At the end of January I headed to Joshua Tree, CA for Heck Yeah Photo Camp, hosted by photographer Ben Sasso and a cohort of amazingly talented speakers.
When I first heard about Photo Camp I got super excited–it was going to be held in Joshua Tree. Which had been on my list of places to shoot for several years now (it was even one of my 2015 – 2016 No Travel Fees locations before I decided to switch to a No Travel Fees, period, model).
I called Heather to talk about it and I pulled the trigger less than two hours later. Good thing, too, as they sold out in a couple of days.
Before I knew it, it was time to head to CA for Heck Yeah Photo Camp.
What followed was two jam packed days full of presentations, early mornings to take advantage of every second of daylight available to us, and dining hall conversations with some truly awesome photographers from all over the world.
I felt inspired by the speakers and even more inspired by the light and the location.
I roomed with Candice (Candice Benjamin Photography), Ashley (Ashley McKenzie Photography), and Liz (Liz Osban Photography) and the four of us had a blast hanging out, exploring, and getting to know each other. Similar to how I felt at Mystic Seminars, it took traveling to connect with some of the photographers in my home Denver market.
Opposite from Mystic though, I think Heck Yeah did a phenomenal job bringing us all together and helping us connect to each other and to the presenters. The daily meals in the dining hall at Joshua Tree Retreat Center were the perfect time to mingle and meet (and to devour some absolutely delicious food), while the small group of 140 of us made it easier to really connect.
I also loved that the instructors really got in there and made connections too. They trekked out in the desert at sunrise, helped us work on our night exposures, and jumped into the styled shoots to give tips, tricks, and advice. The panel on night one also provided a much more personal view into their brains, outside of the more professional presentations.
When I left Joshua Tree I was coming down with a nasty cold and I was exhausted from early mornings and late nights. But I was filled to the brim with inspiration, business to-dos, and amazing photographs.
I really hope to have the chance to go back.
Below are the photos that my roomies and I took of each other exploring in the desert.
Day 1 – Sunset
Liz Osban rocking her Free People desert look.Candice Benjamin soaking up the last of the desert light on day one.Ashley McKenzie pretending that its not really that cold after the sun went down.Day 2 – SunriseExploring the cactus garden. You had to be really careful–those cacti were dangerous!Day 2 – Sunset
Stay tuned for the day two engagement shoots and the creative projects we tackled on Day 3 in the desert!