Sea Turtle Rescue: An Early Career Workshop

Summer 2024

Did you know that seven species of sea turtles inhabit the world’s oceans?  Did you know that each and every one of them is protected under the Endangered Species Act?  Did you know there’s an organization in South Texas who works night and day to rescue, rehabilitate and release these critical species that play an extremely important role in maintaining the health of the worlds oceans?  Have you ever wanted to learn how to  photograph a narrative in real time?  NOW IS YOUR CHANCE!!

Are you between the ages of 16 – 29 and interested in learning how to create a visual story on the ground with an endangered species, and a rescue organization?

Join multi-award winning photographers Karine Aigner and Nick Kanakis for a unique youth conservation photography storytelling workshop.

You will spend a week with a real rescue organization doing real work on the ground.  You will be in the thick of it:  from spending the night on the beach with turtle nests, to relocating eggs; to live rescues any time of the day; to documenting medical care, feeding and all the other things that go into turtle rescue and release.   You will work as a journalist does, in tandem with situations in real time.  You will create visual body of work—generating a narrative of what it takes to work as a rescuer, and what it’s like to BE a turtle being rescued.  You will learn—in real time—what it’s like to photograph the ins and outs of a story, alongside a real conservation rescue organization.

We will take four students into the field with Sea Turtle Inc. located on South Padre Island, Texas.  You will make images in genuine situations with rescuers, biologists, boat captains, volunteers and turtles.  In eight days on the ground you will conceive, shoot and edit together an individual photo story to be presented in a final event with the local community as your audience.

Part of the proceeds from this workshop go directly to Sea Turtle Inc.



ITINERARY for 2024 Workshop:

You will receive a detailed itinerary, which includes airport and lodging information.  Please feel free to email with any questions:

Lodging is included 

  • Day 1: Arrive on South Padre Island, Texas and make your way to our lodging location
  • Days 2-6:  Seven full days of in-the-field shooting, presentations, editing, reviews, culminating in a final project presentation to the local community
  • Day 7: Head home

We will instruct you in the many facets of wildlife photography, conservation storytelling and ethics including:

  • The natural history of the Green and Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles and other species
  • Techniques and realities of working in real-live situations
  • How to think about and conceive a story idea
  • What makes a ‘good’ image
  • Making a cohesive edit
  • Working alongside other photographers
  • What happens ‘after the edit’ 
  • Narrative vs. story
  • Different photographic techniques and styles
  • What happens to the assets in a partnership with an organization
  • A final presentation with a real local community audience


If you do not own any of the equipment below you can rent from several rental facilities.  Karine uses  Email Karine or Nick if you are unsure if your gear will work for this workshop:  or and they’ll let you know! 

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera that does well at high ISOs
  • Telephoto lens, like a 100-400mm
  • A shorter long lens, like a 70-200mm
  • A wide angle, 14mm to 50mm
  • Mid Range portrait lens  
  • GoPro 
  • Underwater housing (if you have one but NOT required)
  • Hand-held strobes with a soft box
  • Tripod
  • Travel insurance is highly recommended
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes appropriate for the weather
  • Bug spray is a good idea!
  • Headlamps and or flashlight for night scouting
  • Laptop, external hard drive and photo editing and processing software (Photoshop or Lightroom).


    • Price: $2850.00 USD (includes all photographic instruction from two photo leaders, presentations, access to Sea Turtle Inc, and lodging for 7 nights plus transportation for workshop participants during the workshop).
    • Non-refundable deposit of $750.00 USD
    • 4 students maximum


      • Price includes lodging for the 7 nights 
      • Transportation is provided for participants during the workshop (but transport to the workshop location is NOT).
      • The workshop price does not include flights to and from Texas, travel insurance or meals.  Coordinating with other participants is recommended.
      • It’s a good idea to have travel insurance in case something goes wrong or you need to cancel your trip.  Nick and Karine love  World Nomads travel insurance.
      • Once your deposit is paid you will receive a full itinerary with detailed information about the workshop and lodging.
      • Wire transfers will incur a transaction fee.


      We will stay in a large beach house on South Padre Island, close to Sea Turtle Inc, giving us the unique opportunity to be “embedded” in our stories and work together troubleshooting, editing, working through stories.  Rooms will be on a SHARED basis.  Cost is per person sharing.  All participants are required to stay at the beach house.

      FOOD:  Because we will have a full kitchen, and everyone’s likes and dislikes are different—we will make trips to the local supermarket where you can buy food for the week.   Although, we may agree to a group outing to a restaurant (depending on time).  Each participant is responsible for their own meals.  Food is NOT included.


      Spaces are extremely limited for this workshop!

      To sign up:  Contact Karine Aigner at to pay the deposit and secure a spot.