Exhibit at Curt's Cafe - EXTENDED
to Oct 6

Equine Images Exhibit at Curt's Cafe - EXTENDED

Just extended to October 6th! 

A series of 14 of my equine images will be on display at Curt's Cafe through September 15, 2015. Here's my artist statement for the project:

These images are part of an ongoing, personal fine art project. I am making images of horses while investigating ownership, or stewardship, which I find is a complicated thing with animals, and with horses in particular. Some of these images were made locally, at Tempel Farms. One day after a performance, a little girl led me to a horse and told me it was “her mommy’s.” Her mommy wasn’t the owner but rather the rider/trainer for the horse. Little girls don’t make such distinctions. Another group of images were made at Arlington Park. As a child I read and re-read Farley’s The Black Stallion, and since race horses often trade hands in the industry, I often wonder… Who loves these horses like the black stallion’s boy did?Some of my images were made on BLM land in Placitas, New Mexico.  These bands of wild horses were rounded up and sold less than a year after I visited the area. Sometimes wild horses end up being sold to meat factories outside of the US. All but two of the Placitas group were rescued from that fate. While in New Mexico, I also made images of rescued horses at Cimarron-Sky Dog Reserve, a fenced 1000-acre ranch. Because of the drought, the rescued horses are fed and watered daily. The reserve lands can no longer support them. Last, I’ve begun to make images at HARPS, a local organization that rescues neglected and abandoned horses. The horse in the image titled Friendship is 34 years old and has a swayback. He’s found a new friend and is well cared for now by the people who run HARPS.

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