May 29-31, 2020

LOCATION: Based in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

LEADERS: Kevin Adams

LIMITED TO: 8 participants

PRICE: $745


Be a kid again and make great photos at the same time!

Who didn’t catch fireflies (lighting bugs for us southerners) as a kid and put them in a jar? Well, now you can be a kid again! We won’t be catching fireflies during this photo tour, but we will be capturing them on our camera sensors.

Have you ever wished you could do something truly unique with your photography? Here’s your chance. You won’t find an event like this anywhere else. I’ve spent a great deal of time refining the technique of photographing fireflies in their environment and I’ll share these techniques with you during this firefly photo workshop.

You will be doing things with your camera that you never imagined!


  • Photographing fireflies in various settings in the Smokies

  • Opportunities for other night subjects, including light streaks, cabins, barns, cascades

  • How to capture fireflies and photograph them in jars without harming them (We will not be capturing fireflies during this photo tour)

  • Learn general night photography and light painting techniques

  • Options for shooting various subjects during the day, including cascades, cabins, mills, and general scenics


  • Guiding and photo instruction

  • Detailed handouts for techniques covered during photo tour

  • GelGrips™ and gel filters (for light painting) will be provided to all participants for use during the event

  • Drinks and snacks throughout the photo tour


  • Lodging

  • Meals

  • Transportation



After we meet, we will give a program and discussion on photographing fireflies and other subjects you may shoot during the photo tour. We will have dinner as a group and then spend the rest of the evening in the field photographing. We will stay out as late as the group, or any individual, desires.

Saturday morning is on your own, although we may go out as a group if the shooting conditions are good and we didn’t stay out too late the night before. We will meet as a group early Saturday afternoon for another classroom session. I give a general night-photography program and then I will demonstrate post-processing techniques using some of the photos that participants shot the night before. We will have dinner as a group and then spend the rest of the evening in the field photographing fireflies and other night subjects. We will stay out as late as the group, or any individual, desires.

We will meet again as a group on Sunday morning for a final discussion of shooting and processing techniques.


Everything we’ll be doing is fairly  close to the vehicle and an easy walk. However, this is a night-photography event, and as such, we will be staying out late at night and possibly well into the morning. You should come willing to adjust your normal sleep patterns for the weekend. We do not have any group-related activities planned during the day, so you can use that time to catch up on sleep or as you wish. This is more important than you might realize. You are paying to learn how to photograph at night, not during the day. If you get sleepy and decide to go back to the hotel at 9:30pm, that’s certainly not a problem for me. But it sure will be a waste of your money. Please, take advantage of this opportunity!

We will not photograph lightning bugs at Elkmont in the park. This location has become extremely popular, so much so that you can no longer drive your car there and are restricted to riding park buses. The locations where we will shoot are little known and we will have them mostly to ourselves. Yes, we will photograph “synchronous” fireflies, just like those at Elkmont. While our shooting locations are not as well known and therefore do not suffer from some of the associated problems, they are nonetheless susceptible to careless disregard of the environment. All participants on this photo tour will be expected to conduct themselves appropriately for the well-being of the lightning bugs and their habitat. Please note that I will not reveal these shooting locations to anyone other than registered participants and I will ask all participants to use discretion with their knowledge.

I have chosen this weekend for the best chance of photographing the fireflies during peak flashing activity with the least amount of moonlight possible. However, many factors contribute to the peak period and there is no guarantee that we will be there during the peak. The fireflies are active in most weather conditions, including light rain, but during a heavy rain they will not be flying. While it is highly unlikely that we will have two nights of continuous downpours in the Smokies during June, the possibility does exist. Please understand that refunds cannot be provided if nature doesn’t cooperate.


Lodging is not included and you are free to stay where you like. However, it is recommended that you stay at our host hotel, which is located near the entrance to the national park We will provide information on the hotel after you register. You must arrange your own transportation to the hotel. Carpooling to the shooting locations will be encouraged.


Full payment is required at the time of registration. You can register online by clicking the “Register Now” buttons on this page. If you prefer to pay by personal check, please contact me. Payment plans are available.


We will provide a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to the event, minus a $100 processing fee. Cancellations made between 90 days and 30 days prior to the event will be refunded 50%. No refunds will be given for cancellations made within 30 days of the event. However, if we can fill your space, we will provide a full refund, minus a $100 processing fee, regardless of when you cancel.

Please note that we cannot change this policy for anyone or for any reason. We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance as soon as you register. Insurance will cover you in the event you must cancel the trip or you are unable to attend because of travel complications.