as WayFinding


Susan Dimock MSW

Oregon Coast


Bandon and Yachats

October 16th~22nd Full

September 27th~October 3rd   Full

Discover how combining your emotion with new photographic techniques

can uncover the thread of soulful storytelling that underlies what has called your attention.

During this 7-night, photography workshop we will photograph iconic sea stacks as well as smaller, otherworldly landscape scenes that this exciting coastal terrain has to offer. Each participant will be encouraged to step out of their comfort zone in order to take their creativity to a new and exciting level. In the spirit of soulful storytelling, we will combine left and right brain approaches by both developing story ideas and learning new techniques that allow us to better manifest our vision.

Participants can expect:

  • a unique workshop offering that allows for digging deep to draw stories from the environment that are full and personally meaningful.
  • a varied approach that focuses both on new techniques, as well as awareness of left and right brain approaches to photography.
  • a range of stunning settings for photograhy in and near Bandon and Yachats, reflective of years of intimate experience with off the path locations.
  • finally, to take home a collection of images that tell their own tale of coastal beauty and personal revelation.

To facilitate this, in addition to your work with me, I have two dynamic guest presenters, each with a unique perspective on creative work.  Together, we aim to inspirit your imagination and to set the stage for a week of digging deep within yourselves and within this stunning coastal  environment to develop your own unique stories


Artist Statement

Soulful”, within the realm of storytelling, is a term I use to describe the creation of stories that stir something on an emotional level, both within the artist and the viewer. I often look to synonyms to fully understand words and some of my favorite for soulful include, lyrical, intense, misty-eyed, and rapturous. These descriptors, for me, allude to a sense of the poetic. They make me feel that something sacred or magical is afoot and thus have great appeal within the context of the creative.

Emotional impact is a potent ingredient present in creative work that captures the attention of an audience. When photographers hold passionate feelings about their subject, allowing that emotion to flow through their images and percolate to the surface, the power can be felt by photographer and viewer alike.

It is human nature to desire a knowing of where we are and where we are headed both inwardly and outwardly. Allowing ourselves to take visual and emotional cues from our environment, through photography, can enrich our knowledge and deepen our self-awareness. This process informs our visual storytelling. Moreover, our stories then serve as well-illuminated “wayfinding” bread crumbs.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you

really love. It will not lead you astray.

~ Rumi


Both of these seven night workshops will take place in Bandon and Yachats, with the first four nights in Bandon and the last three in Yachats, which is up the coast about two hours.  Participants should plan on arriving early to Bandon in order to attend the special meet and greet that will begin at 4:00 P.M.

We will do two full shoots a day, one at sunrise and one at sunset.  On several days we will gather together to eat, learn and process during mid-day.

We will offer diverse and interesting locations and subjects to shoot. For some locales the focus will be on the icons, while other areas will offer options that lend themselves to smaller scenes or abstraction.

Special Features:

1) Wine and cheese meet and greet: featuring local wines and the famous Bandon Creamery cheeses.

2)  Opening presentation with lunch: “ Visual Storytelling Development”,  I will present a powerpoint to kickstart us into approaching the week with combined left and right brain work. We will discuss both technique and idea development for our stories.

3)   Special Guest Presentation Lunch and Learn: As mentioned above, an overarching focus of this workshop will be on photographic storytelling which includes digging deep for inspiration. Thus, in the spirit of sparking inspiration, I have arranged for a very special guest, Donna Belt, to present during one of our two lunch and learn sessions. I’m very excited about Donna’s writing workshop. It will lend inspiration and depth to our visual storytelling experience.

* As a special treat, Steve Dimock will be preparing gourmet food for our two lunch and learns. It’s a well kept secret that Steve’s first degree and early jobs were in the culinary realm. He is a fantastic cook!

4) Processing: Mid-week processing and image sharing sessions, as needed and as time permits.

5) Beach horseback rider shoot

On one of our days in Bandon I have arranged for a local horseback rider to come and perform for us. Our local stable riders are chock full of talent and enthusiasm. They know how to stage and ride to ensure that we get our shots!

6) Guest Photograher:  Last, but definitely, not least! Popular and talented, Steven Michael will join us and give both inspiration and instruction during two unique evening shoots. He will share with us how he makes those high drama images of his! I have no doubt that you will enjoy Steven’s easygoing and friendly approach as much as I do!

What you will need to bring to this workshop: 

  • Camera of your choice
  • Backup batteries and memory cards
  • Tripod
  • ND (neutral density filters) of your choice and a polarizer.
  • Lenses of various lengths are good to have. A wide angle and mid range lens, longer lens such as a 100-400 or equivalent and even a macro such as a 100mm. All  are great to have but none are required. In other words, bring what you have or what you enjoy using for landscapes large and small.
  • Lots of lens cleaners.

