Spring is a beautiful time of year to be on the Georgia Coast. With an average high of 72 and low of 60, and hurricane season still months away, April has perfect weather for exploring barrier islands, morning boat rides, and nighttime shooting on the beach and in the Historic District North of Savannah. Also, the bugs are still tucked in for Winter!

So, whether we’re exploring the history and nature of Daufuskie, photographing birds from the  Little Tybee dunes, or shooting the architecture and beauty of Historic Savannah, this is a workshop designed to help you expand your photo skills, and explore your possibilities. And John Cary, our instructor, is both southern and coastal, with 40 years of experience to share. Please see his bio below.

On Thursday and Saturday, Sundial Charter Tours, an eco tour agency, will be our private tour guide while we boat to the islands of LIttle Tybee and Daufuskie. Sundial Charter Tours is owned and operated by my friend Captain René Heidt, a woman who knows these islands’ history, ecology, flora, and fauna like the back of her hand. She is also a master naturalist. She and her Captains, who are also well versed in these waters and islands, will guide us on private tours of Little Tybee Island (Thursday), and Daufuskie Island (Saturday). With no more than 6 students per boat we’ll have plenty of room to shoot as we move along the creeks and estuaries, also.

Captain René in her boat at Little Tybee Island. ©Adam Keuhl

On Friday we’ll take a late afternoon photo-walk to explore the Historic District North in the historic city of Savannah, a mere 10 miles inland over a long, beautiful causeway. As the sun goes down we’ll shoot nature, street scenes, people, history, and architecture – whatever your preference, it can be found within this one square mile.

We’ll stay on Tybee Island. We’ll meet at The House for communal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings, projections of our work, and great conversations.

For student accommodations, Tybee has lots of good, safe, clean hotels and AirBnBs for your choosing. Many right on the beach, and with reasonable 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.

There will also be a feature in the July/August 2023 South x Southeast Magazine with images from each workshop participant – so keep that in mind as you photograph your way around the coast!

John Cary will give a presentation of his career in photography on Wednesday evening during social hour, and on Thursday he’ll lead a group discussion on apps and websites we might want to know about. He’ll also lead us on all the tours, and in the Saturday group review.


John (Miles) W. Cary, has been a photographer for forty years. He began his career as a photojournalist, working for newspapers and United Press International (UPI). He was the Photo Bureau Chief in Springfield, Illinois for UPI and the Chief Photographer and Deputy Director of Photography at the Chicago Sun-Times.  He has been published in every major newspaper and news magazine in the United States as well as in various international news outlets.

John is co-founder of Suntimes.com, the web property of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. He spent 19 years with the Chicago Sun-Times with 14 years in senior interactive management. He is the former Online Director for Time Out Chicago, former Vice President, Digital Products at The Nation Magazine and the former VP, Digital Products for The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) in New York City. He is currently a freelance photojournalist working primarily out of New York City, the Northeast and the NW Florida Gulf Coast.

His ongoing work can be found on Instagram @ jmilescary and www.johnwcary.org

John is a Marine Corps veteran as well as a graduate of Southern Illinois University (Carbondale). He resides in New York and NW Florida.

What previous workshop participants are saying….

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 accommodations, 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

I was fortunate to attend my first South [x] Southeast photo workshop in April to Tybee Island, Georgia. My experience was magical. Our daily excursions by boats to the nearby barrier islands were led by seasoned naturalists who also happened to be our captains. They went out of their way to ensure that we had the opportunity to encounter as much wildlife as possible and to view the variety of ecosystems that exist in this fragile environment. It was a feast for the eyes. Our trip to Little Tybee Island was the highlight for me. Walking within the pristine landscape and seeing Oystercatcher’s nests with eggs on the beach was transformative. This experience would not have been possible without the careful planning on the part of Nancy McCrary. Nancy does an excellent job at organizing an experience that is sure to delight all who participate. –Beate Sass


Wednesday –

We’ll arrive at Tybee island, get settled in, and hopefully have some time to explore the island in the afternoon.

