Landscape Photography and Creativity Retreat in Zion National Park

Virgin Narrows in Utah's Zion National Park - Learn to see and capture similar landscape photos

With Zion National Park and surrounding area as a source for creative inspiration, our 5 day journey in a welcoming, supportive environment will transform the way you see and photograph the landscape.

Embracing the art of Deliberate Practice, our carefully designed schedule is a balanced blend of informative classroom presentations with on location sessions where we absorb the energy of the surrounding landscape as we build our skills and photographic vision and constructive critique designed to reinforce new skills and knowledge. Bring your landscape imagery to life by learning light, design and simple but effective camera techniques.

WHEN: Nov 15 – 19, 2021

WHERE: Springdale, Utah

FEE: Single: $2,395; Double*: $2,095 each


GROUP LIMIT: 10 Maximum

WHO: Emerging photographers and anyone who wants to grow and thrive creatively as an image creator.

FITNESS LEVEL: Easy – Moderate

REGISTER BY: Sep 15, 2021

* Double occupancy available for two participants traveling together.


Photography student composing her image in Zion. © Michael DeYoung

Held at Nama-Stay – a private, secluded and spacious vacation & retreat village minutes from town amenities.

Motivational and informative presentations designed to build confidence and creative seeing.

Timed for fall colors and reduced crowds.

Magical shoot locations nearby that are less visited by photographers and groups.

Constructive critiques designed to strengthen photographic vision.

Guided and outfitted slot canyon photo adventure.


The adventure begins in Springdale, the gateway town to Zion National Park, where the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape is all around us and abundant photo ops are a short distance away. At times we will share the space in Zion with the general public but we also have ample opportunities to find solitude.

On this inward and outward journey of discovery and creation, our days will be full exploring the abundant beauty of Zion and the surrounding area. Mornings and evenings will be spent on location creating new imagery. Mid-days will be spent seeing enlightening presentations, engaging discussions, and group constructive critiques designed to help us build skills, vision and grow as artists, photographers and image makers.

Tucked away on a quiet street in the center of town is our retreat center where we learn new skills, share ideas and images, and grow as artists in the nurturing and welcoming environment of Nama-Stay.

Restaurants, coffee, and gift shops are all within walking distance of Nama-Stay.


Its intimate and superlative natural features inspire creativity. Towering sandstone cliffs, the positive sounds of flowing water and thriving plant communities create endless possibilities to create and capture something new. Everything we need to foster and develop photographic growth is right here in front of us or an arm’s length away.


4 nights of lodging at Nama-Stay Vacation & Retreat Village. (Most cabins have one queen bed. Two cabins have 2 twin beds each.)

Equipment rental for Zion Narrows (Specialized river shoes, 4mm neoprenes socks, and a pair of dry pants for shallow cold water).

Constructive critique sessions with post processing instruction and guidance.

Michael and Lauri as your guides and motivators.


If you wish to arrive a day or two earlier or stay afterwards to explore the area, we will be happy to assist you.



Personal expenses

Transportation to and from your home to Springdale, UT




Meet the group at 1:00PM in the on-site pavillian at Nama-Stay Vacation Retreat for introductions and the first day’s topic: Demystifying Your Camera.

We’ll go in depth on learning to take control of your camera so YOU determine the creative outcome. Simplify camera operation by cutting through all the buttons and menu functions and using only the features and controls that matter most.

Afterwards, we will break to check in and settle into your room before heading out for an off-site dinner at one of the many restaurants in Springdale.


Change the way you see the landscape and develop design vision common among artists and photographers. Harness your passions, interests and personality that will define your individual photographic style. Not all landscapes have to take in the panoramic view. Zion is an oasis full of rich details, colors, patterns and textures waiting to be discovered right in front of you.

Time will be spent on location creating new imagery to reinforce these principles.


Expressing your feelings and emotions through lighting. Light is the glue that adds emotion and feeling to our images. Learn to see, capture and even predict natural light that presents your landscape. Learn to work with difficult and challenging lighting and still consistently produce impactful images with color, brilliance, depth and crispness.

Time will be spent on location creating new imagery to reinforce these principles.

DAY 4: THE NARROWS HIKE (Up to 6 miles Round Trip)

A full immersion canyon adventure where we put together new skills and ideas and capture the magic of the landscape. We will let the fresh crisp air, the flowing water, the golden light and physical activity as instruments for creativity as we venture into the Narrows. We will catch a sunrise shoot before boarding the Zion Canyon shuttle to the Temple of Sinewava bus stop where the adventure begins.

There are several photo opportunies along the mile long, paved Riverside Walk trail before the river crossings begin. After the mile long paved trail, you reach the Gateway to The Narrows where you will want to don your waterproof pants and river shoes (provided by our outfitter – Zion Guru) if you haven’t done so already. From here, we can travel upstream as far up as Orderville Canyon (2 miles) spending time along the way photographing at Mystery Falls, Narrows Alcove, Grotto Alcove, and points in between.

While it’s natural for the group to spread out on this hike, one of us will act as the ‘sweep’ person and one who will act as the ‘point’ person so that no one will be left behind.

If you have a water proof backpack for your camera gear, bring it along. If you don’t, they are available to rent from Zion Guru. We have a couple of our own we can share.


Today is the end of this adventure. After enjoying breakfast together, we say our good byes by 11AM in time for your late-afternoon flight or follow-up itinerary (which may include some more time in Springdale/Zion National Park).


