Private Instruction


Whether you are a beginner who has never taken their camera off the auto setting, or an amateur with a sound understanding of nature photography basics, Nathaniel will work along side you and help you make the leap into a new realm of nature photography. Here you’ll discover a host of creative possibilities, both in the field and the digital darkroom. Nathaniel focuses on creating an experience for you that will be both educational, informative and enjoyable. He makes every effort to ensure that your time together addresses all your questions. It is his goal that you take away the knowledge to create beautiful, compelling images and fond memories of time well spent.


Nathaniel has intimate knowledge of the best destinations in Arizona. Based on the availability of his schedule he offers private guiding and photography instruction. With private instruction the format can easily be tailored to your specific needs and you will learn during all phases of your time with Nathaniel. Either way you’ll provided with guidance to technical aspects such as the secrets to strong composition; mastering depth of field for every situation; harnessing the light through exposure control; finding the correct color in the world of white balance; reading your histogram like a book; and how to maximize the capabilities of your equipment to get the results you want to see in your work. Nathaniel has built a portfolio showcasing images that span the wide spectrum of nature photography and not limit himself in a narrow, specialized category. So whether you want to shoot sweeping landscapes or detailed macro, wildlife or birds in flight, he has the experience in all areas to capture the image you want. That being said, all the technical know-how in the world doesn’t help if you can’t find alluring subjects. To this end Nathaniel will guide you to the best shooting locations at the right times, and provide decades of expertise, allowing you to get close to elusive wildlife. If you’re looking for a professional nature photographer who is a location specialist and offers personalized, attentive instruction this is the best option.


Private workshop bookings can be cancelled up to 60 days in advance for a full refund. For cancellations prior to 45 days a refunded of 50% of the total cost will be offered. Private workshop bookings cancelled under 30 days are non-refundable. Any accommodations that have been booked on behalf of the client for transportation or accommodations etc. are the financial responsibility of the private workshop participant.


  • 1 Participant:  $500/1st day
  • 1 Participant:  $375/2nd day
  • 1 Participant:  $300/3rd day


  • 2 Participants: $350/day per person
  • 3 Participants: $300/day per person
  • 4 Participants: $300/day per person

(Payable by Credit Card via PayPal, Personal Check or Cash)

* Pricing does not include any applicable travel fees, lodging, meals, or transportation expenses, which are the responsibility of the client for Nathaniel and themselves.



I offer in depth processing tutorials via Skype covering my workflow and processing technique. During a tutorial you will be able to follow along through the process thanks to screen share technology. This will allow you to see what I’m doing during each step of my personal workflow from start to finish. I’ll explain the process in detail and you can ask any questions you may have. I recommend starting with a two hour session, if you need more instruction we can schedule additional time. Follow up tutorials allow me to review your processing work after our initial session and offer critique. These sessions can be conducted with either my images or your own RAW files. You’ll be provided with a recorded a video of the tutorial and PSD files from the images we worked on.

I live in Scottsdale, Arizona so sessions will be typically be scheduled during work hours for my respective time zone, however exceptions can be made to accommodate your needs.

*Each session is copyright protected and only for your personal education, it may not be transmitted or distributed in any format.


  • These lessons are available at a rate of $95 USD per hour

(Payable by Credit Card via PayPal).


Nathaniel Smalley was raised along the picturesque, coastal region of Maine where his love for the outdoors and photography developed at an early age. More than just another nature photographer, Nathaniel is also a passionate conservationist. Over the last three decades he has worked with numerous conservation and rehabilitation organizations, filling every role from volunteer, to serving as a board member. Nathaniel always adheres to the highest standards of ethics in nature photography and has published several articles on the topic. A few highlights from his extensive resume are listed below.

Nathaniel began working full time as a professional photographer in 2012 when he established his company, Nature Odyssey Worldwide. His hard work and professionalism was met with lots of early success and enabled him to build a dedicated base of workshop clients. Through his images Nathaniel has always strived to foster love and respect for the natural world by touching the heart of the viewer with its beauty. In 2018 he suffered a cancer health scare that caused him to reevaluate his role as a professional nature photographer. As a result of that experience he realized the purpose of his career was far more than leading workshops and raising awareness about conservation issues, he needed to do even more for others with his gift. Nathaniel developed a plan to share his talents by teaching nature photography to those suffering from terminal illness, free of charge. Through a collaboration with the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center he’s donating his time and knowledge to teach photo workshops to their patients. This program is still in its developmental stages, but Nathaniel has great hopes of bringing joy and comfort through nature photography to those suffering with this terrible disease. Helping them to create beautiful imagery will be his greatest reward.

