The Artist's Voice: A Winter Wonderland

 In January 2019, The Artist’s Voice takes you to meet the horses of the stunningly beautiful Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado's Rocky Mountains
for an exclusive photography retreat. 

Experience the power and grace of these majestic creatures, while
fine turning your skills... 
learning to tell visual stories…
discovering your artistic voice and...
building friendships of a lifetime with like-minded creative artists. 

Join Karen Hutton and Gigi Embrechts for 6 perfect days and nights
in an all-inclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experience! 
Rocky Mountain snow, horses, luxury ranch life, 5-star meals - and photography -
at one of the most renowned guest ranches in the U.S.  

This is a gathering of like-minded people with a powerful focus;
to experience and capture the "brushstroke of creation" that is Mother Nature, as expressed through one of her most beloved creations:
the magical, mystical Horse.


The Artist’s Voice Photography Retreats are all about expression, creative energy and making amazing images.

That’s why we have a conversation with each attendee before signing up. It  helps set the stage for an awesome creative environment, by seeing to that everyone is on the page & ready to inspire one another to the next level. 

It’s also part of the "secret sauce" that makes this such a unique photo adventure and ensures everyone has an experience that lasts a lifetime! 

 To get started, fill out the quick form below...or scroll down to read more about what you can expect.

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We will never share your email.  Ever. Promise.
Scroll down to learn more about  The Artist's Voice Retreat at Vista Verde Ranch in Clark, CO... 

Find your artistic voice in photography,
immersed in a magical world

of pristine snow,  jaw dropping beauty

and... HORSES! 

This is photography on a whole new level.

You know how to take pictures.
Now… learn how to create signature work that tells YOUR STORY.


How to PHOTOGRAPH HORSES running free in a herd, up close , at work, play and just being... 
How to "SEE" photographically in new and unique ways...
A unique style of LIGHT PAINTING to hone your ability to use creatively controlled light (so fun!)... 
A tried 'n true way to FOCUS yourself  & be present when everything conspires to distract you... 
How to TELL THE STORY of your entire experience... 
(which includes some fun surprises we have up our sleeves)...  

all based upon your own unique artistic voice. Your SOUL'S VOICE.

It knows what it loves,
what makes it’s heart sing,
it’s where your true vision lies,
it has no doubt. 

It’s what you’ve been longing to connect with, but had no idea how to go about it.

Now you will.  

(Do I need to bring my bongo drums?*)

It's all about photography - and life - at a slower pace.
It's about being able to soak into the experience,
open up to your creative muse and let her mighty, artistic voice sing out. 

All while being luxuriously taken care of with three nutritious, gourmet meals, sinking into beautiful mountain-style lodging, and enjoying guest services that have been described as "beyond perfect."

* And nope, you won't be needing those bongo drums. ;)




EACH DAY...   

We begin with a freshly prepared breakfast, sipping coffee as you chat with a small group of like-minded soul artists like yourself. 

On the very first day,  you'll learn new tools for awareness and creativity,  deepening your sense of storytelling and your ability to see photographically from a place of authenticity and truth.

Next, we take these techniques outside. Each morning, the ranch runs the herd of 110  or so horses down to the corrals, for the chance to photograph horses moving free in the snow. It's 100% "WOW!".  After choosing the horses who will work that day, they send them back to pasture; offering a second opportunity every day to capture a great shot of horses running loose.  

After that, more horses, of course. But there's so much to see and photograph!
We’ll look at it all together, discovering the moments that light you up like a Christmas tree! 

What will tell your story best?
Intimate scenes? The grand views?
Maybe you'll discover people... night shooting... abstracts.
You might find that you love macro... action shots of other ranch activities ... or low light.
Or even surprise yourself by falling in love with with motion blur.

Or maybe, just maybe... what your muse most desires is some personal time to sink into the creative flow, think about things, feel into new realizations, like an exhale before the inhale. We all need that sometimes - and you can have it too.

Know what's cool?
In a small group setting like this the personal time,
attention and feedback you crave is all part of the flow. 

"The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements
of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire." 
- Sharon Ralls Lemon
A horse gallops with his lungs,
Perseveres with his heart,
And wins with his character. 
- Tesio

The Meals...  

Oh my. The meals. 

