Category Archives: the don’t give up project

adventure is in divide, colorado : the don’t give up project registration is now open!!!!! //UPDATE.SOLD OUT//

we are, once again, finding ourselves with the huge joy of inviting you, dear person, fellow photographer, artist, dreamer of dreams, to one of our most happy of all places – the Don’t Give up project —> a workshop and heart-quickening experience for photographers. The joy we feel is not simply that we get to live for a few days at 9000 feet with amazing views of Pike’s Peak. Nor is it simply that we get to feast on food made by an amazing chef. It isn’t even primarily about sipping hot coffee on the deck while listening to the wind whisper through the aspen trees. Or making friends with the llamas at the neighboring ranch. Or the colors of a colorado sunrise that you see each day. Or the crack of a wood fire.

It is more than that. Much more. It is in the chance to invite you, potential friend, to share in it all with us; to leave the daily grind, take a deep breath, gain inspiration, grow in your vision, and build a new community. It is being in a place with a house full of new friends – lifelong new friends. It is in the chance to know – and to be known. It is in the experience of sharing family meals with great food around one big table with like-minded photographers from around the world. And it is about the pursuit of making images that truly matter.

because it’s impossible to put words to an experience we ourselves and many of our now dear friends have called “life changing” we can only say this: it’s going to be wonderful, and you’ll just have to trust us on that one. and so with that, we invite you to come join the family…

the don’t give up project registration is now open!

+ date + march 25 – march 27
+ place + a massive lodge house in the mountains outside of divide, colorado
+ cost + $1500, includes shuttle transportation from Colorado springs airport to lodge, lodging, meals, the entire workshop experience
+ you + to keep an intimate family atmosphere, space is limited to only 15 people.
+ huh? + for questions, send us an email asap to
+ yes! + to make it official, email us at and subject line “DON’T GIVE UP”, letting us know if you want to pay in full or a 50% deposit to hold your spot (balance will be due one month before the workshop) and we will bill you on paypal. Once payment is received, your spot will officially be saved and we will let you know that you are “IN”!!

adventure is out there.

let’s go!

antonieta esis - 04/23/2013 - 3:31 pm

any plans for a next workshop this year? thanks.-

Maggie - 02/22/2013 - 8:04 pm

Oh no! Was there no mailing list presale info this time around? I didn’t receive anything! If a spot opens up, please let me know! Thanks!!

mario - 02/20/2013 - 5:25 pm

Any plans for a workshop in Canada?

rafidah - 02/12/2013 - 9:27 am

i would go…again. it was such a beautiful and life-changing experience… might have cried six times through it all. would definitely x100 recommend anyone who’s thinking abt this to go, just go. :) much love to ashley and jeremy! <3 <3

anthony hoang - 02/05/2013 - 11:00 pm

If you haven’t already secured a position, do it now! Believe me this is more than just a workshop, it was “life changing”. Jeremy and Ashley helped guide me to see so much more in world and my photography. I met so many new people including Jeremy and Ashley that I now call friends. Thank you guys. I can’t wait till I get a chance to do it all again in Colarado!

adventure is in the australian wetlands, where caroline and jayden were reminded : Don’t Give Up.

the first day after the new year, we woke up early, traipsed through the snow into the airport and in the persons of jeremy and ashley parsons, the Don’t Give up project traveled all the way to brisbane, australia. what can even be said to do this experience justice? I just know we cannot appropriately put into words what the experience was like. we can’t even share it all in photographs because much of the time, we were teaching or talking or jumping in swimming pools with our clothes on … so we took so few photos ourselves. There were, however, 17 wonderful souls who came and joined us for the experience, along with our 2 generous and gracious hosts, jacqui and jonas peterson. So hopefully in the coming weeks we can elaborate here with some wonderful posts and images that were made by those who joined us for a few days on the east coast of australia to come and be changed.

and it changed us, too.

we no longer had our colorado safety net of a big beautiful colorado lodge filled with bunk beds, our best friends, the greatest chef we know and the best food we’ve ever had. what we did have was a knowledge that, for whatever reason, we were being called to brisbane and it was time for the Don’t Give Up project to go global. We had dear friends in Jonas and Jacqui (our hosts) and Caroline and Jayden (our models) and we had the potential for 15 more new friends waiting for us on the other end of a 20 hour plane trip. So we packed our bags, packed several boxes of workshop materials and goodies, kissed our three boys goodbye, loaded up the famous red posters and flew away from the snowy plains of the united states and landed in sub-tropical australian summer.

