Oystermen ©Mike Nalley


Includes: Field instruction, classroom instruction, and critiques. Wednesday’s Welcome Dinner, and Sunday’s Farewell Breakfast. The Full Moon/Blue Moon Lighthouse Climb on St. George the evening of March 1st with complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Headquarters House on St. George Island where you can kick off your shoes anytime, project images for critiquing, hang out on the dock on the bay, or walk the beach.

Does not include: Transportation around Apalachicola, transportation to and from Apalachicola, meals (other than those listed above), and accommodations.

Instructor: Mike Nalley

4 days

February 28 – March 4

This workshop is limited to 12 students.


Oil spills, red tides, and water wars with Alabama and Georgia have yet to overcome the fragile ecosystem of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Fresh water pouring into Apalachicola Bay from Georgia and Alabama has helped keep the water brackish, and the oysters that thrive along the bottom of the bay less salty – creating the signature Apalachicola Bay Oyster. But no one, especially the oystermen who know these waters well, believe that will last forever.
Unlike other locations where oyster companies use mechanical dredges to scrape the ocean floor, the Oystermen of Apalachicola are among few in their trade to still rake the oysters up from the bottom of the bay with 12-foot metal tongs. Leaving out early in the morning in their homemade flat-bottomed boats, these men drift along, pushing a long pole into the sandy bottom of the bay until they feel the hard shells. Heavy tongs are then used to pull the oysters up from their beds and load them onto the shallow boat. The sun, long hours, and sheer manual labor take a toll, but it is a career they are born into, and one that stays in their blood.


Mike Nalley began visiting and photographing Apalachicola 20 years ago. His passion is the people around Apalachicola Bay, and their environment. As Mike puts it, ”They are not my subjects, they are my friends”. He visits often and teaches workshops 3 or 4 times a year, and we are proud to have him teaching this workshop.


Oysterman ©Mike Nalley


Mike began photographing in early 1974 before acquiring an Associate Degree in Photography at the Art institute of Atlanta. He opened his first studio in Marietta, GA in 1981 and his last studio in Dallas, GA. He now works out of his home.
Mike is an award winning photographer who has had solo exhibits at Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association in Brunswick, GA, Carrollton Cultural Arts Center in Carrollton, GA. and Zucot Gallery in Atlanta, GA. He also has work in the permanent collection at LaGrange Art Museum and Paulding Fine Arts Association. His work is included in private collections in Georgia and South Carolina.



Wednesday, February 28th:

Please join us at 5 pm for the welcome dinner at the Headquarters House on St. George island. Meet your instructors and fellow students and discuss the coming days. We will meet for an early dinner as Thursday begins before sunrise.



Cash Creek ©Mike Nalley

Thursday, March 1:

We go out at sunrise on private boats to float alongside the oystermen for 3-4 hours. Afterwards we’ll photograph the shucking and packing houses where workers prepares the oysters for sale.

In the afternoon we’ll gather at the Headquarter’s House on St. George Island to review and critique.

Thursday evening is a field session on St. George, including a Full Moon/Blue Moon Climb to the top of the St. George Lighthouse 7:30 – 9:30 for moonrise, complete with hors d’oeuvres at the lighthouse. Moon rise is 6:31, sunset is 6:39.



Waiting ©Mike Nalley

Friday morning we’ll travel to Dwarf Cypress Hammock in the wildlife preserve for Full Moon Set and Sunrise.

In the afternoon we’ll visit some of the oystermen in their homes for portrait sittings, and photographing their environment.

Friday evening we’ll return to the Headquarters House for more critiquing and talking photography.



Moon Set at Dwarf Cypress Hammock ©Mike Nalley


Saturday is field session day – roam the streets of Apalachicola, the beaches and islands, and/or the wildlife refuges. Instructors will make themselves available for portfolio reviews during the afternoon (reservations should be made when you book your workshop).



Sunrise at Tate’s Hell, Wildlife Management Area

Sunday: We meet for an early morning brunch and a last early morning field session on the beach.




More Information:

Students are encouraged to carpool to field locations.

Also, you may wish to share a house on St. George Island, the location of the Headquarters House. If so, please let Nancy know so she can put you in touch with others who wish to do the same.

Workshops are 50% refundable if cancellations are made in writing more than 60 days prior to the start.

Workshops are not refundable within 60 days of the start.

We highly encourage you to purchase trip insurance for cancellations due to emergencies or situations outside of your control.


If you have further questions please contact nancy@sxsemagazine.com