Frequently Asked Questions
What is a typical itinerary for a full-day private photography workshop with Bret? Your full-day private photography workshop will begin when Bret picks you up 30 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes before sunrise. You'll travel to a stunning location for sunrise, arriving in plenty of time to set up your camera and tripod before the first light of day. You'll photograph sunrise while Bret works with one-on-one with you to further develop the creative and technical skills needed to make dynamic landscape imagery. After sunrise you will visit one to two additional locations, allowing plenty of time to make images at each spot. We'll then return to town for a mid-day break. Morning sessions typically last approximately five hours. In the afternoon, Bret will again pick you up and you'll spend visit another two to three locations. After sunset, Bret will drop you off at your hotel in Moab. The afternoon session is usually three to four hours in length.
What is a typical itinerary for a half-day private photography workshop? Bret offers both morning and afternoon half-day photography workshops. Half-day photography workshops are four to five hours in length, allowing enough time to photograph two to three breathtaking locations. Bret will pick you up at your hotel in Moab and work with you at each location to further develop your creative and technical skills. At the end of your workshop Bret will drop you off at your hotel in Moab.
What is included in my private photography workshop registration fee? Bret provides transportation to and from all locations, pays any applicable entrance fees to the state and national parks you may visit and provides a cooler stocked with bottled water and ice. Most importantly, Bret will work one-on-one with you at each location to help you further develop the creative and technical skills needed to make dynamic landscape photographs. Some of the topics open to discussion include composition, exposure, depth of field, visualizing an image, considering options for post-processing during the image making process, using various types of light to your advantage, and more. Bret also enjoys answering questions about the operation of a successful photography business and freely shares his own experiences with honesty and candor.
Can my spouse/friend/child who isn't a photographer join us? Yes! Additional participants may also participate in your private photography workshop for an additional $250/person. Bret's vehicle is capable of transporting three participants, so all private workshops are limited to no more than three clients.
Will Bret pick me up at my hotel? Yes...and no. Bret will pick you up from any hotel or other overnight accommodation within the city limits of Moab. Sorrel River Ranch and Red Cliffs Resort are both beautiful properties with fantastic rooms but they are more than 16 miles from Moab. If you choose to stay at either of these properties you will need to make arrangements to meet Bret at his gallery in downtown Moab for pick-up. If you have questions about whether or not your chosen lodging is within the pick-up zone please feel free to email Bret.
Does Bret bring his camera and does he photograph alongside me? Bret does bring his camera, tripod and backpack filled with lenses on all private photography workshops. However, unless Elvis flies by on a unicorn below a rainbow as aliens descend in a UFO his camera remains packed away. Seriously though, Bret brings his gear along for a number of reasons. In the past, he has loaned tripods and lenses to clients who forgot or damaged their own, or who just want to try out a piece of gear in Bret's pack. Additionally, he occasionally uses his gear to illustrate a photographic technique. Most importantly, you should know that Bret will not abandon you to wander off and shoot images for his own portfolio. You are making an investment in yourself when you hire Bret for a private photography workshop and he takes that responsibility very seriously. Priority number one is ensuring that you receive the personal attention you paid for and deserve - NOT padding Bret's portfolio!
What are some of the locations I might photograph on a private photography workshop with Bret? Bret holds permits to operate on lands throughout the Moab area that are administered by the National Park Service, Utah State Parks and Bureau of Land Management. During your private photography workshop with Bret you may visit Dead Horse Point State Park, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park or any of more than two dozen locations on BLM land including Marlboro Point, Fisher Towers, Castle Valley, Faux Falls and Corona Arch. A few of the locations inside the national parks that you may visit include Mesa Arch, Green River Overlook, Grandview Point, Balanced Rock, Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, Courthouse Towers and the Windows area. This is by no means a comprehensive list. Bret's permits allow him to visit more than 50 unique locations with his clients.