We’ll meet at 5 at The House where we’ll get to know each other over wine and cheese before John Cary gives a presentation on his work in photography at 6pm. A Welcome Dinner will be served at The House at 7.

Thursday – 

We’ll meet at the public fishing pier on the back river on Tybee at 10:45 am. At 11:00 we cast off over the creeks and marshes on our 30-minute trip to Little Tybee Island. Brown bag lunches, and beverages wil be provided. This is a 4-hour trip returning @3 pm.

Tides change drastically every 6 hours on Little Tybee Island, a pristine, uninhibited nature preserve owned by the state of Georgia. Bird watchers will be in for a treat as exotic species of birds are a common sight.


We’ll meet again at 5 for Social Hour. John Cary will lead an evening session on mobile phone photo apps, photo image processing apps, and will lead a group discussion on what participants use, have used, and are interested in using. We will also explore other apps useful for tagging etc. of photos when uploading to instagram or the web.

At 7 we’ll enjoy a casual dinner at The House before John leads an evening photo shoot on the beach, stars, night beach scenes etc… 

Friday – 

We’ll have the morning to ourselves to edit photos, shoot on Tybee, or do whatever else you may like. At 2:30 pm we will carpool into town for a sunset and evening photo walk through the Historic District North in the city of Savannah.

After parking at a designated garage, we’ll start our walk in Johnson Square, on Bull and Bryan Streets @ 3:30. Moving east 2 blocks we’ll continue with Wright Square on Abercorn Street. Sunset is at 5:30 in the south/southwest so we’ll weave our way south down Abercorn Street as the sun is setting.

Once we reach Gaston, @ an hour later, we’ll head west for 2 blocks and then turn north to complete our walk up Bull Street. More squares, but now with lengthening shadows and softer light, we’ll walk back up to where we began in Johnson Square. 

Dinner reservations at a nearby restaurant for 6:30 await. Afterwards, if you’d like to do nighttime shooting in City Market or some of the quieter residential squares and side streets that will be an option, also.

Saturday –

We’ll meet at 8:45 at the public fishing pier on the back side of Tybee for 9:00 launch to Daufuskie Island. This trip takes one hour and crosses the mouth of the Savannah River on the Atlantic Ocean side. 

Daufuskie comes from the Muscogee language and means “sharp feather” for the island’s distinctive shape. Long before European colonists arrived to the New World, native peoples called Daufuskie Island home as evidenced by artifacts dating back some 9,000 years.

Golf Carts will be our land transportation once we arrive on Daufuskie Island.  We will split up into groups of 4 and, using maps, head out on our own for 2 hours of shooting. Lunch will be served at the dock at noon and we will have @2 more hours of shooting before the return boat ride to Tybee.

Indigo drying on Daufuskie ©David Shively

We’ll be back at the pier on Tybee by 3:00 so you’ll have a couple of hours to finish editing your work. During social hour at 5 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 the House.

Included In the Fee:


The House to hang out in – plenty of coffee and tea, and places to curl up, chat, or edit. Happy Hours in the evenings, and a few dinners will be held here, also. 

The instruction and guidance of John Cary.


Social hour food and beverage

Welcome Dinner on Tybee


Private Boat Trip to Little Tybee Island (4 hours)

Brown Bag Lunch and Beverages while on Little Tybee

Social Hour and Nosh at The House late in the afternoon

Casual Dinner at the house before nighttime shooting at the beach


Historic District North, Savannah, sunset walking tour, and dinner at a Savannah restaurant


Private Boat Trip to Daufuskie Island, S.C. (6 hours)

Golf carts and maps to find your way around the island while shooting.

Brown Bag Lunch and Beverages while on Daufuskie

Social Hour Food and Beverage at The House

Group Review lead by John Cary

Farewell Dinner 

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 Thursday, Friday and Saturday -and- Saturday lunch is on our own. (all dinners are provided)

Alcoholic beverages other than those offered at the House


$2250 if paying by check. Please send a reservation request via email to nancy@sxsemagazine.com and I’ll provide more info.

$2336 if paying by debit or credit card. 3.8% has been added to cover card processing 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.