You are going to love the food offered during your stay, guaranteed.
 The ranch has an amazing chef with a real passion for food. We have to admit that the food alone is worth attending for! And the staff? They honestly love what they do. You'll rarely meet a warmer, more genuinely welcoming crew, ready to greet you with a smile and to help you with whatever they can do to make your stay even more amazing than it already is. 

The ranch does accommodate special dietary needs, so please inform us if you have special dietary restrictions upon making your final payment.

The Lodging...  

Quiet, luxurious cabins sit just behind the lodge and are tucked in the trees.
Each cabin has two bedrooms, each with its own private bath.
You'll share a cabin with one other person, but there's plenty of room so you can  enjoy  your private space. Quite honestly, it's part of what makes a retreat so much fun!

BONUS: each cabin has its own outdoor hot tub on the deck. 

Click here to learn more about Vista Verde's cabins!

"I felt warm, I felt invited and like I could just be me…
 which in turn made me feel like I could relax,
 open up and believe that I could find my voice." -- Debra Tufts

Is this event right for me? Am I right for it?

This retreat is for you if… 

-- You already know how to photograph, but would LOVE to learn how to photograph horses and - if it were possible -  learn to tell a magnificent story of your entire experience. (Hint: IT'S POSSIBLE!)
-- You are a pro photographer and feel you already have a “voice” – but you want to expand it,  or just move at a slower pace and photograph for the pure joy and art of it (potential side effect: the delightfully effortless expansion of your portfolio).
-- You love taking photos (especially of horses!), and you want to continue down your creative path with a sense of renewed thoughts and ideas - and get a loving nudge out of your comfort zone along the way.
-- You embrace the notion that gear isn’t everything; it’s meant to serve you and not the other way around.
-- You dream of caring for yourself for a change and being pampered - leaving you to focus upon the mighty creative force you feel building within you, just waiting for the chance to get out and play.
This retreat is NOT for you if…
-- You believe that gear, settings and technique are the main event in photography and feelings/emotion/vision makes you want to fling yourself off a cliff. (While gear and post-processing are always part of the conversation, they are not the main event of this experience.)

-- You're obsessed with "getting the shot" at all costs and aren't interested in broadening your focus.

 -- You go to these events so you can teach others in the workshop and/or pump your own event.
-- You have a camera, but don’t know how to use it 'at all' – or you need tons of help. Hey that’s OK! This workshop doesn’t cover that… but we're happy to recommend some who do.

We'll be in touch soon to schedule a pre-signup chat!

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. 
- Arabian Proverb​​​​​

This retreat is designed for all levels! ​​​​​

REQUIRED*: you must have a working knowledge of the camera you bring.
This event is not about learning new gear. It's about learning what you can create with it.

*Tripods are recommended for light painting and night shooting.

The Artists Voice Package Includes: 

: 6 Nights' Accommodation at Vista Verde Ranch in Clark, CO. 

: Three chef-created meals per day during your stay.

: 1:1 time with Karen Hutton and Gigi Embrechts in a small, intimate group setting.

: Daily photo walks photographing horses, ranch life and activities with feedback, photo critiques, and guidance from Karen & Gigi.

: Participation in any activity that the ranch is offering during the workshop. 
(Typically this might include: sleigh rides, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and lessons, horse-drawn sled to feed the herd, horsemanship clinics)

: Personal instruction on whatever photography or creativity issue you maybe be having during  the retreat.

: Time to relax, reflect and breathe. 
: Transportation to and from Steamboat/Hayden, also known as Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN),  or to and from the Denver Airport shuttle stop in Steamboat Springs. 


The Artists Voice Package DOES NOT Include:


: Air transportation

: Car rental or shuttle costs

: Personal expenses

: Winter clothing, camera protection from weather elements, additional food or drink not offered by the ranch

: Massages, dog sledding, snowmobile tours (they can be booked separately through the ranch)

: Additional charges for unique events not included in the retreat

: Additional day stays

COST: $5250

Reserve Your Spot Now!
Ready to come to Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado? Let's schedule a chat!
We speak with each participant prior to signing up.  
Simply send us your name and email - and we'll  be in touch shortly. 
"The whole process made us more focused in ourselves,
 able to find our ground and discover where and how we want to be....
and not just as photographers!" -- Lauri Novak 

