White Sands Photography Workshop

4 Days - Alamogordo, NM
Sep 19 - Sep 22, 2019
Activity Level
Skill Level


Registration deadline: August 30, 2019

Situated in the world’s largest gypsum dune field, White Sands National Monument stands as a testament to one of the most magical places in the Southwest. Its gleaming white dunes continually change as the wind forms ripples, curved dunes and unique patterns that make stunning subjects for the camera. Under a wide sky, light and shadows play across the landscape, where a variety of plants and animals have adapted to the environment.


Curious white lizards scurry across the sand, leaving a line of tracks near the stark yuccas and other plants that punctuate the desert. At sunrise and twilight, the dunes take on a pink glow and more pronounced patterns emerge as shadows lengthen. We will be out on the dunes in time for sunrise and have special permission to be out after sunset to capture the dunes while a little sunset light is available to make striking images.


Join expert White Sands photographer Suzanne Mathia to open up your creative pallette to all the photographic possibilities.

Workshop includes:

  • Photographic instruction
  • Roundtrip transportation from El Paso, TX
  • Three nights lodging in Alamogordo, NM based on double occupancy
  • Water, snacks and group dinner
  • Entrance, early/late access and permit fees
  • Post-workshop critiques

Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on lighting conditions, in the hopes of giving you the best opportunities possible.


Day One – Thursday, September 19

  • This workshop departs and returns from the Wyndham Suites in El Paso.
  • We will depart promptly at 8:00 am on the 19th. Please be sure you are in the parking lot of the hotel no later than 7:30 am to load luggage and gear.
  • Mid-morning we will kick-off the workshop with a presentation and orientation on safety.
  • Break for lunch and hotel check-in
  • Mid-afternoon we will head over to White Sands National Monument for an orientation from the Park Service and our first sunset shoot.
  • Dinner

Day Two – Friday, September 20

  • Early rise to reach the Monument an hour before sunrise. We will need adequate time for setup for the dramatic sunrise. We’ll continue shooting through mid-morning capturing the rich blue shadows and brilliant light on the dunes.
  • Return to the hotel for rest, a lunch break and downloading images.
  • Critique and instruction on field shooting techniques.
  • Depart for afternoon and sunset shoot
  • Dinner

Day Three – Saturday, September 21

  • Early rise to for another spectacular sunrise.
  • We will continue shooting through mid-morning.
  • Break for lunch and downloading of images.
  • We will hold an image critique
  • Depart for a sunset shoot at the Monument
  • Dinner

Day Four – Sunday, September 22

  • Last morning sunrise shoot
  • Return to the hotel late morning to check-out &depart for El Paso.
  • Arrive in El Paso approximately 1:00 pm – workshop adjourns.


Strenuousness:  Moderate

The workshop involves hiking over acres of sand dunes.  It is recommended that participants download a GPS app to their phone as it can be easy to get lost and/or disoriented in the Monument.  MotionX-GPS is a great iPhone app.

The Workshop will Depart from / Return to:

Wyndham El Paso Airport
2027 Airway Boulevard
El Paso, TX  79255
Phone: (915) 778-4241

The workshop departs from the Wyndham hotel in El Paso at 8:00 am on September 19th.  Participants may reserve their pre-night lodging directly with the hotel.  The courtesy room block name is under Arizona Highways PhotoScapes, block code #09186703AR. Cut-off date is 08-29-19.  This lodging is not included in the workshop fee.

Lodging During the Workshop:

Holiday Inn Express & Suites
100 Kerry Ave
Alamogordo, NM  88310
Phone: (575) 434-9773

Three nights lodging at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites is included in your workshop fee based on double occupancy.  Should you desire a single accommodation, you must request this during registration.


Suzanne Mathia
Jeff Insel
Photo Guide
Sara Goodnick
Photo Guide
There are a number of reputable companies who provide Travel Insurance.  For your convenience, we offer travel protection through TravelEx Insurance Services.  For more information on the available plans or to enroll, go to www.travelexinsurance.comor contact TravelEx Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.  Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20


CANCELLATION POLICY: – Effective April 1, 2019


Should you find it necessary to cancel your workshop, the following cancellation policy applies – NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
  • 90 days full payment is due
  • 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less $100 administrative fee.  Voucher is good for 18 months.
  • * 60 days or less until departure – No refund.


* If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less $100 administrative fee.


NOTE:  Workshop bookings including, but not limited to, outfitters, permit agencies, lodging and more are requiring firm financial commitments at 90 days.  Therefore, in order to continue to bring you to great destinations, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined above. We recognize cancellations can some time be unavoidable that is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.


Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel any workshop if our minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event AHPS cancels a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund for the workshop components booked directly with AHPS.  Please Note: we are not liable for the additional expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations or any other components booked outside of the workshop.


PAYMENT TERMS:  A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space.  Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit.  Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure.  Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.