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Creative Exploration

A Desert Photography Retreat with Michelle Craig

May 19, 20 & 21

$1150 (plus processing fee & taxes) 

Have you ever wanted to explore the Southwestern desert? Located 45 minutes outside of Zion National Park, Land Beyond Zion is nestled amongst some of the most majestic views in the country. You’ll have the opportunity to unleash your inner child as you hike, explore, romp around between canyon walls and take in the awe inspiring surroundings. This retreat is more than creative guidance and photographic education. Michelle & Shanti have explored, guided and photographed some of the most magical and secluded areas in the region and we want to share them with you! The diversity in landscape that surrounds the camp is something that most cannot even comprehend!


Late Spring is often a very busy time in the area. We have the knowledge and access to share some of the most tucked away and secluded spots where, no matter the time of year or time of day, you’ll barely see a soul. Your cohost, Shanti, has been guiding in the area for years. She and Michelle will ignite your creative and adventurous spirit with slot canyons, arches, petrified forests, stunning petroglyph walls and more.


We’ll be doing plenty of hiking, but our pace will be slow and intentional to give plenty of time to explore and create throughout our days together. 


Natural beauty is abundant in the Southwest and it’s the perfect environment to nurture your creativity. Michelle will guide you through her own process while helping you find your own creative voice. Instruction and Guidance includes the following and more:

  • How to better understand and control the settings on your camera or device to optimize the outcome of your images

  • Gear selection and how it impacts your images

  • Understanding Composition

  • Natural light and how to create images in  a variety of different types of light

  • Landscape Photography with and without humans in the frame

  • Photographing people in nature

  • Up close and personal: an introduction into Macro photography

  • Leading Lines for storytelling and composition

  • Creative tips to elevate your photography and create more compelling images

  • How to capture unique angles in imagery

  • Getting into the spirit: harnessing that creative energy to elevate our photography

  • Editing In Lightroom: We will take a small dip into discussing the editing process in Lightroom and Lightroom Mobile

    If there are specific topics you’d like covered over the weekend, I encourage all participants to list questions when filling out the questionnaire that is sent out after registration. We are gathering to learn, create and have fun.


It’s easy to find online workshops, classes, tutorials and instructions in photography but meeting up and connecting with other adventurous, creative spirits in person makes learning so much more magical and fun! Every retreat I have ever participated in I have gone home with so many new friends whom I love, cherish and regularly reconnect with in many meaningful ways. I want to give YOU that opportunity! I want you to fall in love with the land, the creative process and the people you will share your time and space with over the retreat weekend.


The very nature of a retreat is centered around not just learning, but cultivating relationships. Not only will you be learning from me but, I promise, you all will learn SO much about photography and much more from each other. Knowing and connecting with others who might have similar passions and struggles as you is so incredibly invaluable in life and in our creative endeavors. 

Included in Retreat:

  • Camping at Land Beyond Zion (other rentals available on property as an upgrade) LBZ has a fully equipped outdoor kitchen, bathroom facilities, outdoor shower, electricity and wifi

  • All meals and snacks at property

  • 2 dinners out at local restaurants

  • Creative mentorship from Michelle Craig

  • One Styled Photoshoot with model

  • Hiking Exploration and Photographing in hard to find epic locations in SW Utah!


NOT Included:

  • All transportation to, from and during retreat. You will be responsible for your own transportation to and while you are at Land Beyond Zion. We are located just over the Utah border, near Colorado City, Arizona. There will be a private group for retreat goers where discussing rental shares as a possibility. 

  • Alcoholic Beverages


Add - Ons:

If you'd like to add a little more style or comfort to your accommodations, there is a tiny nook home, a large canvas tent with beds and a camper that are all available as upgrades upon registration. Prices vary.

You may purchase additional nights of accommodations - Land Beyond Zion will have spaces available the evening of 5/18, as well as on 5/21/22 so that you can extend your stay and explore more!

Michelle Craig will be booking Empowerment Sessions and Dark Magic Fantasy Sessions on Monday, 5/22, at a discounted price for all retreat goers.

Land Beyond Zion holds a limited number of permits for Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. Shanti will be available to guide anyone who would like to purchase a spot for Tuesday, 5/23.


Book Your Spot!

We have 3 options for lodging. All of the rooms are very comfortable and there are a number of bathrooms in the house. Some of the Solo rooms have their own bathroom as well. See pricing and options below.

Pitch a tent for free

To book lodging add retreat plus glamp tent or trailer. Only one person needs to book the lodging. Second person can just book retreat only. 

Details, Details, Details

Getting to the Retreat
You will be responsible for your own transportation to Land Beyond Zion. We are located near Colorado City, AZ. We will be carpooling to hikes, so you will want to chat with others prior to retreat to organize transportation to the shoot locations if you are not coming with a vehicle. We will have limited space in our vehicle. 

To get to the retreat location you can fly into Las Vegas and take a shuttle (St. George Shuttle or Salt Lake Express) to St. George or fly into St. George. If flying into Las Vegas (recommended) the shuttle service departs from the Las Vegas airport to St. George, UT almost every hour.

We will be carpooling to the hikes from Land Beyond Zion so please rent a car or find someone to rideshare with. 

What else is included? 

All meals and camping at Land Beyond Zion. If you have specific dietary needs, please bring supplementary food. We make sure vegan and gluten-free options are available.

How Long is it?

The retreat is 3 days & 2 nights with the option to stay over for a 3rd and even 4th night. We will have after the retreat activities you can add on for an additional fee. Michelle will be doing empowerment photography sessions (this is your chance to get in front of the camera!) and Shanti will be leading a guided trip up Angel's Landing (there are 5 open spots). Both of these activities will have a separate fee and lodging fees. 

Meet Your Hosts

Shanti and Michelle met in 2019 thanks to Instagram and a cool online mom group called Adeventure Mamas. After a massive snowstorm that hit Colorado and Utah, Michelle had planned to visit Zion with her son and connect with Shanti (they had only spoken through Instagram). She texted her to say she had arrived in the area and was at a coffee shop called River Rock. Shanti told her she was just a few blocks away so Michelle and her son stopped by and ended up staying for a few weeks. They quickly became fast friends and have co-parented and adventured together ever since. (Photo of Michelle and Shanti on Angel's Landing).  

Angels_MichelleCraigPhotpgraphy 2022-03-24 at 6.23.42 PM.jpeg
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