Dates & Prices


Dates: Saturday 22nd June 2024

Price: £125 Places available

Price Includes:  Services of the guide

Not Included: Food, drinks and any other personal items

Conservation Donation: Butterfly Conservation

Leader(s): Victoria Hillman

Group Size: Minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 guests plus 1 leader

Holiday Highlights

  • Guidance from professional photographer & naturalist Victoria Hillman
  • Small group so everyone can get the most out of the workshop & our impact on sensitive wildlife is manageable
  • Slow pace – spend the session in one fantastic area
  • Tuition & guidance to suit all levels – including basics of macro photography, lighting, composition & more

A fun & creative wildlife & macro photography workshop with professional photographer Victoria Hillman


Workshop Guide

Victoria Hillman studied Zoology with Marine Zoology before going on to study for an MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. Nature has been a passion from an early age with photography following closely behind as a way to show people what she was seeing and studying. Over the years she has developed her scientific and photographic skills specialising in macro photography championing the smaller species we have around us and the importance of responsible and ethical photography. More recently she has returned to her artwork, creating coloured pencil pieces from her own photographs and needle felted wildlife sculptures.

Victoria has been a judge for BWPA and BPOTY and is currently on the judging team for WildArtPOTY, she has contributed stills, video and articles for magazines, books and TV series including National Geographic and The BBC.

Victoria published her first book Forgotten Little Creatures in 2017 celebrating local wildlife through bringing together photography with scientific and historical facts and is now continuing the project and working on future books that will incorporate folklore and culture as well as her artwork.

Join professional photographer Victoria Hillman on one of her favourite areas, for a creative & fun photography workshop!

If you enjoy watching and photographing smaller wildlife and flowers and want to improve or expand your photography skills and creativity, this workshop is for you!

We will be exploring The Polden Hills in Somerset, these are calcareous grasslands, an intricate and diverse ecosystem containing many specialist species that are found nowhere else. These chalk grasslands are in huge decline due to changes in farming, in some cases reduced grazing leads to the dominance of course grasses, scrub and woodland.

The Polden Hills in Somerset remain a special place full of life if you know when and where to look and are home to numerous species of orchids including the Greater Butterfly Orchid, and butterflies including the Large Blue.

We will take a slow walk to the grassland from the car park through the woodland and once on the hill we’ll be searching in amongst the grass, on fence posts and in the small wooded areas.

These workshop days will not be species specific. Instead we will spend the day out in the field looking for different species in particular butterflies and orchids, although there are many other plant and invertebrate species to look out for.

The workshop is designed to be of benefit for people at any level with their photography. However, a good working knowledge of your camera equipment is important, allowing us to concentrate on finding and photographing subject,  working on various skills and trying some different ideas and techniques.

Walking and grading information

It’s about 1.5 miles to Collard Hill from the car park for the Large Blues and 2.5 miles from the car park for the Greater Butterfly Orchid.
Therefore it should be approximately a 5 to 6 mile round trip. The terrain is mostly flat and easy walking a short section to get down to the Large Blue site ,which is a little steeper, but there are paths and we’ll take it slow anyway. Please contact us if you’d like to ask more about this aspect of the day and we’ll put you in touch with Victoria who knows the sites well.

What photography topics we will cover


wide (f2.8) allows for blurring of surrounding areas

small (f9) brings more of the image into focus


natural (daylight)

artificial allows for different lighting options


backgrounds, foregrounds & surrounding areas

Shutter Speed

Fast shutter speed give crisp sharp images

Slow shutter speed with allow for movement blurring

Photographing In The Field

The welfare of the wildlife will always come first and we will not be moving any of the subjects or gardening around them for a better photograph

Instead we will look at how to use the habitat to frame and work with our subjects

We will cover some field craft skills, how and where to look for different species and how best to photograph them both for identification and more creative images

What To Bring

Camera(s), lenses (ideally a macro lens), compact camera also works if that is what you use and I would recommend a tripod if you have one

Outdoor clothing – waterproofs, fleeces, good and sturdy outdoor shoes, it can be very chilly at that time in the morning and very wet

Lunch/snacks/drink – these are not provided for this workshop

Important Information Including Health & Safety

  • Please DO NOT leave any valuables in the car or leave anything visible
  • There are ticks present so please be mindful of this
  • If it’s a clear sunny day, please bring sunscreen/hat as parts of the reserve are exposed to the elements
  • There are NO facilities at the reserve, please make a pit stop if needed before hand
  • It can be wet first thing so it’s worth brining waterproofs, especially trousers
  • The ground can be uneven in places but it is flat, we will be taking it very slow so we don’t miss anything

Contact us now to find out more or reserve places on what we expect to be a very popular workshop!

Format of the day: Meeting point is Combe Hill Woods Car Park, Reynald’s Way, Glastonbury, BA6 8TP.

  • Please arrive in the car park by 7:15am at the latest, Victoria will be there to meet you.
  • 7:30am Short briefing about the day and start by 8am.
  • Then we will head into the reserve for the duration of the workshop, we can take our food with us or return to the car park for a break.
  • 1pm Finish.

New holiday for 2020 so testimonials will follow later

New holiday so reports will follow later