Photographing the Faces of the West


October 4 - 6, 2019
Tuition & Fees: $2495.

In this workshop you will learn natural lighting and camera techniques along with model direction and composition under the guidance of master photographer Craig Varjabedian. In order to provide premier one-on-one instruction this workshop is limited to six participants.

Located on the historic Santa Fe Trail that bears its name, Santa Fe, New Mexico, home of Eloquent Light, is a 400-year old city filled with history and fascinating cultures. In the old days the trail brought together the Native American, Spanish and Euro-American pioneers who often lived in harmony and sometimes in conflict at this place where new ideas at times collided with ancient beliefs.

This workshop is terrific for all digital photographers who are essentially familiar with their cameras. You should be able to download, edit and manage images on your laptop computer. You need to be able to carry your own camera gear and tripod and be capable of walking and light hiking and going up and down flights of stairs. You will need to know, before you get here, how to set and use auto bracketing on your camera, if your camera has this feature.

1. Bring your laptop computer loaded with your favorite image editing software to work on your images. We do not provide computers or monitors. Bring removable media like a hard drive to back up your images.

2. Bring ten of your images to share with the group. We can look at images in any form: prints, reproductions, electronic slideshows. Prints or individual electronic files that can be browsed in Adobe Bridge are ideal for portfolio reviews. Most people bring images as jpegs (1024x768pixels) on a jump drive.

3. Bring your digital camera with lenses, a tripod and polarizing filter. We recommend a camera backpack which works well for field workshops.

4. Bring something to take notes with. For some a computer keyboard works well. Others use pen and paper and/or audio recorders.

5. Write down a one-sentence statement about what you would like to accomplish during the workshop.

6. Expect to meet interesting photographers, who share similar passions and interests, who will see things from new and different perspectives.

7. Come with an open mind. This is probably the MOST important thing to bring to any workshop.

8. It is our wish that this workshop will exceed your expectations and that you will leave us feeling more focused, confident and inspired.

1. You will utilize the quality and direction of natural light, plus learn how to use reflectors and translucent panels to enhance the portraits.

2. We will provide the models, the studio and assistants, so you can focus on photographing the great faces of cowboys, cowgirls, and Native Americans who have been chosen for their authenticity.

3. We will be photographing in the studio to make your images. Participants will have time in the evenings to work on their own to download their images and edit them, clean camera and lenses and charge batteries.

4. We highly recommend you purchase travel/trip insurance just in case. There are several companies and credit card companies that provide this service. We recommend Roam Right for trip insurance.

All photographic instruction in the studio and in the classroom, model and location fees and last night celebration meal. All of our models will have model releases on file with us.

Have any questions, suggestions or concerns? Feel free to contact us any time—we will be more than happy to help! Call Workshop Manager and Director of Karmic Activity Cindy at (505) 983-2934 or email.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my recent workshop in Santa Fe Faces of the American West: Portraits of the Cowboy and the Native American at Eloquent Light Photography Workshops. The name is so descriptive of the kind of photography we were able to do. Lots of western and cowboys shoots. The models and the locations were excellent. We were a small group and had lots of personal attention with our photography. Portraits have never been easy for me, but I think with the new things I learned to practice I will improve substantially. I look forward to participating in another workshop with Eloquent Light Workshops in the future...”
― Paula L., OK, Workshop Participant

WORKSHOP DIARIES | In the Face of It All: Making My First Portraits by Elizabeth Beall
”Surprisingly, I had absolutely fallen in love with portrait photography. I found I loved all aspects of the process and can easily say the “Faces of the West” workshop was the most enjoyable photography class I have taken . . . “
Read Elizabeth Beall’s delightful account of her experience in this workshop.

Craig Varjabedian is an award-winning photographer who explores the back roads of the American West, making pictures of the unique and quintessential. He shares awe-inspiring stories of the land and the people who live on it—one photograph at a time.