Sandra Lee Photography Workshops presents … SOUTH DAKOTA – A Photographic Workshop


“Black Hills Extension Photography Workshop”


June 9 - 12, 2024


Join us for the  5-day / 4-night Best of Badlands National Park Photography Workshop


June 3 - 7, 2024


Registration NOW OPEN! Inquire HERE.


Workshop leader – Sandy Zelasko


South Dakota/North Dakota with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto, Sept 2016.




An isolated mountain range in western South Dakota, the Black Hills, includes spectacular photo locations such as Spearfish Canyon, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, Custer State Park (largest state park in South Dakota) and is known for hosting the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally each August. This four-day workshop will only touch the surface of what the Black Hills has to offer. Start your journey with The Best of Badlands National Park Photography Workshop, June 3 - 7, 2024. Click HERE for more information. 


We plan to visit Mount Rushmore like you have never seen it before, capture the flora and fauna of the area and so much more. Your Black Hills Extension is packed full of photo activities, and just as in other Sandra Lee Photography workshops, the emphasis will be on wildlife and landscapes as we photograph in remote and familiar locations. You will find yourself wanting to spend more time in the Black Hills! 


Sandy Zelasko, DBA Sandra Lee Photography is an authorized permittee with the National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife and California State Parks and maintains a CUA for the purpose of field guided photography instruction.





The Black Hills Extension Photography Workshop begins Sunday, June 9, 2024 at 4:00 PM (orientation) and ends Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at 11:00 AM. Photographers of all levels are encouraged to participate. A low student to instructor ratio affords individual attention and flexibility.


Check into your hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota, in time for the beginning of the workshop. (If attending The Best of Badlands National Park Photography Workshop, please plan your travel day to the Black Hills on Saturday, June 8, 2024.) Our schedule is action packed and but will allow for midday for rest. Orientation will include participant introductions, safety, ethics, your goals for the workshop and discussion about what we expect to see and suggestions on how to photograph at various locations. Participants will receive a detailed copy of our schedule at orientation.


Plan your trip to include at least three overnight stays in Rapid City, SD beginning Sunday, June 9, 2024 checking out Wednesday, June 12th. You have the option to extend your workshop and join us for the Best of Badlands National Park Photography Workshop, a 5-day trip into Badlands National Park, June 3-7, 2024 prior to this extension for an extra fee. Click HERE for more information. You are responsible for transportation to and from Rapid City, SD and various locations every day. You can reserve and pick up a rental car at the airport in Rapid City (RAP) if you are flying in.


Rapid City is a large town with many amenities including groceries, fuel, lodging and eateries. Your trip leader recommends Best Western Ramkota for your lodging although you are welcome to book your stay anywhere. We will meet in front of the Best Western Ramkota and car pool to our intended locations each day (unless otherwise noted).


Your instructor has an exciting workshop planned for you. Note that this itinerary will be flexible in response to weather, lighting, availability of animals, client safety and/or desires of the group. Midday hours are set aside for lunch, on your own or with the group, personal errands, rest, post-processing or you can continue shooting. Your instructor will be available and welcomes your questions during workshop hours.


A typical day will go something like this: Meet early, depending on our first location, to photograph sunrise, scenery and wildlife in the area. Depending on what we find, we may stay in a location a significant length of time before moving on to the next scheduled spot. We will break for lunch then resume photographing in the afternoon through the evening.


Plan your breakfasts to go and have snacks, water and lunches available in the event we stay longer at a location than anticipated. Your host will have water and snacks for you while in the field but suggests planning carefully by purchasing food for lunch on days we will not have access to a store or a restaurant. Please let us know if you have food allergies or a medical condition that might conflict with our snack choice. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. Bring a refillable water bottle.


Primary photography locations                                       

  • Downtown Rapid City / Art Alley / City of Presidents
  • Skyline Drive for sunset / Dinosaur Park
  • Spearfish Canyon / Roughlock Falls
  • DC Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial Evening Lighting Ceremony / Avenue of Flags
  • Canyon Lake
  • Reptile Gardens
  • Crazy Horse Memorial (if time permits)
  • Black Hills Raptor Center
  • And more!


