A moment when impressions exceed expectations.
Capture That Unforgettable Moment.
Photograph one of nature’s oldest and largest migrations of over half-a-million Sandhill Cranes as they arrive along the Platte River during the spring at the Crane Trust in Wood River, Nebraska. The Crane Trust is offering these photo workshops to capture unforgettable moments while supporting the Crane Trust’s conservation efforts.
Click the photos below to enlarge and view gallery.
BE INSPIRED, Photograph, Learn:
Stay Immersed the Entire Trip.

Crane Trust Photo Workshops* are designed for the intermediate and advanced photographer using a digital SLR camera. Participants will have numerous opportunities to photograph from custom built Crane Trust VIP photo blinds on the Platte River as thousands of sandhill cranes leave the river at first light and return to the river at sunset.

Additionally, workshops photograph cranes and other migrating waterfowl from nearby county roads as well as get up close to the Crane Trust’s genetically pure bison herd as they roam the prairie. Midday we will download and edit images, have group and individual critiques, and attend lectures about photography, the Platte River, and the Crane Trusts’s conservation efforts.

* Workshops are limited to a maximum of 10 participants. Private workshops, advanced safaris (no classroom time) and other seasonal workshops are also available. Please call 308.382.1820 for more information.

Sample Workshop Schedule:

  • Light breakfast and coffee
  • Positioned in blind for morning photo shoot
  • Morning photo shoot
  • Hot breakfast
  • Free time to upload and sort through photos
  • Lunch
  • Group critique and afternoon workshop
  • Optional afternoon photo shoot
  • Social time with light hors d’oeuvers and drinks
  • Positioned in blind for evening photo shoot
  • Evening photo shoot
  • Dinner and social time
  • High-end, comfortable cottages
  • Delicious meals and beverages (soft drinks, wine & beer)
  • Custom built photo blinds
  • Largest roost in the world at the end of your lens
  • Workshop classrooms at headquarters
  • Workshop instructors will be on-site 24-hours to help answer your questions
  • Access to thousands of acres of historic prairie full of wildlife, including the Crane Trust’s herd of genetically pure bison
  • Display your favorite photo at the Crane Trust’s Hornady Art Gallery
  • Long telephoto lens in the 400-600mm range with teleconverters for dancing cranes and flight photos
  • Mid-range telephoto zoom that you can handhold for clusters of birds in flight
  • Wide angle lens for scenic views of the river with thousands of cranes
  • Tripod and/or monopod
  • Laptop with image processing software
  • Layered clothing with wind and water protection, warm boots, gloves, and warm head-wear
  • Proper wildlife and nature photography techniques
  • Utilizing light and exposure to capture stunning images
  • How to convey a one-of-a-kind, intimate, experience through photography
  • Crane biology and behavior
  • Crane Trust’s conservation efforts

“I strongly recommend this workshop to you if you enjoy photography and want to learn more about both photography and the amazing Sandhill Crane migration. The shooting is fun, the workshop sessions are excellent, the meals are substantial and tasty, and the cottages are comfortable and clean, with a separate private bedroom/bathroom for each person (or couple). The staff is welcoming and friendly.

The antics of the cranes are highly photogenic! In this workshop, I expanded my ability to take photographs under a variety of conditions, sometimes with quite challenging lighting. Each morning, shooting starts in the dark and extends through sunrise hours; each night, shooting starts before the cranes settle on the river and extends through sunset and into the dark, so picture photographing dancing cranes in the semi-dark (your reward is shooting them in the sunrise)! Nebraska sunrises and sunsets are often highly dramatic – a photo show in themselves! And when the shooting is over, the workshop talks about cranes, photography, and photo editing were exactly on point, useful, and interesting. Instructors also provide a lot of individual advice and attention. I came away with higher standards and new abilities.

– Kim Sosin, Omaha

I can say this is my second very extraordinary experience in my photo shooting history. The first one is the big migration in Africia, and the second is this one, the crane migration.

If you asked me, during my photo shooting experience in the past 30-40 years, this is one of the most intriguing experience in my life. My friend, this is a once in a lifetime experience, don’t miss it.

It was a great week, joining the first Crane Photo Workshop. Everything was well organised. Both the staff and the photo instructors were so friendly and helpful. Taking photos of such a stunning phenomenon of sand-hills crane big migration was once in a life time experience. One must try it. The accommodation, the food and the blinds were great. The only regret was the weather, but you just can’t control it. With good weather and enough sunlight, you don’t need to jack up the ISO that may bring a lot of noise to your photos. Never give up, I may go again next year and hope for the best then. The young and brilliant director – Benjamin was really helpful and was taking good care to all of us.

– Samuel Lai, Hong Kong

Sandhill Crane Workshop Sandhill Crane Photo Safari


6611 W Whooping Crane Drive
Wood River, Nebraska 68883


March 18th - 22nd
Cheryl and Rick

SOLD OUT - Call to be added to waitlist.

March 25th - 27th
Cheryl and Rick

Deposit & tuition

Deposit: $1,000
Tuition: $3,495/cottage room
$4,495/private suite
A portion of your tuition is tax-deductible.

Deposit: $500
Tuition: $1,500/cottage room
A portion of your tuition is tax-deductible.

Workshop tuition includes delicious meals and lodging in elegant cottages located at the Crane Trust headquarters, steps away from the workshop classroom and a short distance from the blind. If the cottage’s windows were open, you could hear the Sandhill Cranes sing as you drift off to sleep. You’ll also have extra opportunities to converse with your instructors while you enjoy your meals. Transportation during your stay is included. Workshop is limited to 10 participants.

At the end of the workshop, there will be an opportunity to display your favorite photo at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center’s Hornady Art Gallery for the general public to view and enjoy. You will also receive a souvenir book capturing memories from your unforgettable experience.

Safari tuition includes delicious meals and lodging in elegant cottages located at the Crane Trust headquarters, just a short distance from the blind. Unlike the Photo Workshop, the Sandhill Crane Photo Safari has no classroom time or professional instruction. It is geared towards the advanced photographer and is purely an opportunity for guests to join professional photographers in our photography blinds and have the opportunity to capture some great photos. Classroom sessions and instructor guidance and feedback is not included on this safari. Transportation during your stay is included. Safari is limited to 8 participants.

Student:Instructor Ratio: 5:1 4:1


Find Us!


6611 W Whooping Crane Drive
Wood River, Nebraska 68883

Reserve your experience on the prairie today:
Call 308-382-1820