THE BIG BEND WORKSHOPS
What is your payment and cancellation policy?
A deposit is due when you register for a workshop. You may opt to pay for the full amount of the workshop at the time you register.
Any remaining balance is due exactly 30 days prior to the workshop start date. You will receive an invoice 45 days prior to the start of the workshop to pay the remaining balance.
We will send you a courtesy balance-due reminder email 7-10 days before final balance is due; however, you are responsible for paying the remaining balance by the due date whether or not you receive the reminder. If the remaining balance is not paid by the due date, we reserve the right to retain any amounts paid toward the workshop by you, and to release your spot in the workshop.
Cancellations by Participants
All cancellations must be provided in writing via email to firstname.lastname@example.org . You can join another workshop, pending space, at a different time.
For cancellations more than 60 days prior to the workshop start date, we will retain 50% of the required deposit amount and refund any additional amounts paid. If we are able to fill your spot, we will refund any amounts paid by you minus a $20 administration fee.
For cancellations at or less than 59 days prior to the workshop, no refunds of deposits or balances are provided.
Cancellations by Us
Workshops involve a lot of preparation, both by us and by the participants, so we will only cancel a workshop in extreme circumstances: when safe photography is impossible, state or national mandated travel restrictions, etc. We will almost never cancel a workshop due to weather, as these types of conditions can make for some dramatic and exciting photo opportunities. If we are forced to cancel a workshop for any reason, your entire amount paid will be refunded to you within 30 days of cancellation. In the event of a cancellation by us, we are not responsible for any incidental costs you may have incurred including travel, lodging accommodations, car rentals, etc. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance to deal with these situations.
To print a copy of the Payment & Cancellation Policy, click HERE.
Do you have time for day photography too?
Absolutely. As a group, we are usually photography the landscape during sunrise and sunset (early light). Participants have time to explore the landscape on their own (or sleep). We are often scouting out new areas to photograph during the days.
Can I bring a friend or spouse?
You can bring a non-photographer friend or spouse. If they travel in the field with us at any time, they will be expected to sign the waiver that all attendees must sign. If they do travel into the field with us, they will not receive instruction from us and should not have a camera in hand (they are not a registered attendee). It is possible we may ask that they do not go out into the field at night with us. Our park permit limits the number of folks in our group. We want to obey the rules and follow Leave No Trace practices.
Where do you recommend for lodging?
In previous workshops, we reserved campsites during early spring for all participants. However, during this year (2020), Big Bend National Park was closed for most of the year. We would hate to reserve spots, they get cancelled, and then no one has lodging. So, we will not be reserving camp spots this year. We recommend attendees find lodging in Terlingua or Study Butte area. The sooner the better - lodging goes fast this time of year. We will be photographing, mostly, in the national park or state park and around Terlingua. Lodging can be found throughout the area, although some places are a bit spotty. Here are a few recommendations:
In the National Park:
Chisos Mountain Lodge (the only lodge inside the National Park) - keep in mind this may close as it has been closed almost all of 2020. https://www.chisosmountainslodge.com/
In Study Butte (closer to our shooting location):
Big Bend Resort & Adventures: An older, motel - but less: https://www.bigbendresort.com/.
* Las Casitas at Far Flung Outdoor Adventures https://bigbendfarflung.com/activity/lodging
*A favorite of ours. .... La Posada Milagro Guesthouse
There are also many AirBnB rentals available in Terlingua and Study Butte
* Recommended....a favorite of ours!!
What if I cannot find any lodging?
Chisos Mountain Lodge and Big Bend Resport and Adventures Hotel, managed by Forever Resorts, allows folks to cancel up to 72 hours prior to their reservation. While it may appear that all rooms are booked, check back often as they tend to have rooms that open up (especially the Tuesday before the weekend). In addition, there are RV Parks and lots of camping places outside the park (check AirB&B as well).
When do you sleep?
We sleep mostly during the day. At night, we usually have the opportunity to sleep between 2 - 3 hours while we wait for the moon to set or the Milky Way to rise, depending on the time of year. We recommend that you bring a chair with you while we are out, where you can sit down and maybe even get some sleep while we shoot. Sometimes, we have the opportunity to take a short nap in our cars while we wait to celestial events instead of driving back to sleep. You are not required to attend everything, so if you are tired, please get some sleep. Just please let us know if you intend to skip a session so we know not to expect you. For an idea of what the general schedule would be, see the more detailed information on the specific workshop page.
See our Required and Recommended Equipment page for recommendations on what to bring to the workshops, especially our favorite chair.
When do I receive the detailed itinerary?
We will send a more specific itinerary one month prior to the workshop via email (and after you have paid the final invoice).
What if I don't have the specific equipment you recommend?
There are several places to rent cameras and lenses (and other equipment). Aside from your local camera store (not box stores or chains), there are some companies that will rent via internet and will ship the equipment to you. We have personally used the following companies and would recommend them:
What about the weather?
Our spring workshops are scheduled before the rainy season at Big Bend. However, we can never guarantee the weather. If it is cloudy, we can still find places and landscapes to light paint and photograph car trails. However, if it is raining, we can get together and discuss photography as well as post-processing and editing our photos.
How much hiking is involved?
Most all of our photography is less than 0.5 mile from our cars. However, there are a few spots we love that involve 1 mile walk with some incline. Depending on the weather and our participants, we may visit these spots. All activities are optional. However, we will let you know ahead of time what to expect.
How much driving is involved (during the workshop)?
We want you to see the amazing features of Big Bend National Park. This park is big and spread out! Unfortunately, there is some driving involved. We have carefully designed, and even redesigned, a schedule that tries to streamline the drive time and sync the locations. It's not easy because we want to time the elements of the Earth's surface with the alignment of the Milky Way or other constellations. Still, we may drive up to 45 min - 60 min to get to a site where there is a spectacular view. This year, we have added a third night to help see more amazing spots!