For some time, many of us who have attended the Create Photography Retreat have talked about the possibility of regional meetups. These would not necessarily be official functions of Create Photography, nor would they be structured teaching opportunities. The idea was simply to get together with other photographers, spur one another’s creativity, and create some great images.

One of those meetups will be held on April 17 at Jekyll Island, Georgia. We’re hoping to do some portraits (including some fun 1930’s style period shoots), landscapes, and night photography. The Milky Way core will be visible that night (as long as it’s clear) so some of us are even planning on doing that.

While this isn’t going to be as structured as a formal workshop, we do need to make specific plans so that we can coordinate various shooting opportunities. Here’s the way the day seems to be lining up (at the time that we are writing this).

NOTE: Sandy has created a great PDF with all of these details, plus some ideas for Friday and Sunday. You can see it and download it here.

6:00 AM: We’ll meet at the Driftwood Beach Parking Lot (click for location) to head to the beach in time for blue hour and sunrise. (Some of us may be coming back up from the beach after shooting the Milky Way.) If you choose to come later, just head to Driftwood Beach and you will find us (and probably a number of other photographers). Sunrise is at 6:55, and the long-range forecasts are promising for some clouds, so hopefully, we’ll have some good color. Of course, there are plenty of interesting foreground elements, so even if the skies are clear we can shoot driftwood and other elements with that nice warm sidelight.

The Morning: We’ll take advantage of good light for as long as we can, shooting landscapes, sand patterns, and whatever else we can find along the water.

Lunch: Sandy Brown and her husband have invited all of us to lunch at the Jekyll Island Campground! Originally we were planning on dinner, but we thought it might be better to eat by the midday light, giving us more time to shoot in the evening as the light is better.

3:00-7:00 PM: Portrait shooting at the Jekyll Island Club. There will be a vintage 30s theme to match the look of the club with three models (two ladies and a guy) in a few different looks. Think Great Gatsby, or Greta Garbo. We will meet at 3:00 on the street in front of the Wharf Restaurant. Bring whatever lights, reflectors, diffusers, etc. that you think might be helpful. We’ll have some things on hand, too. If you have a Godox/Flashpoint trigger be sure to bring that, especially if you think you may want to use any of our lights.

Of course, it is only courteous to share images with the models. One of the ladies who will be with us is a professional and is being paid for her time. Sandy has also invested in costumes for each of them, so if you could contribute to that cause, it would be grately appreciated. To the best of our knowledge, this will be the only cost for the event (with the exception of whatever you choose to do for food and lodging). Sandy’s son has volunteered(?) to participate and Tom Moors, who many of you will remember from last year’s retreat, will also be bringing a model who just wants images from us.

Sunset: We’ll finish up the portrait session back near the Wharf Restaurant, along the water, waiting for the sun to set. You’ll have some options for sunset. The landscape shooters in the crowd can simply focus on the beautiful scenery, while the portraitists among us might want to pull out some lights and shoot portraits against the evening sky. There is an interesting gathering of palm trees at the edge of the river that might provide for some interesting environmental portraits as it gets dark. There are plenty of options here.

After Dark: That driftwood beach that we saw at sunrise will now provide some great opportunities for light painting and low light compositions.

For those that are interested, the Milky Way core will be visible again at 12:39, with the moon setting at 1:05. That will offer a second opportunity for those that would like to try some astrophotography.


Some of us will be staying at the Jekyll Island Campground. Others have made reservations at nearby hotels. Aside from the meal that the Browns are so generously providing, you are on your own for everything else. Again, this isn’t an “event” in the sense that there is a central hotel, group rate, etc.

We’ll continue to update this page as plans are finalized, so bookmark it and keep checking back. If you have any questions, please get in touch with me or Sandy. You can call or text me at 803-619-9442 if that’s easier. It’s important to know that you are coming so that we know how to plan for each of the day’s events. There is no official registration for the day since it’s just not that formal.

Watch this space for updates. Keep us informed of your plans. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

There is no formal relationship between this casual meetup and the Create Photography Retreat. Other than the fact that the idea began at a retreat a couple of years ago, there is no official connection, so we can’t help you with information about upcoming retreats.

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