After three years in Japan, I’m finally settled back in the U.S. and absolutely thrilled to be once again hosting photography retreats.
In 2019, I will be holding a one-of-a-kind, 3-1/2 day photography/self-discovery retreat in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Get ready for something really special!

UNDER THE FLOWER MOON with Deb Schwedhelm
Saturday, May 18th - Tuesday, May 21st
hosted by Ann Madden


Really, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi?
Yep, don’t knock it till you try it.
Bay St. Louis is one of the most intriguing little cities I have ever visited.
It is an art-filled community with support for one another like nothing I’ve ever seen —
and I absolutely cannot wait to host my second photography retreat there!

Saturday, 18 May
Guest arrival in BSL by 3 PM
Welcome gathering
Meet at the forest for hors d-oeuveres + ‘Under the Full Moon’ outdoor, evening Art Exhibition

Sunday, 19 May
Methods of brainstorming towards a cohesive body of work presented by Anna LaBenz
Pigment transfer workshop with Erika Masterson (see below for additional information)
Abandoned location photography excursion

Monday, 20 May
Half-day writing workshop for artists presented by Rachel Dangermond (see below for additional information)
Portfolio presentations + reviews
Beach walk/bonfire evening

Tuesday, 21 May
Half-day Wilderness/self-exploration Vision Quest presented by James Inabinet (see below for additional information)
New Orleans photography excursion

Wednesday, 22 May
Departures home

Note: While some aspects of technique may be discussed over our time together, this retreat is not centered around learning the basics of camera technique or image processing. It is best that you already have an understanding of the use of your camera. If you have any questions as to whether this retreat is the right fit for you, please email me at

LOCATION:  Bay St. Louis, MS

LIMITED TO: 8 photographers (4 seats remain)

TUITION: Your $1500 US tuition covers:
3-1/2 days of information, instruction, inspiration and discussion
half-day wilderness self-discovery/growth forest vision quest
half-day pigment-transfer workshop
writing for artists presentation
brainstorming photography concepts/body of work presentation
two photography excursions (abandoned location + New Orleans) with optional personal instruction
evening forest art exhibition under the flower moon
a portfolio presentation + optional review/critique
lodging in a lovely, charming neighborhood home
all meals + snacks Sunday through Tuesday and breakfast on Wednesday

casual clothes, walking shoes, flip-flops
swim suit + beach towel
camera equipment
laptop, if wishing to process images at retreat
8x10 prints for portfolio presentation/review

REGISTRATION:  To register, please COMPLETE THIS FORM. An invoice will be emailed to you for a $500 non-refundable deposit payment. Registration is not complete until both registration form and deposit are received. A second payment of $500 is due on February 1st and remaining $500 balance will be invoiced on April 1st. If for any reason, you cannot attend the retreat, you can sell your seat. All payments are non-refundable.

QUESTIONS: Feel free to CONTACT ME with any questions you may have.

RACHEL DANGERMOND has hosted writer’s workshops in New Orleans and California for over 20 years. The half-day workshop is designed to draw out the unique life and work experience the artist brings to their craft. Through improvisation and writing exercises, she helps artists identify and share their story. Artists will finish the session with a clear and compelling artist statement and bio to help them better communicate their personal brand.

Author Robert Cucinotta says, “Writing workshops with Rachel are insightful! She's a careful reader and listener, provides practical advice, gets quickly to the heart of the matter without being harsh, and helps the writer to find his or her own voice. She's also hilarious! I recommend them for any writer trying to build their craft or just get feedback on a project.”

During our time together, we will discuss, share and explore. You will be encouraged and inspired to find and embrace your unique voice and photography path. This workshop will not only foster self- and photography-realization and connection, creativity, growth, but also promises to encourage and push you.


JAMES INABINET founded La Terre Foundation in 1989 and opened the La Terre Bioregional Center in 1995. It is there that he hosts vision quests that combine wilderness life with adventure, lore, ritual, challenges, and an exploration of self. He utilizes experiential activities and heuristic techniques to foster self-realization and -growth along with an earth connection.


ERIKA MASTERSON is a lover of imperfection and is on a quest to reveal beauty in all things imperfect. For this reason, she has embraced the pigment transfer process for her finished work. Erika has been using the transfer print process since 2012 with her very first art series, “Dream Synergy”. Through years of experimenting, she has truly come to love the unique characteristics of the pigment transfer print.

This process is not for the perfectionist! What makes this process so wonderful are the imperfections that emerge during the transfer process. This adds another level of artistic quality to the finished work. For Erika, this has deep meaning in the finished “art” itself and is an integral part of the “making” of the art.

