Magic in the Tetons Photography Retreat


Last September I had the opportunity of a lifetime when I got to spend four days with nine other women on a photography retreat in Grand Teton National Park.  My family vacationed there most summers when I was a child growing up in Utah.  When I graduated from high school I spent a summer working at Jackson Lake Lodge.  We would work our 8 hour shift ( I was a glorious maid) and then any off time was spent hiking and backpacking and to be honest, drinking quite a bit 🙂  To be able to go back for several days so many years later was a real treat for me!

We stayed at Dornan’s Spur Ranch Cabins.  Every morning we got up around 4:30 a.m. (who needs sleep?) and would trek to a different location for star photography and then sunrise.  I am not going to lie…it was COLD in the morning.  There was no such thing as too many layers.  But we were all in good spirits and chatted constantly while we staked out our spots with tripods along the edges of the water at Oxbow Bend or Schwabacher Landing (alongside MANY other photographers!).   After sunrise we would go get breakfast and then follow the weather anywhere from Mormon Row to String Lake.  We would take a small break in the afternoon and then it was time to set up for sunset shots.  Then back to the cabins for dinner together.  We would all gather in one cabin and talk about photography, our families and anything else that came up!  Truly one of the best experiences of my life and I came out of it with a TON of beautiful images.  I have yet to print any of them to hang on my walls but I will! In the four days I was there I think I experienced every single season ending with snow on the last day!

Kristen Ryan was our retreat leader.  She grew up spending every summer in the Teton’s and has such a deep love for the area and extensive knowledge about best locations to shoot.  She was so helpful to all of us and I couldn’t think of a better leader for this retreat.  She will be leading another Magic in the Tetons retreat this September and I can not recommend it highly enough.

If you want to see more of Kristen’s amazing work and learn more about her retreat click HERE.


Here are just a few of the images I captured during my time there.  I used a wide angle lens most of the time and did many with my Lensbaby Sweet 35.

Mormon Row cabins

String Lake

Schwabacher Landing

Oxbow Bend

Schwabacher Landing

Cunningham Cabin

Aurora Borealis!

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing

Outside of our cabin at Dornan’s (Lensbaby)

View from Dornan’s Spur Ranch Cabins (Lensbaby)

Cunningham Cabin (Lensbaby)

Cunningham Cabin

Horses near Mormon Row ( all taken with a Lensbaby Sweet 35)

Oxbow Bend at Blue Hour

Mormon Row  ( Lensbaby)

Schwabacher Landing (Lensbaby)

Schwabacher Landing

Turnout near Dornan’s

Oxbow Bend on our last afternoon there

Aspen trees at Oxbow Bend turnout

6 Replies to “Magic in the Tetons Photography Retreat”

  1. Love your words, love your images. Thankful for you and your friendship. Thank you for joining me on this incredible first journey and adventure. I know it won’t be our last together ❤️

    1. It definitely will not be our last adventure together!!! I am jealous of the next group that will get to experience this amazing retreat this year!

  2. Oh Kathy, these are such amazing images. Yes, Kristen is an amazing teacher and person. I am so happy for you that you were able to experience this first retreat.

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