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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Tangier Island Photo Workshop – Spring 2023

May 5, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - May 7, 2023 @ 6:00 pm



Tangier Island, VA

Photo Workshop

Chesapeake Bay Waterman Community and Wildlife

with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

5-7 & 12-14 May 2023

6 participant limit/workshop

This Tangier Island Photo Workshop (May 2023) features photography of a unique waterman community and local wildlife.  Just south of the Maryland line, in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, lays Tangier Island, VA. Covering approximately 1.2 square miles, Tangier Island is actually a series of 3 ridges connected by narrow wooden bridges spanning marshes and tidal creeks. Tangier is a charming community of waterman and shop owners. Many inhabitants make their living, as did their ancestors for more than 400 years, by crabbing, fishing, and oystering. Each day we will rise before dawn, hoping to capture sunrise images and photos of the waterman as they man their skiffs and works boats, heading out to their offshore crab shanties to gather up their crab pots, scrapes, floats, and other gear for the day. For photos from the water, Saturday morning I chartered a boat for a trip around the island with the hopes of photographing the docks, waterman at work, and local birdlife.

Water Tank & Rainbow on Tangier Island
Water Tank & Rainbow
Historic Methodist Church on Tangier Island.

During our stay, we will explore the beach, tidal creeks, and wetlands in search of wildlife. Ducks, geese, herons, rails, shorebirds, skimmers, terns, and pelicans take advantage of the rich food supply that the island and its surroundings afford. There is also a healthy population of ospreys nesting on nearby platforms and jetties. It is not uncommon to see one fly overhead with a fish in its talons.


Brown Pelicans resting at end of Tangier Beach.


From the mainland, Tangier can only be reached by boat or small plane. Golf carts replace cars as the primary mode of transportation on the island since the streets are narrow and barely wide enough for 2 carts to pass. It’s a peaceful community with friendly people and no traffic lights or violent crime. There are no banks or arcades. One grocery store but hours vary and limited items depending on the shipment from the mainland. Crisfield, MD does have a grocery store and there is a Walmart on Rt 13 near Onancock, VA.  Many born on the island speak a unique dialect of English dating back to that used by the first settlers arriving on the island from Cornwall England.

This photo workshop offers you a rare opportunity to photograph the unique way of life on the Chesapeake Bay, one that is slowly disappearing. Potential subjects include workboats, offshore crab shanties, working waterman, historic buildings, the waterfront, birds, and unique features of the island.

Favorite cat at main dock of Tangier Island.
Canada Goose family on Tangier Island – adults & ducklings.


The exact schedule is flexible and highly dependent on the weather, conditions on the island, results of my scouting prior to your arrival, and desires of the group.


5 p.m. departure by ferry/boat (no cars) from the main dock at Crisfield, MD (Sharon Kay) or from the Onancock, VA dock (Joyce Marie). You will need to make reservations for the ferry ride and verify the departure schedules since they can change with weather and conditions in Tangier harbor.

I will meet your boat in at the dock & arrange for transport of luggage to our lodging at the Brigadune Inn near the beach at the far end of West Ridge.

Friday p.m. – Either explore beach, lagoon, and tidal guts looking for photo subjects or explore the dock area planning for sunrise photography. Ending the day with sunset photography. Dinner locally & orientation.

Osprey carrying fish over Canton on Tangier Island.
Waterman crabbing off the shore of Tangier Island.


Dawn photography at the main dock.

Board chartered boat (Sharon Kay) for opportunities to photograph crab shacks, working watermen, ospreys, etc. with early morning light, shortly after sunrise for approximately 1.5 hours.  Remainder of the morning photographing around the harbor and along main street

Breakfast break/Review of morning activities

Prep of images for review, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Critique of images, 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Photography in field, 2:30 p.m. – sunset. (harbor, tidal guts, town)

Dinner from Lorraine’s or other local restaurant.

Remainder of evening free to prepare images for review on Sunday.


Tri-Color Heron canopy feeding. Fish are attracted to the shadow created.


Pre-dawn photography over Tangier Sound

Photography – life along the tidal guts, people, boats, etc., 7:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Breakfast break/Review of morning session.

Finish packing and store bags. (check-out at 11 a.m.)

Prep of images for review, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Critique session – 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m.– 3:00 p.m. return golf carts, and transport luggage to dock.

Board boat for return to Crisfield or Onancock before 3:00/3:30 p.m.

Exact schedule & locations are dependent on the weather, safety considerations, subject availably, & group interests.

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron taking flight.

PRICE: (All rooms contain only 1 Queen size bed) $ 1205 based one participant/room; $ 1064 based on 2 participants one room.  NOTE only 1 queen bed in each room.

Each room has  one Queen Bed, private bath, microwave, refrigerator, WiFi, TV.  Continental breakfast provided.

DEPOSIT: 50 % of total. Final payment due 30 days prior to workshop.

The price includes: instruction (one on one interaction in the field); image critiques; two nights accommodations with a private bath,  a 1.5 hour boat charter trip to photograph crab shanties, waterman and ospreys from the water; and shared golf cart transportation on the island.

Participants can travel to Tangier using a ferry from Onancock, VA or Crisfield, MD.  Departure times on Friday are typically 5 p.m. 

Price does not include meals and snacks, boat transportation from Crisfield or Onancock to Tangier and return. (Round trip fare is approximately $30.)


Great Egret taking flight.
Great Egret taking off. Wings encircling bird.

Photo workshop size is limited to 4 to 6 participants.

Bring laptop and flash drive for transfer of images for critique. Bring camera plus wide angle to telephoto lenses, tripod, flashlight, polarizing filter, rain gear for you and your equipment, etc. Bring sunscreen and insect repellant.  (sometime gnats can be an issue on still days, so consider bringing a head net or insect jacket.  Also consider bringing rubber boots or shoes that can get wet in case there is flooding on the island.

Bring 2 images for discussion (1) where the light is extraordinary and (2) an animal.  Bring images on a flash drive for the workshop.  . 

Note: I will scout locations on Tangier several days prior to your arrival to become familiar with current conditions.

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron eating crab.

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

The prediction of bad weather on Tangier Island and 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.

Northern Parula Warbler resting& feeding on Tangier Island during migration.


May 5, 2023 @ 6:00 pm
May 7, 2023 @ 6:00 pm
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Osprey Photo Workshops and Tours
410 679-2873


Tangier Island, VA
Tangier Island
Tangier Island, VA 23440 United States
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(410) 679-2873