April 24-28 is jam-packed with photography, birding events, workshops, and seminars for all abilities

Florida’s Birding & Photo Fest returns to the St. Augustine area from April 24th through April 28th for its 22nd year with nearly 100 photography and birding events. This immersive event combines interactive field workshops, dynamic photography sessions, and classroom seminars with some of the world’s best nature photography professionals.

Where else but Florida’s Historic Coast?

There’s a reason Florida’s Birding & Photo Festival is the best around. The natural settings found in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and The Beaches are the perfect places for new and experienced photographers to hone their craft. The sun-drenched beaches, delicate dunes, winding Intracoastal Waterway, and cool maritime hammocks are home to an endless array of avian species, including word storks, vibrant link roseate spoonbills, Monk’s parrots, herons, egrets, terns, pipers, osprey, American bald eagle, anhinga, pelicans and more.

This year’s Florida’s Birding & Photo Fest is headquartered at the new St. Jude Celebration Hall at Saint Anastasia, located on St. Augustine Beach. This spacious venue can comfortably seat up to 300 people and is just minute’s away from the festival’s various field locations. Workshops are held throughout Florida’s Historic Coast, offering a sumptuous backdrop for photographers. Shooting locations include St. Johns County Beaches, the incredible bird rookery at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime MuseumFlagler CollegeWashington Oaks Garden State ParkAnastasia State Park, the GTM Research ReserveCastillo de San Marcos National Monument, and historic downtown St. Augustine.

Learn from industry experts at nearly 100 exciting events!

The festival’s educational workshops and classroom sessions include hands-on practice photographing birds, horses, historic architecture, and portraits, techniques like flash and macro photography, working through the creative process, editing programs, composition, printing, and more. There are courses appropriate for beginners, experts, and everything in between.

This year’s keynote speakers are Jennifer Leigh Warner and Emilie Talpin. Warner will present “Putting Your Images to Work,” a conversation about how photographs have the power to promote positive change and create policies that make real impacts on wildlife conservation. Warner is a fine-art conservation wildlife photographer, writer, public speaker, and workshop leader for Wildside Nature Tours. OM SYSTEM Ambassador Emilie Talpin will deliver a keynote address focused on “Telling Better Stories.” In this lecture, Talpin will talk about her adventures in bird photography, from the shores of Northeast America to the riverbanks of her homeland in France. A late-in-life photographer, Talpin focuses on birds, wildlife, and macro photography.

Field workshops and classroom seminars are facilitated by the best international nature and wildlife photographers, artists, and local naturalists. The caliber of talent at Florida’s Birding & Photography Festival makes it one of North America’s premiere events. This year’s presenters include David Akoubian, Diane Bollen, Joe Brady, Linda Burek, David Crooks, Milo Davis, Ayolane Halusky, Caleb Hoover, Kevin Loughlin, Todd Nettelhorst, Jack Rogers, Emilie Talpin, Keith Wallach, Dan Walters, Jennifer Leigh Warner, and Brett Wells.

In addition to crowd-favorite topics, this year’s festival welcomes a host of new seminars and workshops. New workshops this year include Horse Action Photography, Shorebird Photography, From Above: Art of Drone Photography, The Art of Bird Language, Invisibility Tactics: Disturbance vs. Awareness, Sunrise Chorus, Owl Prowl, Off Camera Flash for Still Life, Food, and Portrait Photography, AI & Photography, and Identifying Birds Found Near Water in St. Augustine.

Check out the slide show of the 2023 Florida Birding and Photo Fest Photo Contest Entries here.

Where to stay and dine.

There is no shortage of amazing lodging on Florida’s Historic Coast. Festival attendees can find premiere lodging at The Local St. AugustineBeacher’s Lodge Oceanfront SuitesGuy Harvey Resort St. Augustine BeachHilton Garden Inn St. Augustine BeachCourtyard by Marriott St. Augustine Beach, and Overmoon Home Rentals. Be sure to check the festival’s lodging page, as select locations offer special group rates.

Hungry photographers won’t have a problem finding a place to eat – St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches is an area known for its amazing food scene! Sit down to breakfast at the Ancient City Brunch Bar or grab a smoothie at Juicy Cafe. In the St. Augustine area for lunch? Consider a Rueben at Meehan’s Irish Pub & Seafood House or Barbecue at Smokin’ D’s. Beachside has Salt Life Food Shack and its delicious shrimp or fish tacos. Go all out at dinner with luxurious ramen dishes at Lotus Noodle Bar in Uptown, or dine over the water at The Conch House Marina Resort (bring your camera, the views are amazing).

What are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Florida’s Historic Coast for an amazing trip full of wildlife, photos, and fun!

Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida’s Historic Coast includes historic St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra, the rural beauty of Hastings, Elkton, St. Johns, and 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches. Visitor Information Centers are located at 10 Castillo Drive, St. Augustine; 200 Solana Rd. Suite B, Ponte Vedra Beach: and at the St. Johns County Beach Pier Park, 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach. For advance travel information, call 1.800.653.2489 or go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com. Check us out on social media Instagram @ViajaStAugustine @FloridasHistoricCoast; Facebook.com/OfficialStAugustine and Facebook.com/ViajaStAugustine; and Twitter @FlHistoricCoast.

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