Magic of Cowboys 2024

      Gold Canyon, AZ, USA

      Langell Photography, LLC
      • Facebook verified
      37 reviews
      Jan 19 - 21, 2024
      Group size: 15 - 20
      Magic of Cowboys 2024
      Gold Canyon, AZ, USA

      Langell Photography, LLC
      • Facebook verified
      37 reviews

      Jan 19 - 21, 2024
      Group size: 15 - 20

      About this trip

      Why is this photography experience so magical?

      Magic of Cowboys is so much more than just your standard photography workshop with horses, cattle and cowboys.  This is delightfully SO much more!  Numerous participants have come back annually -- a testament to how special and beloved this event has become.  Get your hats, boots, and camera gear ready because pard'ner, we're doing it again! 

      Feeding the heart, soul and camera, the Magic of Cowboys will lift your spirits!  You'll have a buffet of photo opportunities that are creatively packed into three days of fun.  Marvel at the diversity of high quality, unique images you'll come away with and how much you'll learn along the way.  

      Physical Fitness Level:

      Level 2-3:  Easy to Moderate

      There is a good deal of walking involved on the ranch.  It is on flat terrain (no change in elevation), but one can be occasionally on uneven ground (e.g., ungraded arena, pasture land, with clumps of dirt, smaller rocks, etc.).  We provide two 6-passenger golf carts and a driver to help shuttle those who need help from place to place.  If you need further clarification, please contact us at 

      Prerequisite photography skills:

      Solid knowledge of manual exposure settings (Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO).  A pre-workshop online course on using manual exposure settings is provided ($99 value) at no additional cost. Details are in the linked document you download from your confirmation email you will receive immediately after registering.


      An easy, 45-minute drive from the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport transports you to an entirely different place where time slows down, history is deep, and the traditional ways of cowboys and cowgirls are carried on.  Located against the stunning backdrop of the legendary Superstition Mountains on 5,800 acres of the pristine Sonoran Desert in Gold Canyon, Arizona, lies the very special Donnelly D-Spur Ranch

      The “D-Spur” is a decades-old, privately owned, working ranch with some of the most spectacular scenery in the Valley of the Sun. Situated adjacent to the Tonto National Forest and legendary Superstition Mountains, It will be our jaw-dropping setting for your Magic of Cowboys Photo Experience!

      What you'll learn:

      *Percentages are estimates.  Agenda may vary based on weather or other factors.

      • Action (~35%): You will learn how to best capture the action with fast-moving horses, cattle, and ranch-related activities with the cowboys and cowgirls.  Roping, herding, and more are planned! We will also teach you silhouette photography with the plentiful 2 and 4-legged creatures!
      • Ranch Lifestyle:  (15%) Capture the authentic lifestyles of our ranch hands!  They will go about their day working while also show you some of the things they do in their daily lives.  We will have stations where you can photograph activities like leather tooling, roping calves, cleaning tack, putting on horseshoes, driving a team, or other wonderful photographic moments that depict the Ranch Lifestyle in the American West today.
      • Silhouettes (~15%): You will learn how to capture gorgeous silhouettes of the cowboys, cowgirls, horses, saguaro catci and more!  
      • Slow-Shutter Panning (~5%): Capture cowboys and cowgirls in a unique way by learning the art of slow-shutter panning (sometimes called "Shutter Drag.)  These ethereal shots of the riders running with their horses while photographed on slow shutter speeds create a sense of movement along with an ethereal, breathtaking look and add dimension to your images of the American West.
      • Portraiture Made Easy (candid and stylized) (~30%): A highlight of Magic of Cowboys is to help photographers who are new to (and even intimated by) portrait photography to have a relaxed, stress-free, fun, and “no-judgment” type experience. 

        Many photographers shy away from learning portraiture as it can be intimidating, stressful, and nerve-wracking!   We REMOVE that part and just give you a ton of fun in a friendly, supportive environment.  
        • How to use settings, natural and reflected light photograph both candid and stylized images of cowboys, cowgirls, and a re-enactment actors from the late 1800s in full authentic dress—back when Arizona was just a territory! 
        • Easy to remember posing tips for men, women, and groups
        • How to use natural light, a reflector, and other easy to learn techniques that make for beautiful portraiture

      What else?