The official group meeting location will be at 4:00PM at Nama-Stay Vacation & Retreat meditation pavillion (111 Juniper Lane, Springdale, UT 84767).

The airport options below are provided to give you a couple of options of airports to fly into. From any of the airports listed, you may wish to take a shuttle offered by St. George Shuttle (see link below) to Springdale/Zion National Park instead of renting a vehicle.

There are several airports you can fly to. The closest airport is located in St. George, but we understand the flight schedule may not work with your departing city. See the Airport options that the National Park Service lists, their distances, and how to get to Zion from the various airports.

See Airport Options

There is a shuttle service from these airports to the main St. George Shuttle office as well as to Zion National Park. Check shuttle times, locations, and make your reservation with them at:

St. George Shuttle.



Participants should be comfortable walking varying distances but up to at least 1 mile one way on well-defined trails with occasional rocky or sandy ground to MOST shoot locations. A couple of locations are up to at least 3 miles on sandy trails alternating with moderately sized rocky sections.

Although this tour is in a desert location, we will be seeking out water ways as they often lead to more compelling images. Bring water shoes for crossing short muddy pools and/or shallow river crossings.

The Narrows location shoot (or an equally compelling canyon with flowing water if conditions do not permit us to go into the Narrows) requires a hiking distance up to 3 miles one way which includes walking 1 mile on a well-defined paved trail and up to 2 miles of multiple river crossings, walking in the river itself, and walking amongst moderate sized rocks, using a hiking staff (provided). We utilize assistant guides so that the entire group will benefit from photo advice and guidance up and down the Narrows.


A more detailed list of gear to consider will be provided to registered participants.


  • At least on camera body (second camera body highly recommended)
  • Wide angle lens (24mm or wider)
  • Medium telephoto lens such as 70-200mm
  • 300mm lens for wildlife
  • Macro lens or extension tubes (100 macro or 25mm extension tube for a regular 100-200 range)
  • Good, sturdy tripod and ball head (arca-swiss style clamp, camera body plates, and lens plates recommended)
  • Filters: Circular polarizer, ND (6 stop), and graduated ND (soft or hard step, 2 and/or 3 stop)
  • Extra memory cards
  • Extra batteries for camera and flash
  • Speedlite with wireless capability (optional)
  • Rain protection for camera (plastic bags or umbrella)
  • Daypack capable of carrying camera gear, extra clothes, snacks, water, and tripod. (We recommend a pack designed for hiking and not necessarily a photo pack.
  • OPTIONAL: Waterproof soft dry bags. (Recommended Dry Bags: Watershed or Sagebrush Dry Bags.)**

** Our Outfitter may have rental dry bags for the Narrows hike.


  • Comfortable, sturdy hiking shoes with good ankle support
  • Water shoes (or an extra pair of shoes that can get wet and muddy) or knee-high waterproof boots
  • Small pad for kneeling on wet ground
  • Rain pants/rain jacket with hood
  • Insulating jacket
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Hat
  • Non-cotton layers – base and insulating

PAYMENT TERMS: A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space. Required deposit amount is $500. Final payments, which can be made in installments, are due 90 days prior to tour start date. Invoices for final balances will be emailed to registered participants approximately 120 days prior to tour start date to allow time to spread out making payments.


When a participant cancels a reserved spot in a regularly scheduled (i.e., non-custom) photo tour, it takes time and effort to fill the vacancy. Please be sure to check your personal schedule well ahead of the dates of the trip to make sure there are no conflicts. If you discover that you will not be able to attend we would very much appreciate knowing this as soon as possible.

The following fee schedule applies:

Because of the unique nature of this workshop, If your cancellation is received more than 120 days prior to the beginning of a tour or workshop, we will refund your registration fee less a 5% of your initial deposit. Any fees paid up to this point, less 5% of your initial deposit, can be applied to another scheduled tour or converted to a private photo tour or private photography instruction session.

As other vendors we book with have limited refund policies, if your cancellation is received less than 120 days prior to the beginning of a tour or workshop, we will retain the entire balance paid to date unless you are able to locate someone who will fill your position.

If the photo workshop or tour is full and someone from the waiting list can take your spot, we will refund your entire balance paid to date less 5% of your initial deposit.

No refund of any fees will be made for cancellations after the tour begins.


In the event that a tour must be cancelled due to inadequate enrollment, all registration fees received by us will be refunded in full or, if you prefer, your registration fees paid up to this point can be applied to another scheduled tour or converted to a private photo tour.

We are not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets or lodging arrangements you made in the event of a tour cancellation. Please do not make any travel arrangements until you have received notification that the tour has met its minimal participant requirement which will be known at least 90 days prior to the start date OR consider the purchase of trip insurance.

We highly suggest TravelGuard® or similar travel insurance policies to assist you in case of last minute plan changes and emergencies.


Let the natural beauty of the world’s largest sandstone cliffs, and your sense of adventure awaken and strengthen your creative drive. Learn to see like a photographer and artist viewing the beauty of the natural world in design elements.



“This workshop is one of a kind. Michael tailors his teaching to each participant. I went from a beginner to confidently experiencing as many shot opportunities as possible.

Michael took us to so many unique special locations, we could not help but develop a great connection with Zion.

I developed new friendships as we helped each other hone our eye and technique. Michael has such a passion for outdoor photography and teaching you can not help but grow as a photographer. We were all planning ways to come back and experience Michael’s workshop again!”

– Cyndy S. (Anchorage, AK)


Have a Question About This Retreat? Send us an email.

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DeYoung Photo Workshops, LLC