SHOOTING STARS | Testimionials from Our Participants

Robert Faucher

Thank you for a genuinely unique experience. I have attended other workshops by other photographers before, but not one that I found to be so much fun. The defining quality of your workshop was its intimacy-the small number of students; the close personal attention you provided to each of us; gaining entry to sites not open to everyone; and the sense that you not only know photography, but also the people and history of New Mexico. It makes the experience take on a life. 

It was a wonderful experience working with you for the week. I gained invaluable insight into where and when to point my camera, as well as where and when not to. The review sessions were especially helpful because of your honest and helpful approach. When anyone asks me where they can learn more, I never hesitate to recommend they take a workshop with you. I hope to have an opportunity to work with you again in the future.

Ron Cooper

I've had the good fortune to work with Craig Varjabedian in three private workshops over the past 18 months. Each of those workshops has been a fun, productive and (at times) intense learning experience for me. Craig is a dedicated, experienced, generous and highly engaging teacher. He genuinely wants his students to learn and get full value from their investment of time and money in his workshops. 

He and his business partner, Cindy Lane, are on top of every detail so that no time is wasted. Before planning each of the private workshops, I consulted with Craig and Cindy about my priorities, expectations and objectives. One of my strong photographic interests is environmental portraiture and on a recent trip to Santa Fe, Craig and Cindy arranged four very full days of shooting in multiple locations with more than a dozen subjects (plus various horses and dogs) in several superb locations. Their contacts in New Mexico are extensive and I had the opportunity to photograph real people engaged in saddle-making, silversmithing, horse training, roping and other ranch activities. Craig coached me on technique, posing our subjects, composition and lighting. In some instances we shot side-by-side. In other cases, I was on my own but with Craig always available for consultation and feedback. I was delighted with the images I made and, more importantly, with the new skills I learned.

If you have a serous interest in improving as a photographer, a private workshop with Craig and Eloquent Light is a worthwhile investment.

Dale Ouimette

I was looking for two things from Eloquent Light's White Sands Workshop. The first was to see how a professional photographer (especially one whose work I admire) approaches the task of capturing an image and then processes it. The second was to get inspiration. I got much more than that. Instructor Craig Varjabedian reawakened that part of me that used to see the world through an artist's eyes (before decades of technical career). You cannot make good images unless and until you can see the "Images" around you.

A little girl once said that music is what feelings sound like. Well I think a photographic image must be what feelings look like. You can see in Craig's images what he must have been feeling when he made them. 
As a teacher, Craig Varjabedian does not tell you what you should do. He talks to you and watches you in order to understand what it is that you want to do and then he helps you to get there. He has the experience and expertise to perform this magic with novice and professional alike. 

Craig answered all of my questions both simple and highly technical with the agility of someone who has been doing this for many years. I recommend Craig Varjabedian's workshops for anyone who loves photography and wants to get better at it.

Robert Blum

On my retirement 5 years ago I decided to become serious about my lifelong interest in photography.  Since retirement and prior to meeting Craig, I had attended 6 photography weeklong workshops with 4 different well-respected photographers.  My experience with Craig exceeded my expectations with regard to content of material and quality of instruction. 

Craig's classroom instruction style is clear, straightforward, interactive and engaging.  Shooting in the field with Craig was an equally great learning experience. He manages to give all students individual attention when needed.  He had a calm, easygoing style and is very adaptable as the circumstances changes.

I felt I grew as a photographer during my 4 days with Craig—not only technically but also for appreciation of photography as an art form.  I plan to attend additional workshops with Craig.

Dolph Miller

Over the last several years my wife and I have included Eloquent Light Photography Workshops in our vacation plans. Each workshop has been a unique experience, taking us to places we would not normally know about. We have also met such interesting people who share our love of photography.

Craig is always in good spirits, attentive and ready to help with any question from technical issues to aesthetics. I have observed him adjust, with sensitivity, his teaching style to benefit beginners and experts. I am most grateful for Craig's enthusiastic sharing of his unique photographic vision and visual storytelling abilities.

As a result of our participation in these workshops our lives have been enriched by places, people, an increased enjoyment of photography photography and the anticipation of our next Eloquent Light workshop.

Lisa Richardson

Thanks for another wonderful workshop. I always enjoy your sense of hospitality and your refreshing approach to photography. Watching you work out a photograph in the field was a great learning experience. We covered a lot of ground in four days, but the level of intensity was both inspiring and motivating. The one thing that helped me the most was working with you one-on-one to improve the composition of my photographs. A great and inspiring experience!

Klaus Gensheimer

From childhood on, I've had an interest in photography. And was fortunate that during my 35 years in the advertising business I had the opportunity to be with some legendary photographers and cinematographers whose work never failed to astound me.

I wanted to be like them.

Problem was, between work and family there was never the time to learn. Then retirement came. Suddenly there was all the time in the world, boredom set in, and photography came to the rescue.

