The wind curls around the soaring sandstone walls of Canyon de Chelly National Monument, whistling the songs of the ancients. Nature has sculpted this landscape that humans have occupied for more than 4,000 years, making it an archaeological, as well as a natural treasure. The 26-mile canyon is home to Ancestral Puebloan ruins, Navajo hogans, homes, and farmlands. Livestock, crops, and orchards dot the canyon floor while the sandstone alcoves preserve ancient cliff dwellings.
Join Arizona Highways Magazine Photo Editor, Jeff Kida as he guides this spectacular autumn tour to photograph the canyon from top to bottom, with explorations of both the canyons and the rim. We’ll visit Canyon del Muerto and Canyon de Chelly and traverse the amazing canyon sites as well as participate in several modeling photo sessions with Navajo weavers, potters, and jewelers in traditional dress.
While in the Canyon, you will be transported by local Navajo guides whose families have occupied the canyon floor for centuries. Steeped in tradition, these guides will showcase this hallowed ground, share captivating stories and introduce you to the beauty and richness of the Navajo culture while Jeff will make sure you leave with a memory card full of stunning images of ruins, sandstone monoliths, and autumn cottonwoods.
During this week you will experience a taste of traditional Navajo life as we photograph Navajo cowboys on horseback and shepherds herding their flocks over the windswept rippled sand dunes. Join us on this unforgettable photo journey and capture the character and culture of a proud people.
- Photographic instruction
- Lodging based on single occupancy*
- Round trip transportation from Phoenix
- One picnic tour lunch, brunch in Winslow, water, snacks, and a farewell dinner
- All applicable entrance, model, park, permit, and tour fees
- Pre-workshop webinar
*Double occupancy permitted for couples or companions traveling together. A discount will be provided.
Please be aware that the shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on light and weather. We want to give you the best photo opportunities possible.
Day 1 – Saturday, October 15, 2022
- Depart from the Phoenix Airport Holiday Inn & Suites at 7:00 am.
- We will stop for lunch at Little America in Flagstaff.
- We will arrive at the Holiday Inn in Chinle in mid-afternoon.
- Our first photo shoot will be at the Tsegi overlook for sunset.
- Back to the hotel for dinner.
- Following our meal, we will have our first critique session on images participants bring from home.
Day 2 – Sunday, October 16, 2022
- We will have an all-day tour of Canyon del Muerto with photo opportunities at First Ruin, Antelope House, Mummy Cave Ruins, and Standing Cow Ruins. A box lunch will be provided.
- We will return late afternoon to the hotel for an early dinner.
Day 3 – Monday, October 17, 2022
- We’ll start our day early at 6:30 am for a sunrise shoot at the Junction Overlook.
- Breakfast will follow at the Junction Restaurant.
- The balance of our morning we will be shooting local artists such as rug weaver, Navajo jeweler, and a pottery maker.
- Navajo models at the sand dunes
- Dinner at the hotel.
Day 4 – Tuesday, October 18, 2022
- Today we’ll take a half-day tour into Canyon de Chelly to photograph White House Ruins, wild horses, and petroglyphs.
- Upon returning to the hotel we’ll have lunch followed by some downtime to download images.
- We will hold our second image critique in the mid-afternoon.
- Our last sunset shoot will take us to Spider Rock for beautiful views of Canyon de Chelly from the rim.
- We will celebrate the workshop with a final group dinner
Day 5 – Wednesday, October 19, 2022
- After breakfast on our last morning, we will have one last overlook sunrise shoot
- Late morning we will check out of the hotel and depart for Phoenix.
- On the return trip, we’ll stop for lunch at the La Posada Hotel in Winslow and arrive in Phoenix at 7:00 pm or later.
Strenuous Rating: Easy-Moderate.
The workshop involves two Navajo guided tours into the Canyon. One excursion is in an open-air vehicle. Participants should plan to dress in layers and have bandanas or other mouth coverings for people with allergy/dust concerns. Most photo locations are easy walking distance.
The Workshop will Depart from / Return to:
Holiday Inn & Suites
3220 S. 48th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Phone: (480) 543-1700
Pre-night and post-night rooms are available for workshop participants at our corporate rate. Participants are required to make their own reservations and pay for these dates. The corporate rate is only available on a space-available status and must be booked online. The corporate rate is not available by phone.
Lodging During the Workshop
During our visit to Canyon de Chelly participants will stay at the Holiday Inn in Chinle. This lodging is included in your workshop fee. Lodging is based on single occupancy. Double occupancy is permitted for two participants traveling together. A discount will be provided.