Be prepared to dress in layers. Even though it is early fall, the evenings and mornings can be very chilly on the ocean front, while afternoons can then warm up significantly:

  • Definitely bring a warm jacket and a  windbreaker or fleece of some sort in case of wind.
  • A light rain jacket is typically useful from time to time.
  • Waterproof pants are great to pull up over your other pants and to put over your boots. Alternatively, for those more adventurous, just a few pair of pants that keep you warm and that you don’t mind getting a bit wet in.
  • Water shoes, water boots or any shoes that you don’t mind getting wet are great.
  • Hats and gloves.

An open and willing attitude plus a sense of humor and adventure are always the best things to bring along! These alone, will take you further toward your goals than anything else!

Skill Level and physicality:   For this Oregon Coast photography workshop all photography skill levels are most welcome to participate. It is, however, important that you know how to operate your camera  well.

The physical skill level overall is easy to moderate. There are large sets of stairs down to our local Bandon beaches and a couple of excursions may require a 20 minute or so hike down hill which means up hill on the return. Most folks around my age (67) and older are quite able to do these. I’d say very easy for younger folks. We will all be sensitive to one another’s limitations and be ready with a helping hand.

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing.

~ Alan Alda

Presenter Donna Belt

Donna is an ordained interfaith minister whose art based chaplaincy has spanned studio work with cancer and hospice patients to leading community-building public art installations in her hometown of Raleigh, N.C. “Whether it’s bringing volunteers together to paint a mural on a condemned building or zentangling stones by a bedside, art has the power to transform loss and change.”

Proprioceptive Writing Workshop

Donna Belt

Just as photography provides a record of what we have noticed, and at the same time seeds inspiration for deepening our seeing, Proprioceptive Writing provides a meditative path to inner hearing in which we are both creator and observer.

Guest Steven Michael Photography


What Participants

Are Saying About My Workshops

Susan’s workshop was a game-changer for me. Over the course of several days I journeyed from technical photography into creative photography. Susan’s kindness, positivity, and support created an environment of curiosity, creativity, and excitement to explore new techniques, and to see photographic subjects with new eyes. I ended up with some of my best landscape images ever, and also some of my most meaningful small scenes. The addition of talks from artists (not photographers) was a unique and helpful way to start thinking outside of the box. The small workshop size helped everyone to get to know each other, relax, and feel freedom. The schedule was not rushed, with plenty of rest time. Susan was open to letting us return to a location more than once. To go deep into the ever-changing shoreline. I came away from Susan’s workshop energized and supported to explore new avenues in my photography journey. What a gift this was, and still is. ~Mark

Do you want a creative and soulful workshop? A workshop where you are encouraged to look inward and connect with your surroundings? A workshop that focuses on the big picture and the small details? A workshop where the participants are given time, attention, and every opportunity to succeed. If so, you could not have a better leader than Susan Dimock. Susan knows the the area and she really cares about the quality of your experience. That’s why I will be attending again in 2023. ~ Charlotte

I have been to good photo workshops (and a couple bad ones) with many different photographers, but Susan’s workshop definitely ranks right up there as one of the best.

In addition to being an awesome photographer, Susan is easy-going and friendly, genuinely thoughtful, and caring.  She is always available to answer questions and will offer photo tips without being “pushy” or demanding.
Susan knows the area well and made sure that we had a variety of photo opportunities—beach sunrises and sunsets, Charleston marina, lighthouses, plenty of waves and rocks for abstracts, and even some night photography.
And when the weather didn’t cooperate, she was flexible — taking us to alternate photo spots, or giving us time for post-processing or working on our photo “stories.”
With the included “lunch and learn” sessions, we were treated to exceptional cuisine prepared by Susan’s husband, Steve.  Learning and enjoying fine dining at the same time—what could be better than that?
I feel that we had the right mix of support and freedom when on photo shoots, combined with a good mix of instruction and relaxation.  Don’t miss an opportunity to attend a workshop with Susan. ~Nancy

I was privileged to attend Susan’s inaugural workshop in 2021 and plan to attend again. There’s so much to learn from Susan and her talented guest artists. The knowledge she has accumulated from her years of living on the Oregon Coast clearly shines through in her planning, teaching, and leadership. Susan’s photographic style is continually evolving, giving her a breadth of experience and wisdom to offer workshop attendees. Hers was one of the best workshops I’ve attended. ~ Chris

It was an exceptional and wonderfully unique workshop!!  I will try to sum it up in a few sentences.

