Spring 2024 dates:

Friday, May 24th at 5:30 pm – Sunday, May 26th at 12:00 pm (SOLD OUT)

Friday, May 31st at 5:30 pm – Sunday, June 2nd at 12:00 pm

Friday, July 12th at 5:30 pm – Sunday, July 14th at 12:00 pm

Dates for summer and fall 2024 coming soon

If you would like to be notified when additional workshop dates are scheduled, please email


This workshop is suited for those who consider themselves beginner photographers, whether you’ve just picked up a digital camera for the first time or you’re looking to expand your skills beyond the fully automatic mode. Immerse yourself in beautiful Algonquin Provincial Park for the weekend as you learn how to use your camera to create compelling nature and wildlife images. At the end of the workshop, you’ll have a basic understanding of focus, exposure and composition. You'll be able to purposefully use the full manual mode of your camera and understand how to manipulate settings for different shooting situations. This foundational workshop will give you the knowledge you need to troubleshoot when your camera isn't producing the results you expect. You'll also be provided with resources and recommendations for continuing to practice your photography and pursue intermediate skills beyond this workshop. This workshop is limited to a maximum of four people in order to give each participant plenty of one-on-one guidance from the instructor. 


This workshop takes place at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station (AWRS), located just off Highway 60 within Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. The AWRS is a rustic facility located on the shores of Lake Sasajewan. Since its inception in 1944, this facility has provided logistical support for scientists as they undertake various research projects within the Park. Sleeping accommodations are provided in wooden cabins on vinyl mattresses. You are required to bring a pillow and sleeping bag (or linens) and can count on sharing a cabin with at least one other participant. The Station has a centralized basic washroom facility with running water and hot showers. Meals are provided at the Cookhouse three times per day, where workshop participants eat and socialize with other AWRS researchers and staff. Station food and accommodations are guaranteed to be functional, professional, punctual and satisfactory, though this facility is not geared toward culinary or hospitality delights. Meals are covered in the workshop expense (Friday dinner to Sunday lunch), and dietary restrictions and allergies can be accommodated. Participants should bring their own snack food for between meals should they desire it.


Day 1: 
  • Arrive at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station as early as 3:00 pm and enjoy dinner as a group at 5:30 pm 
  • Brief workshop introduction & time to settle into accommodations and enjoy an evening paddle or campfire

Day 2:
  • Breakfast 8:30–9:00 am 
  • Session 1: Focus modes and tips for sharp images
  • Time to practice, ask questions, and get one-on-one guidance
  • Session 2: Intro to exposure: aperture, shutter speed and ISO
  • Lunch 12:30–1:30 pm
  • Time to practice, ask questions, and get one-on-one guidance
  • Session 3: Intro to exposure continued
  • Time to practice, ask questions, and get one-on-one guidance
  • Dinner 5:30-6:30 pm
  • Informal clarification of concepts, and time to enjoy hiking trails, paddle, campfire, etc.

Day 3:
  • Breakfast 8:30–9:00 am
  • Session 4: Composition and conclusion
  • Time to practice, ask questions, and get one-on-one guidance 
  • Lunch 12:30-1:30 pm
  • Workshop concludes (participants need to 'check-out' of sleeping cabins, but are welcome to continue using common Station buildings and facilities such as hiking trails and canoes for the remainder of the afternoon)


A detailed packing guide will be provided upon workshop registration.

Participants should arrive with attire that will be functional in an outdoor setting. Days can be hot and evenings cool, so be prepared with some warmer layers. It should also be noted that the Algonquin landscape is home to a number of biting flies. Although black flies typically do not emerge until June, it is possible that they could emerge early and be present in high abundance in late May, depending on the timing of spring thaw. Participants should come prepared with long-sleeve clothing and consider a bug hat or bug jacket to ensure they are comfortable during outdoor activities. Nitrile gloves will be provided for hand protection if necessary. You’ll be required to bring a sleeping bag (or linens to fit a single bed) and a pillow. It is also necessary that you bring a headlamp or flashlight with required batteries, as the Station gets very dark at night, making navigation back to your sleeping arrangements difficult without a light source.

This workshop is suited for beginners, and as such any DSLR or mirrorless camera body and lens(es) will be sufficient. Participants should be sure to bring camera battery(s) and charger, a memory card, and any additional equipment that they would like to use throughout the workshop. A laptop will help streamline reviewing of images and taking notes, so please bring one if you are able. If you have any questions about whether your camera is suitable for this workshop, please don't hesitate to reach out to Samantha.


The cost of the workshop is $565 + HST (CAD). This includes accommodations, use of all AWRS facilities including parking, and meals (dinner on the first evening until lunch on last day). The workshop takes place entirely on Station grounds (i.e. there will be no transportation costs during the workshop). Participants are responsible for their transportation to and from the workshop as well as food and beverage outside provided meals should they desire it. To register, please send an email to with the following information:

  • Workshop date you want to register for 
  • Name 
  • Gender, or gender(s) you are comfortable sharing a cabin with. Please let me know if you plan to attend with someone you want to share a cabin with.  
  • Camera  model you will use for the workshop (for the purposes of preparing relevant course content)

Instructions for payment and detailed logistical information will be provided in response.

Samantha Stephens Photography

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