Upcoming Photo Workshops

I am a pioneer in the field of photo workshops and tours, offering programs since 1979. Each is carefully crafted and well planned. By limiting the number of participants per program (primarily 3-8), I am able to offer personalized instruction.

Workshops are short and last from 1 to 3 days, often offered over a weekend. Photo sessions in the field are followed by image editing and critiques. My preparation for each workshop includes scouting out the photo opportunities at each location.

Photo Tours on the other hand, last from one to three weeks. They are custom designed and cover multiple locations. Sites are chosen for their natural beauty and relatively accessible wildlife. These can include wildlife refuges, eco-friendly ranches, private wildlife sanctuaries, and state and national parks. As per weekend programs, each location is carefully scouted. For international programs, an English speaking local guide accompanies the group. Past tours have included South Florida, South Dakota, NWT, Bryce/Zion/Arces Yellowstone NP, Glacier NP, Iceland, Argentina, Chile, Newfoundland, and the Falkland Islands.

Nature photography is the focus of the majority of programs with attention paid to composition, lighting, exposure, perspective, creativity, and attracting, locating, and photographing wildlife.

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Chincoteague NWR and Assateague Island, Fall 2022

Nov 11 @ 7:00 pm - Nov 13 @ 2:00 pm


Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)

 Fall 2022 (2 sessions)

November 11-13 & 18-20 2022

Yellow Rumped Warbler feeding on berries.

Chincoteague NWR is located on the southern Virginia end of the barrier island of Assateague.  The refuge attracts large numbers of waterfowl, herons, ibis, ospreys, shorebirds, warblers, and other migrants. It is also the home to wild horses, deer, raccoon, fox squirrels, and other animals.  Used to being protected, the wildlife is unusually tolerant of humans and presents visitors with great photo opportunities. The ocean, dunes, shells, workboats, harbor, and spectacular sunrises and sunsets offer workshop participants a variety of subjects with which to work. The program includes tips on locating and approaching wildlife, capturing in-flight shots of birds, equipment selection, composition, lighting, and exposure.   We will explore both the refuge, seashore, and the community of Chincoteague.

Special feature – Saturday afternoon pontoon boat trip along Chincoteague’s shoreline with the hope of photographing wild horses, wading birds, porpoise and other wildlife.  (weather dependent)

Red Fox with expression fits the characterization that it is a “sly fox”.

Because of the small class size (8), this Chincoteague Photo Workshop is the perfect blend of one-on-one assistance in the field, instructional PowerPoint presentations, and image critiques. 

Hooded Merganser female just emerging from under water.


7:00 PM-8:30 PM (orientation)


Sunrise to 9:30 AM (photography @ Chincoteague, Assateague Island, and surroundings)
9:30 AM – 11:30 PM (image editing and lunch break)
11:30 – 1:00 PM (discussion/critique of workshop images)

1:00 PM til Sunset (Boat Trip & photography in the field)

Royal Tern Chick begging for food.


Sunrise to 10:00 AM (photography @ Chincoteague, Assateague Island, and surroundings)
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (image editing and lunch break)
12:00 – 2:00 PM (discussion/critique of workshop images)

Orientation, meetings, & critiques will be held at the Best Western Plus Motel, Chincoteague Island, VA.)

Sunset at Chincoteague over marsh.


This Chincoteague Photo Workshop is designed for those with a basic knowledge of the operation of a 35 mm SLR digital or mirrorless camera with an interest in nature.  Workshop emphasis is on improving photographic skills and optimize the use of your camera. Class includes an orientation PowerPoint program followed by photography sessions on Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Assateague Island, and in the town of Chincoteague.  Included is a critique/review of images from the weekend.  Topics covered: 1) equipment selection and operation, 2) composition, creativity and perspective, 3) metering and exposure, 4) lighting, 5) basic image manipulation and 6) locating, approaching and photographing wildlife.

Immature Coopers Hawk taking off from tree branch.

Based on my findings from scouting the area prior to the workshop, the following will be discussed at the orientation meeting on Friday evening: departure time, current field conditions, potential subjects, equipment needed, safety, field ethics, and other logistical details. Prior to dawn on Saturday, we will depart for the wildlife refuge to photograph sunrise and take advantage of the soft, warm early morning light. Because wildlife is protected on the refuge, animals are abundant and unusually tolerant of humans to the pleasure of most photographers. Situated on the Atlantic Flyway, Chincoteague is a resting and refueling spot for migrating birds.  Potential photo subjects include sand dunes, shells, ocean wave, fishing boats, fisherman, the lighthouse, local architecture, and wildlife including sika elk and whitetail deer, fox, otters, raccoons, ponies, herons, rails, swans, geese, ducks, shorebirds, hawks, and other resident and migratory species.

Wild Pony on Chincoteague surrounded by fall color.

The orientation and discussion sessions for the Chincoteague Photo Workshop, November 2022, will be held at the Best Western Motel in Chincoteague on Maddox Blvd just outside of the wildlife refuge.  For the weekend, a small block of rooms is reserved at the Best Western for workshop participants at a reduced price. Contact the hotel for availability at (800) 553-6117 or (757) 336-6557.  Mention you are part of the photo workshop led by Irene Hinke-Sacilotto.  Also, rooms should be available at other nearby hotels in the town of Chincoteague. For a listing of accommodations other than the Best Western, go to www.chincoteaguechamber.com

Sanderling in front of advancing wave.
Sanderling feeding in surf.

Cost/Person: $675

Deposit: 50% of cost.  Final payment due 30 days before start of photo workshop.

To register, go to my website:  www.ospreyphoto.com. Click on the home page “Register Now”. Complete the form and send it with your check, Mail to Irene Sacilotto, 542 C Riviera Dr, Joppa, MD 21085

NOTE: Students are responsible for their own accommodations, food, transportation, and park/refuge fees. Where possible and COVID risk is minimized, we will carpool to locations. The number of participants is limited to 8.  

An aggressive Tundra Swan chasing others.

Cancellation Policy

Notifications of cancellation must be in writing.

The following charges apply per person at the time I receive your written notification of cancellation:

  • Cancel up to 121 days prior to departure date – full refund.
  • 120 to 61 days prior to departure, $125 administrative fee charged. ($35 admin fee for weekend workshops.)
  • 60 to 46 days prior to departure, 50% of workshop or tour cost.
  • 45 days or less prior to departure – NO REFUND

Medical circumstances or emergencies do not constitute grounds for exception to the cancellation policy. Therefore, trip cancellation & interruption insurance is HIGHLY recommended. Travelers Insurance Company and others provide such policies at a reasonable rate. In the unlikely event that the trip is canceled due to insufficient enrollment, your money will be refunded in full, with the exception of expenses you personally incurred while preparing for the trip.

White Ibis landing in marsh at sunrise.


Nov 11 @ 7:00 pm
Nov 13 @ 2:00 pm
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Osprey Photo Workshops & Tours


Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, VA
8231 Beach Road P.O. Box 62 23336-0062
Chincoteague, VA, VA 23336-0062 United States
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(757) 336-6122