Sandhill Crane Photography Workshops and Tours


Join award winning photographers Cheryl Opperman and Rick Rasmussen for an unparalleled adventure to South Central Nebraska to photograph one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in North America – the Sandhill Crane migration. All Sandhill Crane Photography Workshops and Tours will be conducted on private land in March of 2017 (with dates also available in March of 2018 upon request).

Sandhill Crane Photography Tour

This Sandhill Crane Photography Tour is designed to get you to the best locations, in the best light. While there is no classroom instruction, plenty of help will be available in the field as you capture breathtaking images of these magnificent birds.

Location: Grand Island, Nebraska
Dates: March 13th – 17th
Cost: $2495 / $160 Single Supplement / $500 Deposit *

Sandhill Crane Photography Workshop (Intermediate-Advanced)

A weekend Sandhill Crane Photography Workshop is the perfect way to improve your photographic knowledge and technique before heading out for concentrated field work. We spend two full days in the classroom covering topics including equipment selection and operation, advanced capture techniques, digital workflow, and the creative use of imaging software. We practice what we have learned throughout the weekend and end the workshop with a sunrise photo shoot from our custom built blinds.

Location: Grand Island, Nebraska
Dates: March 17th – 20th
Cost: $1995 / $120 Single Supplement / $500 Deposit *  FULL

* Sandhill Crane Photography Workshops and Tours include tuition, lodging, workshop/tour ground transportation in Grand Island, and are limited to 8 participants. Prices are per person based on double occupancy.

Mix and match for the best overall experience and receive a $250 discount when you combine a workshop with the photo tour.

For more information or to make a reservation, please call or email:

Cheryl Opperman

Rick Rasmussen

Photo Blind Rentals

Our custom built photo blinds can also be rented on days we are not offering workshops or tours. Photographers who choose to rent time in the blind will not receive any instruction and will be responsible for all of their own travel arrangements and expenses. This is a good option for local photographers or photographers who are driving and have limited time in the area. Each blind can accommodate up to 4 photographers, so you may be paired with others who reserve time on the same day.

Location: Grand Island, Nebraska
Dates: March 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st
Cost: $250 per session/per person (each session is about 3 hours long)

Sunrise/Morning Session:

Photo blind rentals for a sunrise/morning session are best for capturing large concentrations of birds, birds in flight as they leave the river, and dancing pairs in the water. On a sunny day, the cranes will be illuminated with front or side light.

Sunset Session:

Photo blind rentals for a sunset session are best for capturing cranes in flight against the setting sun and landing in the river. On a sunny day, the cranes will be backlit making for beautiful silhouettes. The cranes are less reliable during the sunset session as their time and trajectory as they return to the river can be very unpredictable.

For more information or to reserve your dates, please call or email:

Cheryl Opperman

Rick Rasmussen

Sandhill Crane Photography Workshop at the Crane Trust

The Crane Trust was established in 1978 to protect this diverse and vital tallgrass prairie ecosystem found nowhere else in the world. It is home to numerous wildlife species including a genetically pure herd of bison and contains the largest sandhill crane roost during the annual migration.

Location: Crane Trust Wild Rose Ranch; Wood River, Nebraska
Dates: March 20th – 24th
Special Introductory Price (with two lodging options):


Cottage Room $2995 / $1000 Deposit **

These elegant cottages, just steps away from the workshop’s classroom, feature comfortable bedrooms, each with their own private bath. If the cottage windows are open, you could hear the Sandhill Cranes sing as you drift off to sleep.

Bunk House $2495 / $1000 Deposit **

Bunk house rooms are very basic with no decoration or frills, but are being offered exclusively on this website as a lower cost housing option during this special photography workshop. Each participant will be assigned a dorm style room with a single bed and lockable door. Bathrooms and showers are shared. 

Please email for more information about this reduced rate, Bunk House opportunity.

**Sandhill Crane Photography Workshop at the Crane Trust includes tuition, lodging, meals and beverages throughout your stay, workshop ground transportation, and is limited to 10 participants. Prices are per person.

Private workshops are also available at the Crane Trust. 

Click here, or on the link below for more information about Crane Trust Photography workshops:

Why choose us?

Learn from a professional with both formal education and over 20 years of field experience.

Choosing a qualified instructor with the best skill set can mean the difference between an average experience and a great experience. Teaching photography requires more than just knowing how to take beautiful photographs. Truly exceptional instructors must have extensive knowledge about fundamental photographic principles, utilize the latest technology, and be able to explain and apply the appropriate techniques in the field. Cheryl Opperman’s degree from one of the best photography colleges in the world and two decades of real-world experience photographing in over 20 countries makes her one of the most skilled professionals in the business today. Whether you are just beginning to learn photography or have been taking pictures for years, Cheryl is passionate about sharing her knowledge to help you discover new techniques, develop your own unique style, and reach your photographic goals.

Benefit from the experience of a local award winning photographer and guide.

Knowing the area is equally important for a successful photo workshop or tour. Rick Rasmussen is not only a talented photographer, but he grew up along the Platte River and has called this area home for his entire life. His in-depth experience watching and photographing these magnificent birds ensures that we go to the best locations for photography and can adapt quickly to changing flight patterns, roost locations, and weather conditions. Rick has also worked closely with the Crane Trust to ensure their custom-built photo blinds are in the best locations for photography.

Access to private land.

All of our workshops and tours are conducted on private land using custom blinds built specifically for photography. The viewing windows are designed to accommodate large lenses with plenty of room to pan with the birds in flight as they land in or leave the river.  We have exclusive access to these blinds which minimizes the impact on the birds and ensures we will be the only photography group using each blind location on the river. These unique conditions all allow for better photographic opportunities. Participants in the Crane Trust workshop will also have access to photograph the Crane Trust’s genetically pure bison herd.

Small class / tour sizes.

Our workshops and photo tours are limited to no more than 8 people, and workshops for the Crane Trust are limited to no more than 10 people, making it possible for a lot of personal attention. In addition to photographic and classroom opportunities, we make ourselves available for private critiques so that you receive individualized feedback about your work.