After a few years of self-teaching, I thought I was pretty good. Then a friend suggested I take the White Sands Workshop with Craig Varjabedian. I jumped at the opportunity and quickly discovered how far behind I really was. So, I watched every move Craig made and listened to every word he said. When I had a question, he answered it with clarity. I totally fed off of his cheerfulness, energy, passion for the craft, and can add him to the greats I've had the good fortune to watch and learn from. Not only is he a great talent, but a great guy to hang out with. Thank you, Craig for making me a better photographer.

Bill Schultz

I wanted to thank you again for the workshop you taught recently. I enjoyed myself immensely and loved the intensity and listening to your comments about constructing an image. What sticks with me most is to consider "what am I taking a picture of?" when using my camera.

One reason I took the workshop was the small number of participants which allowed more time to ask questions of both yourself and Tye which was important for me. Your organization of the daily outings was good and I enjoyed the variety. For the uninitiated such as myself, the days were long but looking back I realize that the good light in the morning and evening needs to be taken advantage of so being out early and late in the day makes sense. The morning conversations were quite entertaining and your passion for your work definitely came through.

Deborah Glessner

My two days with you have resulted in a huge shift in my thinking about my photography. It will take time for me to process the experience; it was profound in many ways. Not only will I need time to grasp the mechanical aspects of shooting but also the spiritual aspects of "practice." Your discussions on concepts and ideas were extremely thought provoking and will lead me into cementing my personal beliefs in why I photograph. Thank you, Craig, for your patience and excellence as a mentor and the freedom of laughter.

Lawrence Blank

Thank you so much for a most memorable experience . . . It was by far the best photo workshop I have ever attended. What made it so great was that you were totally approachable, knowledgeable, helpful and patient, and have such fine insights into both the artistic and technical aspects of photography . . .

John Cavallito

After taking several different photography courses with Craig Varjabedian at Eloquent Light over a period of several years, I have recommended Craig to many of my fellow photographers. Early in my photography development, Craig's style was one of guiding me to understanding not only why I was photographing a scene (its meaning or concept) but considering other vantage points than the most obvious one. I have taken several courses with other photographers, but I can unconditionally state that I always learn more from Craig in one class than all the others combined."

Larry Dickerson

Among of the things I most appreciated about Craig's teaching style were the attention he gave to each participant, and his flexibility. The members of our workshop came very different skills, equipment, and experience. But Craig was indefatigable in his attempts to address the needs of each individual as they arose, while still keeping the goals of the entire group in focus and on track.


Kerry Stewart

In November 2009, I participated in an Eloquent Light Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Being very inexperienced, Craig Varjabedian helped to ignite a passion within me for photography. The workshop was an incredible experience! It served as great motivation to move forward in learning new skills and to discover the beauty and significance of light in photography.

Almost five years later, I rejoined Eloquent Light for a White Sands Photography Workshop. Our small group hiked across the gypsum sands enjoying and photographing the beautiful scenery. White Sands put on a magnificent show for us and Craig guided us to the "best seats in the house!"

Thank you, Craig, for another wonderful experience! I look forward to our paths crossing again in a future adventure.

Lisa Redburn

I got what I wanted from the White Sands Landscape Workshop, and much more that I didn’t expect. It was truly amazing. I didn’t need instructor Craig Varjabedian to turn me on to the magic of the place, but I sure appreciated his reverence for White Sands, and his deep intimacy with it. He encouraged each of us to feel and see it in our own ways, while also helping us to see in new ways.

I was thrilled to come away with photographs that capture some of the vastness and magic I felt there. Equally importantly, I came away feeing much more confident in handling my tripod, in using the histogram, in understanding exposure bracketing, in becoming aware of various post-processing options. But Craig made sure that the technical stuff didn’t overwhelm me or distract me from the importance of learning to see, or of trusting my eye and my instincts. He is an excellent teacher, who naturally paces information, technique, demonstration, and constructive feedback in concrete, individualized ways. I almost didn’t realize how much I was learning at the time, cause it was so fluid and natural.

Craig was easygoing yet attentive. He was keenly attuned to the weather, individual needs, and group dynamics, and managed to stay just a step ahead, anticipating changing needs. He made sure that we were in place to take advantage of the best light conditions, that each of us got the attention we needed, and that we learned from each other.

At times I felt a bit out of my depth — particularly when those in the group who were real gear heads and post-processing geeks got going — but Craig gracefully fielded questions and balanced group discussions so that no one person’s obsessions or another’s more limited experience dominated.

We all felt respected, listened to, and learned lots from the experience, while having a terrific time! I highly recommend the experience.

Anne Marie Hickey

I would like to thank you for a great workshop. The Santa Fe & New Mexico Landscape Workshop was a great introduction to this beautiful part of the country. The workshop was a great mix of classroom and location instruction. All the locations that we photographed were perfectly chosen to get us there at the optimal times. I never felt rushed and felt all my questions were answered. I am very happy with the photographs I captured.