Connect  with  Nathaniel:   Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google+


• 2012 – Present: Owner of Nature Odyssey Worldwide

• 2015 – 2018: Arizona Highways Photo Workshop Instructor

• 2015 – 2018: Himalayan Snow Leopard Tour Leader for Big Animals Expeditions – Ladakh, India

• 2014 – 2017: Ethics Committee Member for North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA)

• 2015 – 2017: Finalist Judge at Nature’s Best Photography AFRICA

• 2015 – 2017: Judge for the popular photography site

• 2015 – 2016: Presentation/Speaker Scheduling Committee for Digital Imaging Group

• 2015 – Speaker at Arizona Highways 30th Anniversary Symposium

• 2015: ‘Keynote Speaker’ invitation for Sedona Photofest 2015

• 2014 – Judge for Arizona State Fair Advance Photography Competition *(Sponsored by Arizona Highways)

• 2014 – Selected for the ‘100 Wonders of the World Exhibition’ in St. Petersburg, Russia

• 2014 – Present: Sponsored by Naneu Camera Bags

• 2014 – Present: Nikon Pro Services Member

• 2013 – 2014: Audubon Arizona Central Leadership Council

• 2013 – 2014: Maricopa Audubon Board of Directors

• 2013 – Present: Audubon Arizona Featured Photographer

• 2013: Juror for Wildlife Photography Competition – 1650 Gallery Los Angeles, CA.

• 2012: Finalist at Stanford Birding Photographic Competition in Cape Town, South Africa

• 2012: Winner of ‘Honorable Mention’ in National Wildlife Federation Photo Competition

• 2012 – Present: U.S.F.W.S. Wildlife Educator & Bird Handler Certification

• 2010 – Present: Member of North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA)

• 2009 – 2012: Volunteer Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility

• 1996-1998: Board Member AE Howell Wildlife Conservation Center

• 1994: Cornell University – Lab of Ornithology Bird Biology Course



If you would like to book a private workshop or processing session with Nathaniel please provide your name, email address and phone number with any correspondence on the form below. Nathaniel will reply promptly to your inquiry to determine a course of action best suited to your photographic interests, as well as discuss availability. Should you have any specific questions feel free to include them in your email correspondence and he will be happy to address them in his response.

*Indicate whether you’d like to book a private workshop or Skype session along with the dates and times you would like to schedule. 


“I was lucky enough to schedule a 1:1 photography workshop with Nathaniel and it was truly fantastic. Despite the weather changing our initial plans, we still had a great day chasing light and taking photos, as well as spending some time processing the best shots. He is very courteous, professional, and knowledgable. I truly learned a lot and hope I can attend a destination workshop in the future or even make it back to Arizona for another 1:1. Thank you Nathaniel for sharing your time and expertise with me. It was a wonderful experience.”

~ Lisa N. | Florida, USA

“I have taken many workshops over the years and have found that maybe one third of the instructors to be excellent teachers. Nathaniel is in that category. He is very patient, has an artist’s eye for composition, and an in depth knowledge of photographic technique. He spares no effort to make his trips as memorable as they could possibly be. Nathaniel’s workshop exceeded my expectations. He is very thorough covering photography concepts, composition, and post processing technique. It truly elevated the impact of my images. I would take another workshop from him in a heartbeat. Thank you Nathaniel!”

~ Aurora O. | Arizona, USA

“I have always had a love for photography but lately I have felt discouraged in seeing how my photos were not capturing what I wanted them too. I would read and watch tutorials online before each shoot and still my photos were coming up short. I am so happy to say after going out with Nathaniel, this is not the case! Nathaniel took the complicated explanations of all the possible settings to a few very simple game changing steps. After spending the day with Nathaniel I have had my excitement for photography reignited. He was so knowledgeable and patient with all my amateur questions. He helped me learn the proper way of editing and adding the final touches to my photos to capture exactly what I saw with my own eyes. This was an amazing gift I recieved for Christmas and now I look forward to planning more trips of my own with Nathaniel to learn more and explore!!”

~ Jenna B. |  Arizona, USA

“I had a great experience with Nathaniel. He was able to take what was complicated to me and make it simple. He explained everything until it made sense to me. He was very easy to communicate with and was open to any and all questions. He was very organized and had an entire day planned out so no time was wasted. He showed me step by step how to edit photos. Nathaniel is very knowledgeable about photography and made the day a blast. I would definitely take another lesson with him and recommend him to anyone interested in photography. ”

~ David U. |  Arizona, USA