The Saltwater Retreat

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

The 2017 Saltwater Retreat is sold out!

Please join the waiting list or sign up to be notified about the 2018 retreat here.

“Meet me where the sky touches the sea. Wait for me where the world begins.” ~ Jennifer Donnelly

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 Saturday, October 21st with a welcome dinner at 6 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 will receive hands-on instruction in topics including exposure, camera settings, long exposure techniques, using filters, seeking out details and unnoticed beauty, and Lightroom editing. 

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.  

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.  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

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.

Sponsored By CG Pro Prints

CG Pro Prints is a professional lab committed to producing the highest quality prints and products for professional photographers. They are dedicated to helping photographers and artists grow their businesses by offering wholesale prices and unparalleled customer service. They are proud to service over 75,000 professional photographers and artists and are excited to continue their mission of helping grow and support your business.

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: 

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.