Faces of the American West:

Portraits of the Cowboy and the Native American

• A Boutique Workshop - Limited to 6 Participants •



"If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given."

–Eve Arnold, photographer

The Old West is peopled with legends, but our West is full of vibrant and arresting people who are working and living under a glorious Western sky. New Mexican faces reflect both the intimate beauty and rough grandeur of this incredible land.

WHAT: Join award-winning photographer Craig Varjabedian and co-instructor Tye Hardison to focus on environmental portraiture with model-released cowboys, cowgirls, ranchers, and Native Americans. Come and visit the real west to be inspired, like western author Jack Schaeffer, who visited Santa Fe after writing Shane, and then moved here and continued writing great western novels. 

WHO: This workshop is a terrific for all digital photographers who are essentially familiar with their cameras. 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. 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 on trails of varied terrain.

PLAN: You will utilize the quality and direction of natural light, plus learn how to use reflectors and translucent panels to enhance the portraits. We will provide the models, locations and assistants, so you can focus on photographing the great faces of cowboys, cowgirls, and Native Americans who have beautiful pow wow regalia or traditional outfits. We will be on location each day to photograph the models. Participants will have time each day to work on their own to download their images, edit, etc. and clean your camera and charge batteries.

BACKGROUND: New Mexico's beautiful blue skies and wide open spaces provide the perfect setting for the Wild West era and the legendary cowboys, along with Native Americans, who carry on their traditions today. Because Eloquent Light has over the years established personal relationships here, you will be able to have unique experiences in the Land of Enchantment.

WHAT TO BRING: Lots of enthusiasm for making pictures. Your digital camera with lenses, a tripod and filters. A laptop computer with Lightroom software installed and working. (We will provide a complete list of necessary gear before the workshop begins.)

*WHAT'S INCLUDED: Photographic instruction/guidance in the field, location and model fees,

NOTES: We highly recommend you purchase travel/trip insurance in case you need to cancel.

QUESTIONS: Have any questions, suggestions or concerns? Feel free to contact us any time – our expert team will be more than happy to help! Call Cindy at (505) 983-2934 or email cindylane@eloquentlight.com 


Craig Varjabedian, the founder and main instructor at Eloquent Light, is an award-winning photographer who explores the back roads of the American West, making pictures of the land and the people who live on it, telling stories. . . one photograph at a time. A gifted teacher, Craig has taught photography for over thirty years.


May 14-18, 2018


Santa Fe, New Mexico

Class Size

6 participants


Craig Varjabedian