Back to All Events

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


  • Tonto National Forest Mesa, AZ USA (map)

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.