DISCLAIMER: This workshop is designed for the nature photographer. We will spend time in areas with the best photographic possibilities. Conditions in the field will vary. There will be a small amount of hiking on boardwalks, over rocky areas but mostly on level, well-worn paths. We will photograph breathtaking landscapes and wildlife such as mountain goat, prairie dog, pronghorn, bison, mule deer, birds, flora and more. We will concentrate on getting the best possible images while adhering to responsible wildlife guidelines set forth by the National Park Service.


Mountain goat, South Dakota        Black-tailed prairie dogs, Black Hills, South Dakota




INVESTMENT: $1395 per person, four days – Open to 8 participants (Minimum of 4 participants necessary at the quoted price. Note: In the event, there less than 4 participants, a small group supplement may be added to the price above per participant. We reserve the right to cancel the trip in the event the minimum is not met.)


Start date/time: June 9, 2024, 4:00 PM          End date/time: June 12, 2024, 11:00 AM


Deposit: $500 to hold a spot in this workshop. Balance is due by March 30, 2024. Make your payment out to Sandra Lee Photography and mail to 15864 Severino Lane, Valley Center, CA 92082 or call 760-749-2174 to process your credit card. Visa, MasterCard, check and money order are all acceptable forms of payment.


What is included:

  • Trip leader/instructor, Sandy Zelasko, who will work to get you in the right place at the right time for stunning imagery.
  • Multiple field sessions, personal photographic instruction and image reviews as schedule permits.
  • Entry fee to Reptile Gardens.
  • 25+ years of instructional experience, insured, licensed, CPR/AED/First Aid certified and a National Park permit holder.
  • Snacks and water during the workshop. (Please bring a reusable water bottle.)
  • An enthusiastic, passionate and experienced nature photographer at your side!

Not included:

  • Lodging, airfare to/from Rapid City, SD, transportation throughout the workshop and meals. Participants are urged to ride-share to shooting locations.
  • No entry fee is required at Mount Rushmore NM, however, you are responsible for parking ($5 senior / $10 adult) or shuttle fees.
  • Entry fee to Crazy Horse varies with the number of people in the car. From $10-$35. There is no parking fee.
  • Trip insurance. You are encouraged to purchase trip insurance in case of an unforeseen emergency which requires you to cancel.

Cancellation policy:  

  • Cancellations 70 days prior to workshop, full refund, less $200 processing fee.
  • Cancellations made 71 days from the start of the workshop will deem all deposits non-refundable.


Scenic Utah




To help plan your trip, visit the Black Hills / Badlands website at Workshop dates were selected so that participants may have an opportunity to explore additional attractions in and around the Black Hills of South Dakota. Want even more photography opportunities while in South Dakota? Attend the Best of the Badlands Photography Workshop immediately prior to this workshop. (Click HERE for details or give Sandy a call).


Below are a few helpful links for planning your trip.


Lodging suggestions:

  • Best Western Ramkota -
  • Other options include, Comfort Suites, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Howard Johnson, La Quinta Inn & Suites and many more.
  • Camping options include, KOA and a couple others. A google search will get you more information.

Additional attractions in the Black Hills region:

Suggested packing:

  • Bring a laptop with photo editing software. (A more extensive packing and equipment list will be sent upon registration.)

If you have questions, please feel free to call. Sandy can be reached at 760-749-2174. Thank you!

Sandy Zelasko, DBA Sandra Lee Photography is an authorized permittee with the National Park Service and maintains permits in many locations for the purpose of field guided photography instruction.

IMAGE GALLERY (You could be here!):

   Scenic South Dakota     Scenic South Dakota

     Mountain goat, South Dakota   


      Cottonwood, South Dakota



     Scenic Utah

Thank you for considering Sandra Lee Photography for Black Hills Extension Photography Workshop adventure. We know there are many photography workshops to choose from. You will find our small class size leaves time for enhanced personal attention and photographic discussion. Please visit for more information.