Lesley Whyte
+64 27 4747 347

Other Organizers



Sep 15 - 19 2022



Landscape & Portrait Photography Retreat

Women in Photography is passionate about growing your photography passion – we know that it can be very busy juggling your career and home life with at times, not much #metime. Whether you are a beginner and only just started using your camera, you’re still on auto or you’re more advanced, this therapeutic long weekend is for you; Lesley and Leanne will help you grow your photographic knowledge.

Did you know that photography is a medium to express yourself, and also helps you to bring focus to positive life experiences, it can enhance your self-work and even reduces the stress hormone cortisol?  What that means is being a #photographybuddy is good for you.  We recognise that at times we need #metime, some #cameratime and being with other women.

Together we’ve developed an annual 5-day retreat in conjunction with River Valley Lodge which is on the banks on the Rangitikei River near Taihape.  River Valley has been chosen as it is a place to restore, rejuvenate, recreate and regenerate – it where we can immerse ourselves in nature, build a real connection with your camera and embrace ourselves as women.    We have chosen this time of the year as at River Valley, it is peak blossom time with the trees in full bloom, so beautiful for capturing amazing images.

Lesley & Leanne will coach you through how to create beautiful landscape and long exposure images as well as how to capture beautiful portraits which will allow you to be more comfortable to photograph family and friends. We’ll also run sessions on how to setup and use studio lighting, backdrop and reflectors – this is a hands-on weekend.

There will be Lightroom, and Photoshop sessions throughout so bring your laptop or tablet.  Not to worry if you don’t have Lightroom or Photoshop, we’re sure that you’ll enjoy the photo sharing sessions.

ITINERARY 15 – 19 September

Thursday – We depart Auckland’s Greenlane Countdown carpark at 8.00am with pick-up in Hamilton if required with stops for lunch along the way, arriving River Valley late afternoon.  Unpack, settle in and get out bearings and enjoy to get to know each other over dinner tonight.

Friday, Saturday & Sunday – Up early for a sunrise photography, capturing amazing images of the sun rising over the water and surrounding hills

  • Fully cooked breakfast
  • Lunch included
  • Landscape and portrait photography sessions
  • Capture livestock images, including horses and chickens
  • Indoor portrait photography sessions with studio lighting set-ups with backdrop – have fun learning lots of different lighting patterns & styles including Rembrandt.  These are hands on sessions: including learning how position a reflector and studio lights to create awesome imagery
  • Take a walk and capture the sun setting from all different angles across River Valley – pack your headlamp as we’ll likely be walking back in the dark
  • Dinner with wines included
  • After dinner tonight, let’s have a photo review session over a glass of wine

Monday – Let’s get up early for our last sunrise photography session.

  • Fully cooked breakfast
  • Capture our last few photos of the beautiful blossom trees
  • Depart River Valley after an early (or packed) lunch and arrive back at Countdown Greenlane in Auckland late afternoon – most likely around 6.00pm.  Drop-off at Hamilton if required.

This five-day weekend is inclusive of:

  • Return mini-bus return transfer to River Valley Lodge from Auckland with pick-up & drop-off at Hamilton
  • Lunch & dinner day 1, breakfast lunch & dinner days 2, 3 & 4, breakfast & early or packed lunch day 5
  • Meals are substantial, tea and coffee throughout the day, cooked breakfasts, two course dinners and large lunches, plus wines with dinner also included
  • Accommodation at River Valley is across a variety of share twin rooms. Limited single rooms are available at additional $300 for the three nights.
  • Full use of spa and saunas – what a way to unwind!
  • Beautiful Women in Photography A5 photo diary and pen
  • Of course two awesome photography mentors, Lesley and Lesley
  • Lots of 1:1 mentoring time 💜📸💜
  • Want to make your own way to River Valley, enquire about this rate.

Because we care about mental illness each attendee who joins this photography retreat, Women in Photography makes a donation to Mike King’s “I am Hope” charity.  

Booking T&Cs, equipment & clothing link – click here


Women in Photography has the necessary protocols in place to operate under the the COVID-19 Protection Framework red, amber and green levels. For your safety, that of your fellow passengers and those leading leading Women in Photography’s events, we are have robust processes in place to ensure that we can operate safely at red, amber and green levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. Click here to know more about this policy and the requirements of you as an attendee.


$500 deposit secures your place, and single room requirement paid at the same time, balance payable 21 days prior.

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Book Event

Retreat Deposit $500 Deposit
Available Tickets: 13
The Retreat Deposit $500 ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
I would like a room on my own $300
Available Tickets: 6
The I would like a room on my own $300 ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.