Costa Rica: The Coast to The Clouds Workshop

Costa Rica: The Coast to The Clouds Workshop

Oct 18th - 27th, 2023

Costa Rica



Gorgeous beaches, waterfalls, cloud forests, tropical rain forests…Costa Rica provides some of the most unique biodiversity in the entire world. Impossible to choose one location!

No better team than Joe McNally and Tamara Lackey to uncover all this amazing country has to offer in a brand new photographic adventure. Exploration and uniqueness is one of the key highlights to this workshop since we will combine a variety of opportunities including wildlife photography, bird photography, and portrait photography. All with private transportation, guides and exclusive lodging (without any other guests) so we can remain a cohesive group and benefit from dedicated resources to gain the most of our time behind the camera or in the classroom. The 10-day, 9-night, workshop begins in San Jose, Costa Rica with a fun meet and greet followed by an elegant dinner with local cuisine. We head southwest the next morning to the majestic waters of the Pacific coastline.

Our beautiful, colorful hotel is nearby one of the many national parks where we will spend time hiking in the dense greenery and then jump onto a boat safari for a unique vantage point of diverse wildlife. We also take advantage of the hotel location which presents a riot of primary colors and use it as a backdrop for portraiture in a day that will seriously advance your lighting skills.

The adventure continues as we travel north to the ever-serene and lush Cloud Forest. We spend the rest of the journey at a luxury eco lodge tucked into the hills where we have an exciting array of photographic opportunities including waterfalls, landscapes, birds, flowers, and portraiture in the villages. During our stay in this magnificently diverse place, there will be ample field time as well as classroom time with these two uniquely gifted instructors. Portraiture, camera expertise, post-production and editing, the shaping of personal projects, and discussion of the running of a successful photo business are all explored.

The truly unique aspect of this workshop is that at both our beach and cloud forest locations, our group will occupy the entire hotel, giving our group an extraordinary opportunity to relax and develop community. Dedicated learning from these two widely acclaimed photographers in this beautiful country will not only improve your photography skills but enrich your soul. The wide range of opportunities and subject matter reflects the remarkable diversity in the country of Costa Rica, so the goal is to get a deeper look and not just one aspect. An integral part of the workshop includes lectures and hands-on instruction, including lighting demonstrations combining flash and natural light, and real-time editing walkthroughs with ON1 Photo Raw.

Don't miss a unique opportunity to learn from two of the world's best photography instructors and explore a magical place with fellow photographers!

Joe McNally

Joe McNally

Acclaimed, award-winning photographer Joe McNally is known worldwide as the quintessential “pro’s pro;” an extremely versatile, deeply experienced assignment photographer whose jobs have brought him to over 70 countries and counting. McNally is often described as: Authentic, empathetic and articulate, an exceptionally skilled technical photographer who pairs extraordinary camera know-how with a vivid imagination and an ongoing, vibrant creativity.

Always curious, always adapting to the conditions at hand and the relentless advances in camera technology, he has photographed FIVE cover stories for the National Geographic (amongst an overall FIFTEEN coverages), and SEVEN covers of LIFE Magazine. He photographed the very first all-digital coverage for National Geographic, which was considered such a significant, watershed moment in the history of that venerable publication that the entire coverage has been incorporated into the archives of the U.S Library of Congress. In addition to inspiring editorial work, McNally has covered FOUR Olympics (with number FIVE looming in Paris in 2024) for such diverse clients as ABC Television, Sports Illustrated and TIME magazine. McNally is known for his penchant to get his camera in “a different place” and has twice climbed the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, in addition to climbing the Empire State Building four times.

He is that rare photographer who has successfully made the bridge between the commercial world and the editorial world, and is highly regarded by clients for his versatility, and willingness to be a team player. Joe McNally, a proud Nikon Ambassador, has an extraordinary ability to photograph simple assignments with intimacy and grace, as well as master movie-scale productions with large crews, tremendous pressure and countless moving parts.

Tamara Lackey

Tamara Lackey is a renowned professional photographer, Nikon USA Ambassador, author and show host. She speaks at a wide range of programs and conventions on the power of photography, presenting at Google, Disney, CES, Photo Plus Expo, Harvard Law School and more. She has shot a series of commercial photography campaigns for Nikon and was also selected to present her work on stage as part of the Nikon Global Launch Event in Tokyo, helping to introduce a new line of ground-breaking mirrorless camera systems.

Tamara has co-produced and hosted multiple live broadcasts for creativeLIVE and other livecast media, and she hosted her popular web series, The reDefine Show, for seven years. Her newest TV show, Chasing Frames with Tamara Lackey, focuses on capturing experiences and adventures through photography and is broadcast on PBS North Carolina and on

Tamara leads photography adventure workshops around the world and is the author of nine books, Her latest is The Posing Playbook. In addition to being a Nikon Ambassador, Tamara also has the distinction of being recognized as a Legend of Light by Profoto, an ON1 Guru and she is also part of the Think Tank Pro Team.

Tamara is the Executive Director of Beautiful Together, a non-profit she co-founded in 2014 that is focused on a mission she cares about deeply: Connecting animals in need of refuge with children living in underserved communities. Beautiful Together is currently building out 83 acres of property in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to house an animal sanctuary and host local youth programs, while still continuing ongoing work in Ethiopia, as well.

Tamara Lackey Nikon Ambassador

I am proud to be a Nikon Ambassador, and I have been since 2015.
I am always happy to answer questions about my favorite gear or preferred techniques.

I am also a big fan of ON1 Photo Raw 2023 editing software. You can see why it's a natural part of my workflow on my Photography Favorites page. If you aren't familiar with ON1, they have a free trial and you can purchase it at 30% off by using Promo Code "Tamara" (this is an affiliate link).

Thank you to Nikon for sharing an article about our workshop! Click through to read it on their website or just see below.

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