A unique photographer’s road trip through the deserts and landscapes of Nevada and California

Tour dates: 15 – 23 May 2024

This epic photography road trip adventure journeys through the spectacular deserts and mountains of Nevada and California. Our route has been carefully designed to take in the most wonderful shoot locations. We will drive in a convoy of five vehicles and will be staying in small-town motels along our route.  As is customary on these trips there will be the occasional opportunity to enjoy an end-of-day drink in a classic saloon-style bar for that authentic Wild West experience.

Optimal Dates, Optimal Experience We’ve meticulously selected the dates for this road trip to avoid the hustle and bustle of Memorial Day weekend. But there’s more to the timing than just dodging crowds. The event is strategically scheduled early enough in the year to allow for photography in the awe-inspiring yet harsh environment of Death Valley. Conversely, it’s late enough to bypass any potential snow-related access issues at Mono Lake.

Adapting to Mother Nature We recognise that weather patterns are increasingly unpredictable, which is why a degree of flexibility has been built into our itinerary. Rest assured, come rain or shine, we’re committed to providing an adventure that’s both productive and enjoyable.

So, join us for a road trip that’s as thoughtfully planned as it is adventurous, giving you the best of what Nevada and California have to offer.

Don’t miss out on this comprehensive photography adventure. Secure your spot today and prepare for a journey that will enrich both your skillset and your soul.

Damien Lovegrove

The pictures and write-up from the 2023 event can be seen here


  • Nine glorious days. A blend of photography and road trip adventure that will leave you inspired and with a portfolio full of fabulous photographs.
  • Two professional models will accompany us for the entire trip, offering ample opportunities to perfect your portraiture skills in a variety of settings.
  • Capture hauntingly beautiful images amid abandoned mining buildings and shacks—an atmospheric backdrop that will make your portraits come alive.
  • Capture figure in the landscape portraits at Mono Lake, Cathedral Gorge, and the Alabama Hills.
  • We’ll also be shooting portraits in a railway museum, exploring both the engine sheds and the wagons, a setting ripe with textures and fascinating geometries.
  • Authentic stays. We will be staying in classic motels along our route, each with its unique style.
  • We will travel four people to a vehicle in a convoy of luxury SUVs, Chevy Suburbans or Ford Expeditions. This will ensure your utmost comfort as we cover the 1445 miles.
  • We will shoot at 35 meticulously selected locations throughout the trip.
  • A full lighting kit and a smoke machine will be supplied to elevate your shots, adding a professional touch to your compositions.
  • Receive hands-on training and invaluable insights from expert tutors; Damien Lovegrove and Martin Hill. They will be with you every step of the way, fuelling your creativity and honing your skills.

Photographs of our models Leontine and Kate, taken on the 2023 tour feature throughout this page. We will be visiting all of these locations again in 2024. Kate and Leontine had such fun and got on so well in May they will be joining us again in 2024.


Dates: 15-23 May 2024
Tutors: Damien Lovegrove & Martin Hill (TBC)
Models: Leontine Leblanche and Kate Ri (See them in the BTS video below)
Genre: Portraiture, plus the occasional landscape
Group Size: Maximum of 12 participants

There may well be a few seats available for non-shooting partners at $1,000 per seat on a first come first served basis. Contact me for details.

Price: $5975, or €5608 or £4817 per person (exchange rate correct at time of publishing)
Deposit: £825, approximately $1000 or €939 Payable at the time of booking
Balance payment: $4975 is due on 29th Feb 2024

Payment plan option: An initial deposit of $1000 is required at the point of booking, followed by 4 monthly payments of $1244 starting on the 30th of November 2023 and finishing on the 29th of February 2024. Contact me here and I’ll set up your payment plan.

Notes: Prices are listed in GBP but Euro or USD currencies can be accepted at the exchange rate of the day. Please ask for more details. The tours start and end in Las Vegas. The fee includes; tuition, model fees, motels (8 nights), vehicle hire and fuel. The fee does not include; meals, drinks or flights/ transfers to and from Las Vegas.

Deposit for Deserts and Gold Dust 2024


9 in stock

Are you as excited as I am? Secure your spot for a photography road trip that promises to be as enlightening as it is exhilarating.

