Hi photography friends!  Ready for an epic photography learning experience?  I'm excited to share a little piece of heaven with you known as Long Beach, Washington.  26 miles of silver sand, an adorable coastal downtown, an authentic wooden boardwalk and lush hiking trails makes this gem of a location the perfect spot for our 2019 Pet Photography Retreat.   

The retreat includes 3 full days of learning, a personal chef to prepare all meals, lodging in a beautiful beach house, transportation to and from the airport, and a private mentoring session with Arica. 

Check out the information below to see the retreat schedule, what you'll learn, tuition cost, application information and more.  This retreat is limited to 6 photographers.  Scroll down to apply.  Email me at arica@aricadorff.com if you have any additional questions!

Your instructor Arica Dorff


Thursday August 1st   Arrive at beach house in the evening

Friday August 2nd - Sunday August 4th  Three full days of learning

Monday August 5th  Depart beach house in the morning




Steven is Arica's brother-in-law and our amazing Chef for this retreat.  All meals will be plant-based yumminess!  After 3 days of Steven's cooking, you're going to want to take him home as your personal chef!

Arica has been a pet photographer for 13 yrs with experience and success owning both a luxury retail storefront and a traveling mobile business.  Arica holds her Photographic Craftsmans Degree (Cr.Photog) and is part of the speaker line up for PPA's 2020 National Convention ImagingUSA.


Rigel is Arica's brother and the assistant for this retreat.  Have a question about the schedule, sleeping arrangements, the menu?  Rigel will have the answer for you.  You'll likely find him in the kitchen helping Steven prepare meals.


Taste Tester and Professional Cuddler.  Arica's Bloodhound, Gracie, will be joining us at the retreat so we can test out our ear perking noises and posing tips.  Gracie will also be our tour guide on beach and forest walks.   


Tuition $1,275

Tuition for this event is 

Tuition $1,275

Tuition for this event is $1,275 per person and includes 3 full days of shooting, editing, discussing and learning about the art and business of pet photography with Arica Dorff.

Tuition $1,275


TUITION $1,275

Tuition for this event is $1,275 per person and includes 3 full days of shooting, editing, discussing and learning about the art and business of pet photography with Arica Dorff.  Tuition also includes a USB jump drive with Arica's custom client email messages, design templates, Canvas Collections, Product Menu and more. 


Lodging, Food & Transportation for this event is $1,125 per person and includes transportation to and from the beach house, transportation during the retreat, all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert) from Thursday evening to Monday morning, and your own bed in the beach house (unless you choose to share the master suite).



Can I bring my spouse? 

The beach house has a strict limit on occupancy so we are not able to accommodate additional guests.  With that said, this retreat is the perfect time for you to give your undivided attention to yourself and your photography business.

Do I have to be a pet photographer to attend?

Photographers from all specialties are welcome.  Whether you specialize in pet photography or want to incorporate pets into your current business, you'll learn tips & tricks (and dos & donts) for working with animals and guiding owners.  Everything you learn about workflow, marketing, pricing, etc can be applied to any photography niche with a boutique business model.  

What airport do I fly into? 

Portland International Airport in Oregon (PDX).  If you are driving instead of flying, you can meet us at PDX at 4pm on Thursday August 1st OR you can drive directly to the beach house in Long Beach, WA and meet us at 7pm.    

Do I need to rent a car?

No.  Transportation is provided from Portland International Airport (PDX).  I will have 2 large vehicles picking students up at PDX at 4pm on Thursday August 1st.  Fly in shortly before 4pm or fly in early and spend some time in Portland.  I can share student contact info if early students want to meet up before the 4pm pickup time.

What time will we return to PDX on Monday August 5th?

At the end of the retreat on Monday August 5th, you will be dropped off at PDX at 11am.  Take a flight back home in the early afternoon or spend some time in Portland and fly out in the late afternoon or evening.   

What should my skill level be?

You should be able to operate your camera on manual mode and be comfortable with adjusting your shutter speed, aperture and ISO.  If you want to follow along with the Photoshop retouching, you should be familiar with editing tools such as cloning and layer masks.  

Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?  

Absolutely!  All meals will be plant-based and prepared by fabulous Chef Steven.  Check out the sample menu below!  If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, let us know ahead of time and we'll be sure to accommodate your needs.  


  • Camera - with memory card and charged battery.
  • Short Lens & Long Lens - I shoot with a 24-70mm & 70-200mm but any lenses with the ability to shoot in the 50mm range (for posed portraits) and 100mm range (for outdoor candid portraits) will work great. 
  • Laptop optional - if you want to actively do retouching and editing as I teach it.
  • Extension Cord & Power Strip optional - if you plan to use your laptop throughout the retreat.
  • Photoshop - if you're bringing your laptop to follow along with retouching and editing, I do all of my retouching in Photoshop CC.  The main tools I use are Clone, Patch, Marquee, Spot Healing Brush and Layer Masks.  An older version of Photoshop is fine as long as you have these tools and options.  
  • ProSelect - if you want to follow along with how I present Ordering Sessions, any version of ProSelect is fine.  You can download a free 30 day trial at www.timeexposure.com.  I suggest waiting to download your 30 day free trial until right before the retreat.  
  • Images for critique - if you want to discuss your images during your 30 minute one-on-one mentoring session.

Queen bunk with window  

There are two rooms in the beach house with log cabin style queen bunks.  This one is the smaller of the two with a window and no patio access from the room.  Reserve the top bunk and save $250 off of your registration price (for a total investment of $2,150).

Master Suite  

Perfect for a photography couple or two friends.  Large bedroom with high beam skylight ceiling, one shared queen size bed, double sink bathroom, walk-in pebble stone shower and access to a large balcony with an outdoor jetted tub overlooking the grassy dunes.  The master suite can be reserved by two occupants for an additional $250 each (for a total investment of $2,650).  OR upgrade to having this as your own private room for an additional $500 (for a total investment of $2,900).  We ask that the master suite full bathroom is available to other house guests when you are not occupying your room.


We are currently accepting applications for our Long Beach, WA Pet Photography Retreat taking place August 2-4, 2019.  Submit your application by visiting the link below.  There is a $125 application fee which will be applied to your tuition if you are selected OR refunded if we are unable to offer you a spot.  Payment plans are available if you would like to split your total into multiple charges.   

Queen bunk with patio access  

This beautiful log wood design used to make the bunk beds is a common architectural theme throughout the beach house.  There are two rooms in the beach house with queen bunks.  This one is the larger of the two and has a sliding glass door with access to the ground floor patio.  Reserve the top bunk and save $250 off of your registration price (for a total investment of $2,150).


I selected this beach house (in addition to the amazing location, layout and architecture) so each student has the option to have their own bed (unless a couple or 2 friends want to share the master suite).  All bathrooms are beautifully upgraded with heated tile floors and are shared with a total of 3 full baths (plus a cool enclosed outdoor shower!).  

Sample Menu

Payment plans available if you would like to split your total into multiple charges.

Sunshine, Learning & Sandy Paws


  • We'll be shooting a variety of natural light outdoor portrait sessions with families, pets and owners
  • Finding pockets of magic light to shoot in
  • Mini studio lighting lesson with portable strobe lights for in-home portrait sessions 
  • The psychology of working with pets and their owners
  • Attention getting tricks to get perky ears for the camera
  • Sunset silhouette portraits
  • How to nail action shots
  • Photoshop retouching, head-swaps and leash removal techniques 
  • Pricing, managing your money and running a profitable business 
  • Pet Photography Road Trips and how I sell large wall portraits doing Ordering Sessions remotely via screen sharing
  • Relationship marketing that creates lifelong clients and cheerleaders for your business
  • Giving your clients a high-end experience as a brick and mortar, home studio or mobile business
  • Base your business model on the lifestyle you want to live!  Let's talk about your goals and your purpose. 
  • Overcoming fear (fear of booking paying clients, charging high-end prices, posing families, doing sales sessions)
  • See my full process from shooting to culling to editing to prepping images for print
  • 30 minute one-on-one mentoring session with Arica