Cashiers | October 27 - October 30, 2024

Our State Master Series: Fall Mountain Photography

Join Our State and renowned landscape photographer Tommy White for a hands-on mountain photography workshop as we explore Cashiers, Highlands, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Explore Cashiers, Highlands, and the Blue Ridge Parkway with Our State and award-winning photographer Tommy White. Tommy has lived in the mountains of North Carolina for over 30 years and knows the hidden gems, how to get to them, and when to photograph them.

Our adventure will take you to moss-covered mountain streams and stunning waterfalls. You’ll learn how to “see” in the landscape — identifying important compositional elements and how to use them to create good visual flow. We’ll visit some sweeping panoramas where you will learn how to find and use the best lighting to create amazing images. 

The workshop will incorporate a mix of sessions in the field and classroom time, which will allow participants to not only learn about the latest photography techniques, but it will also provide opportunities for image critiques and lessons in advanced compositional and color theory. We will cover all levels of photo retouching in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and how to use selective retouching to enhance your image to give it mood and depth.

This workshop has limited availability to ensure participants will have the individualized attention they desire. There is nothing better than working one-on-one with a seasoned professional. Tommy and his assistant will be on location and readily available the entire weekend to answer all your questions.


Package Highlights:

  • Three nights’ accommodations at Hotel Cashiers
  • Breakfast daily
  • One-on-one time with two seasoned landscape photography professionals
  • Sessions in the field shooting waterfalls, sweeping mountain vistas, and fall colors, with a focus on technique, composition, angle of view, and perspective
  • Special sessions on macro photography and cell phone photography
  • Image evaluations and easy-to-learn retouching techniques to bring images to life
  • Live photo editing demonstrations in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Dinner at The Library Kitchen & Bar
  • Metal and canvas giveaways
  • Our State host


About Tommy White:

photograph by Tommy White

Tommy White is a fine art landscape photographer and a regular contributor to Our State magazine. As a native of Winston-Salem, some of his fondest memories include exploring the Southern Appalachian backcountry and visiting the amazing locations this area has to offer. White currently resides in the Boone area near the Blue Ridge Parkway, a place that has had an everlasting impact on his life.

For many years, he worked at the Mast General Store as an Outdoor and General Manager. Selling outdoor gear and helping plan trips was a daily occurrence, and he loved sharing the outdoors with people. His knowledge of the outdoors grew over the years and eventually paired with his passion for photography, which allowed him to begin documenting his favorite locations. Years later, White now works as a full-time photography guide, covering seven states on the East Coast and reaching as far as California, Oregon, and Washington. He spends most of his time exploring the beautiful backcountry with friends and aspiring photographers of all levels and capturing the beauty and natural wonders of the High Country. White is well known as photography educator and for his unique eye for nature photography.

To learn more about Tommy White and his Mountains to Sea Workshops, click here.


Workshop Rates:

$2,210 per person, based on single occupancy
$2,135 per person, based on double occupancy
$410 per person not participating in class, lodging with photography class student

Note: Lodging is included in the per person rate


For workshop reservations and more information:

AAA Vacations
Sandra Horton
919-489-3306 (ext. 13505)


Additional Information:


Photographers of all experience levels are welcome, from aspiring to advanced. Some trail experience and navigating slick, wet rocks will be helpful.


Trail hiking is expected at all locations. While some locations are easily accessed, others can be up to a ½-mile hike or more. Please let us know prior to the trip if you have any medical conditions that we need to know about, including heart conditions, surgeries, injuries, allergies, etc.

Do I need professional gear?

No, though camera systems are different, the basic concepts of photography are the same. We’ll teach you how to utilize your camera system to its maximum potential and show you the benefits that can be gained when you choose to upgrade your equipment. You will, however, need a camera, a sturdy tripod, and a wide-angle or a medium-range zoom lens. Other important equipment is listed in the workshop information that will be sent to participants.

Are meals provided?

Breakfast is included at the hotel each day. We will also dine as a group at The Library Kitchen & Bar on Tuesday night. Other meals are on your own.

What if the weather is bad?

We will plan on going out unless conditions are dangerous in any way (i.e., lightning, high wind, etc.). If the forecast is calling for rain, please plan to bring suitable rain gear for yourself and your equipment.

How should I dress?

You should plan on wearing comfortable clothing. Keep in mind that almost all our photo adventures include hiking. Nylon clothing that wicks moisture is suggested (cotton does not wick). A packing list will go out to participants prior to the workshop to help you prepare.

Do you provide transportation?

Due to Park permits and insurance regulations, we are currently not allowed to provide group transportation. Participants can drive their own vehicles. Carpooling to locations is encouraged and will be discussed prior to each destination.


About the Our State Master Series:

Over the course of 91 years, Our State has become the go-to resource for all things North Carolina. As an award-winning magazine, Our State has gained access to and partnered with top talent in their fields. The hands-on classes and workshops in Our State’s Master Series provide opportunities to explore, learn, and develop skills across a variety of topics.