Our well-planned route starts and ends in Las Vegas travelling in an anticlockwise direction. All our motels and restaurant options have been thoroughly checked out.

Beyond the Lens, Into the Experience

  • Create lifelong memories
  • This isn’t just a photography tour; it’s a life experience.
  • Immerse yourself in a community of like-minded photographers. Share tips, stories, and perhaps even a lens or two.
  • The sublime beauty of the desert isn’t just for your camera’s sensor; it’s for your soul.
  • Don’t just take photos—have a blast doing it! Unchain your creativity as you experiment, play, and discover new ways to express your vision.
  • Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a passionate amateur, there’s always something new to learn. Our expert tutors are there to guide you in mastering new techniques and perhaps even a new way of seeing.

“Most of our previous Lovegrove road trip photographers are still connected and the friendships formed on their trip will last for many years. Some say that it was a catalyst for big change in their lives. There is something special about these road trip adventures that bonds us all. Now, you can be a part of this amazing experience. You will leave this adventure a more confident photographer with images to be proud of and memories to last a lifetime.”  Damien Lovegrove

Facebook reviews from the 2023 tour

Deserts and Gold Dust Tour 2023

I can honestly say from the first e-mail through to the last goodbyes, this was a sensational once-in-a-lifetime experience. The organisation and logistics were amazing and it exceeded my own expectations.

Leontine and Kate have great qualities and needed very little input from us photographers. I am extremely happy with my images enhanced by the great locations and models.

It was wonderful to meet like-minded photographers from different countries and I personally felt we just ‘clicked ‘ as a group.

I highly recommend this adventure to others as you will come away smiling and enriched.

Gary Powell

Deserts and Gold Dust Tour 2023

Trip truly surpassed my expectations. What a wild adventure. Took some of the best photos of my lifetime with the group. Learned a lot from Damien setting up the shots and talking about the light, etc. I love the pictures I got on this trip that now display in our studio on Samsung “the frame” tvs. Just stunning. Thanks Damien, and all the fine people I adventured with.

Brad Switzer

We journey from the parched deserts of Nevada to the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains on our photography adventure.

Google reviews from the 2023 tour

This was the best photography trip that I ever went on by a mile and a half. Worth every penny. From unique small western towns to getting stuck in the mud to traipsing through abandoned mines and singing in saloons, the whole thing was a whirlwind adventure. I’m delighted with the 300+ final images I took away from the trip and all the skills and experience gained too. What great fun and great learning! So glad I signed up, and so glad I had the opportunity to shoot with Damien Lovegrove.
I attended the 2023 Deserts and Gold Dust USA tour and it was, an amazing adventure.... Nine days with Damien Lovegrove, his assistant Martin, and two first-class models - so surreal and I had to pinch myself often. Damien's planning is impeccable and well thought out. When the inevitable hiccup happened (flat tires, getting stuck) they were handled with ease, comradery, and some laughs. Damien, Martin, and the models were a pleasure to travel with, approachable, kind, and carried a spirit of adventure! The group of attendees bonded quickly, and we really enjoyed each other's company, with many new friendships. We all made the most of every moment. This trip was so much more than photography, and... read more

The behind the scenes video was shot on the 2023 tour using a GoPro hero 8 camera and features our models Leontine and Kate. It was shot by myself and Martin Hill. The outro piece to camera is by my co tutor Martin Hill.

YouTube review from the 2023 tour

Fantastic! What an amazing group of people. Loved every minute of it. A wondrous adventure with the absolute best teachers! New friends, new techniques, new ideas! It was perfect.

Darlene Webb


The exact details and timings are subject to change but this is the plan as it stands. On these adventures, we can get distracted by beautiful atmospheric conditions and the hospitality of locals so the plan has to remain flexible.

Day 1

Meet at the car rental desk in Las Vegas at 08:30 am (Address TBC)
 A gold mine tour led by the owner and an extensive fashion/ lifestyle shoot.
 Visit a dry lake bed and shoot figures in the landscape with flash in sunlight.

Day 2 
Shoot figures in the landscape at Cathedral Gorge
 Several shoots at various gold mine ruins
 shoot and head into town for sundown shots at the railway sidings.

Day 3 
Shoot at some fabulous shacks and then an organised group shoot at a fabulous railway museum
. Shoot at a dramatic ore processing mill.