Are there any locations in the Moab area that I can not visit with Bret? Yes. There are locations considered too sensitive to support commercial activity and as such, ALL guides are restricted from visiting with paying clients. Perhaps the best example of such a location that is very popular with photographers is False Kiva in Canyonlands National Park. If someone tells you they can guide you to False Kiva, they are doing so illegally. You and your guide may be subject to criminal prosecution under federal statutes.
I've often heard the terms "workshop" and "tour" used interchangeably. What is the difference? A photography workshop involves some level of instruction and implies that the workshop leader will make him or herself available to you to answer your questions and make unsolicited suggestions. A photography tour usually involves visiting several locations in rapid fire succession with no instruction from the tour leader. In fact, on most photography tours, the leader is often found making his or her own images.
How physically demanding are Bret's private photography workshops? Generally speaking, private photography workshops with Bret are not terribly physically demanding. Participants should be able to walk up to 1/2 mile on a maintained trail while carrying their own photographic equipment. However, Bret is able to customize workshops to accommodate various levels of physical fitness. If you have concerns about your ability to participate in a workshoop please contact Bret to discuss your options. Please note that workshops with a focus on visiting lesser known, off-the-beaten path locations will require a highler level of physical fitness and experience with outdoor recreation.
What should I bring on a private photography workshop with Bret? The obvious answer is a camera! What kind of camera you bring is entirely up to you. Bret has taught photographers working with everything from a point and shoot to high-end digital medium format cameras. Most photographers arrive with a digital SLR and an assortment of lenses. Bret recommends a camera that allows you some degree of control over the aperture and shutter speed so that you, not the camera, are making creative decisions with your settings. Landscape photographers frequently do their best work at dawn and dusk when shutter speeds are too long to allow handheld photography. As such, you will need a sturdy tripod. Bret recommends and uses Induro brand tripods and Acratech ballheads. In addition to your photography gear you'll need clothing and footwear appropriate for the season and terrain. Contact Bret if you have specific questions about what to bring to ensure that you'll have a safe and enjoyable workshop.
Where are the closest airports? Canyonlands Field, a small, regional airport is 16 miles north of Moab and offers commuter flights from Salt Lake City, which is the closest major airport. Grand Junction Regional Airport in Grand Junction, Colorado is an easy 1 1/2 hour drive from Moab and accepts flights from a number of larger cities. Some clients choose to fly into Las Vegas before embarking on a tour of southern Utah to include Zion and Bryce National Parks and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument before visiting Moab.
What hotels does Bret recommend? You will find a wide variety of lodging options in Moab ranging from budget motels to full-service resorts. Bret recommends the Bowen Motel, Comfort Suites, Hampton Inn, Gonzo Inn, Greenwell Inn, Canyonlands Inn and Ramada Inn. If you would rather rent a condo Bret recommends that you contact Moab Property Management.
I want to explore Moab on my own before or after my private photography workshop with Bret. Where should I rent a car or Jeep? If you want to do any off-roading there is only one Jeep rental business in town you should even consider: Twisted Jeeps. Their Jeeps are, without a doubt, the best in town. If you only need a rental car to get to and from easily reached locations in the national parks, Bret recommends the Moab Adventure Center.
What is Moab like? Moab is a bustling tourist town that is considered the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. You will find no shortage of hotels, restaurants, gift shops, gas stations and other services and amenities. The town of Moab rests at approximately 4,000' in elevation. Arches National Park averages 5,000' and Canyonlands National Park tops out at over 6,000'. This is a high desert landscape. The weather is highly variable. Spring and fall offer the mildest temperatures, summers are hot and winters can be brutally cold. Monsoon storms are common in July and August. Though powerful, they are usually short-lived. This is a very dry climate and it is important to hydrate well during your visit to Moab.
I want to rent a lens, camera or other photographic equipment for my private photography workshop with Bret. Where should I rent this gear? Easy - BorrowLenses.com. These guys offer fantastic service, reasonable prices and nearly any piece of photography equipment on your wish list. Bret has used their service several times and has always been pleased. There isn't anywhere in Moab to rent photography equipment.