FirstLight Workshop

Welcome to the FirstLight Absoraka Ranch Workshop!

Absaroka Ranch photo by Jay Dickman


This Workshop is a wrap, it was a great event, please visit the “Where’s Jay” link to view a sampling of the work.


“There’s a little cowboy in all of us, a little frontier”,  author Louis L’Amour.

FirstLight is proud to partner with the Absaroka Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming for our “Cowboy Photography Workshop”, July 1 – July 7.  This 6-night, 5 day digital photography workshop will focus on the American Cowboy.

Few images are more iconic of the American west than that of the Cowboy.  This fading lifestyle remains in a few pockets across our country.  Dubois, Wyoming is one of those locations and the Absaroka Ranch is one of the hidden gems of Dubois.

photo by Jeff Vanuga

Situated at 8000 feet and overlooking the immense Dunoir Valley,  the Absaroka Ranch is nestled below the Absaroka Mountain range that runs along the southern border of Yellowstone National Park.  Additionally, fly fishermen will enjoy the ranch’s location at the headwaters of Wyoming’s Wind River.

The workshop will be built around providing incredible opportunities for photographing cowboys.  We have arranged a number of “photo opps” for our students, starting in the early morning “golden hour” as the horses are driven in from the hills, then groomed & tacked for the day, roping demonstrations, and portrait sessions where Jay and Jeff will work with you to capture the photographs of cowboys that you’ll want to hang on your wall.  We’ll also go into Dubois on two occasions:  on Wednesday to photograph the 4th of July parade (this is an event we’ve photographed previously during our FirstLight Dubois workshop, it’s incredible!) and then again on Friday afternoon when we’ll all go to the Dubois Rodeo, an incredibly rich photo event.  Please note: there are only 14 positions available for this workshop, it will sell quickly!!

photo by Jay Dickman

Daily edit sessions will occur between Jay and Jeff, where they’ll go over your work and provide valuable feedback as to improving your photography.  We’ll also provide a couple of technical seminars during the early afternoon, so you won’t miss the incredible afternoon light photographic opportunities.   The workshop will close Saturday morning with the final presentation of the week’s work and each student will receive a DVD of that show.

Your FirstLight Absaroka Ranch Workshop instructors are Jay Dickman and Jeff Vanuga.

Jay and Becky Dickman founded FirstLight Workshops in 2003, with their inaugural workshop in Auvillar, France.  FirstLight has conducted workshops around the world in Scotland, Barcelona, the Aeolian Islands of Italy, as well as US based workshops in Dubois and the Chesapeake.

Jay Dickman

A National Geographic & Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, Jay has most recently been working with National Geographic Expeditions.  In his role as a lecturer and the resident National Geographic Expert, he has been on 25 Expeditions in the past 4 years.  Even though he’s been in this business for over 40 years and has worked in more than 80 countries, Jay still loves the craft of photography and the process of teaching.

Jeff  Vanuga has taught a number of photographic workshops, including Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, FirstLight and theMoab Photography Symposium.     

Jeff Vanuga

His work has been featured in many publications, includingNational Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Outside, Sierra Club, New York Times, Time and many others.His distinct style and comfort zone in photographing the American West makes him an ideal instructor for the Absaroka Workshop.  You can see more of his work by clicking here to be taken to Jeff’s website.

Cost for the FirstLight Absaroka workshop is $2,550.00.  The price includes 6 nights at the Absaroka Ranch, all gourmet meals including beer & wine, and workshop fees-which includes hands-on instruction by our two instructors.  If interested in our transportation package, please read the *Transportation section below

Additionally, while there will be plenty to photograph during each of the days, there are also horseback rides offered for those interested or fly fishing with gear provided by the Absaroka.  Please note: this is a small ranch specializing in the personal touch.  There are only 4 ranch cabins, two bedrooms in each with two double beds in each bedroom.  The bedrooms are separated by one bathroom in between the bedrooms.  This will be a situation of sharing a room with another FirstLight student — we don’t charge extra for this great opportunity to meet a new friend!!  Or bring along your best photo buddy!

photo by Jeff Vanuga

What’s included in your fee:  6 nights at the Absaroka Ranch, all meals, horseback rides, fly fishing ($11 license fee per day), workshop fees and a DVD of the final presentation.

What’s not included:  Airfare (Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the closest airport), car rental, alcoholic beverages other than those included with meals, or other amenities/incidentals.

Dubois Rodeo Photo by Jay Dickman

*Transportation:  This workshop will be held at the Absaroka Ranch.  Car rental is not essential as we have included two transportation-provided trips into Dubois for events.  (your own car allows further exploration of the area, if so desired)  If you’re not renting a car, we can arrange transportation from the Jackson Hole airport to the ranch, a distance of 74 miles.  The cost for this round- trip will be determined by how many request this package.  Please call us to discuss.

Deposit:  This workshop will fill quickly, we suggest registering soon.  FirstLight alumni will receive a discount, as always.  FirstLight requires a $400.00 deposit to hold your place in this unique workshop.   Cancellations can be made up to and including  May 2, 2012: $200.00 of that deposit is fully refundable at that time-FirstLight will retain $200.00 for administration fees.  After May 2, 2012 all monies are due with no refundsPlease click here to be taken to our registration page.

FirstLight reserves the right to cancel the FirstLight Absaroka Ranch Workshop up to May 2, 2012 with all monies returned to you.

FirstLight strongly  urges you to consider travel insurance for this, and all workshops.

photo by Jay Dickman