Catskill Game Farm Photo Workshop

The Site: Certainly one of the more unique locations I've photographed, this historic spot was once the largest privately owned zoo in the United States. It opened in 1933 and closed in 2006. At the time of its closure it held over 2,000 different animals and was situated on about 200 acres. Dozens of pens, kiosks, and other small to mid sized structures dot an extraordinarily picturesque property that would easily take more than a day to fully explore. The zoo has since been bought by a couple who hopes to keep the zoo intact while using it for camping and live performance events. We will have free reign during the time we are there to discover the myriad of photo opportunities onsite. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the owners' efforts to maintain and restore the property. You can read more about Cathy and Ben's efforts to breathe new life into the property here. 


What to Expect: The property is huge and mostly filled with midsized and smaller structures. This is best suited for people who enjoy the outdoors and nature photography, and hiking about the grounds to discover fun details of the place. I will lead an optional tour of the former zoo, and am happy to spend as much or as little time working with you on your photography as you need. As the grounds are very large and cell phone reception is spotty, please anticipate that you may wish to either have a friend sign up also or stay with Matthew unless you are comfortable with exploring on your own. There are no known significant safety or environmental hazards except ticks during the summer months. You may wish to bring a snack and will definitely want bottled water.

This location and its history are featured in my book, Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream. You can also check it out on the Abandoned America website.


If you have questions or are thinking about signing up, please read the Workshop FAQ Page! Send me a note at if you need to know anything else about how workshops run. 


Please note if you can't select a date to the right of the image (and the option below it says "Out of Stock"), the workshop is sold out. Sign up for my mailing list and join the Facebook workshops group for alerts on future dates!

  • Time:  10:30 AM - 4:00 PM

    Address: 400 Game Farm Rd., Catskill NY 12414

    Parking: Available in lot across the street


© 2016 by Matthew Christopher.

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