The Saltwater Retreat

A photography retreat designed to educate, inspire, and awaken your creativity.

The Saltwater Retreat Photography Workshop for Women

Join me on this intimate 4 day, 5 night women’s photography retreat in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. Hatteras Island is a picturesque barrier island surrounded on all sides by the Atlantic Ocean offering bountiful photography opportunities. A beautiful oceanfront beach home will serve as our base camp for the duration of the retreat.

We will kick off the retreat on Sunday, October 14th with a welcome happy hour at 4 pm and an evening spent getting to know one another. Over the following 4 days, we will visit 3 fishing piers, one of which was wrecked by storms and stands broken and battered waiting to be torn down by mother nature or the park service.  We will visit both the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse.  We will spend an afternoon beach combing, seeking out those overlooked details that many people walk right past without photographing.  We will have a day trip up the island to a small village called Manteo which is rich is American and native American history.  There will be opportunities for shooting seascapes, nature, macro, wildlife, and travel scenes.  Throughout the retreat, I will provide individualized guidance and support while you are shooting. With a maximum of 5 attendees, you can expect personalized attention in an intimate setting.Designed for the photographer comfortable with her camera settings, shooting topics will include advanced exposure techniques, creating long exposure photographs, using filters and creative lenses, seeking out details and unnoticed beauty.

Each day we will have an intimate discussion, talking through many of the challenges, fears, and concerns we face as photographers.  You can expect intimate discussions on recognizing and facing your fears, overcoming obstacles and slumps, and building a strong, indentifiable collection of images that you are proud of. We will spend time working through editing in Lightroom and all that can be accomplished quickly with such an incredible program.  We will discuss blogging, social media, and sharing your images and the business side of fine art photography.

This workshop is framed as an intimate retreat where you are encouraged to not only connect with your fellow attendees but also to find a deeper connection with yourself and the photographs that you long to create.  My hope is that you will leave the island feeling revived and inspired, ready to take on your next photography project. My goal is for you to find peace at the beach and enjoy the quiet connection that I find when I’m shooting along t he shores. I believe that saltwater can calm even the most hectic of minds and I hope that you will leave the workshop feeling relaxed, inspired, and connected with yourself and your photography in a way you hadn’t experienced before.

While the retreat will be full of activity, there will be breaks built in throughout the day to offer you some down time to rest, connect with your family back home, sightsee, or catch up on work.

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Sample Daily Itinerary:

6:45 am                Sunrise shooting session

8:30 am                Breakfast and coffee on the deck

10 am                   Morning discussion

12 pm                   Lunch on the deck

1 pm                     Free time

2 pm                     Afternoon shooting excursion

5 pm                     Free time

5:45 pm                Sunset shooting session

7:30 pm                Dinner

The retreat will include:

  • 4 days of photographic opportunities and discussion with like-minded women photographers.
  • 5 nights of lodging in private rooms in a beautiful oceanfront beach home. Linens will be provided.  The home offers a game room, hot tub, and many oceanfront decks for relaxing and enjoying the breathtaking views.  Room upgrades with private bathrooms may be available for a nominal fee at a first come first serve basis.
  • Healthy, home cooked meals, snacks and beverages for the duration of the retreat, with the exception of one lunch on the day trip outing. I will do my best to accommodate dietary restrictions, but should you have additional needs there are grocery stores on the island.

Not included:

  • Transportation to/from Avon, NC. The nearest airport is in Norfolk, VA which is roughly a 2.5 hour drive from Avon.
  • Trip insurance
  • Personal gear, clothing, and photographic equipment

Reviews from 2017 Attendees

The Saltwater Retreat was without question the most enjoyable and educational photography experience I have had. Jennifer is a wonderful teacher. She shares her experience and insights in a down-to-earth, accessible way. We covered a wide range of topics including shooting technique, post-processing, printing, marketing and equipment. The retreat was tailored to our group’s needs so virtually everything we talked about was of interest. And by the way the lodging, the food, and the activities were first rate. ~ Nancy A.

