Outer Banks | September 15 - September 17, 2023

Our State Master Series: Outer Banks Photography Workshop

Join Our State and renowned landscape photographer Tommy White for a hands-on coastal photography workshop as we explore iconic locations in the Outer Banks.

Explore the beautiful barrier islands of North Carolina with Our State and award-winning photographer Tommy White. With a rich history of pirates, shipwrecks, and beautiful beaches, this area is filled with opportunities for photographers — from old wooden piers to majestic lighthouses.

As part of our trip, we will explore and photograph some of our favorite spots along the barrier islands, from Duck to Hatteras. We’ll teach you how to use the element of time to capture the beautiful flow and movement of the surf, even in the most challenging conditions. The coast is a perfect place to fine-tune skills and expand your ability to see hidden opportunities and how to utilize them. We will explore techniques in capturing the perfect atmosphere to create impact and drama that will leave the viewer with the emotional response all photographers desire.

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 lots of opportunities for hands-on learning with two professional photographers. All photographers pursue composition, and you’ll have one-on-one time with Tommy and his assistant to learn how to “see” in the landscape; explore the grand landscape; and create more intimate compositional pieces that focus on texture, pattern, and movement.

The workshop will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 15 with an orientation, followed by our evening photography session. After our sunset session, we will relax for a bit and then regroup for an evening under the stars. Weather permitting, the night sky at the Outer Banks can be jaw-dropping. We’ll photograph the Milky Way and learn how to incorporate a foreground in your night shots with some skillful light painting and other fun techniques.

Our workshop will continue on Saturday with a full shoot day. We will start with a sunrise photo shoot, followed by a classroom session with a possibility of an afternoon beachfront photo session, and end the day with a sunset shoot. The workshop will conclude on Sunday after a sunrise photography session. 

This workshop has limited availability to ensure participants are able to have the individualized attention they desire. There is nothing better than working one-on-one with seasoned professionals. Mark Van Dyke will assist Tommy in the workshop. Mark is a seasoned landscape photographer and has been photographing the Outer Banks for his entire career.



Package Highlights:

  • Two nights’ accommodations at The Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk
  • Breakfast daily
  • One-on-one time with two seasoned landscape photography professionals
  • Sessions in the field shooting majestic lighthouses, weather-beaten piers, and miles of stunning coastline
  • Gorgeous locations from Duck to Hatteras and how to photograph them for maximum impact
  • Astrophotography and how to capture and process the Milky Way with little to no noise
  • Water movement tutorials with neutral density filters to capture long exposures
  • Advanced compositional techniques and the use of balance and harmony
  • Daily image critiques and suggestions on how to improve framing and image structure
  • Live photo editing demonstrations in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop on how to recover highlights and darks to build emotion and impact into images
  • 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:

$1,245 per person, based on double occupancy
$1,500 per person, based on single occupancy

Note: Lodging is included in the per person rate

For workshop reservations and more information:

AAA Vacations
Sandra Horton
(919) 832-0543 (ext. 16050)


Additional Information:


Photographers of all experience levels are welcome, from aspiring to advanced.


All locations will be at the beach or waterway. 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 until 11 a.m. 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 walking. 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.

Note: Our primary concern is our guests’ safety, health, and enjoyment, so Our State and our partners are constantly monitoring the COVID situation. We will follow all CDC Guidelines and requirements.


About the Our State Master Series:

Over the course of 90 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.