Chuck Alexander

Over the years I have attended workshops by other photographers. Instructor Craig Varjabedian's workshop was my best overall experience. Craig makes his workshops both intensely interesting and educational. He is a true artist but is also well steeped in the technology (computers, software) and the hardware (cameras, printers, lighting etc.). Over his decades-long career in landscape photography Craig has truly "been there and done that". Most importantly to the attendees, he is more than willing to share his knowledge and techniques. Throughout the workshop, Craig stayed fully engaged, and continually checked in with each student to answer questions and offer tips on composition, perspective and technique, with zero arrogance or condescension.

Craig has an inherent jovial disposition and his positive, optimistic and enthusiastic leadership set the tone for our five days. All in all the workshop was a great experience in a beautiful place that improved my photography.

Larry Lattman

Under your guidance and in the company of a delightful group of photographers, I found the White Sands National Monument Workshop to be an extremely pleasant and valuable photographic experience. The variety of lighting, topographic forms, and your useful tips all blended into one of my most gainful experiences. Thanks very much.

J. David Levy

Craig's workshop is filled with just the right mixture of adventure, learning, camaraderie and results. He sets the tone with a great feel for what field photography is all about, which participants need assistance and when they need it, and, as a priority over his own images, is always available to the participants.

Diane Marasciulo

The Eloquent Light Photography White Sands Workshop was magnificent! We walked across the impressive dunes bathed in magical light as our talented photographer, Craig Varjabedian, led us to amazing places to photograph at various times of day and provided expert tips in the field. The last day in Craig's studio was very instructive and our well knit group enjoyed the final slide show of our favorite White Sands images. Kudos also to Craig's assistant, Tye Hardison, who shared his technical and aesthetic skills with us. The overall experience was memorable and as a repeat participant, I would highly recommend this workshop and other Eloquent Light Photography workshops to those interested in generating exquisite landscape photography.

Rose Briggs

The workshop was delightful for me. You have a unique talent for hospitality - not to mention your attention to detail. I especially appreciate the time you spent with me at Bandelier. Because of this, I was able to see the rock formation that makes my soul sing. Thank you for your gifts of grace and kindness.

Kathy Mize

Even though I have been taking pictures for many years and publishing many photos in professional annual reports, I have never spent time with a professional photographer.  My two days with Craig Varjabedian were filled with questions and observations.  My former expertise with Photoshop was reawakened and I learned many new helpful ways to work with digital photos. Most importantly, my enthusiasm for picture-taking has not waned; Craig left me with a fervent desire to increase my skills and techniques and to continue to search for that picture that's even more beautiful or fun than the last.

Richard Van Pelt

I truly enjoyed participating in your workshop Exploring B&W Digital Photography. Having attended one of your workshops before, I somewhat knew what to expect in this one. I was wrong. My expectations got blown away. Your ability to convey specific information in concise and easily understandable format is a great gift. I'm thankful for being a part of it again.

My objective in attending was to obtain a basis for expanding my black and white photography. Your analytical process was and will continue to be most useful. However, the best part was being able to experience your thought process prior to taking the picture. I came away from this workshop with the understanding that you do not take pictures. You feel the picture before doing anything else and I can see that's what turns your pictures into fine art. Everything that follows is just cookbook. That's what I've been missing. Thanks for opening that window. Now I'm really having fun with this.

Clyde Parrott

The program seems to be intent on making sure that students experience New Mexico to the fullest, not only through the camera lens, but with the entire person. It's almost holistic! Northern New Mexico is one of the world's beautiful places, with a rich history. It is obvious that the school's regard for cultures is passionate and the program brings a kind of spirituality to the photographic experience that is contagious! I began the week wondering what I had gotten myself into, and ended it wishing the week could go on and on!

Diane Marasciulo

I recently attended a memorable Eloquent Light Photography Workshop in the Grand Tetons. As a former workshop participant, I knew the scenery would be grand and that Craig would lead us to the best places to photograph and provide expert advice on obtaining and processing our images. I thought everyone would enjoy sharing meals, conversation, laughter and our passion and interest in photography but this group really synergized and I credit Craig with attracting such quality people to his Eloquent Light Photography Workshops.
What I didn't expect were the extraordinary photographic and informative experiences we had due to Craig's pre-planning and willingness to survey participants and optimize on opportunities. In addition to re-imagining the traditional Ansel Adam vistas and touring exceptional art museums, we got to shoot the full moon at twilight, capture the sunset over the mountains bathed in mist and light beams, and take bright morning images of low hanging clouds between the old homesteads and Grand Teton mountains. Also, capitalizing on a tip Craig received, we were able to spot and shoot a grizzly bear eating on a carcass. Furthermore, based on arrangements Craig made, we were able to chat with a local cowboy and photograph him and the horses he trains for the forest service.
This description is just a sampling of the incredible experiences my group and I had. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of the exceptional Eloquent Light Photography Workshops to you.