and it took flying that far across the world to realize one of the fundamental truths we preach to ourselves: people are just people. whether kansas city, chihuahua city, sweden, or brisbane, people are just people. they are all just looking for a way to make sense of this experience we are all having called living, and they hope to pass what they learn on the way along to fellow and future travelers. So we passed on a small bit of what we are experiencing to them, and they shared their stories with us in return. And in the supernatural way that can only be described by being there, these strangers became friends. people we laughed with and cried with, whose spouses and kids we wish we could meet, and whose lives we believe in.

during our time there, we photographed caroline and jayden. they are a couple who became very dear to us after we met and photographed them at our last don’t give up project in Colorado, and we were so honored to have them step in front of our cameras again at this workshop. We are including some still photographs, but these were all made in conjunction with hundreds of other stills. we had several workshop attendees ask us about how we compile stop motion images to make a slideshow, as well as how we got our couples to be open and raw in front of the camera, so we thought we would show them instead of just telling them.

we love these photographs. and not just because they are really honest images about who these two wonderful people are. but because we love how open they were with us considering the 16 people were right behind us watching them the entire time.

so, here is the beginning of a story we hope to tell more of. a few images we made of caroline and jayden on the other side of the world at the first (of many, we hope) international Don’t Give Up project.

music is the song “babys” from the genius creative mind that is Justin Vernon / Bon Iver, on the Blood Bank album.
click here to purchase the track.

athena - 04/04/2013 - 1:16 pm

I’m not stalking you anymore. Because we’re friends now, and friends leave comments. And this – YOU GUYS! This!! – is amazing and wonderful and poetic and sad and open and REAL. It’s just soo….LIFE.

And life really is bloody fantastic! (And so are you.)


David - 01/23/2013 - 10:54 pm

Amazingly, wonderfully inspiring. You would think being behind the scenes to see the making of this would make it less magical, as if once you know the magician’s secrets, the magic is no more. But the opposite is true. What I found was not a parlour trick but an amazing ability to connect with people and get them to open their hearts.

Julia Wade - 01/22/2013 - 7:46 pm

SO inspiring.. thank you so much for sharing your work in such a beautiful and honest way. Count me in for Don’t Give Up. I’m in, I’m in, I’m in. :)

Stevie - 01/21/2013 - 9:22 pm

my head is going to explode!

Rosina - 01/19/2013 - 2:48 pm

so so happy for you guys that you have had this incredible opportunity for DGU to go global. the world has to see what you do, what you believe in, and experience your hearts. i am so happy for you, and can’t wait to hear more about this!! xx

Mats - 01/19/2013 - 2:27 pm

Awesome series, really like your work. Very nice!

Melissa Jean - 01/18/2013 - 12:14 pm

You guys are so inspiring =)

rich - 01/17/2013 - 12:56 pm

rock on parsons -this is beautiful!!

Annie - 01/17/2013 - 6:53 am

I miss you guys! xxx

Kath Scott - 01/17/2013 - 6:22 am

I will never forget the day you guys shot this. Being near you and hearing your words and listening to what is in your heart has changed my life forever and I cannot thank you enough. You are helping make the world right and that is awesome to think about. love Kath

Manel Tamayo - 01/17/2013 - 3:31 am

I love your work guys !!!

caz + jaydes - 01/16/2013 - 10:18 pm

we love you guys *SO* much. you’ve given us such a gift.. in your friendship, your honesty, and your storytelling. the pieces of us that you captured already move us to tears, + we can only imagine that the value will grow as we age, make babies, + eventually pass away. [a wise woman once made us realize, what you’ve made of us will outlive us.] thank you, friends. thank you for laughing with us + crying with us + doing life with us. we love you.

Hannah Nicole - 01/16/2013 - 9:58 pm

incredibly moving, incredibly powerful, incredibly beautiful, incredibly honest. started crying in the video. you guys are doing good things. hope to someday be at one of the don’t give up projects…wherever it may be. :)