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Coed Photography Retreat

Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon


Sold out - waitlist available

DATES: August 23-31, 2023
COST: $4395/person
DEPOSIT: $500/person
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately strenuous. Best suited for active, sure-footed participants who are capable of hiking up to three-miles roundtrip on uneven, rocky, and uphill terrain while carrying a limited amount of their gear in heat. All outings are optional, and those with more limited mobility or physical restrictions can opt to stay closer to the raft.
MAX PARTICIPANTS: 15 people (co-ed); Spouses, significant others, friends, and family members who are not photographers are also welcome to join this trip as paid participants.


Are you ready for THE trip and photographic adventure of a lifetime?

Join professional outdoor photographer and instructor Colleen Miniuk on this 9-day photography retreat, where we'll spend 8 days/7 nights exploring the Colorado River as it weaves its way through the majestic Grand Canyon on a motorized, single-boat private charter with the best commercial guides on the river, Hatch River Expeditions.

We'll kick off this grand journey with an introductory online/virtual pre-trip presentation on August 13. To help you prepare and make beautiful images of your journey through the canyon's embrace at both a leisurely contemplative approach and a faster "grab-n-go" pace, Colleen will cover specific techniques such as (but not limited to):

Then, we'll meet up at the Cliff Dwellers Lodge on August 23 for a celebratory group dinner. On the morning of August 24, we'll pack our gear into dry bags (provided) and then travel with Hatch to the put-in at Lee's Ferry. From there, we'll explore 188-miles (to Whitmore Wash) by boat and foot, chasing the light and marveling at ancient ruins, slot canyons, waterfalls, and exhilarating white-water rapids through each of our own lenses. No two days minutes seconds on the river are alike! We'll balance fun activities like splashing in waterfalls and hiking to ancient ruins with our photography pursuits.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have expectations that we'll be "nailing" iconic locations like Nankoweap, Little Colorado River, Elves Chasm, Deer Creek Falls, etc. in "perfect" lighting conditions, this is not the trip for you. While I work closely with our boatmen to arrange visits at classic and lesser-known photogenic locations in the best light possible, our 8-day itinerary will simply not enable us to see it all at its best (we'd need years and years for that...). Due to the spontaneity of a multitude of variables outside our control, we cannot guarantee stops at any specific location during this trip. Besides, I philosophically believe making creative, storytelling, and meaningful images comes from within and incorporates, but does not depend, on external factors like location, weather, seasons, etc. A great photographer can make the most in every lighting situation and in any location, not just the iconic ones...and that's exactly what we'll be learning how to do--and doing--on this trip! And because of the spontaneity, each photography retreat is different from year to year!**

Along the way, we'll enjoy spectacular camps on beaches or ledges while dining on delectable meals like eggs benedict and bacon, burritos, chicken and tuna salad sandwiches, ribeye steaks, pork chops, homemade mashed potatoes...and divine desserts like chocolate cake, Oreo pudding, and cheesecake! Although we'll work together as a team to set up our camp each night using a "fire line," our personally-selected Hatch boatman and swamper know just how to spoil us for our efforts.

Then, on the morning of August 31, our group will be helicoptered out to Bar 10 Ranch, where we'll then board a small plane and return to Marble Canyon late morning to conclude the retreat.

To get an idea of what you might see and experience, visit Colleen's private gallery of photographs from her previous trips: (use password: rivertime). This will be Colleen's 7th trip in 7 years!


“We are happy to accommodate a wide range of physical challenges and medical conditions. Neither previous whitewater experience nor swimming ability is required. Being in good physical condition will enhance your enjoyment of the trip. Here are some minimum requirements you must be able to meet to safely enjoy your journey:






CANCELLATION POLICY - Exclusive to this Trip:

All cancellations must be provided in writing. Due to the nature of this trip, the workshop fee is non-refundable. Should you need to cancel at any time, if your vacated spot happens to fill prior to the retreat, then a full refund of all monies paid will be granted, minus a $250 administrative fee.

There are no exceptions to this policy. CMS Photography strongly encourages you to purchase trip insurance to protect yourself in the event of unexpected circumstances preventing you from attending our workshops.

Special COVID-19 Policy for 2021 Workshops:
Should CMS Photography be required to cancel the workshop due to COVID-19 restrictions (travel, park closures, etc.), registrant will have the option of transferring workshop payment to a future CMS Photography workshop (Grand Canyon rafting retreats or otherwise).


"My wife and I had a great time on the 8-day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Colleen. I got to experiment with "new-for-me" photography techniques such as HDR, shooting the Milky Way, long exposure photos of waterfalls and rapids, and using a new GoPro to video the rapids. The sights, food, campsites, guides, and photo instruction were all excellent. Hatch is the best! Colleen rocks!" ~Larry K. (2019)

"Epic experience. Colleen and the Hatch guides (Lars and Zach) helped make the experience one to remember. My photography skills improved tremendously due to Colleen's guided approach to capturing the beauty. I highly recommend a rafting retreat." ~ Naomi F. (2017)

"What's great about this rafting retreat is everyone is a photographer. You don't have to worry about being pressured by others to hurry up already with getting your photos. Everything is taken care of for you, what more can you ask for!"~ Angela R. (2017)

"The canyon was sublime, the people became family and Colleen led us with skill and humor. The trip of a life-time." ~ Bob T. (2018)

"There are two overwhelmingly motivators for this trip; (1) the beauty of the Grand Canyon and (2) the knowledge and personality of the leader- Colleen."~ Ellen C. (2018)

"The Colorado River Rafting Workshop with Colleen and Hatch is an exhilarating, life-altering opportunity to photograph one of the most challenging landscapes in the world. The challenge, for me, is how to balance the grandeur of size with the moments of canyon intimacy, the harshness of ancient rock with the softness of sand, the unrelenting aggression of a wave slapping your face with the tranquil lull of sun kissed water. I guess I’ll have to go again. And again." ~ Mary G. (2019)

"An adventure of a lifetime...the vistas and opportunities are endless. Love Colleen's "teaching / mentoring" style -- she encourages me to go out of my photographic comfort zone."~ Mary G. (2017 and 2018)

"My wife went the year before and talked about it incessantly. Turns out she was right in every respect. A great photographic adventure!!" ~ Mike S. (2018)

"Everyone should have a float trip through the Grand Canyon on their "bucket list" and Colleen's photography workshop is a great way to do it." ~Byron C. (2019)

"Only 27,000 people a year get to see eternity -- and I urge you to be one of them."~ Paul S. (2018)


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