Arizona Photo Traps and More

Photo Trap Workshop Deposit
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Workshop Dates: July 17 - 20, 2019

Fee: $1800, does not include meals or lodging

Deposit: $600

From: Green Valley, Arizona

Leaders: Dano Grayson, Matthew Studebaker

Target Group Size: 4 photographers

As the sun sets in the desert, some of the Arizona's most interesting animals begin to wake. Ringtail cats stretch and climb from hollow trees. Deer begin to graze. Javalina take their piglets for a walk. Bats drop from their roost and animate the sky. But how does a photographer even dream of finding these animals, let alone photograph one? That's what this workshop strives to teach you. We will have real hands-on experience with remote triggers, photo traps, 

Travel considerations: Fly to Tucson, Arizona

This trip is about learning - Most of my trips are officially “Photo Tours”, where there may be some learning but the primary focus is all about getting shots. This trip, however, is a true workshop. We will have slideshows, “classroom time”, and we will teach you how to set up a photo trap with hands-on guidance in the field. Setting our traps out every night, we hope to photograph some interesting desert animals. In the morning we will check the equipment, see what worked and what didn’t, and set up again. It’s all about learning the animal’s behavior and using predictable patterns to pre-visualize the shot. As the trip wraps up, you we can help you put together your own photo trap system including a PIR sensor, weatherproof box, flash remotes, etc.


  • Wide angle lens

  • At least one, but hopefully two DSLR cameras.

  • We will provide remotes, PIR sensors, and all the unique photo trap equipment you will need to attach to your camera.


Day 1 - (Half Day) On the first day we will meet early in the afternoon and start reviewing the basics of how a camera trap works and how to put one together. We will go into the field and assist putting together some very rudimentary set-ups, finishing just after dusk. Dinner with the group.

Day 2 - This morning we will revisit our photo trap sites around dawn and see what the cameras have captured. We will discuss what worked and what didn’t work, and tweak the set-ups or re-set as necessary. There will be a mid-day break. There will be more “classroom” time in the afternoon and then we will set-up more camera traps, trying to wrap things up by dusk.

Day 3 - The schedule and objectives will be similar to day 2. As the workshop progresses we will work towards creating more sophisticated photo traps and trap techniques while showing you first-hand in the field how to hone in on capturing the epic image you want.

Day 4 - (half day) This final morning we will check our camera traps from the night before, go over images captured, discuss techniques, and assist in recommending gear that you will need to try this on your own.

The following gallery contains images by Dano Grayson taken in South East Arizona using the same equipment and techniques we will be using on this trip:

Likely Species on the trip. Species in bold will be the easiest/most common -

  • Ringtail

  • White-nosed Coati

  • White-tailed Deer (Coues subspecies)

  • Black Bear

  • Coyote

  • Javalina

  • Snakes

  • Gila Monster

  • Bats


About the trip leader Dano Grayson:
Dano works as a professional nature photojournalist in Arizona. He has polished his skills by spending years in the Amazon Rainforest as well as doing many assignments around the United States, assisting in the production of Planet Earth and other well known nature documentaries.