Ojai Contemplative Nature Photography & Videography Retreat


August 7th-9th, 2017. Ojai, California.



Ojai Nature Photography & Videography Retreat

Join professional photographer Doug Ellis, Tasha Rae Yoga, embodied awareness coach David Ellzey, and an intimate gathering of deep seers for four days of restorative immersion in beauty, awareness and creativity applied to landscape photography, videography, (and life) in the healing energy of Ojai, California.

This summer nature photography and videography retreat includes shared lodging, breakfast and catered dinners. It is limited to ten participants of all photographic and videographic skill levels. There are no equipment requirements other than an ability and willingness to share your photos or videos and learn how to see more and drop what may be in your way.

The retreat starts with check-in at 3PM on Sunday, August 6th and completes at 11AM on Wednesday, August 9th at 11AM.

Using nature photography and videography as our poetic device, we’ll explore what draws our attention and what our attention draws–how to let a pristine scene inform us and fill our frame without trampling it with our habitual mind patterns. We’ll make new distinctions in our relationships to nature, ourselves as photographers, and life in general.

Its been said that art is emotion recollected in tranquility and we will cultivate some tranquility along with moments of shared silence.

We’ll have time to get familiar and comfortable with our equipment and make it second nature in the long summer solstice days.

We’ll study the work of some photographic greats and share some of our own in a supportive atmosphere. We’ll go on several photo field trips with exercises to expand our skills, senses and relationship to beauty and ourselves.

We’ll enjoy outdoor dining, natural hot springs, beautiful nature, wine tasting and casually elegant outdoor dining in a convivial atmosphere at a boutique resort in Ojai.

We’ll use meditation, affectionate awareness, movement, and letting go to cleanse the windows of our perception.

We’ll practice contemplative photography exercises from such sources as Seeing Fresh, God is At Eye Level, and Mindful Photography to further simplify our minds and pare down our landscape compositions to their most beautiful and elemental.

Most of all we’ll emerge from our time together with deeper self awareness, visual literacy, and truer images–from the inside out.

Skill and Technical Requirements:

All photographic and videographic skill levels welcomed. Camera phones and point and shoot cameras also OK.  You will want a tripod and ability to download/deliver images for viewing is required.

What to Expect

A Feast for the Senses

We’ll do several mindfulness and awareness expanding-exercises to sharpen our senses and deepen our relationship to beauty and ourselves.

Access to Nature

We’ll enjoy great food, hot springs, a 50 acre nature preserve and more, all in a convivial atmosphere from a boutique hotel in Ojai.

Catered Food & Wine

We’ll study the work of some photographic greats and share some of our own in a supportive atmosphere with adult libations.

Support In Your Creative Process

We’ll emerge from our time together with deeper self awareness, visual literacy, and truer images–from the inside out.

Where We’ll Be

Your registration includes all meals and our private lodging at the Blue Iguana Inn, a bohemian boutique resort just outside downtown Ojai.  We’ll have our own little private enclave of casitas–a few are shown below and are available on a first -come, first-served basis.

Hacienda House

Includes a full kitchen, dining room, two bedrooms, outdoor patio space and huge living area.

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Hacienda Suite

Sleeps up to three people. Includes lounge, mini kitchen and private patio and courtyard.

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Hacienda Apartment

Sleeps two. Includes kitchen and living room.

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All Inclusive

Prices below include all lodging, meals, and excursions and one wine tasting. Additional alcoholic beverages not included.

Individual Registration
  • Three Nights Shared Lodging and Taxes (single supplement additional $250).
  • Travel to and from our excursion site
  • Catered Lunches and Dinners
  • Lesson Handouts
  • All Excursions and Instruction

Choose Individual

Bring a Friend Package Deal
  • Double Occupancy Private Suite
  • Catered Lunches and Dinners
  • Travel to and from the Excursions
  • Lesson Handouts
  • All Excursions and Instruction
  • Save $200 by paying and staying together.

Bring a Friend

Commuter Registration (for Ojai or Ventura residents)
  • Catered Lunches and Dinners
  • Travel to and From the Excursions
  • All Excursions and Instruction
  • Registration closes January 10th.

Choose Commuter Registration

Morning Practice & Breakfast

06:30 AM

Photo Field Trip


Back to the Casitas to Rest & Download Images


Catered Lunch

12:00 PM

Afternoon Slide Talk


Journal Nap and Free Choice Time


Optional Sunset Field Trip


Dinner and Wine Tasting


Evening Slide Talk and Closing Circle

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to the venue?

The map and Contact details are listed within the contact information.You will also receive a confirmation email with travel instructions. Ojai is located 16 miles north of Ventura, CA and is accessible by  a shuttle ride, car rental or Uber from the Burbank (BUR), Los Angeles (LAX) and Santa Barbara (SBA) airports.

Can I bring my dog?

The Blue Iguana Inn is pet-friendly, subject to additional deposit and other contingencies.  You will need to pre-approve it with the front desk and the other workshop participants, as well as providing boarding during the day when we are on excursions.

Can I stay somewhere else locally in Ojai and still attend?

Yes, there is an optional commuter/meal only option for a discounted registration fee.

How many people will be on the retreat?

The retreat is limited to a minimum of seven and maximum of ten people.

What payment types do you accept?

All payments are processed via PayPal and can be made on any major credit card.

Can I get a refund on my tickets?

Registrations are fully refundable until May 1st, and non-refundable after then.



Blue Iguana Inn
11794 N Ventura Ave
Ojai, CA 93023.

Feel Free to Ask a Question

If you have any questions about the retreat, please fill out the form below or email us at doug@dougellis.com. We will be sure to answer you right away.

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