April 11th-16th, 2021
Location: Gatlinburg, TN
Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most biodiverse park in the National Park System; making it a dream for photographers of all skill levels and interests. This park is home to over 2,100 miles of beautiful streams, over 1,500 species of flowering plants, endless waterfalls and cascades, scenic driving loops, rustic cabins and grist mills, and breathtaking rolling mountains all begging to be photographed. Of course, if you know anything about us, you know that we’ll get out to photograph the beautiful Smoky Mountain sunrises and sunsets, too!
Join photographers Mandy Lea and Kendrick in one of their favorite “homes away from home” as we experience one of the most photogenic regions in the country! Of course, we’ll explore the classic spots like Cades Cove, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, and others. In addition, Mandy and Kendrick will share some of their favorite lesser-known locations and even a few hidden gems!
Throughout the workshop there will be plenty of opportunities in the field to photograph the countless cascades, never-ending wildflowers, and beautiful rolling mountains. In addition, the limited class size allows students to receive personalized photography instruction from Mandy and Kendrick. Lastly, a final day image review session with other students will give interesting insight into how different people photograph the same locations as well as instructor critiques of your favorite images.
About Your Instructors
Mandy has been in the photography industry for 20 years. After growing up in Colorado she moved to Austin, TX where she worked at Precision Camera for 10 years. First, she managed the print lab, then moved on to start their education department. She has been leading landscape photography workshops for four years and loves helping students capture images the way they see them in real life. Now, she lives full-time in a tiny camper to teach landscape photography workshops and guide backpacking trips…
Kendrick began photography when he picked up Mandy’s spare camera, a Nikon D800. He took that camera and hit the ground running! Kendrick especially enjoys helping beginner photographers learn new things and capture images they can’t wait to show their family and friends. Now, he lives full-time in a tiny camper to teach landscape photography workshops and guide backpacking trips…
Workshop Size Limit—10. Note: The group size is being limited to ten participants to ensure each student gets plenty of one-on-one instruction in the field. Minimum class size of two must be met or workshop will be cancelled.
Camera Gear to Bring:
Lenses (macro, wide angle, wide-mid zoom, telephoto)
Memory cards & readers
Batteries & chargers
Laptop (for image review)
Backpack to carry camera gear to shooting locations
Cable release or intervalometer (recommended, but you can use the camera self-timer)
Other Things to Consider:
Recommended Accommodations: Lodging reservations are the responsibility of each attendee. To ensure you have a place to stay, please make reservations as soon as possible when completing workshop registration.
We’ve reserved a block of rooms at the following hotel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for arrival the day before the workshop begins and departure the day after the workshop ends, but you’re free to stay wherever you’d like. If you choose to stay elsewhere it’s your responsibility to be at our meeting point on time each day.
The Appalachian Lodge—AKA “The Appy Lodge”
168 Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738
NOTE: Call the hotel directly and mention you are with the “Mandy Lea Photo” group to book one of the rooms in our block! We will have a code shortly to book your reservation online.
Our block of rooms is reserved for arrival on Saturday April 10th (day before workshop begins) and checkout on Saturday April 17th (two days after the workshop ends), but it is NOT necessary to stay for ALL of these days to reserve a room in our block. We will meet around mid-afternoon (3PM or so) on Sunday April 11th and dismiss around 11am on Friday April 16th if you would like to change your arrival/checkout dates based on these times.
Non-shooting spouses/friends: We understand this workshop may fall into your vacation time and you might have a spouse or friend you’d like to join along for sight-seeing. We’re thrilled to have them along! In addition to our photography instruction, we also put a lot of work into our scouting and the guiding services provided during our workshops. So, we require a $150 fee for each additional “non-photographing” attendee who plans to join the group on-location. Once you have registered yourself for the workshop, please contact Mandy at firstname.lastname@example.org to take care of this fee.
Transportation: Transportation to/from the host hotel and during the workshop is the responsibility of each attendee. Nearly all driving will be done on paved roads. We will arrange carpooling on the first day of our workshop since some parking areas are limited in space.
Altitude: We will top out at an elevation of 6,600 feet during this workshop. Some people may experience minor problems at higher elevations like headaches, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Physical Fitness: Low-to-moderate fitness level. Most shooting locations will be at or near parking areas. However, some locations may require up to a few miles round-trip of easy-to-moderate, slightly uphill hiking on potentially rocky, uneven terrain. Even at the locations with these longer hikes there is the opportunity to not hike the entire distance and take photographs closer to the car. There’s no shortage of things to photograph in the Smokies! Comfortable hiking shoes/boots are recommended.
Weather: Temperatures can vary greatly in the Great Smoky Mountains during the spring months. The morning and evening temperatures can be downright cold. It is strongly recommended to bring warm gear (gloves, hats, warm coats, water/windproof jackets, warm pants, base layer pants, etc.) and dress in layers if you are not used to mountain weather. There’s always a chance for precipitation in the Smokies. Make sure to bring rain jackets, pants, and something to keep your camera dry!
Trip Insurance: Trip insurance is the responsibility of each attendee, if they so choose. Travel insurance and/or refundable tickets and lodging are highly encouraged as there are many factors that may cause last minute changes or cancellations to the workshop.
Cancellation Policy: All of the details of our standard cancellation policy can be found at the link below.
Mandy Lea Photo is an authorized permittee of the National Park Service
Kendrick Callaway is Wilderness First Responder Certified
Mandy Lea is Basic First Aid Certified