       The Magic of Cowboys & Cattle is truly different from your typical photo tour or workshop.  It's an immersive experience!

      • Campfire & Music:  Join us at the campfire for local legend and singer/songwriter, Steve Holmquist, for incredibly beautiful campfire music during lunch.  Steve is also quite photogenic and provides wonderful photograph opportunities while he performs.
      • Award-winning, authentic "Chuckwagon" style lunch:  Our "chuckwagon" chef has won numerous awards and competitions for her chuckwagon style cooking over an open fire! Using hot coals, cast iron, and incredible recipes, she’ll prepare meals by campfire for us that are beyond amazing!  See how it was done 100+ years ago and taste the rich flavors that go along with the experience!   This makes for great photo opportunities as well!
      • Horseback riding (optional):  Consider an optional guided horseback ride through the desert! Whether you are a beginner or advanced rider, this ranch will take great care of you and show you places in the desert you can only get to on foot or horseback!  (Available Friday morning before the workshop begins)

      The entire experience is designed to bring out the best in your photography while immersing you in the rich culture of the cowboy and ranch life - right in the heart of the Wild West!

      Cancellation, transfer and refund policy

      Cancellation Policy, Terms & Conditions and FAQs:  

      Please review our terms and conditions.  These will be provided to you again at the end of your completed registration to initial and sign.  

      1. Should I get travel insurance?  Yes. Travel insurance helps protect your investment should something arise (e.g., change of plans, health issues, etc.) that requires you to cancel your reservation or end your tour early.  

      Your initial deposit is non-refundable.  No exceptions or credits provided. Payments due are scheduled approximately as follows, based on the start date of your event.  Once paid, they become non-refundable:

      Deposit:  Due at registration (nonrefundable)

      2nd Installment:  Due July 1, 2023

      3rd Installment:  Due Oct 1, 2023

      What if I need to cancel?   You have several options: 

      Option 1:   You may submit your claim to travel insurance.

      Option 2:  You have self-insured your trip and will absorb any losses from cancellation.

      Option 3:  You may transfer your seat to a qualified* friend for a fee ($250).  The friend is responsible for any remaining balance. 

      Option 4:  You may request that we attempt to resell your seat for up to full price wherever possible.  To do so, there is a fee of $350.  We cannot guarantee it will be resold, but we will market it to our waitlist for this tour if there is reasonable time before the start date to do so.    *Qualified friend is someone who meets the criteria for the tour, has agreed to all terms & conditions, and agrees to pay for any balance due and/or future costs that arise.     

      Detailed cancellation information is available on our cancellation request form.  

      What if I pay in full up front?  If you choose to pay for the entire event up front in one lump sum, should you need to cancel, your refund will be pro-rated according to the due dates for each installment, compared to your cancelation date.    (For example, if you canceled after the 2nd  installment was due—but prior to the final installment due date, the amount equal to the portion calculated for the final installment will be refunded to you.)

      May I receive a credit toward a future event?  No refunds, credit, certificates, etc. will be issued for cancelations as a large percentage of your payments are directed toward non-refundable fees we pay to secure your excursions, lodging, meals, transportation, staffing and more.