"The Saltwater Retreat" was beyond a doubt one of the most meaningful, enjoyable and stimulating event that I have ever attended. Jennifer Carr is one of those rare people who knows how to connect with her students in a way that is encouraging and positive. Her teaching style is subtle and effective. She builds confidence and seems to have an innate sense of what to say to her students at just the right time. Photography is a passion of Jennifer and she knows it well. Her passion and enthusiasm rub off and her non-judgmental analysis builds self-assurance. If I could do this every year I would. ~ Joan A.

The Saltwater Retreat is a wise investment - worth every penny. It's not an easy thing to find the right mix of technical instruction, inspiration, friendship, and practice, but Jennifer crafted a beautiful experience, a collage of all these things. I learned new techniques, ventured out of my comfort zone regarding photographic subjects and methods, overcame my fear of the Manual camera setting, and developed the confidence to trust my own instincts and appreciate my unique voice and style. Ocean views, stunning sunsets, home-cooked and healthful meals, daily excursions, lessons and practice . . . truly a custom experience designed to bring out the best in every photographer. ~ Donna H.

The Saltwater Retreat was an amazing experience! Jennifer is warm, down to earth and honest. She shared her knowledge of photography and taught us how to improve our style and techniques while challenging us to expand and grow. I didn't want it to end, but when it did I left with a better understanding of myself as a photographer, new techniques and visions to experiment with and a strong group of women who are not only my friends but my support group! ~ Sharon H.

About Hatteras Island

Hatteras Island is a tiny strip of land that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.  The entire island is called Cape Hatteras National Seashore and is protected like any other national parks.  While it is developed, many places on the island and wild and remote, with limited access only by foot.  The east side offers incredible sunrises over gorgeous dunes and rustic fishing piers.  The island makes a sharp turn west, allowing the beach to face south and offering a unique perspective on seeing the ocean.  Here the beaches are wide and littered with shells and the footprints of beautiful birds which will be on their wintering journey south in late October.  The island is bordered on both the north and west side by the Pamlico Sound offering still, shallow waters and breathtaking sunsets.

About Weathering Heights

When you arrive on Hatteras Island, you will come directly to the gorgeous oceanfront vacation home which will serve as our "base camp."  The house has 6 spacious bedrooms offering either king or queen accommodations.  Many of the rooms have private bathrooms as well as balcony access for you to enjoy some quiet downtime on your own enjoying the oceanfront view.  The home has been recently updated and offers spacious living areas for us to spread out our gear and be comfortable. The home offers a pool table, game room, and hot tub where we can wind down with a glass of wine after the events of the day.

What to expect regarding the weather:

Hatteras Island in the fall is my favorite time of year.  The shorter days allow for less painful sunrise opportunities and sunsets that don’t interfere with dinner.  With highs in the 70s and lows in the 60s, the temperature remains comfortable without as much humidity and fewer bugs.  Rain is always possible, so please come prepared to shoot in a variety of weather conditions.

Getting to Hatteras Island:

Because the island is so remote, the closest airport is in Norfolk, VA, about 2.5 hours away. OBX Transportation provides a shuttle service: or a taxi here: 

Payment Policy:

An initial down payment of one third of the retreat fee is required at booking.  This fee is used to secure the rental home as well as prepare other necessities in advance.  The remaining balance must be paid no later than August 1, 2018.  You are free to make payments on this balance in as many increments as you wish.

Cancellation Policy:

Due to the nature of vacation rental homes, this retreat is non-refundable.  However, should you find another person to fill your spot, then a full refund will be granted following the other's registration.  There are no exceptions to this policy.  I strongly encourage you to purchase trip insurance to protect yourself in the event of unexpected circumstances preventing you from attending the workshop.  Trip insurance is available for purchase through your local AAA office.

Itinerary and photography locations are subject to change.