Day 4 
Shoot at an isolated desert trading post on America’s loneliest road
. Then an afternoon shoot in Virginia City.

Day 5
 Shoot in Genoa
Visit June Lake & Silver Lake
Shoot at Beaver Creek
. Shoot at White Tree Ranch.

Day 6 
Shoot at Mono Lake
. Shoot at Cinder Forest
. Shoot at Benton shacks
. Shoot at a silver mine
. Shoot at abandoned mine worker’s homes.

Day 7
 Shoot at Goldfield ghost town
. Old cars, abandoned houses and fabulous textures
. Visit the oldest saloon in Nevada.

Day 8 
Early morning shoot at the sand dunes
. Visit the Joshua Tree. 
Shoot at a mountaintop ghost town
. Shoot at an old railroad station. 
Shoot at the Alabama Hills movie locations.

Day 9 
Shoot landscapes at Zabriskie Point
Drive the 20 Mule Team Rd
. Arrive back in Las Vegas by 16:00h

Our route takes us anticlockwise from Las Vegas and after a small detour, it heads north to Ely. Travelling through classic basin and range topography we head west towards Lake Tahoe and Virginia City. Then south to Mono Lake where we shoot on day 6. After a detour back into Nevada we reach the Alabama Hills via Death Valley. We then have a fairly straightforward run back to Vegas on day nine.

Meet your guides

It’s not just about the destination; it’s also about who you journey with. Allow me to introduce ourselves—Damien Lovegrove and Martin Hill, the team dedicated to elevating your photographic adventure to extraordinary heights.

Since 2008 we have seamlessly blended our unique skills to offer workshops and adventures that are as enriching as they are enjoyable. We believe in an honest, straightforward approach to sharing what we know, and we’ve crafted an environment that’s both educational and inviting.

Damien Lovegrove: The Visionary
I am passionate and enthusiastic about photographing people and I love sharing my vision. You won’t be left struggling if you are lost in-camera menus and I won’t ignore you if you are quietly getting great photographs. What I’ll do is show you how to build rapport and communicate with our two models to make structured poses look relaxed and natural. I’ll also share how I see the light and the potential for a shot.

Martin Hill: The Sage
Martin is sensitive, observant, kind, and endlessly caring. He is efficient with time, never flustered and always prepared. Thanks to his background in the Royal Marines, you’ll be in safe and experienced hands, whether we find ourselves among the ruins of gold mines or in the heart of the desert. His photography skills are excellent too and he has a no-nonsense approach to setting up wonderful pictures for you to shoot. Martin is a master with flash and can make a shot ‘pop’ with light, creating ideal set-ups that will make your pictures truly memorable.

Martin and I enjoying an end-of-day drink on our first USA Adventure in 2016.

Join us on this incredible journey. Together, we’ll create portraits in breathtaking landscapes and explore the endless possibilities of your photographic talent.

Deposit for Deserts and Gold Dust 2024


9 in stock

The deposit is approximately $1000 and the final balance payment of $4975 is due on 29th Feb 2024, 76 days before the workshop. It will be payable by Bank Transfer to my New York bank in US$. Full payment instructions will be on the invoice issued in January.

The small print

A deposit payment of $1000 is required at the point of booking. You can pay via bank transfer. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the payment plan option. An initial deposit of $1000 is required at the point of booking, followed by 4 monthly payments of $1244 starting on the 30th November 2023 and finishing on the 29th February 2024.

Cancellation Policy

Should you cancel your place on this event for any reason, no refund will be available unless your place is resold. If you would like to cancel please contact us by phone or email as soon as possible. If your place is resold, we will, of course, make a full refund or credit to you. 

We also reserve the right to cancel any workshop if there is insufficient demand, especially if it means that our costs would be higher than our income. Please, therefore, do not leave it until the last few weeks if you are interested in a particular event, as you may find that it has been removed.

Some costs for each training event remain the same regardless of how many attendees there are, just like any pre-booked tickets for the theatre, concert, flights, etc. We are therefore unable to give a refund in the event of non-attendance, regardless of the circumstance.

Please note that we cannot be liable for any other costs incurred by yourself, so please check with us before booking any non-refundable accommodation or transport.

Please take a look at our full terms and conditions.

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