Develop your visual style and narrative voice in one of the most beautiful settings on earth.

© Elizabeth Greenberg

Hawaii’s warm tropical climate offers great diversity of natural scenery from active volcanoes to oceanic surroundings - it is sure to have something to offer for everyone.  The Big Island alone has all but two of the world’s climate zones and generates everything from lush rain forests to volcanic deserts, snowcapped mountains to black sand beaches. 

Maine Media’s own Meg Weston (writer/photographer in love with volcanic landscapes) and Elizabeth Greenberg (photographer captivated with Hawaiian culture and mystery) have each made many trips to the Hawaiian islands over the years.  They will lead this workshop on the Big Island of Hawaii and incorporate daily excursions focused on image-making, writing, reflection and the creative process.  Venues on the Big Island offer a diversity of subjects:  volcanoes, ocean, rainforests, and Polynesian culture: sacred Hawaiian sites, hula dancers, ukulele music.  You will find daily inspirations to develop your own personal story. 

Hawaiian culture is rich with folklore and myths that relate the natural elements to tales of their gods.  These tales speak of love, birth and death, passion, and betrayal - throughout the week we’ll work with these myths and folklore as our inspirations, exploring themes of memory and imagination using the landscape and Hawaiian culture as metaphor for our own personal work.

The class will meet each day in downtown Hilo, using the Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art and East Hawaii Cultural Council as our classroom.  There are several hotel choices for you, at different rates, all located near downtown Hilo.  Participants may reserve a room at the lodging of their choice.  The options can be viewed on their respective websites.

This is an ideal workshop to bring along a spouse, son or daughter or partner. Non-photographic companions may join the group sessions and meals but are not involved in the critique or review sessions. Companion supplement is $250. 


Sunday, February 15 –

We will meet as a group in Hilo for an Aloha dinner at a local restaurant.

At the welcome dinner we will begin the workshop with the Hawaiian tradition of talk story, known in Hawaii as mo’olelo, the tradition of personally sharing important stories as we get to know one another.  The first assignment is for each participant to select 6 images to share with the group on Monday morning.

(Note that all location and travel plans are subject to change due to varying weather conditions)

Monday, February 16 –

Early morning risers will enjoy exploring the areas around downtown Hilo.  We will meet after breakfast and begin with individual introductions and image-sharing. 

Meg and Elizabeth will present a slideshow to get everyone considering the elements of a good picture and to start thinking about seeing creatively.  There will also be a brief review to ensure that everyone is familiar with their basic camera functions.

Lunch will be in Hilo.

From Hilo, we will head just south of the downtown area to the Keaukaha and Richardson Beach parks.  At this extraordinary location, there will be a demo on making portraits, be it of each other, of a stranger, or the possibilities for self- portraits.  There will be a thematic assignment for each day’s work.

After an afternoon of photographing the group will return to Hilo for dinner.  Everyone is on their own for dinner and may choose from a variety of restaurants in downtown Hilo. 

Tuesday, February 17 –

Before heading out for the day’s adventures, we will meet at the classroom and there will be a presentation on using the camera and the creative options for time exposures, the effects of stopping and blurring motion, and depth of field.  The daily assignment will be related to our planned photographic locations.

After the morning session, we will head out to Volcano National Park. Our first stop in the park will be the steam vents at the summit of Kīlauea volcano. 

Lunch will be in Volcano Village.

The afternoon will be spent exploring the Chain of Craters road, which descends 3,700 feet in 20 miles winding through powerful and exotic lava fields, ending at magnificent cliffs overlooking the ocean.

Prior to the evening photo session there will be a demo on how to photograph at night with long exposures.  A tripod and cable release will be needed for those wishing to photograph at night.

We will return up the Chain of Crater road, and head to the Jaggar Museum and Observatory to photograph at sunset and the crater glow as darkness sets in.  That will be followed by dinner at the Volcano House restaurant overlooking the crater.

Wednesday, February 18 –

The morning will begin informally with  time for everyone to download images from the previous day’s excursions.  We will talk about light and review creative camera functions.

Our morning will be spent at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens, located several miles north of Hilo and the Hamakua Coast's 4 Mile Scenic Drive.

We will continue up the Hamakua coast towards Honokaa, stopping at the famous Tex’s restaurant for lunch.  As we head south on the Belt Highway we will stop at the enchanted beach of Laupahoehoe.

The day will wrap up in Hilo, where participants will be on their own for dinner before heading back to the Inn.

Thursday, February 19 –

We will head out early, picking up a light breakfast on the road.  If there are active lava flows to the ocean, the plan will be for an early morning boat ride or hike to the lava flow. 

The day will be spent exploring the Kalapana lava fields, the painted church, fish- ponds, Lava Trees State Park and perhaps even a swim in the Ahalanui Hot Pond before returning to Hilo for dinner.

Friday, February 20 –

This morning we will meet in the classroom.  Meg and Elizabeth will meet individually with participants to review and select images for a final slideshow of the week’s work.  Everyone will have some time to write a short story, myth or poem to go with their images.

For lunch, we will head into Hilo and explore the Farmer’s Market. In the early afternoon we will head over to the nearby Liliuokalani Gardens and Coconut Island for our final photography session.                                                                  

We will meet late afternoon for wine and pupus and a slideshow of the week’s work.  The final group dinner and celebration will be in Hilo.

Saturday, February 21 –

We will meet for an informal breakfast and final farewells.


