Yosemite National Park Landscape Photography Workshops

Yosemite Photo Workshops

About Your Workshop Leader

Phil Hawkins

Yosemite Photo Workshops has been in continuous operation for 17 years, being one of the first operations to do so that was not employed by the park or concessionaire. This is how I make my living; it’s not a hobby or a sideline. I don’t hire “leaders” to guide my students.  Every workshop is conducted by me.  Over the years I’ve taught some 700+ students, some of which have gone on to establish thriving photographic businesses.

I am proud to be a contracted Adobe Beta Tester, providing Adobe with pre-release testing of Photoshop as new features are developed and prepared for general release.

I am also a contracted beta tester for DxO Photolab as DxO tests new features and upgrades prior to general release.

Very few photo workshop operators have the experience in Yosemite that I have.  For 38 years I’ve been coming to Yosemite National Park to shoot, day-hike, backpack, hang out and fish in all seasons. 

Other workshop companies have come and gone, but I have stayed the course by offering concrete photographic field and processing techniques that students can put to use immediately to improve the quality of their efforts, and by guiding people to various shooting locations that are not in the guidebooks but known only to the local photo community.

In 2014 and 2019, Yosemite Photo Workshops was named one of the “50 Awesome Workshops Around the World” by PhotoShelter.

Have a look at my portfolio.



Born in 1953 in Burlington, NC, I cannot remember a time when I did not have a camera in my hand.  My first camera was a 1955 Kodak Retina Reflex SLR, one of the first SLRs at that time, and three lenses.

My first gallery showing was at the age of 15 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. That same year I produced a documentary photo series on black poverty for Congresswoman Francis Dawson, in Burlington, NC.

At age 16 I covered racial unrest in Chapel Hill for The Chapel Hill Weekly newspaper. This coverage resulted in threats on my life, so I was enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy, in Chatham Virginia. There, I got into radio and spent 12 years as a rock ‘n roll DJ and 3 years as an NCAA women’s basketball color analyst, and 13 years as a high school basketball referee.

In 1981 I moved to California and stayed 37 years.  I now live near Austin, Texas. 

2006, Best of show, Big Fresno Fair Photo Competition
438 entries

2017, Official Nominee, 11th Black and White Spider Awards – Nature
2017, Official Nominee, 11th Black and White Spider Awards – Nature
2017, Official Nominee, 11th Black and White Spider Awards –  Architectural  
2013, Official Nominee, 7th Black and White Spider Awards – Portrait

National Geographic magazine
National Geographic Books
National Geographic Stock
Outdoor Photographer magazine
The National Park Service, Yosemite National Park 
Ken Burns; The Florentine Films National Parks Project 
“The National Parks; America’s Best Idea”
Capture One software via Lynda.com 
(software training) 
Adobe Systems, Inc. via video2brain.com
(software training) 
Virtual Training Corporation
(software training) 
Bloomberg News
Zuma Press
Sports Illustrated
Digital Photo Pro
SI Kids
ESPN The Magazine
The Sporting News
Commercial Clients:
Bright Path Lighting, Fresno, CA 
Fresno County Chamber of Commerce, Fresno, CA
John Hancock Insurance, Fresno, CA
Henna Chevrolet, Austin, TX
Horace Mann Educators Corporation, Antioch, CA
Yosemite’s Four Seasons Vacation Rentals, Yosemite National Park, CA 
The Redwoods in Yosemite
California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), 
Fresno County Office of Education
California Basketball Officials Association