      What’s included

      • Breakfasts and Lunches
        Includes: Continental Breakfasts and a hearty lunches on Saturday and Sunday (including a chuckwagon style lunch prepared by our chef), plus ample snacks, coffee, tea and refreshments
      • Pre-workshop webinar
        A group webinar on October 11, 2023 will be held to help answer questions and deliver helpful information prior to your arrival
      • Instruction
        We provide ~8-10 instructors, including Lisa Langell, during this event to ensure you have abundant help with questions and more.
      • Pre-workshop tutorial
        An on-demand course on using Manual Exposure settings ($99 value)
      • Post-workshop webinar
        A follow-up webinar covering editing techniques will be offered on February 13, 2024 ($49 value)
      • Lodging
        Lodging is available for self-booking at the Best Western in Gold Canyon, AZ, which is about 10 minutes from the ranch. A discounted group rate is available. See confirmation email for details.
      • Transportation
        The hotel does not provided a shuttle to the ranch. Please plan to book any airfare, rental cars, etc. on your own. These are not included in the workshop price.
      • Horseback riding
        A 2-hour horseback tour is available on Friday morning, starting at approximately 10am. This may be booked through the Donnelly D-Spur Ranch directly. The approximate cost is $90/person plus tip.

      Available Packages

      Trip Price
      Sold Out
      Deposit: $800

      Available options


      Pre-workshop Webinar
      Oct 12, 2023

      We will host a registrants-only live webinar to help wet  your whistle for this wonderful event!  We'll answer questions, give you tastes of what to expect, and give you a moment to meet some of the leaders and participants who you will see in-person in January!

      Your Organizer

      Langell Photography, LLC
      37 reviews
      A nature photographer and birder from the age of eight, Lisa is the founder of Langell Photography, LLC. She began her own business in 2010 after long vibrant careers as a floral designer, educational psychologist, consultant and in helping launch and manage two startups that grew into leading companies in the Ed-Tech space. Since then, she has earned numerous awards and has been published in Outdoor Photographer, Arizona Highways, Ranger Rick and more.


      This was the best photography outing I ever attended. The leaders were constantly helpful. They came to work with each of us very frequently and did not shoot themselves. This was a hummingbird/bat shoot. The location in Madeira canyon, AZ was convenient and comfortable. It is probably the best location for photographing hummingbirds. The shooting was done from stations which were close to the living quarters. I have some mobility limitations and the leaders were especially helpful to me. This was something I have been trying to schedule for several years. It exceeded all my expectations.. In addition to the humming birs we had organized bat shoots..There are many other birds in the area that one can see. Finally we had a photo procession that was quite helpful. If you want to photograph humming birds, this is a must.
      By George F for Magic of Hummingbirds - Sept 4-7, 2023 on Sep 17, 2023
      This was my first-ever photography workshop and it won't be my last. Langell Photography was ready for every contingency, with Plans B, C, and D at the ready when original destinations were weathered out. The flexibility was surpassed only by the photography instruction, the accommodations, the meals -- it was all wonderful! The partnership with Tamron was admirable; Lisa and Erica complemented one another's teachings to the benefit of everyone. The feedback was powerful. I learned SO MUCH and had a great time. I would recommend Magic of Alaska workshops to anyone.
      By Helen N for Magic of Alaska: Tamron Tour on Sep 13, 2023
      We had a great time! Lisa and Kim are very knowledgeable in cameras, and in birds! The birds were amazing! Great experience!
      By Diane (Dee Dee) W for Magic of Hummingbirds - Sept 7-10, 2023 on Sep 13, 2023
      Fantastic trip, even with weather challenges. Lisa and Erica were wonderful leaders. I truly enjoyed the scenery, the photography, the comradery, and Barb's great cooking. A memorable experience. Thanks Lisa, Erica, and Mason.
      By Stu A for Magic of Alaska: Tamron Tour on Sep 13, 2023
      The "Magic of Hummingbirds" workshop was truly magical! Lisa and Kim worked with us individually to ensure that our set-ups would give us beautiful and unique hummingbird images. Since there are bats in Madera Canyon in the fall, we were able to shoot them at night. The whole workshop was very well planned, with time for shooting, critiques, and breaks. Before our meeting, we were given very detailed lists for equipment and personal effects, along with videos to help with post-processing. They were very responsive to the needs of individual participants. Besides using regular light, we worked in high and low-key, with time built in to choose what type of photos we most wanted to make. This is an experience that you will always remember.
      By Barbara D for Magic of Hummingbirds - Sept 4-7, 2023 on Sep 12, 2023
      Show More Reviews