My colleague Rick Gerrity and I officially started our workshop partnership this past October. It seems like a long time ago, but my travel schedule is just settling down and allowing me to get caught up on my blog posts.
Rick and I have similar teaching styles and we work really well together. Our photographic styles are similar while offering two distinct viewpoints for our clients. We have received a lot of positive feedback from the guests during our first two workshops together, and we have a lot of great trips planned for 2015.
It seemed natural for our first workshop together to be a trip down memory lane on Historic Route 66 in Arizona. Rick and I are both fans of classic Americana and we each love a good road trip. I’ve been planning this particular workshop for some time, and Rick was the perfect co-leader to take the trip over the top. We didn’t really intend for the trip to be a “mirrorless workshop”, but there were a lot of mirrorless shooters on the trip. Rick and I both used our LUMIX GH4’s for most of our shooting along the way, but I gave my infrared LUMIX GX7 a workout as well.
We began our journey in fabulous Las Vegas on Thursday night. Rick and I took two of our friends and regular clients for a steak dinner at the Golden Steer the night before the workshop. The ‘Steer is the oldest steakhouse in Las Vegas and it is a wonderful classic Vegas experience. We spent Thursday night at the Stratosphere Hotel in very inexpensive-but-comfortable rooms.
We left the Stratosphere bright and early and headed to our first stop. Chloride, Arizona is an old mining town along Highway 93 between Las Vegas and Kingman. It is home to some really nice folks and some of the most photographic desert junk you are likely to come across.
We spent the afternoon in Seligman, AZ and the group was lucky enough to meet Angel Delgadillo. Angel opened his barber shop on Route 66 in Seligman in 1950. He started the first Historic Route 66 association in the mid 80’s and he is known as the father of Historic Route 66. Angel is also one of the most energetic and positive people I have ever met. I have met Angel several times and it was a real treat to have the chance to introduce our group to this Route 66 legend.
The second day found us in Williams, AZ. Williams was the last city on Route 66 to be bypassed by the interstate. It is home to the Grand Canyon railway and interesting characters like Jay Redfeather. Jay is an artist and a leather-smith, and I really nice guy to boot. He generously put up with our guests shooting and poking around his store for a while.
We spent the afternoon underground at Grand Canyon caverns before shooting the sunset from the famous Hackberry General Store. We checked in at the historic (and eclectic) El Trovatore motel in Kingman, and enjoyed a classic Arizona steak dinner at the Dambar Restaurant down the street.
The group moaned and groaned to get up early the last morning, but sunrise over Sitegraves Pass made everyone feel better about it. The area between Kingman and Oatman, AZ is obviously some of the inspiration for the Cars movie. The Mother Road winding through the mountains here is one of my favorite views on Route 66.
We had breakfast in Oatman before shooting the wild-west-inspired streets and burrows of Oatman. It is a little bit less authentic than I generally like, but I think it is definite;y worth visiting.
We headed back to Vegas after that and ended up shooting in Red Rock Canyon the rest of the afternoon. All-in-all it was a great workshop! We al made new friends and we made some pretty good photos along the way too. Thanks to LUMIX USA for sponsoring the trip and helping us provide such a great experience for our guests.
We’re planning this same workshop for October 16-18, 2015, and we are planning one or two other Route 66 trips as well. Stay tuned for the details and we hope to see you next year!