Sean Fitzgerald Photography (workshops, events, speaking)
Vermejo in September is magic. Vermejo’s mountains and meadows come alive with the echoes of bugling bull elk during their rut. This workshop is especially unique as we pair up two photographers with one of the Vermejo’s world class wildlife guides to help them get great opportunities to photograph bull elk as they bugle, display and fight each other. This is a rare and unique opportunity, done expertly and responsibly. And Vermejo’s huge, high mountain aspen groves can provide stunning autumn displays and colorful, sweeping landscape opportunities.
Cost is $3500 (excluding tax) and includes lodging, meals, professional guides and on-site transportation.There is an optional one day extension available for anyone who wants more time to shoot or explore (+ $875 for extra day, subject to room availability).
We will be staying at the luxurious Costilla Lodge in the Vermejo high country, where the elk are abundant and the aspens are incredible.
Company Store purchases, alcoholic beverages, staff and guide gratuity and New Mexico State sales tax are not included. Click here for more information about tipping and my Vermejo workshops in general.
We will adjust our itinerary depending on the weather and those serendipitous opportunities that will likely present themselves. But this gives you an idea of what to expect.
We keep the itinerary open on this workshop give us the flexibility to work around the weather, the elk activity, and the status of the fall color. Ideally we will start off before dawn and go out to look for elk, as well as other elk and opportunities that pop up along the way.
The opportunity to photograph elk while accompanied by a guide is an incredible opportunity, and every chance is different in terms of the response, the behavior you might observe, and the habitat and weather in which you shoot.
With just two photographers paired to a guide, I have a lot of flexibility to get you the opportunities you want. I will be there to help and teach, either in person or back at the lodge at mid-day or in the evenings.
I will also be available during our down times to work with each participant on their images, their photo techniques, or digital issues. Bring your laptop and I can look over your shoulder if you wish! If the weather and action is good, however, we will spend as much time out in the field as we can, chasing photo opportunities.
The first day is very relaxed. Arrive at noon or early afternoon. You will have time to grab some lunch, get checked in and take a nap from your journey. Participants usually arrive between noon and 3pm, so there is no rush.
In the afternoon, we will hang out on the patio to chat about what you would like to see or achieve during the workshop.
In the afternoon, we will hang out on the patio to chat about what you would like to see or achieve during the workshop. We will then go on an afternoon photo drive and look for bugling elk and harems in one of several herds that live near the main lodge. We will then return for dinner and a good night sleep before an early start the next day.
We will spend the days looking for elk photography opportunities as well as landscapes and fall color. Depending on the weather and the elk activity, we may gather at a landscape destination and have lunch or dinner in the field.
We hope to spend at least one day chasing autumn landscapes, with specific landscape photo destinations in mind. If the fall color is look great, we will spend a full day out, looking for aspen displays in Vermejo’s high country.
Pre-dawn. Gather and grab breakfast to go.
4WD to Elk Creek Overlook for sunrise.
Hike down to nearby Elk Creek for images of fall color along the stream.
Continue to higher Elk Meadow for more aspens and high mountain views.
Picnic lunch in mountain meadow.
Travel across mountains to Costilla and high elevation aspen groves, plus mountain streams and wildlife.
Return for Dinner.
You can sleep in before we meet for a late breakfast or go out for a quick game drive near the lodge. After breakfast and a final wrap up, we will depart.
Anyone who extends the trip for an extra day will have an extra day of shooting and exploration before late morning checkout.