Amy Sprunger Photography

The Lighthouse Workshop

The Lighthouse Workshop

Two weeks ago this weekend I headed up to Michigan. The Mitten is our home away from home and deeply special to our family. I was part of a workshop created by Landscape Photographer Walter E. Elliott.

On November 1, 2018 Walter happened to post a photo on Instagram of South Haven, MI. It was on November 1, 2011, in South Haven, that my father in law took his last breath on this earth. It made me smile to see that post on the anniversary of his passing. It was a God wink, if you will.

A few weeks later Walter posted that he was hosting a Lighthouse Tour in January. It would include South Haven, Holland (which was the very first Michigan Lighthouse that I ever saw) and Grand Haven, MI. Grand Haven is where my family spent a week of vacation this summer and a location that my husband has been to many times over the years.

Quickly I was able to register for the event. With all of the days and weeks that we have spent in Michigan, I rarely have taken the opportunity to stand for hours at the Lighthouse and take intentional photos. My family supports my profession but when we’re on vacation, it’s not as fun for them to hang out with mom and her camera. 😉 Therefore I have very few photos of a place that is so important to our family.

This workshop was the perfect opportunity to get photos created with intention. Believe it or not, landscape photography and portrait photography are two different animals. I learned a lot about landscape photography and left with images that I will frame! In the weeks prior to the workshop I was envisioning the lighthouses to be covered in ice and snow. When the day came it was so (relatively) warm that there were times that we saw people in shorts (which I’ll be honest, that was pushing it a bit) and one guy was surfing. It was definitely unseasonable.

Michigan is near and dear to my heart and I am so happy that I could go up for a weekend and photograph a place with so many warm memories. A few years ago I blogged about our love for South Haven. You can read that by clicking here.

Thank you Walter for this opportunity! I learned a lot and appreciate the time that you devoted to your students!



Our first location was South Haven, MI. I can’t tell you how many times my family and I have walked this pier. The morning of the workshop it was quite foggy but soon the fog lifted and gave way to the brightest sunny day. Bright sun is not my favorite condition to shoot in but regardless, I love the photos that I got and I look forward to getting some on my walls.

Our next stop was Holland. The entire time I was anticipating my favorite images to be from South Haven. But Holland ended up being my favorite. “Big Red” as the lighthouse is known, is such a beautiful structure. And, something that I learned is that this lighthouse sits at a tilt.

Grand Haven, MI was our last stop during the workshop. It was a softly lit sunset that evening. The waves were crashing in and truly was so picturesque. It was the perfect end to a perfect day!


Awesome!  I really like the fisheye images…glad you brought it.  It was definitely a great (and memorable) day!  

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