Susan Dimock’s “Our Photography, Ourselves” is an exceptional and creative workshop.  It is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself to photograph in a different sort of way, considering your internal self and your reactions to the external environment.  You can be wild and extravagant with your photography, or serene and contemplative.  There are no expectations and no limitations.  You are encouraged to experiment with motion, colors, and compositions, and share your results.  My joy was being among like-minded people and sharing the images I took.  Previously those images would never have seen the light of day.  That door has now been opened and I feel lighter and more willing to experiment.  Thank you for this special workshop, Susan! ~Nancy

Talented and generous, Susan Dimock is a delight. She’s fun to shoot with, and is an enthusiastic workshop leader. Skilled at producing excellent photographs, Susan goes a step further and explores the stories and emotions contained in even the tiniest details. She shares what she loves and encourages others to dive into the beauty around them. If you get a chance to work with Susan, you’ll look at things a bit differently forever. ~Joanne

I am here to praise our wonderful workshop, though I think of it as a ‘playshop’ for all the good times we shared! The amazing variety of activities from shooting the lighthouse and the sea stacks at night, to the misty pink dawns/dusks (and that stunning pyrotechnic sunset!), and to the abstract heaven at the harbor, were all inspiring. But, what set your workshop apart were the thoughtful sessions exploring creativity in our lives and in our art. This balance between learning new photography techniques and new ways of  bringing emotion into our work was unique and priceless. Thank you for a delightful and valuable experience! ~Mary

Cost and Terms

The cost for our 7 night Oregon Coast photography workshop is 1,799 U.S. dollars.

This includes: Daily, attentive instruction in both the creative and the technical realm as well as expert area guidance, a professional  guest speaker, a horseback rider shoot and a professional guest photographer. Additionally, there will be a complimentary opening wine and cheese meet and greet event the first evening. As mentioned above, we are also including two complimentary gourmet lunches prepared by Steve Dimock. Does not include:  Ground and flight transportation, food and beverage, (except the goodies stated above), lodging. see lodging package below for the Bandon portion..

To reserve your space in this workshop a 400 dollar non-refundable deposit is required. Payment in full is due 90 days prior to the event.

To make your payment please call our motel, Lakris Inn and make your payment directly with Bobbi, our motel manager, by using your personal credit card (see phone number below).

Lodging package bonus:  As pointed out above, my husband and I own a small motel in Bandon. In order to make your stay an affordable one, we have blocked out several rooms for this workshop at quite a discount. At last year’s workshop all of the participants stayed at our motel and it definitely added to the cohesiveness of the group, which was an added bonus! This optional and limited offering is as follows: We have five one queen rooms and two, two queen rooms available for this event. We are offering them at a discount of a bit more 20% off of the normal seasonal rate. For this special workshop rate please make your reservation directly through our front office as opposed to Expedia or etc.

Lodging with us is definitely not required and please feel free to stay wherever you are most comfortable.  We would be happy to provide you with a list of several other great options that Bandon has to offer. And obviously, if you are local, nothing compares to sleeping in your own bed. Unless, of course, you are searching for an active stay-cation event.

Lakris Inn  541-347-3610   In order to provide a more personalized experience with individual attention, this workshop is limited to six participants.   Four participants are required to make it a go. 

Yachats lodging: At sign up Susan will be making recommendations for lodging. 


The Oregon Coast is a magnificent and magical region. I am so thrilled to be offering this personalized workshop so that I can share the magic and help you capture the images that you dream of!

Cancellation Policy

  • If you need to cancel your reservation, a full refund, ( minus the non-refundable deposit) or credit to a future workshop will be granted provided the cancellation is 90 days prior to the event.
  • A cancellation within the 90 day time frame prior to the workshop will result in a full forfeit of your registration fee. If we are able to fill the vacancy you will certainly be granted a credit for a future workshop. And, we will try to fill the vacancy.
  • It is very difficult to fill spots close to the event time which is why we strongly recomment that you purchase travel insurance to protect your investment, especially if you plan on flying.
  •  Lastly, if an emergency occurs in the workshop provider’s life or in the world in general, such as a natural disaster, participants shall recieve a full workshop refund, including the deposit. Your personal travel expenses, such as airline tickets, however are your responsibilty. Therefore, again, please consider travel insurance.

Thank you for your understanding.

And finally as Henri Cartier-Bresson once said,

It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera…

they are made with the eye, heart, and head.”

-Henri Cartier-Bresson

Come join us!

“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.”

 – Peter Adams 

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