In this class, Erika will be teaching you the pigment transfer process. She will have your images pre-printed on transfer film, allowing you to get right to making transfers, as she demonstrates and walks you through the process with your own images. Each student will be given a printed instruction sheet providing directions from printing on transfer film to making the transfer print.

All images shared below were photographed at previous Deb Schwedhelm Photography retreats over the years. Thank you for looking and I hope to see you in May.


I can't thank you enough for my weekend at the Tampa workshop.  It came at a time when I needed to pause and reflect on life and photography; to connect with others about art and our common journey.  Finally getting to meet you in person and give you a big hug was also so important.  We spend so much time in this digital age limited in our ability to connect in a truly human way.  Getting to see you work, to look at your work in person, and to shoot beside you and the other super talented participants was such a highlight.  And wrapping up the weekend with the portfolio review still resonates with me.  Sitting with you and the others discussing my work was a first and I learned so much from that experience.  I would do it again in a heart beat.

Jen C. (Florida workshop)


Dear Deb, Shortly after our workshop, our family packed up and headed to the cottage for a couple of weeks. It was complete chaos and I didn't end up getting the time I needed to honestly reflect on what you gave to me at the workshop. I knew I had walked away refreshed, motivated, and inspired, but also knew that something deeper had happened in those two days.

I am home now and the kids are asleep. I can finally sit down, think, and write.

I can't thank you enough for your honesty and for presenting yourself as a "real" person. Until the workshop, you were some famous photographer that I worshiped. After the workshop you were Deb. Deb who had a dream, worked her ass off and is now one of the most talented photographers I know. You weren't handed your gift on a silver platter. I needed to see this more than you know. I needed to see that an everyday mommy like me, could be great at this art.

You took the time to explain things and teach things that I am sure are very second nature to you. I felt safe those two days knowing that I was there to learn and you were there to teach. No stupid questions could be asked.

An inside look into your work and how you approach a shoot and editing was incredible. I can't even begin to tell you how much I learned during that time!  You inspired me to keep going with this art and be honest and true on my journey. These words have not left my head. Before I arrived I wasn't sure if I should be doing this or return to teaching. I am now committed to this amazing art and have put teaching on the back burner. I understand I have a long road ahead and that there is no end to the journey. Before you, this would have scared the shit out of me. Now I am excited.

More than anything you have motivated me to KEEP GOING.

Deb, you were incredible those two days. I could have listened to you forever. You add so much value to this art and I respect you more than I can express.

THANK YOU for the opportunity to learn from you and get to know you. I would do this all over again in a heart beat. I hope that we will meet again some day but for now know that you have left a really big awesome mark in my world. So grateful for our time.

Lisa T. (Canada workshop)


I went into the workshop hoping to learn a whole lot technically to improve my own photography. What I came away with was that and so much more. I saw first hand how it wasn’t magic or luck which got you to where you are – it as a lot of hard work, finding an inspiration and following through with it. Watching your workflow from our discussions on inspiration and visualization, to watching you shoot and post-process. I realized that it is entirely possible that I can follow in your footsteps, put in the effort, and become an amazing artist. I can’t help but feel like I went into the workshop thinking I was a decent photographer and I left feeling like I was blossoming into an artist. I have since found inspiration coming to me so easily and in so many forms. My mind has been opened! I have all these images dancing in my head that I cannot wait to set up and photograph.

There wasn’t a question that was too simple and there was always time for another question. You shared everything that makes you who you are – an amazing photographer and an amazing person. I found inspiration not just in your product but in who you are and the amazing souls that were attracted to you and your workshop. I can’t begin to express how lovely it was that you weren’t just our fearless leader, but also just another friend in our group. I truly feel like I’ve gained a new friend in you!

As terrified as we all were of the portfolio review, I saw a light turn on in each one of us. My fear of discouragement was quickly dispelled as I saw my work in a whole new, positive light. I now feel empowered and excited for this long and amazing journey. I so cherish the time we all spent together and am so excited to now have such amazing people to share in this journey! Thank you!

Carrie C. (Bali workshop)


Deb, how on earth do I put it into words…. thank you just doesn’t cut it.

I feel so humbled to have been a part of your workshop. This experience is one I will never forget both for my journey as a photographer and also for me personally.

When I found out about your workshop, I just knew in my heart I had to be there and now that I’m home I just want to thank you so much for your beautifully kind heart, and all the experience and knowledge from your own journey that you so generously shared with us all.

I’m so happy to have met all the incredibly talented and special women that I shared this experience with and have made some wonderful new friendships too! It was seriously so much more than a photography workshop!!

So thank you. For bringing us all together, for sharing so much of yourself with us, and for giving me the courage to find my own path and my own vision…

Megan G. (Bali workshop)