What to bring / How to prepare: 

We will be using digital cameras (only) for this workshop.  Students may work with high-end point – and – shoot cameras (such as the G11), but should bring a camera that allows for completely manual control.  Students are also encouraged to bring their own laptop and external hard drives for backing up their work. Participants do need to be comfortable with their digital workflow and able to download their own images and prepare them for sharing with the group.  Meg and Elizabeth will be available to meet with participants daily.

Since we will be photographing at night, you will want to bring a tripod and cable release.

The weather in Hawaii is nearly idyllic and should be warm while we are there. However, when we are up in Volcano National Park, the temperature can vary greatly from the crater, to the coast so participants will want to have extra layers for warmth.  Hiking shoes, a rain jacket and a hat are also recommended.

The Fine Print:

Price of $1995.00 includes instruction, first and last night dinner, travel on the island (the group will be traveling together in vans, however students may opt to rent their own cars – if so, the rental costs are not included.)  Fee does not include accommodations or other meals.  This is an ideal workshop to bring along a spouse, son or daughter or partner. Non-photographic companions may join the group sessions and meals but are not involved in the critique or review sessions. Companion supplement is $250. 


Recommended hotels in the Hilo area:

Meg and Elizabeth will be staying at the Dolphin Bay Hotel

Dolphin Bay Hotel




Orchid Tree Bed and Breakfast



Castle Hilo Hawaii Hotel










Terms and Conditions for Destinations Workshops

1. Reservations & Payments

A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop.  Final payment in full is due 45 days prior  to the date of departure for your workshop.  Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.

2. Cancellations

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark, or upon receipt of an email providing notice of cancellation. If you provide written notice of cancellation  60 days or more prior to the departure date for your workshop, your deposit, and any additional payment, will be refunded in full, less an administration fee of $55.00. If you provide written notice of cancellation less than 60 days prior to the departure date for your workshop, your full deposit will be forfeited; any additional funds paid to Maine Media for the workshop will be refunded.  No refunds of any amount will be made to persons who (i) fail to provide written notice of cancellation, or who (ii) begin a workshop, but fail to complete the workshop.

3. Basis of Rates

All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.

4. Insurance

It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries or illnesses.

5. Itinerary Changes

The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.

6.  Passports and Visas

A valid passport is required for all travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered. If you are a U.S. citizen, Maine Media will notify you if your destination requires a visa.  Non-U.S. citizens are required to contact the appropriate consular office for entry requirements for their workshop. Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.

7. Medical Issues

All participants must be in good health.   You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration.  This document may be found on the course description page.

8. Liability Waiver

Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop.   Click here to download.

9. Responsibility & Photography

To ensure a safe photographic experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations.  The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive; or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment.  No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop. 

Sign and Return Waiver Form



Elizabeth Greenberg

Elizabeth Greenberg: Dean and Vice-President of Academic Affairs for Maine Media Workshops and College, earned a B.F.A. in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and completed her M.F.A in Visual Arts at Vermont College. Elizabeth began her photographic career in New York City working as Arnold Newman’s studio manager and first assistant. After leaving Arnold Newman’s studio, she went on to assist many other well - known photographers, spending another four years working as a still life and food photographer. She then continued to work as a freelance portrait and editorial photographer in New York City and Pennsylvania. Elizabeth has been teaching at the Maine Media Workshops since 1994. She was the Director of the Photography Programs from 2000-2007. Elizabeth has also taught at the New School for Social research, Lafayette College (Easton, PA) and the Baum School of Art (Allentown, PA). Elizabeth is a member of the MFA Steering Committee, MFA Committee, MFA Admissions Screening Committee and is a Professional Certificate Program Curricular faculty member as well as an MFA Advisor.


Meg Weston

Margaret A. (Meg) Weston, a long time Maine resident and respected leader in higher education, business and consulting in international imaging, was appointed President of Maine Media Workshops + College in February, 2012. Prior to this, Meg served as Vice President for University Advancement at the University of Southern Maine and as President and CEO of the University of Southern Maine Foundation. Meg has an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University with an interdisciplinary emphasis on creative non-fiction and photography.  She has taught digital imaging at the University of Southern Maine and workshops in Creativity at the Gestalt International Study Center in Wellfleet, Mass.

Meg brings over 25 years of leadership experience in imaging and communications businesses, including as president of the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram and as president and COO of the U.S. photofinishing operations of Konica Corporation. As president and CEO of PrintLife, an Israeli digital imaging company, she introduced photobooks in the U.S. and Japanese markets in 2000-2001. For eight years, she operated f22 Consulting, Inc., a successful consulting practice focused on helping mature companies make the transition to new global opportunities in consumer digital imaging. Her f22 client list included many digital imaging start-up companies as well as Kodak, Hewlett Packard, and Fuji.

Meg also has a wealth of experience in higher education. She served as Chair of a legislative commission on higher education governance and for ten years on the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine System, including two years as Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Meg commented on her new role as President:  “Maine Media is a gem in Maine with a national and international reputation for providing quality education and nurturing creativity in all forms of imaging.  This position sits perfectly at the intersection of my experience and my passion for photography and education.  I’m excited to work with the faculty, staff, board, students, alumni and community to help the Workshops and College realize its full potential.”

Meg’s passion is photographing volcanoes. Her photography work has been showcased in the solo exhibit, “Lavascapes;” in group shows: “Atelier 2007” and the “Next Step” exhibit of alumni of JP Caponigro, as well as on her website,

© Meg Weston

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