I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to be outside, mask-free, with salt air and white sandy beaches!

And Spring is a beautiful time of year to be on the Georgia Coast. With an average high of 77 and low of 62 it’s perfect weather for being on the water and exploring barrier islands. Also, the bugs are still sleeping off winter!

So, whether we’re in search of shark’s teeth and shells, photographing birds from the dunes, or shooting the historical architecture and beauty of Daufuskie Island this is a perfect workshop to expand your photo skills, make some new work, and explore. And Peter Essick is the perfect instructor to help you along the way!


Spartina Grass ©Peter Essick

We’ll stay on Tybee Island. A communal House for gatherings in the afternoons and evenings, projections of our work, portfolio reviews, and great conversations has been rented.

For student accommodations, Tybee has lots of good, safe, clean hotels and AirBnBs for your choosing. Many right on the beach, and still with off-season rates. If you’d like to share a hotel room, or an AirBnB, just let me know and I’ll put you together with another student seeking the same.

Sundial Charter Tours will be our private tour guide. Sundial is owned and operated by my old friend Captain René Heidt, a woman who knows these islands’ history, ecology, flora, and fauna like the back of her hand. She and her captains will guide us on private tours of Little Tybee and Daufuskie Island.

There will also be a feature in the June/July South x Southeast Magazine with 5-10 images from each workshop participant – so keep that in mind as you photograph your way around the coast!


Black Necked Stilt ©Peter Essick


Peter Essick is our esteemed instructor. He will give a presentation of his career in nature photography on Wednesday evening during social hour. He’ll also lead us on the tours and in group reviews.


Named one of the 40 most influential nature photographers in the world by Outdoor Photography Magazine, Essick has traveled extensively over the last two decades photographing spectacular natural areas from around the world. He is a working photojournalist, but his photographs move beyond mere documentation revealing in careful compositions the spiritual and emotional aspects of nature. The unique and sometimes surprisingly similar forms and color of divergent pristine lands provide the raw material for Essick’s art. As a counter point, Essick has also done photographs to illustrate many environmental issues, portraying both the human impact of development as well as the enduring power of the land.

Essick has been a frequent contributor to National Geographic Magazine for 30 years. At the Geographic he has produced over 40 feature articles on many different topics. Some of his favorite and most rewarding stories have been on the American wilderness, the carbon cycle, global warming, and global freshwater. Recent stories include a June 2010 cover story on Greenland, a story on the Ansel Adams Wilderness in October 2011,and a story titled “When The Snows Fail” in October 2014. He is the author of two books, “Our Beautiful, Fragile World” and “The Ansel Adams Wilderness.”

He has a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri. He lives in Stone Mountain, GA with his wife, Jackie and son, Jalen.

Altamaha Estuary ©Peter Essick

What previous workshop participants are saying….

As a participant in the South x Southeast Photography workshop experience with Peter Essick, I appreciated the opportunity to explore being among trees and moving water.  That was a new way of seeing in the area we photographed.  The group dynamics were lively and supportive.

I felt the support of Peter and that we had time in most settings to take “more time” to explore a different angle or advantage of light.

I particularly liked the learning aspect about Cumberland and the Okefenokee.

Great all round experience.

Thank you Nancy for your organizational skills and gathering a congenial group of fellow photographers. —Wanda Hopkins


I have been on several trips with Nancy McCrary and they never disappoint. She always engages photographers who are helpful and willing to share their knowledge.  Her attention to detail with regard to accomodations, meals, daily outings, and other logistics is thorough and she attracts talented and considerate photographers.  Nancy herself is a wonderful artist and very accessible.  Her workshops appeal to any level of photographer.  There are always professionals who attend, but if you’ve only just begun she encourages everyone to share knowledge.  The groups she leads are supportive and I learn something new every time.  After having photographed full-time for a decade, I rarely attend workshops anymore.  That being said, I always love going to ones Nancy organizes since they are always in beautiful places and so much fun.  –Lynne Buchanan



In October 2021 I participated in a photography workshop organized by Nancy McCrary, director and founder of SxSE.  The workshop was led by a well known Atlanta photographer Peter Essick. 