VISTA VERDE RANCH.. getting there

Fly into Denver International Airport

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Rent a car, drive to Clark, CO (3.5 hrs) or...
Take a shuttle to Steamboat Springs  and
get picked up by Vista Verde Ranch

Fly into Yampa Regional (HDN), Steamboat/Hayden
Rent a car, drive to Vista Verde Ranch (30 min.) or... 
get picked up by Vista Verde Ranch

Check flights into Steamboat Springs

Karen Hutton

Karen is an International Landscape and Travel Photographer, Artist, Speaker, Author, Educator, Voice and 
Professional Fujifilm-X Photographer. Her voice and work has been featured in articles, magazine ads, podcasts and interviews around the world. She has led her signature "The Artist's Voice" retreats in both France and the U.S., but t
he Vista Verde event marks a return to her roots. Growing up in a multigenerational family of horsewomen, Karen began riding at four, trained horses and taught riding for 45 years and has spent a lifetime photographing horses.  She lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. 

Gigi Embrechts 

Gigi is an equine and rural lifestyle photographer and story teller. Her main subjects are usually huge horses that love to work, dogs that dive into ponds, and portraits of people with manure on their boots. 

Along with creating documentary images she also loves to create rural fine art pieces and share the stories behind them in her blog. 

She also helps other photographers with learning how to take great images of animals and turn them into art. 

Love for "The Artists' Voice'"...

"I feel like I'm coming back a different photographer... A serious introspective look into the soul,

and how you bring that out in your photography.."  
-- Mike Roberts

"...The accommodations were amazing and the food was out of this world! What a treat it was to see the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountain views, the large herd of ranch horses, and a beautiful blanket of fresh snow everywhere you looked, something Kentucky does not have to offer” 
-- Linda Doane

"Having met Karen and knowing who she drew me in first. I love what Karen speaks about in her own work. I like that her work comes from a place of centered knowing.  The best part: I absolutely found the next level of my artistic voice!"
— Elle Bruce

“A fantastic workshop. Gigi is very easy going and really gets to know her participants...
I like the fact that she keeps the workshop small so that each participant gets the most out of it. Having been in larger workshops I am thinking smaller is really the way to go. It gives the participants more access to who is putting on the workshop and they can learn more from them.
I really enjoyed the location at the Vista Verde Ranch. They really know how to take care of their clients. Its all inclusive so you don't need to worry about a thing until they take you back to the airport”.

Kristy Batie

"My favorite images all had something in common: a memorizing feeling that captivated me when I set sight on it. Those images were truly special (my best). It was as if my personal feelings were somehow imbedded into the metadata of those images.  Karen gave me the tools to learn to use  find 'my voice’ and to create with that voice. I have always loved Karen's art and to get to learn from her, was the best." 
— Barb Cochran

"'Finding Your Artistic Voice' is more then what the title suggests. It is learning who you really are,
what speaks to you as an artist, learning to articulate it as your voice. The inner radiant fire. 
I made some amazing friends, danced, laughed until I cried and found myself in so many ways." 

— Jennifer Walton

“Sometimes, our expectations exceed reality; that was not the case with this retreat.

From the moment you are picked up by the ranch at the Steamboat Springs airport, you enter this magical world of pristine snow and jaw dropping beauty. The ranch is stunning, rooms spectacular, guest services beyond perfect.  Food, oh my – if you’ve ever dreamed of someone else making you delicious food 3 meals daily (and cleaning up afterward), the culinary staff at the ranch exceeds belief...
If you are already a pro, the opportunities you’ll have for taking extraordinary photos is worth the trip. 
This is the experience of a lifetime and you’ll take home photos and memories to treasure forever”.
Patty Duke

"Gigi, I am so motivated by your work and your lifestyle and I thank you so much for all you shared and taught me. I will never forget the light painting and received my light pen in the mail this week! Can't wait to share. Karen, thank you for reminding me to truly connect and to allow myself to just enjoy the experience
and know its just as important as the art creat

What a team! Talk about talent and learning to connect through art! If you're on the fence about going, let me just push you off the fence and on to filling out that registration for 2019! You will love it!"

Lori Ovanessian

Read Lori's blog post about her experience here.

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