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2023 Nature Photography Summit

Super Sessions

You won’t want to miss these special,  two- or three-hour Super Sessions! Ray Pfortner and Joe McDonald, two of our most popular presenters, take you on a deep dive into important issues like how to price your images and photographic techniques like macro photography and photostyling. Add one or more Super Sessions to round out your Summit experience and walk away with even more key insights to help your photography, your career, and your business.


Cost: Each of Ray Pfortner’s Super Sessions is $50, payable during registration.


© Ray Pfortner

Ray Pfortner: Showing Your Photography: Why, What, Where, When and How (including the fine art of pricing)

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 2 – 4:00 p.m. Lecture

Have you ever been told you should show and sell your photography? Have you ever imagined exhibiting your photography? Explore the realities before you do, or to improve your next show experience if you have shown before. Showing is not to be entered into lightly – there are many challenges. But the opportunities are so worth it, if you plan thoughtfully and thoroughly. We will discuss all aspects, from approaching a venue and consignment agreements to selecting what to show and even how to hang and promote. We will also focus on the fine art of pricing – not just wall art and other retail products, but licensing to third parties, since licensing is a likely opportunity that comes from showing your work. You will learn how to avoid pricing in a vacuum, including where to turn for help to get the price your work deserves. (Headshot photo credit: Eva Blanchard)


© Ray Pfortner

Ray Pfortner: Photostyling: The Art Of Arranging

Sunday, May 7, 2023 8 – 10:00 a.m.

Increasingly the most memorable, most evocative nature photographs are not found but created. The photographer takes control, gathering and arranging what is in front of the lens. The key is having the imagination, taking this leap of faith to create something new and entirely your own, but also knowing restraint. We will explore the work of established photostylists like Andy Goldsworthy and Darrell Gulin. Then we will try our hand at photostyling our own images. Bring your camera. We will have a selection of materials, but consider bringing your own. For all skill levels wanting to step beyond the predictable. (Headshot photo credit: Eva Blanchard)


Photo of a sphinx moth in flight approaching a purple flower. © Joe McDonald

Sphinx moth © Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald: Effective Macro and Closeup Photography

This two-part supersession is $100, payable during registration.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 12-2:00 p.m. Lecture and demonstrations, and
Sunday, May 7, 2023 8-11:00 a.m. Hands-On Session

There are some key essentials everyone should know, and many do not, on making effective macro and closeup photographs. This Super Session will take a deep dive into macro photography. Joe McDonald will cover lenses, little understood depth of field concerns, flash techniques, and useful accessories. Joe will also talk about focus stacking and other computer techniques to yield stunning macro photography. The second part of this Super Session on Sunday is a chance practice these techniques with Joe McDonald by your side. Ask questions, show your work, get help with techniques and really learn how to do closeup photography.

On the grounds of the hotel we’ll be looking for macro subjects to practice and to polish effective techniques for close-up and macro photography. This will include maximizing depth of field (a surprising way!), framing and lighting, using lighting sources and reflectors, and selecting the correct lens for the subject. We’ll be doing this via a neat in-field exercise where our participants will set up a shot and we’ll discuss it, as a group, not to criticize but to learn from each other, in an off-the-cuff review, ways an image may be changed or improved or looked at in a different way, often opening up your eyes to entirely new perspectives. This is one of our most popular and productive lessons we conduct at our workshops, and provides an avenue for a variety of topics that, in a more structured, exercise, could otherwise be missed or overlooked. Any camera system can be used, provided you have some type of macro or close-up capability.

Note: This is a two-part Super Session. Participants must enroll in both in Wednesday’s and Saturday’s sessions. Wednesday is a prerequisite for Sunday. Bring camera and gear to both sessions. Wednesday’s session will be a good chance to see what your equipment can do. Sunday’s session will be actually taking photos, so bring your tripod and any other necessary equipment.

Joe McDonald has been(and still is!) a professional wildlife and nature photographer since 1985. He is a NANPA fellow, a recipient of NANPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the author of over 15 books on both wildlife photography and on various wildlife subjects. One of his latest ebooks is on Close Up and Macro Photography. He is an editor/columnist for Nature Photography magazine and for the on-line Journal of Wildlife Photography. Joe and his wife have been teaching nature photography and leading photo workshops and tours since 1988, and in a typical year are ‘working’ in the field for at least 25 weeks, photographing in Africa, South America, and various other destinations.
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