It was a very fulfilling experience.  Nancy McCrary showed off her fantastic organizational skills.  The photo excursions on St. Mary’s, Cumberland Island, and to the Okefenokee Swamp were great adventures and a paradise for us photographers. I met many interesting people and had a chance to learn more about Nancy and her wonderful ways of interacting with people.  She provided camaraderie, great food, and wonderful places to photograph. Peter Essick shared readily his photographic knowledge and offered constructive criticism.  The workshop was a unique experience that I would love to repeat. –Malgorzata Florkowska


Wednesday –

Social Hour at 5 at The House – meet and greet your fellow students, Peter, and myself.

Peter will give a presentation of his work at 6.

Welcome Dinner at The House 7pm


Thursday – 

Private boat trip to Daufuskie Island with Captain René. We’ll be on the island approximately 4 hours. I encourage you to read more about the tour here

Departure and return times depend on the tides and will be announced later.

Brown Bag Lunch on Daufuskie Island.

Social Hour Food and Drink at 5 at The House. Followed by a casual dinner at The House, also.

Peter will lead a nighttime shoot on the beach along with a drone demonstration beginning around 7pm – more info later

Drone shot, Dewees Island, SC ©Peter Essick


Friday – 

Private boat trip to Little Tybee Island with Captain René. We’ll be on the island approximately 2 hours.  I encourage you read more about the tour here

Departure and return times depend on the tides and will be announced later.

Social Hour Food and Drink at 5. Lunch and Dinner are on your own today. There are lots of great restaurants on Tybee but also in Savannah – you may want to buddy up and go check one out! Or hang around and edit some photos before the group critique on Saturday!


Saturday –

A Third Boat Trip has been added for anyone who’d like to join us! Starting off early in the morning we’ll head out of the little islands at the mouth of the Savannah River for fossil hunting and shelling. These beaches are known for their megoladon tooth finds! Please go here to watch a short video of our naturalist guide and boat captain René Heidt talk about the megoladon, extinct now for at least 2 million years.

OR – it can be a Free day! If you’d like to return to Daufuskie or Little Tybee, or just wander off to Savannah or Hilton Head on your own – go for it! Want to make some cyanotypes with shells and shark’s teeth you’ve collected? We can do that at the house.

Saturday evening during social hour at 4 we will have a group review.  4 images you’ve chosen from your work this week will be seen and commented on by the group.

Followed by a Farewell Dinner at a local Tybee restaurant, or catered to the House. Due to restaurants still experiencing staff shortages we may use caterers more than dining out.



The House to hang out in – plenty of coffee and tea, and places to curl up, chat, or edit.

Included In the Fee:


Social hour food and beverage

Welcome Dinner on Tybee


Private Boat Trip and tour of Daufuskie Island

Lunch on Daufuskie

Social Hour and Food at The House

Casual Dinner at the house before nighttime shooting and drone demonstration at the beach



Private Boat Trip to Little Tybee Island

Social hour food and beverage at The House



Private Boat Trip to little islands for fossil hunting and shelling

Social Hour Food and Beverage at The House

Farewell Dinner at a restaurant on Tybee

Not included in the fee:

Transportation to and from Tybee Island, Georgia

Night-time Accommodations on Tybee Island during the length of the workshop

Breakfasts each day, Friday evening lunch and dinner, and Saturday lunch are on our own.

Alcoholic beverages other than those offered at the House


$1740 if paying by check. Please send a reservation request via email to nancy@sxsemagazine.com and I’ll provide more info.

$1800 if paying by debit or credit card. 3.5% has been added to cover card charges. Click HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: We strongly suggest you purchase travel insurance for last-minute change of plans.

Questions? Please just send me an email – nancy@sxsemagazine.com.

Nancy McCrary is the publisher and editor-in-chief of South x Southeast photomagazine,(sxsemagazine.com), an online and in print magazine featuring fine art photography from emerging and established artists. She is the director of South x Southeast Workshops (sxseworkshops.com), and the gallerist at South x Southeast Gallery, online and on the walls of the gallery (sxsegallery.com).  Prior to SxSE  she worked in a range of positions with other niche magazines such as Contents, Pop Star, Georgia Music Magazine and, her personal favorite, Advertising Director with International Tattoo Art for 14 good years. During the years of 2004-2012 Ms. McCrary was co-director of SlowExposures, a photography festival and juried exhibition celebrating the rural South.
She, and a menagerie of dogs and cats, live on her 4th generation family farm in rural Georgia where she shoots only photos.