Escape with us to Durango, CO September 10-17, 2021 for a special guided photography workshop. Capture the natural beauty and history of Colorado through your lens. Colorado is bursting with color in September, making it the perfect time to lakes, mountains, ancient Pueblo archaeological sites, old West mining towns, historic railroads, epic sunsets, and more!

Step back in time during this week-long workshop, to one of America’s most iconic old Western towns. Learn tips and tricks from our professional photographer, Marlaina Pacifico owner of Grin Gallery & Smirk Studios, to improve your skills and capture amazing landscape, wildlife photography and travel photography.


SEPTEMBER 11th - 18th 2021


Guided Photography Workshop

What To Expect:

Our itinerary begins in downtown Durango, where you will be staying at the historic Strater Hotel. Built in 1887 during America’s gold and silver rush, the Strater is both a Southwestern Colorado landmark and a living history museum. The vision of Henry Strater, the hotel’s founder, was to build a hotel that would build a community to serve the mining industry.


Complete with a rag time saloon, rich mahogany furnishings, lavish antiques and down-home hospitality, Henry’s vision lives on because the Strater’s current owners are committed to maintaining the integrity and character of this old hotel.  The Strater is a place you will not only want to photograph, but experience. This is your chance to live your dream of living in the Wild West!


Our journey continues with field trips to some of the most scenic landscapes of Southwestern Colorado. Set in the San Juan Mountains, we’ll explore the area from top to bottom. Enjoy scenic sunrise and sunset vistas and mountains that come alive with color in September. Then see the mountains in a whole new light as they become the backdrop to the stunning crystal waters of Vallecito Lake.

We’ll spend a day exploring Mesa Verde National Park and the ancient Pueblo cliff dwellings and archaeological site. Become the envy of your Instagram followers when you share the breathtaking panoramic canyon views, native American history and artistic elements of Mesa Verde, one of Colorado’s hidden gems.

  • Durango, Colorado 

  • Vallecito Lake

  • Mesa Verde National Park 

  • San Juan Mountains

  • Dramatic landscapes

  • Wildlife

  • Night Sky

  • Historic Sites

  • Scenic Train Ride

  • Ancient Pueblo Cliff Homes


One of the highlights of our journey is photographing the historic Durango - Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Get an up close and personal look at the historical rail cars, roundhouse and station. Then all abord in Durango for a two-hour journey north to Silverton, along the winding San Juan Mountains and Animas River. Spend a short while exploring Silverton before returning to Durango.

Other excursions during the week include a scenic drive through the mining district with stops along the way to capture the colorful fall foliage and vistas, explore abandoned ghost towns and look for wildlife. Weather permitting, we may include a night photography workshop so guests can learn how to photograph the starry Colorado skies.


Our focus during this week is for guests to learn how to make the most of their travel photography and improve their skills. The final day of our tour will include a four-hour editing workshop where you will take your photographs from the trip to the next level digitally, using Adobe Lightroom. Marlaina will also be offering pop up workshops in the evenings during the week, to anyone who would like extra tips and tricks.



814.934.3999  - GrinGallery@gmail.com
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