Heck Yeah Photo Camp: Overview

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

Joshua Tree landscape photoLiz Osban rocking her Free People desert look.girl with free people hat and shirt in desertCandice Benjamin soaking up the last of the desert light on day one.portrait of candice benjamin photography in desert photoLiz Osban Photography in california desert photoAshley McKenzie pretending that its not really that cold after the sun went down.girl with leather jacket in desert photoLiz Osban Photography exploring rocks in desert photoJoshua Tree National Park potrait photoLiz Osban Photography wearing Free People in Joshua Tree photoJoshua Tree and stars night photoDay 2 – Sunrisesunrise in Joshua Tree NP photoCandice Benjamin Photography sunrise at Heck Yeah Photo Camp photoExploring the cactus garden.  You had to be really careful–those cacti were dangerous!Ashley McKenzie Photography in cactus garden JTNP photoCandice Benjamin Photography in cactus garden JPNP photoAshley Mckenzie explring the cactus in the desert photoDay 2 – SunsetAshley McKenzie Photography in the desert photoColoradical shirt in the desert Heck Yeah Photo Camp photoSouthern California Desert sunset photo

Stay tuned for the day two engagement shoots and the creative projects we tackled on Day 3 in the desert!

And as a bonus, both Mystic Seminars and Heck Yeah Photo Camp helped me check goals #3 and #38 off my 101 Goals in 1001 Days List.


  1. LOVE these. The desert is so beautiful, esp. Joshua Tree, and your images are gorgeous. This retreat sounds pretty awesome.

  2. AMAZING. The desert is so beautiful, esp. Joshua Tree, and your photos are incredible. Totally love these. New fan!

  3. These photos make me really really really want to go there! And by your description, Heck Yeah Photo Camp would be a great seminar to attend!

  4. Great work! This makes me super interested in this retreat- I loved Mystic, but this sounds amazing.

  5. You have convinced me that I need to visit JT for a shoot. You captured the location and ladies beautifully!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *