Dates & Prices


Dates: Friday 31st May 2024

Price: £120 Places available

Price Includes:  Services of the guide

Not Included: Food, drinks and any other personal items, car park charge £3 per visit

Conservation Donation: Somerset Wildlife Trust

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 on one fantastic SSSI site
  • 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 to 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 nature reserves, for a creative & fun photography workshop!

If you enjoy watching and photographing smaller wildlife, such as dragonflies & damselflies, and want to improve or expand your photography skills and creativity, this workshop is for you!

We will be exploring a wonderful nature reserve on the internationally important Somerset Levels and Moors, an area covering approximately 170,000 acres. We will spend the morning at Westhay Moor, part of the Avalon Marshes. It is one of the finest remaining lowlands left in Britain and an important habitat for many different species. As such it is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Westhay Moor is reclaimed from the remnants of industrial-scale peat extraction and has the largest surviving remnant of lowland acid mire in the South West. It is home to many different and interesting plant and invertebrate species including many damselflies and dragonflies and sundew carnivorous plants.

We will take a slow walk to the reserve from the car park keeping our eyes open for all kinds of wildlife, including amphibians and roosting invertebrates in the grass. We will take a walk around the mire and through the alder and birch woodland where we can find sundews and royal ferns and if we’re lucky green tiger beetles.

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.

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, 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
  • The car park charge is £3 per visit (not included) & can be paid on the day by card, or later, within 24 hours of your visit
  • 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:

Arrival on site and welcome. Please arrive in the car park by 5:45am at the latest, Victoria will be there to meet you.

  • 6am Short briefing about the day.
  • 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