Skip to Store Area:

James Kay


Capitol Reef National Park, Utah    May 5-11, 2019


 "I would like to thank you for putting on such an outstanding photography workshop. The venue was spectacular, your organizational skills were impressive, and the social atmosphere you created among the participants made for an enjoyable vibe. Not only did I see beautiful things but I also learned more than on any other previous photography workshop."  Robert Specker - Wildwood, MO    See all testimonials


Located in south-central Utah, Capitol Reef National Park is one of the last unspoiled jewels of our national park system. Due to its remote location far from tour-bus routes and busy travel corridors, this vast and diverse region remains unknown to most people today. The result is a refreshingly tranquil and sublime photographer's paradise of deep water-sculpted canyons; soaring sandstone arches; monolithic pinnacles; luminous slot canyons; swirling sandstone formations; and more exposed geologic layers than any other location in the southwest outside the Grand Canyon. With our small group of 8 participants, we'll maximize our time out in the field for 5 full days as we seek out dramatic compositions and explore some of the region's most remarkable locations. Two days will involve 4WD excursions into some of the most remote areas of the American West. If you're tired of dealing with the traffic and crowds which plague so many of our national parks today and you'd prefer to capture unique images which haven't yet become photographic cliches, Capitol Reef is the place for you.  READ MORE


$3,075.00 - Single Occupancy
$2,825.00 - Double Occupancy
Includes 6 nights accommodations plus 5 full days of photography instruction in the field.

Use the above button to add your name to the wait list. Please email us if you have an interest in this workshop for 2020. We'll add your name to the advance-notice list to receive an email before we post it on our site next year.  Cancellation Policy   Spouse/Partner Policy



Dates: May 5-11, 2019

Based in: Torrey, Utah

Maximum Number of Participants: 8

Accommodations: Included in the price of this workshop - We're using Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel as our base of operations. Rated #1 on Tripadvisor, Austin's occupies a beautiful shady grove of large cottonwood trees in the center of Torrey. We provide single-occupancy accommodations for our guests but offer a double-occupancy discount to couples or other guests who have found another person willing to share a room with them. Two queen beds per room.

Meals: We'll have our meals both in town and in the field during our excursions. We will handle all meal reservations and we'll dine together as a group. All meals in the field included in the price; restaurant meals will be the responsibility of each participant.

Ground Transportation: You are responsible for your travel arrangements to the town of Torrey, Utah. Once on location, we will share vehicles and carpool to our various locations. High-clearance 4WD or AWD vehicles are highly recommended.

Photography Skill Level: Novice to advanced - Jim will work closely with each participant based on his/her individual skill level.

Physical Difficulty - EASY/MODERATE  While accessing many of our photography vantage points during this workshop will involve short, easy walks of less than 1/4 mile from our vehicles, we'll also have several easy hikes with a round-trip distance of 2 miles each plus two easy/moderate hikes; one of 2 miles and one of 3.5 miles round trip. For specific details on each day, see the workshop itinerary below.


About Jim     Our Philosophy/What You'll Learn     FAQ     Customer Testimonials





As a field workshop, we'll maximize our time out in the canyons for 5 full days capturing images in a wide diversity of locations throughout the region. We will likely need to adjust this itinerary to accommodate weather and field conditions.
Sunday May 5, 2019
5:15pm - Opening-night reception at Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel in Torrey, Utah.
6:30pm - Dinner in town.

Monday May 6, 2019
6:15am - Depart for our sunrise hike into the heart of the Waterpocket Fold where we’ll capture first light as it illuminates a labyrinth of sandstone domes and arches. This will involve an easy/moderate 2-mile round-trip hike with a total elevation gain of 400 feet.
9:45 - Breakfast
11:15 – Depart for our afternoon session exploring and photographing reflected light in a deep, sinuous canyon where few people venture. This hike entails an easy walk along a sandy canyon bottom with little elevation change over a round-trip distance of 1.5 miles.
4:00 – Arrive back at our vehicles.
5:30 – Dinner
6:45 –
Depart for our sunset location where we'll capture last light as it illuminates an amphitheatre of beautifully-sculpted sandstone formations. An easy, short walk from our vehicles.
9:00 – Arrive back at our hotel.

