Private Instruction

I provide individual and group instruction in all aspects of nature photography including Hands On Camera Instruction, Basic and Advanced Photographic Techniques, Photoshop, Camera Raw, Lightroom and Lighting for the Outdoors. My rate is $55/hour with a 2 hour minimum and a $40 travel fee for locations 25 miles from my location. Daily rates (8 hours) are $350, and half day rates are $175 plus the $40 travel fee if applicable. If you are interested in group lessons, please email me with your specific requests.

Upcoming Events:  Details Coming by Feb 2017.

Examples of Past Events:

Do you own a digital camera with tons of options but only photograph in program mode? If you are interesting in taking your photography to this next level, don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to master your camera. In this class I guide students in a very relaxed and easy to understand manner through the basics of exposure.  Students will also learn which camera buttons and dials to use to create beautiful photographs.
The class is primarily a lecture format but does provide several opportunities during the day for attendees to practice using their camera controls to expose a variety of lighting situations under the guidance of the instructor.
This is a beginner class for photographers who own either a Digital SLR’s or a Point and Shoot camera. Participates should bring cameras and manuals to the class.
Fee is $75/class. You can register and pay online at or complete the form below and mail to: Wild Amelia PO Box 15434 Fernandina Beach, FL 32035

Sold out.

Wild Amelia Photo Weekend 

Time: March 6, 2015 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Cost: $25
Level: All levels
Required Knowledge: None

Location:  American Beach Community Center
Description: Have you ever seen a magical “Nature Photography Dreamscape” photo and wanted to know how the image was created? Here is your opportunity to discover the secrets of photographing and creating those Dreamscapes.  This class introduces participants to the software tools and processes available to turn an ordinary nature photo into a dreamscape.   Step by step, you will convert four ordinary nature photographs into dreamscapes during this class. The selected images include a flora scene, a photo of the Greenway, a photo of the marina and a beach photo.  Although some knowledge of digital processing software is helpful, it is not necessary as the different illustrations will range from simple filter uses to more complex composites. Participants will receive an electronic file on the instruction steps. Free your creativity and join us for a Wild Amelia Dreamscape adventure!
Required Knowledge: This course is suited for all experience levels.

Time: 11:00 am- 12:00 pm
Cost: $25
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Required Knowledge: This course is suited for all experience levels although some basic exposure knowledge would be beneficial.
Location: American Beach Community Center
Description: Have you ever encountered a beautiful photographic setting but the scene was beyond the camera’s ability to capture the various lighting conditions with one exposure? In other words, the photograph came out over exposing or underexposed. HDR is the process of combining a variety of images taken at different exposure values in order to create a properly exposed image. In this class, I will identify the types of scenes best suited for the HDR process, explain how HDR works in Photoshop, NIK and Photomatix software programs and discuss which software generates the best results in specific situations. I will also cover the in- camera HDR capabilities and processes found in many cameras today.

Time: 12:45 pm – 2:45 pm
Cost: $45
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Required Knowledge: Knowledge of basic camera controls and exposure is required since camera basics will not be covered in this session. No previous flash knowledge is necessary.

Location:  Peck Center
Description: Learn how to use flash to enhance your nature photography images, as I cover the basics of both on-camera and external flash units. The course will also identify the specific outdoor situations that benefit from flash. In addition to the basics, I will  discuss other light modifiers, such as reflectors, and their uses. The first portion of the class will be instructional with the final 45 minutes dedicated to hands-on practice photographing a variety of subjects with flash and other light modifiers. The instructor will assist participants as needed.

Field Workshops

Time: 6:00 pm -8:00 pm  ( arrive by 5:30 if you need assistance with your camera)
Cost: $35
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Required Knowledge: Basic understanding of exposure and shutter speed.
Location: Petanque Fields to the left of Atlantic Seafood at the Downtown Marina.
Join  me on the Fernandina Beach waterfront to paint the dock, marina, boats and surrounding areas with light. In this fun and creatively stimulating class, you will learn basic light painting techniques and immediately put those techniques into practice on subjects selected specifically for light painting. After a brief instruction session, Maria will creatively light a variety of subjects to be photographed. Participants should have cameras capable of taking long exposures at night either with a night setting or a Bulb setting on a DSLR. If you need hands-on assistance in getting the correct camera settings for night photography, plan to meet at 5:30 p.m.

Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Cost: $35
Instructor: Maria Struss
Level: Beginner-Intermediate-Advanced
Required Knowledge: None
Location: Amelia Island State Park Parking Lot
Amelia Island State Park, at the confluence of the Amelia River and the Atlantic Ocean, provides a scenic setting for this workshop where participants will begin by photographing sand dunes and other beach scenes at the base of the bridge on the south end of the island. We’ll keep shooting through the dusk and finish with sunset scenes. The workshop will last around three hours and include field practice on composing grand landscapes, intimate landscapes and bird photography.

April 11, 2015


When:  May 23 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.  

See attached Flyer for workshop details and the registration form.  To sign up, please click on the Paypal button at the bottom of this description.