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Outer Banks Wildlife Photography Workshop

When nature photographers think of the Outer Banks, they tend to think only of wind-swept beaches and jaw dropping sunrises. But they don’t know this place like I do. I quite literally wrote the book on photographing this place. And for over a decade now people have been asking me to organize a workshop like this. Well, good things come to those who wait.  

When it comes to organizing workshops, timing is everything. And that is what this is all about – perfect timing.

First, the horses. This workshop is scheduled to take place right at the peak time of the year for finding wild horses on the beaches of the Outer Banks. Each spring, these wild equines descend in mass to the beaches right at the height of foaling season. The only way to access these horses is by grinding your way through the sand in four-wheel drive on the beach – which is exactly what we will do.

Next, the bears. Just across the water from these islands happens to be the densest concentration of black bears in the entire world. And they also happen to be the physically largest as well with some larger than 800lbs. This is the time of the year that sows are beginning to bring their COY (cubs of the year) out into the world. No self-respecting wildlife photography workshop to this area would be complete without filling at least one memory card with black bears.

Then there’s the Milky Way. Cape Hatteras National Seashore was not only the world’s first National Seashore, it was also the designated as the world’s first dark sky park as well. The iconic lighthouses of Hatteras are a known the world over as the premier Milky Way destination on the East Coast. And since timing is everything, we have also timed this workshop to take advantage of the New Moon, when skies will be their darkest and the Milky Way will be the most prominent.

And let’s not forget the birds. Come May, the rookeries around the Outer Banks are exploding with activity all while the spring migration of shore birds is at its peak.

Yes, there will be landscapes and seascapes and sunrises and sunsets – because, what workshop to the Outer Banks would be complete without such things? But on this truly one of a kind experience, there are wild horses and black bears and bird rookeries and boats and four-wheel drive vehicles on the beach. All of which are befitting of the name Outer Banks Wild.

Workshop Detail

Dates: May 24th – 30th, 2020

Price: $3500

Deposit: $1,000

Airport: Norfolk International Airport (ORF)

Lodging: included

Meals: not included

Physical difficulty: easy

Optional Add On Day: May 23, 2020. A full day of photographic instruction in the classroom. Each instructional add on is geared specifically for that workshop, focusing on the technical and creative skills that we will be putting to use in that particular location. For the OBX Wild workshop, we will cover everything from large mammal photography to bird photography due to the diverse nature of this trip. We highly recommend this additional day of instruction as we see a tremendous difference with those clients in the field afterwords vs those who do not attend. Lodging is not included with the price of the optional add-on day of instruction. 

Price for Optional Add On Day: $500


What To Expect

  • 5 days of hands on field instruction
  • wild horses on the beach
  • the opportunity to photograph the densest concentration of black bears in the world
  • Night sky photography with lighthouses 
  • Bird photography on land and by boat

What type of lenses will I need?

Due to the diversity of this workshop, you will need a full assortment of lenses with you. For wildlife, you will want the longest lenses you have. The wildlife opportunities are diverse and so 500 or 600mm is preferable – especially in the form of a zoom lens. With the birds, you will want the longest lens you have. But for the mammals, it will be nice to be able to zoom out given the close proximity that we will be able to work to them. 

This means that lenses such as the Sigma 150-600 or Nikon 200-500 will be great options for this workshop. 

As for landscapes, you will want wide angle lenses for the night skies and seascapes. 14-24mm or 24-70mm / 25-105mm lenses will be fine. With the night skies, the 14mm will be preferable though. 

You will also want to bring a mid range zoom such as a 70-200mm lens or something that at least covers this range as well. 

If you have flash equipment, bring it! 

Is transportation included?

Transportation is included for the duration of the workshop itself. However, it is not included from the airport to the Outer Banks. If you would like to carpool with someone from ORF to the islands, just let us know and we will put you in touch with folks who are driving down. 

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Jared Lloyd Photography

1627 W. Main St #407

Bozeman, MT 59715


jared at jaredlloydphoto dot com

Conservation is at the heart of everything we do. A percentage of all revenue from each workshop we lead is donated directly to a conservation organization who is working to help protect the places and species that we photograph. For this workshop, we are donating money to the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles who work tirelessly to help protect one of the most important populations of nesting loggerhead sea turtles in the world. 

The sex of a sea turtle is determined by the temperature of the sand in which its’ egg was laid. The colder the sand, the more likely the turtle will be male. Given that the Outer Banks sit at the northern range of nesting loggerhead sea turtles, these islands produce roughly 80% of all the male loggerhead sea turtles in the Western Atlantic. This means that the long term survival of this endangered species is heavily attached to the success of nests on the Outer Banks.