Tuesday May 7, 2019
5:30am – Depart our hotel and proceed to our trailhead in the Waterpocket Fold where we'll spend the morning photographing warm, early-morning reflected light in one of the most beautiful canyons in the park. Reaching this location will involve an easy/moderate hike with a round-trip distance of 3.5 miles with minimal elevation change.
12:00 - Lunch
2:00 – Depart for our afternoon photo session along the Fremont River where it cuts through the deepest portion of the Waterpocket fold with sandstone formations towering above the river. This will involve a short stroll from our vehicles.
4:45 - Arrive back at our hotel.
5:30 – Dinner
6:45 –
Depart for our sunset location beneath the dramatic escarpment of the Waterpocket Fold. We’ll capture last light as it illuminates a wild expanse of Navajo sandstone domes, fins, towering cliffs, and colorful eroded slopes of the Chinle formation. An easy, short walk from our vehicles.
9:00 – Arrive at our hotel.

Wednesday May 8, 2019
5:20am – Depart our hotel to explore the remote southern canyons of the Waterpocket Fold; arguably the most spectacular section of this 100-mile long formation. During this full-day excursion, we'll travel over 100 miles - mostly along
hi-clearance 4WD routes or graded dirt roads - to photograph locations few people ever see. We'll capture warm, reflected light in a narrow slot canyon; hike to dramatic overlooks with tremendous views of the surrounding country; and travel beneath the jagged crest of the Fold through one of the most geologically unique valleys on earth. As a testament to how isolated this location is; it was the last area explored and mapped in the 48 states. Accessing our photography vantage points will involve 2 easy, short walks of less than 2 round-trip miles each.
4:30 – Arrive back at our hotel.
5:30 – Dinner
6:45 – Depart for our sunset photo location with its expansive 360 degree-views from the rim of a 1,500-foot deep canyon. An easy walk from our vehicles.
9:00 – Arrive back at our hotel.

Thursday May 9, 2019
After 3 long days in the field, this will be an easy day.
7:30am - Breakfast
8:45 - Depart for our morning photo location at a small waterfall hidden within the folds of a deep canyon as it fills with warm, golden reflected morning light. A short, easy walk with little elevation change.
12:00 - Lunch at a restaurant in town.
1:30 - Depart for our next location where we’ll photograph a fantastic, kaleidoscope-colored landscape reminiscent of Arizona’s Painted Desert with its swirling formations of red, green, blue, maroon, & white bentonite clays. This will involve a short, easy walk with minor elevation gain.
5:30 - Dinner
6:45 - Depart for our sunset location where we'll capture last light as it illuminates beautiful formations along the Waterpocket Fold. This will involve a short, easy walk from our vehicles.
9:00 – Arrive back at our hotel.
Friday May 10, 2019
4:30am –  Pre-dawn departure for our full-day excursion into the remote northern reaches of the park. Our early departure will allow us to capture the first rays of unobstructed light as it illuminates one of the most unique landscapes on the Colorado Plateau. This isolated region at the northern fringes of the Waterpocket Fold contains a remarkable assortment of enormous dagger-shaped sandstone towers, kaleidoscopic formations of bentonite clay, snow-capped plateaus, black basalt boulders, and breathtaking overlooks with 100-mile views. This excursion will involve a 100-mile drive; half
of it along a 4WD backcountry route into one of the most off-the-beaten-path locations in the American West. Accessing all of our vantage points will involve short, easy walks from our vehicles.
7:00 – Approximate arrival time back at our hotel.
7:30 – Dinner
Saturday May 11, 2019
8:00am - Breakfast; end of workshop.

"Thank you so much for a wonderful week. You put together what I call a perfect workshop! Every day was a new adventure of amazing scenery. The schedule was full, but I never felt rushed and you were always available to help. Your patience was much appreciated. But what really made it such a great experience was your and Susie's knowledge on a variety of subjects! Your knowledge of the geology of the region gave so much meaning to what we were seeing and photographing."    Dr. Carl Kjeldsberg - Salt Lake City, UT
"I just wanted to take a moment to thank the both of you for a fantastic, productive, creative, and most enjoyable photo session...for me, the best that I have had to date. The Karma was perfect, the group was wonderful, and the two of you are the VERY BEST. Again thank was an honor... we will meet again."    Fred Kraut - Salt Lake City, UT
"Every aspect of this workshop far exceeded my expectations. The experience was so much more that simply a photography workshop; it was an amazing adventure. I learned a lot about photography, captured some amazing images; and even learned about the geology of Capitol Reef. Even more memorable though, was the adventure aspect of the trip; the wild weather, insane roads, and all the laughter we shared. Thank you for such an inspiring week in Capitol Reef. I will definitely see you again on another workshop."   Bobby McFall - Mankato, Mn
"Great workshop!! I had no idea that Capitol Reef was so beautiful. I decided on day one that I will do this workshop again next year."  John Morrison - San Diego, CO
"This was by far the best workshop I've ever taken. I don't think there is a better landscape to be captured in a photo than Capitol Reef.  I learned so much by watching how you frame up a shot, which elements you emphasize, and how you work with your equipment to deliver the right image.  I came away with many images I'm very happy with.  You and Susie do a fantastic job." Claudia O'Grady - Salt Lake City, UT
"Let me thank you both for a very rewarding workshop. The extemporaneous camaraderie that we all shared was an added bonus. Jim, your knowledge of photography as well as the geology and history of the area was most helpful. Thanks again for being the best host and hostess of any workshop I've ever taken."  Dr. Jack Berger - New York, NY
"I wanted to thank you for an awesome time in Capitol Reef. This was the most enjoyable workshop I've ever been on. You were so welcoming and took such good care of us. Your attention to detail was beyond belief and everything ran so smoothly. I also really appreciated the camaraderie you fostered among all the participants and I loved photographing in the remote areas of the park. I'll see you on another workshop soon!"  Rebecca Hagberg - Palatine, IL
"I cannot thank you both enough for the adventure, friendship, photo locations and companionship last week in Capitol Reef. The whole experience was wonderful and exceeded my expectations. The location was great, but you two really made it special!!!!"  David Benson - Denver, CO
"I wanted to thank you again for a really memorable time. As I mentioned before, you and Susie make an outstanding team. You are doing something unique with your workshops and I wish you much deserved success." Dr. Peter Cabrera - Chicago, IL
"Many thanks to you two - I had a great time and learned a lot. You ran a great workshop and I'm glad I chose to attend. As I said, I appreciate good organization and you really had it planned out beautifully. We were always where we needed to be, when we needed to be, without feeling like we were being pushed on a schedule. All the little touches like coffee and muffins in the morning just added a nice personal touch. You and Susie are a great team and it just made the experience that much more enjoyable."  Judy Wright - Colorado Springs, CO
"I would like to thank you both for putting on such an outstanding photography workshop. The venue was spectacular, your organizational and photography skills were very impressive, and the social atmosphere you created among the participants made for an enjoyable vibe. Not only did I see beautiful things but I also learned more than on any other previous photography workshop."  Robert Specker - Wildwood, MO
"It was a pleasure meeting both of you. I loved the challenge of getting to the remote areas where there was no competition from other photography groups. In fact, I relished how alone we were most of the time as well as the focus on exploring and shooting throughout the day. I also appreciated how much time you were able to spend coaching us."  Bill Mickle - Aurora, CO
"Just thought I would once again convey my compliments to you and Susie on the way you both planned and executed the workshop. I am very pleased with all the little things you did to make my participation a positive experience. I don't have any idea how you could have done any better."  Steve Clarke - Orange, CA




Jim is a regular contributor to Outdoor Photographer Magazine and has served as one of their professional advisors for more than 25 years. His work has been featured in the Nikon Legends Collection and his photographs have been published in a wide variety of magazines including Nikon World; Los Angeles Times; Arizona Highways; Sunset; National Geographic Adventure; and Time. A short list of his commercial clients would include The New Zealand Tourism Board; VF Corp; American Express; Sundance Institute; Nikon USA; Visa; and The Nature Conservancy. His landscape photographs have been displayed in the Utah Museum of Art & History; the Natural History Museum of Utah; and in the US Capitol Rotunda in an exhibit advocating wilderness protection for Utah's Colorado Plateau region. His recent book, Resurrection Glen Canyon, published by Mountaineers Books, showcases his ongoing project to document the legendary canyons of Glen Canyon as they have emerged from the waters of Lake Powell due to the ongoing drought in the American Southwest. See his full biography.













Photographer James Kay hosts photography workshops in Capitol Reef National Park based in the town of Torrey in southern Utah during the month of May. Join us for this photography workshop where we will photograph many locations within Capitol Reef National Park including the Waterpocket Fold, Fremont River, Cathedral Valley, Temple of the Sun and Moon & the Burr Trail. This Capitol Reef Photography Workshop in southern Utah is open to photographers of all skill levels.